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Customer Service, or lack thereof

It is amazing at the lack of customer service in many companies today. It seems like they really don't care about the customers. I guess they think that there will always be more customers. Sometimes companies like this go out of business, other times people put up with it due to the low prices. Personally I have decided that it is sometimes better to pay more and get better service than to save some money and get more aggravation and hassles.

Due to the long story and the fraud, lies and mispresentation, not to mention complete failure of AT&T to do the right thing, there is another article regarding AT&T residential phone service that you might want to read. Go to the index to find the article. The summary is to avoid AT&T because it will cost you time and money.


Discover Card

I recently made a mistake with online banking and made a payment to my Discover Card instead of another credit card. This should be a simple thing to correct, but as it turns out Discover is a horrible company and is full of liars and incompetent people.

I originally called on 05-Feb-2010 and was told that they could do an electronic transfer and that I would get the money back in 48 hours. The other choice was to have a check sent, but it would take much longer. Since this was on a Friday and they might have meant business days, I waited until 10-Feb-2010 as I had not received my money back. When I called I asked to talk to a supervisor, but was transferred to a non-working number which said to hang up and call back. When I finally did get to talk to a supervisor, it was clear that Discover does not care a bit about the truth and instead the people there are more than willing to lie in order to get you off the phone. I asked where my money was since my online account showed the credit still. I was told that the department had received the message on 09-Feb-2010, which was strange since they should have received it on Monday, 08-Feb-2010, so I asked why they did not receive it on Monday and the response back was that they had. Since this conflicted with what I was just told, I asked again and continued to get the lies. It was clear that I was not going to get anywhere. I was also told that the supervisor could do the transfer, but that it would take 72 hours. As of 15-Feb-2010 I still had not received my money back, so I called again. This time the supervisor did not seem to lie, but instead did not know anything. I was told that the department had received the request on 12-Feb-2010, but could not explain why nothing was done at all. This supervisor said that she could send a check, but that it would take 7-10 days and that it had to be done as two checks due to the amount. While I was told that it would be quicker to do the electronic transfer, clearly that was a lie and in the end, after many wasted days, I had to go with the paper check route (which is a bit funny with how they push the paperless statements). We shall see if and when I actually get the money back. The credit was removed from my account, so that shows something was actually done.

As a side note, since I was not getting anywhere will calling Discover, I sent them a message on 10-Feb-2010 from my account using their online message service. This is the reply that I got on 11-Feb-2010 to my request that I get my money back:

Notice, it does not address any issue and instead seems to be a stock response.

When I complained that the response was not really a response, I got the following message:

Yet, nothing was actually done.

As a sign of how clueless Discover is:

Everytime that you login to Discover you are asked about going with paperless billing, there does not seem to be a way to stop asking you if you want to do that. With Discover, due to their lies, I want a paper copy of everything.

The only reason I have kept the Discover card was that Sam's Club only takes Discover and Mastercard. I do not have a Mastercard, but had Discover, so that is what I used there. This has convinced me to get a Mastercard and to no longer use Discover. Since Discovered changed how you get the cashback, this credit card is much less useful to me. If I did the calulation correctly, you have to spend at least $7250 in order to get any cash back in a year. Also, the percent that you get back is limited to 0.25% with certain stores:

This means that if you use the card only at those types of stores, you have to spent $20,000 in order to get cash back.

There are many other credit cards out there now which have rewards and/or cash back and who have much better customer service, which makes Discover a company to avoid.


Office Depot: Lies and Lack of Customer Support

I tried to login to my online account in order to place an order, but when I tried it said:

But when I called, they said that the web helpdesk was closed since it was Sunday. I then asked to talk to a supervisor and was told that there were no supervisors. When I pushed the issue, since it is clear that there are ALWAYS supervisors, I was transfered, but this turned out to be a deceptive act since I was just transfered to another person. They refused to transfer me to a supervisor. Either they are lying that there are no supervisors or Office Depot is so stupid that they actually don't have any supervisors.

I ended up ordering the item for pickup at a local store. The copy of the receipt said that it was available for pickup from 8:30am to 5pm, but those are just the generic hours since it include the time before I ordered it. The reason I mention this is because I heard somewhere that you need to give them 5 hours in order to get the item ready. After 5 hours I went in and asked a person where to pick up the item. I was told to get it from the area in which they do printing. Of course, the person there said I had to stand in the long line for the checkout, whereas she was not doing much. I told her that I was told to get it from her area. Finally, she went up front to see if she could find it. She came back and said it was not there. She said that a supervisor would help in a few minutes. He came by and said that it was in the lock up area, but then came out and went to the store shelves. By this time the store manager came by and I mentioned that it was taking a really long time to get my item and that it would have been quicker to just purchase it in the store. He went up front and quickly found the item and the paperwork.

A friend came with me and wanted to pick up an item at that store, since we were there. It turned out that in order to do that he had to cancel his original order and then just buy the item. They have no means of switching where you want to get it from. They ask for ID and your credit card, to ensure that you are the same person that ordered it. It took longer to process my paperwork for an item that was already paid for than it took for my friend to cancel his order and buy the item.

In any case, Office Depot does not know how to provide customer service. They should have access to deal with web account issues 24x7. They should have supervisors available 24x7. I personally think that I was lied to and once I am lied to I don't trust anything else the company says. This seems to be a company to avoid.


The Lies and Poor Customer Service of IKEA

I recently purchased an undercounter light from IKEA. I have purchased similar lights in the past, so I was not expecting any suprises, but in this case I got one. The light fixture said that it comes with a switch, which is nice. I get home and look at it and find that while it has a power switch, there is no power cord at all and the connector is non-standard. Perhaps I missed it, but I did not see anything on the display that said power cord not included. Since I live quite some distance away, I called the phone number for the store, but if you want to actually talk to a person you get transferred to some call center in another state. I think that this is a bit deceptive since it is really not the phone number for the store. It seems like, for what now is obvious reasons, IKEA does not really want to talk to the customer. I was told that they had the power cord in stock, but since I was so far away I pushed to ensure that they really had one and to also ask if it could be held for 1 hour so that I could go and get it. I was told that they could not hold it at all. I asked to talk to a supervisor who was a bit nicer and who called the store and found out that they were completely out of stock, which means the inventory is no accurate, but that they would receive more in two weeks. It is a good thing that I pushed the issue since it would have been a long way to go and a big waste of gas just to find that the first person provided false information to me.

So, two weeks go by and I call again to make sure that they got it in and based on the last experience I really did not want to trust that it had arrived, which, as it turns out, was a really good thing to do. I was on hold for a long time, but finally got a real person and I asked to talk to a supervisor since that is the person who can call the store and talk to a person there. I was on hold for a long time again and it seems that I was just transferred into some other phone queue who was not a supervisor. So, start over again and more time on hold. Finally I talk to a supervisor and I am told that the part is discontinued and they will not be getting any more in at all, which means that the claim that they would get the part in was another false statement.

IKEA is selling products which can't be used without modification since you can't just go and get a power cord which will work with it. I am told that IKEA will not ship this product, but the inventory says that a store even further away from me claims to have it. I can't talk to a person at that store and even if they have it, they will not hold it at all. I can't talk to a person at that store and see if I could find some way to get them to ship it. It is a $5 part and having to spend over $20 in gas does not seem cost effective. IKEA has its rules and will not do anything to correct the situation.

The bottom line is that IKEA is not providing any customer service and has provided false information numerous times. It is quite deceptive in my opinion to sell a product which is not complete and which they don't even have all of the required parts to make it work. The product box does not say that it is missing the power cord, the product display does not say that it is missing the power cord nor does it say that it is a discontinued item and the part number is not accessible online (600-938-31) or anywhere else. IKEA does not care if a customer wastes times and gas to get to one of their locations only to find that they don't have the item at all.

Personally, due to all of this I don't intend to ever buy anything from IKEA at all. I don't think it is reasonable to expect the customer to open the package in the store and make sure that everything that is needed is either there or available. I don't think that it is reasonable to sell an incomplete product and not have all the required items and the customer should be informed if they are buying a discontinued item.


Walmart

I really don't care much for Walmart due to their lack of customer service. In the local Walmart there is a sign on both of the quick check lines which say "always open from 9am to 9pm". I have gone there several times only to find the lines closed. I was told by the manager that they were forced to have the signs there by corporate and did not want to do it. In other words they did not care if people had to stand in a long line for just a few items. Perhaps that is their revenge if you don't buy enough. One time they said that the checker had to take a break, so they closed it. This is also the handicap lane, which is required to always be available. It is quite interesting that they knowingly refuse to follow the company polices, which are there for a reason. It is even more telling that they admit to exactly what they are doing, most likely because they know that they can get away with it.


AAA Insurance

I also recently had a issue with AAA Insurance. I made a policy change for my renewal and was told that there was no change in cost. This was a lie as I got a letter saying that I owed them more money. When I called and complained they said that the change was made on the old policy, which only had a few days left and that there was a charge for the new policy. Because I was not driving as much I wanted to change that, but they said I had to go into the office to verify the mileage or send them a copy of a recent bill with the mileage on it. I went into the office and also had them copy the gas log book that I keep. When I did not hear back regarding the change, I called. First I was told that I could not change that mid-policy. This story changed when I talked to a supervisor. They had no record that I went into the office. It took quite some effort, but they did figure things out, well, they claim to have. The funny thing is that they did not apologize nor offer anything for my having to deal with them not doing their job, which cost me money in lost interest. When the situation is reversed, you know that they want interest and everything else. Perhaps there needs to be a law which states that if a company, especially an insurance company, fails to do what they should and it causes you to spend more time and effort that they would be required to pay you for your time.


AT&T Wireless

AT&T Wireless is also a company which fails to provide customer service. I was trying to replace my cell phone with another used phone (I have multiple headsets, chargers and batteries, so I don't want to have to replace all that). The phone is the same model. I went into the AT&T Wireless store and they could not do it. They said that had to request an ESN exception since the serial number was not from the AT&T wireless network. I was told that it would take 24-48 hours. After this time had passed, I called. They had no record of this request. The request was submitted, but this time I was told it would take 3-5 days. After this time had passed I called again. They failed to call me back, as they said they would. I was told that the request was denied as the phone did not have an AWS part number. My original phone did not have this number either, but they did not care about that. They also did not care that the phone had been in service on an affiliate, that the phone says AT&T as the service when you power it on, nor that it can receive pages to my number. Instead they said that I should buy a new phone. Other than all the accessories, if I change service my nights and weekends are reduced by two hours each night. If I got service with the other carrier, I could use it on AT&T, which tells me that the phone is acceptable on the network, but AT&T wireless is not.


B&B Sales: good that it is gone

There used to be a gun store called B&B Sales. It was good news when I heard that they went out of business. The only good thing I every heard about them was that they allowed the police to use some guns during the North Hollywood Shootout/Bank Robbery. Other than that they gave the firearms industry a bad name. While they had some of the lowest prices, beating what a dealer could buy the gun for (due to their volume no doubt), they were very annoying. Most people who bought from them had horror stories to tell. A friend bought a gun and they had removed the second magazine, but they offered to sell it to him. Try comparing prices with tactics like that. I heard another story of a person who bought a tricked out 1911. During the waiting period all the expensive parts were removed. When he complained, he was told that he did not have to buy it, subject to a 15% restocking fee. I was in the store one day (before I learned it was best to avoid the place, regardless of the money savings since it was not worth it) and there was an upset customer. It seems that he wanted to buy something between a .45 and a 9mm, but was lied to that there was nothing between. He had bought the 9mm, only to be told by friends of his mistake. He wanted to get a .40 instead, but the people at B&B said that he would have to pay the 15% restocking if he wanted to do that and it did not matter that he was lied to. I happened to be in the store to return an item, which was a horror story. I bought a shotgun and when I picked it up I also bought a magazine extension. It turned out that the magazine extension did not work on the civilian model of the shotgun, it only worked on the police version. B&B should have know that and knew which shotgun I had purchased. When I went in I was told that I had to talk to a manager. There was one there doing nothing, but I first had to talk to a sales person by taking a number. After waiting a long time, my number was called. The manager was not available, so the sales person went on to help the next person. The really funny (in hindsight) thing about it was that they required more information to return the item than I needed to buy the shotgun. They threaten to charge the restocking fee, but ended up not doing that because I said I bought it when I picked up the shotgun and it did not work with it, as they should have known. As I say, it is good that they are gone.


Tires: a positive story

Where I buy tires is a good example of good customer service. They have good prices, but not always the best. The thing is that I save money by going there because I trust that person that I have been buying tires from for over 20 years. He will tell me if I don't need new tires. A friend went to him to buy tires and was shocked when he was told that he did not need tires and to come back in around 3000 miles. While 3000 more miles is not much, it is something. I have also saved money by buying the correct tire for the vehicle I drive and how I drive. Sometimes buying the cheapest tires will cost you more money. Often there are strange brands that I have never heard of, but are actually made by the same company. A good tire person knows this and can suggest these tires, which can save a lot of money.


IOGear

I have had a IOGEAR MicroHub for quite some time. A friend got it for me and the first one was DOA and had to be sent back. In order send it back you have to talk to the company and then they send you email requesting all sorts of information and require you to fax it back to them, unfortunately not everyone has a fax. All was well with it until I got a USB Zip drive. The zip drive needs more power than the hub can supply and does not have the means for an external power supply. So after looking around for a power supply for the USB hub, I ended up going to the iogear web page and ordering the power supply from them. It is a 5v 2.3A power supply, so it is not real common, especially with the power connector being a 1.3mm coax. A short time later I get the power supply and attach it. Unfortunately the computer will not boot at all (a Compaq), it will not even complete the power up self tests, it just locks up, with NOTHING connected to the hub. I sent in a request using the iogear web page, but did not get a response back, so I called. That was a complete waste of time. At the start of the call the phone message system said that the wait was around 8 minutes. After 10 minutes, it said the wait was 6 minutes. After another 10 minutes, it was 4 minutes. In reality it was around 40 minutes. The person I talked to, Bill, was quick to say the fault was with the power supply and that I had to call shipittoyou.com in order to get it replaced. It seems that iogear does not stand behind the products sold on their web page. After pushing them a bit they said that I could return the hub to them, but I would have to pay for shipping. Bill had no idea of how the power is switched between the computer and the external power supply, but was sure that the problem was not with the hub even though the power light came on the hub. I also needed to have the receipt, but since I bought it quite some time ago I have no idea of where that is. Without the receipt they would do nothing (not like they are willing to do anything to begin with). Basically iogear did not want to do anything and keep looking to place the blame elsewhere. I then called shipitforyou.com and they were very helpful and nice, quite a difference when compared to iogear. They agreed to take the power supply back and to pay for return shipping, quickly sending an email message with complete instructions. They also answered the phone very quickly and professionally. Compare that to being on the phone with iogear for over an hour, most of which being on hold, listening to how easy it is to use their web page for service (what a joke) and being lied to about how long it will take to talk to someone. Bottom line is that shipittoyou.com is a very good company and iogear should be avoided at all costs.


Toro

I strongly suggest that people refrain from buying Toro products, especially the electric trimmers. For several weeks I have been trying to get a small part, an eyelet guide, part number 107-3344. The problem is that Toro refuses to sell the parts directly, telling customers that they have to go through the dealers. Unfortunately it seems that the dealers in my area are useless. I got the list from the Toro web page. I called several and none carry the parts, most don't want to order the parts. One local place I called said that they would call back and when they didn't, I called back, telling them that I was supposed to get a call back, to which I got the response that they were busy now and to call back later. Another place I called said that they would call me back, but didn't. When I called them back they said that they would order the part. Around a week later I called to check on the status of the order, they told me that they forget to order the part and would have to call Toro.

This is the type of service which Toro provides to customers, which is basically none. The part is supposed to cost $2.50 and if I could find someone to order the part and have it shipped, it would most likely cost quite a bit. The whole trimmer sells for $29.99, so it does not make sense to pay a lot of money for the part. What is even worse is not being able to get such a simple, cheap part.

When I called Toro to see what could be done I was told by Derek, a representative, that there was nothing that could be done. I asked to talk to a supervisor and he said that none were there and I could not leave a message and I would have to call back during their "normal" business hours, central time. Not very helpful. Due to this I think it is best to stay away from a company who does not stand behind their products and who you can not get parts from. Unfortunately it is hard to know this until it is too late, as in my case. If you know of a good company please let me know.

I called and talked to a supervisor who seemed to be helpful as she said that she would just send the part. I have not received it yet, so I am not sure if this is the case or not. Right after that I received a reply from email. It seems clear that many people at Toro can not read since the suggestion was that I contact one of their service representatives, yet top on the list is the place that I could not order the part from and the next one down was a place that refused to help me at all. I called five places on their list, some quite far from where I live and with the price of gas, that could make the part quite expensive. None of the places that I contacted could help me in the end, only one even claimed that they would order the part, but above you can see how that went.

I replied to the email telling them the lack of service, to which I just got a reply. Instead of being able to buy a $2.50 part, I got a link to a web page where you can buy returned/used products. So, I can pay over 10 times the amount of the part to get a new unit, which I won't be able to get parts for either. That does not make sense to me at all. Why would I buy another product from a company which I can not get parts from?

Update: The end result was that I talked to a supervisor who mailed me the part, for free!!! The first attempt was in a cheap Toro envelope and the part was ripped out of it by the postal machines. I called again and this time the part was sent in a bubble pack envelope and so the part made it. Some of the people at Toro are dedicated to customer service, but still their system is horribly broken. I was fortunate that the part was cheap and the supervisor could just send it to me. I suspect that it would have been a real problem if I had needed to pay for it since I don't think their system would have allowed that.


IKEA

Quite some time ago I bought a 4W Compact Fluorescent light bulb from IKEA. It was not very bright and it also had the issue of taking a couple of seconds to come on, which is typical of the lights that IKEA sells. Still, I really liked the light because it was a great, low power light to provide light at night. All went well for quite some time, but then one day it stopped working. Since the store is a fair distance to me, I went to IKEA's web page to see if I could order some more. I could not find them, so I called and they said that they do not sell them on the Internet because they would break in shipping. Perhaps this means that the lights are fragile or IKEA does not have a clue of how to properly package for shipping, but I think the real thing is that IKEA does not consider it worth it to deal with it. This left me with no choice but to go to IKEA Burbank. I went to the light department, but could not find the light, nor could I find anyone to help me. I went towards the front and found a person, but he did not have a clue about the lights and said he needed the name in order to be able to look it up. Since I had no idea of the name, he called the light department and said I had to go back there, even though I told him that I had not seen anyone there. I went back there to find two people, although both were busy. I guess that happens when they come out of hiding, all the people want assistance. First they told me to go look for the bulb, but I told them that I already had and it was not there. Finally they looked up the information and told me that it had been discontinued. I had to ask them if any other local stores had the bulbs and was told that Convina had 55 of them. I asked if they could ship them or transfer them to the Burbank store and was told that they don't do that. If I wanted the bulb, the only choice would be to drive to Covina. Since the bulb is not that expensive and since there are other places which sell similar bulbs and the considering the cost of gas, I decided that it was best to shop at some other store. I found a couple of bulbs at OSH for a reasonable price, so I think I will stay away from IKEA since it is clear that they don't need my money.


Monster.com

I received a spam message from a user abusing Monster.com's services, which is listed below under "Farmers". This is the response I got back from Monster:



It is clear that they don't care to do anything and instead prefer to protect the spammer. I have to wonder what would happen if enough people were spammed so that they refused to use Monster at all. Perhaps then they might decide, after it is too late, that they should do somthing.

They claim I need to tell the person I don't want their email, but I already did that when I said the type of job I was looking for.

This is the message from Yahoo, which is far more reasonable, although they do not say what they have done, they at least give the impression that they care about the situation and are willing to do something about it.


Farmers Group, Inc. - A spammer

This is the spam I received from Farmers Group through Monster.com. Considering that I specified what type of job I was looking for, which is working with computers,

I am not sure of why Farmers think that this type of email is acceptable, but to me it sure makes their company look bad and makes me not want to deal with their company at all. They are spammers and should be avoided.

I included the complete email and phone information since it is clear that they want people to see that, so I will give them some free advertising, but I can not help it if people call them to complain about their poor business practices.


Metlife - A spammer

Here is another spam message I got through Monster. It is quite interesting that they think that I might have a career as a Financial Services Representative and Financial Planner since I don't have any experience in that area.

Feel free to contact them too.


Edelbrock Performance Products

While the end result was very positive, I decided to leave this in since it can be hard to contact them, but once you do they work hard to resolve the problem.

On Thursday morning, 01-Sep-2005 I called Edelbrock to deal with a problem with one of their exhaust systems falling apart on my vehicle. I left a message with their warranty department, since no one answered that line.

After not hearing from them, I sent an email message and got an automated response:

Now, this is a funny message since I did call to try to get immediate attention by calling and instead was just ignored. Perhaps they only give immediate attention when you are ordering something so that they can get your money.

I have not had the exhaust on my vehicle for all that long, at least not in terms of miles, but the rear of the muffler is falling apart. The case has rusted and separated and the outlet tube seems to be loose. This is in addition to the poor mounting system, which has been an ongoing issue. Instead of having a means of holding the rubber hanger on, Edelbrock just has straight metal. To "solve" this problem, or more correctly deal with it, I used an innertube and a hose clamp to keep the muffler hanger from falling off again and again (not much fun putting it back on over and over again).

Update: One thing that Edelbrock need to do is to keep better track of their incoming calls since once they get you on their list, they keep calling, which is good since they want to make sure that they take care of the problem. It turns out that Edelbrock no longer makes the product that I have and their current mufflers are a different size, but for some strange reason they still had a brand new complete exhaust sitting on their shelf. The reason that it is strange is that they have not sold it for years. It worked out well for me since once I made contact, mainly by email, I arranged to go there and turn in the old muffler and get the new set. No hassle and they were very nice.

So, once you get past getting in contact with them, they know how to take care of a customer and do the right thing.

As an additional note I was standing the lobby waiting for the warranty person to come up front. Now, this normally would not attract any attention, but I was holding a muffler, connected to a long exhaust tube (could not get it off). Vic Edelbrock came back with a group of people, most just looked at me strangely, but Vic Edelbrock walked past, looked at what I was holding and turned back to talk to me to make sure that I was being taken care of and looked at what the problem was, which he said that they had issues with it and changed how they built things. He could has easily walked past, as the rest did, but he took the time to make sure that everything was dealt with. That is a very positive thing and others could learn from that attitude.


Alibris.com

If you enjoy ordering books, this is the site for you. On the other hand, you enjoy reading books or getting the books that you order, then perhaps you need to look elsewhere.

I have ordered from alibris.com twice, there will NOT be a third time. Typicially it is three strikes and you are out, I am not giving this company a third chance. Even if they were to succeed they would only be 1/3, which is pretty poor odds and I am not willing to gamble that they could deliver, so I am leaving it at 0/2.

The first thing to understand is their organization and their lack of responsibility for anything. This web site does not actually have any books, but instead has associated companies which actually have the books and ship them. It is quite similar to the way eBay works. Alibris just makes money off each order and does not do much other than take your money.

The first book I ordered from them, and did not get, was charged to my credit card, but a short time later I received email stating that they did not actually have the book and so they credited my credit card. I believe the credit card rules are that you can not charge for an order until you ship it, but I guess they don't care about that. This meant that I had to go looking for the book again. They blamed the seller and claimed that it was not their fault.

So I decided to give them a second chance, which was a bad idea. I ordered another book on 02-Aug-2005 at 5:24 pm, my credit card was again charged. A short time later I received email claiming that my book was shipped on 02-Aug-2005 at 10:31 pm. In looking at the messages, I am sure that there is no way that the book was shipped with 5 hours, especially at that time of night. My timezone is Pacific, so if the place was further east the time would be even later.

The message contained this statement:

Packages shipped via Standard Shipping usually take 1 to 2 weeks for delivery. Unfortunately, shipments via Standard Shipping can't be tracked.

When I complained that I had not received the book, Alibris responded with:

Packages shipped via this method usually take 4-14 shipping days for delivery, though on rare occasions delays of up to 30 days can occur. We do not offer tracking for packages shipped via standard shipping. Most items shown on our site come from our network of independent sellers and ship direct to you. Though delays are rare, please write back if your package doesn't arrive by Sept 2nd so I may investigate this matter further.

I requested proof that it was actually mailed, due to the problems with the first order. All such requests were ignored. I personally don't think that 30 days is acceptable, especially when it is not mentioned at the start. They try to place the blame on the post office, but I have yet to see something take a month to be delivered in the US. I suspect the shipper just replies that they have shipped it so that they can get their money, but have not actually shipped it. In the meantime I have been charged for the book.

I ended up getting a credit, after having to contact Alibris again, on 08-Sep-2005. I told them when I talked to them on 17-Aug-2005 that the timeframe was not acceptable, but they refused to do anything about it. It also meant that I could not go looking to buy another book until I got it resolved. Even though Alibris listed the same book, the prices are different and Alibris refused to make good on the purchase or the price. All they would do is to refund the money and then I could go back and try it all again.

It seems to me that this company has serious problems, if not a complete fraud. I would be interested in hearing if anyone has managed to order a book from this place. Even more interesting is to see how many times you have to order a book before you get it.


Suunto

It amazes me that a company wants you to buy a watch at close to $200 and above and then consider the watch disposible if it breaks after the warranty. I had a Sunnto Vector which stopped accurately determining the altitude and temperature and I brought it to REI and was told that Suunto does not fix watches at all. The clerk had checked earlier when a person brough in another watch.

I looked on the Sunnto web page and could not find any information, so I sent them a message. They replied that they do fix the watches and gave me an address and phone number to contact them, no email address. I need to call them and see what the deal is, but they don't make it easy.

On the box and on their web page they have the tag line "Replacing Luck". Although they don't say what they replace luck with, but without luck you will have wasted money with their products.

It just goes to show that you should check to see if the company does repairs before you buy their items.


PrintPal.com

On 03-Dec-2005 I placed an order for some inkjet print cartridges and on 05-Dec-2005 I received email saying that the order had shipped. Time passed and the light on my printer started blinking saying the ink was low, but nothing in the mail. On 16-Dec-2005 I send email to their support address and heard nothing back. On 18-Dec-2005 I called to see what was going on. I did not get much of an answer other than being told that they would have to "track" the order. I was also told that all of the email from Friday had been dealt with and since I am in the same timezone and sent the email around 2pm, my email should have been dealt with. Obviously they lost my email or ignored it. Due to the poor response, I told them that if I did not get an acceptable answer today that I would dispute the charges. Instead of trying to give me an acceptable answer, they just cancelled my order and refunded my money. This does not solve my problem in getting the cartridges though.

This is a company which needs to consider how they treat customers and learn to provide better service, well any service would be a start. Other companies to consider are 123inkjets.com or

I have bought from 123inkjets.com, but their prices are higher. Since they have a local place, I can just pick up what I need, so perhaps that is worth the cost difference.


Gregg Shuman Ebay: sobrboy86

I was recently looking at an auction on Ebay for a UPS and since the listed shipping charge was listed at $120 and the item was a short distance away, I thought I would ask if it was possible to arrange a pickup. In the past I have met people to pick up items. In this case the feedback indicated that pickup was a good idea. The seller just replied to read the listing. So I said that others had been willing to meet to arrange a pickup, especially with such high shipping charges. The response I got back was "then simply dont bid and go away ....". .

It is clear that I won't bid on this item since the person has no concept of customer service, but I will not go away, instead I will post this message to give the feedback it deserves. This is part of what is wrong with this country since people feel that they can just be rude and get away with it.

Remember when dealing with Ebay to read the feedback, especially what the seller wrote.

I just got another message from this person: Customer service is for customers...that does not include YOU

Yet another wonderful message from this clown:

dude read this .........GO SCREW YOURSELF....are we clear now ??

He just does not get it. I do hope word spreads about this person and that no ever buys anything from him. A web search shows three possible addresses for him in Los Angeles County, which is where he says that he is from.


Appleland Sports & gunbroker.com

There are two issues here, which is why there are two companies listed. Both are guilty of misrepresentation, but in different ways.

In the case of gunbroker.com, they are misrepresenting the facts regarding fraud: http://www.gunbroker.com/User/FraudInsurance.asp

They say that fraud is virtually non-existant, but the fact is that they refuse to deal with the problem and do not keep track of it unless the buyer can jump through all the required hoops. A prime example is below.

Appleland Sports listed a Winchester 9422 Legacy Tribute 22LR, Auction # 41825493.

The description was listed as:

There was also a nice picture of a rifle. The main problem was that the picture and the description did not match the rifle that was delivered. I talked to the owner, Michael K. Pettit, who also has no concept of customer service. Mr. Pettit insisted that it was not misrepresentation, but just a mistake. It seems that use of a dictionary to understand the definition of the word misrepresentation is beyond him. He refuses to take responsibility of their mistake (misrepresentation) and pay for the additional costs associated with falsely representing the rifle and sending it.

While people can make a mistake, I find it hard to believe that it was just a mistake since one look at the rifle would show that the information was not correct. This says to me that this was either fraud or negligence on the part of Appleland Sports, neither of which is good. When you consider the fact that when it was mentioned to them that the rifle did not match the description, they did not question it at all. This leads me to believe that they knew it did not match and hoped that things would work out for them. That says to me that this was really fraud.

Also, Appleland refused to promptly return the money and instead insisted that the rifle be shipped back first. At first glance that might be reasonable, except when you consider the misrepresentation and the fact that they refused the ship the rifle until they were paid, but did wanted it differently when it was to be shipped back.

Appleland refused to answer simple questions and seems to have a serious problem with respect to communication. I would strongly suggest that people refrain from doing any business with such a company.


Sam's Club

This is a mixed review since there was good points and bad points. I went to Sam's Club in Oxnard, CA as I needed to get some things. I decided to get some pans, which I had seen before. I was interested in the 8" and 12" pans, but the only 12" pan was damaged. I ended up deciding to get the 8" pans. When I checked out, the price was higher than I thought it was supposed to be, so I went back to check it out. When I looked closely, the price tag was for a different item and there was no price tag for the item that I got. The actual item was on the far right, quite a distance away from where the price tag was and there were far more of the other item with no price tag. Since I carry a small digital camera with me, I took a picture of the price tag and the display so as to show the manager, rather than having to bring them back to the display. I went to the customer service desk and asked to speak to the manager. It took three pages to the manager to get him to wander over to the desk. I saw him coming from a fair distance away and he was not in any hurry to get there. I explained the situation to him and showed him the pictures on my camera. His first response was that he asked me to not take pictures unless I first get permission. I asked him where that was stated and he said he would show me, but he never did. I also said that if they had such a rule, they needed to have it posted on the entrance. He did not respond to that.

He ended up giving the pans to me at the posted price, which was nice since the tag was for the wrong item. He also said that he would fix the display. I also asked when they would get in more of the 12" pans, which he said that it was a discontinued item (most likely being replaced with a different brand, but he did not say that part). I asked if he would sell the damaged pan at a discount, which he offered it at $3 off, which I thought was still too high. He then offered it at $6 off, which he said it was the best that he could do as he could return it for a full credit. I understood his position, but it was still too high in my opinion and so I decided to not to buy it. The reason that I mention this is that at least Sam's Club offered a much better discount than other places, which is good. It just was not worth it to me, but I was a bit suprised of how much of a discount he would offer since I asked about an item at CostCo and the most that they would do was 10%.


The LED Light Inc
http://www.TheLEDLight.com

I recently decided to order a couple of amber LED lights since LED lights are low power and last a long time. The bulbs are expensive, but use much less power than CF bulbs. This is important for lights on the front porch which are on for a long time. The lights were on sale at The LED Light Inc, http://www.TheLEDLight.com, which helped to reduce the cost.

The problems occured when only one light arrived when I ordered two. The receipt showed only one light, but double the price. In addition, the shipping was higher than what I agreed to when I placed the order and what the email confirmation said it would be. I called and they said that they shipped a second light and that they made a mistake. They said that the difference in shipping was due to the fact that I had the shipment mailed to a Post Office Box. They could not understand that changing the shipping amount without permission is unacceptable. I was told that there was a link on their web page which says that it costs more, but I had no idea I would need to click on that link. Since they had my email address, they should have sent email saying that there was a problem.

I personally consider this type of behaviour unacceptable and their response is not acceptable. They clearly have problems with dealing with orders too. I checked the power used by the light and it is only 4w instead of the claimed 10w. I suspect that this is due to the light being able to accept 80 to 260 VAC, but this means that using normal household power the light will not be as bright as it could be. The picture also showed the cover was off the bulb, but it does not really seem to come off, which makes it harder for me to use it.

I would have to say that this is a company to avoid.


AOL America Online

It amazes me that a company can provide such poor service and still stay in business. A family member had constant problems with the computer, all of which pointed to their ISP, AOL. Which made it funny when AOL introduced their solution to fix problems, most likely it just fixed the problems that they created. Yet, people continue to use them.

Well, time goes on and I have had to deal with them and it has just reinforced my opinion that this is one company that is best to avoid. A bit of history, many years ago there was so much spam from AOL that many of the major backbone sites threaten to stop accepting email from them. This caused AOL to take some action, finally. But it also seems that AOL can't figure out the right way to do things. It seems that AOL has made some changes to their spam checking, which would be good if they had any sense in how to properly do it.

Here is the problem: I have been doing some work at a University, which is a unique situation when it comes to email since you have many people, especially students. This is where the problem came in. It seems that the University got blocked by AOL due to too much spam being reported. I called to talk to them about it and it was quite clear that they don't hire people who listen. I explained that it was a University and that people can forward their email to another email address, but I was told that I should take people off my email list. I then had to repeat that these people were not on an email list and that they had requested email to be forwarded. They have no concept anything other than a normal business.

You can be put on their feedback loop, which I requested, but it was rejected because I listed the complete IP address range, as they requested, but they said that there was not a reverse lookup for all the IP addresses. This would not have been much of a problem except that they did not bother to send email to tell me this. Also, they refused to accept email until this was setup. I got the email feedback look setup and accepted, but AOL still was refusing to accept email. When I called, they said it would take another 24 hours until it was working, which is really not acceptable since THEIR customers could not get email which they wanted. I asked to talk to a supervisor and was lied to. The person I talked to said that he did not have a supervisor. When pushed, he admitted that it was not true, just that the supervisors won't talk on the phone. So, when you get a clown who won't listen, there is nothing that you can do.

In looking at the feedback loop email, it is clear that part of the problem are their users. The problem was with people who forwarded email from their account to their AOL account and then reported it as spam. In some cases it was spam, which is hard to completely block. These people did not realize that only the last place it came from would be placed with the blame, unlike sites like spamcop.net who look at the message to determine where it really came from. In another case the person signed up for email and then complained it was spam. One problem is that AOL is looking only at the last site that it came from. Also, AOL refuses to do anything about a person who requests to be put on an email list, requests that email be forwarded from one account to another and then reports it as spam. This SHOULD be a violation of their spam reporting rules.

My personal choice would be to completely block AOL email, both coming from and going to, until they can behave in a reasonable manner, but sadly that would only hurt the users. I guess one could say that it would be their own fault for using such an unreasonable company as AOL.


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Written: 27-Nov-2003

Updated: 16-Feb-2010

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