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February 27th, 2000

I don’t like being called a liar

(sorry for the delay in today’s Ping — I was out of state, sans password… may you have mercy on me…)

I’m going to take my time today to bitch and moan about a particular company and my recent negative experience with them. For now, I will refrain in saying the company’s name (since I don’t know for sure yet how this will all be resolved).

In mid-February I placed an order for some storage boxes (the collector’s type for protecting magazines, comics, etc.) from a store with an online presence, albeit an extremely weak one that’s still stuck in the 1995 mold of e-commerce sites. After placing an order on their web site, a customer representative calls me up to get my credit card number (because they, despite being an established company, can’t even use something like ccNow to process their own transactions online). I give it to her and I’m on my merry way.

The next day, I have a message on my voice mail, asking me for my credit card number for an order that’s been placed. I call them back and let them know that I only placed one order and that they needed to make sure that there weren’t duplicates in their order system. I was told, by the same person that had taken my information the day before, that everything would be OK.

A week later, the boxes arrive.

The next day, the boxes arrive. Again.

I checked my credit card account online and I had only been charged once for the boxes, so I e-mailed the company to find out what I should do. Of course, being a company still playing catch-up on the Net, they called me back. The same person I had dealt with before told me that “Oh, well we have two orders in the system for you. The reason we call and ask for a credit card number is so that things like this don’t happen. You should have told us the second time that we had already called you.” Of course, I had, and I told her that.

“Oh. And it looks like two different credit cards have been charged: a Visa and a Mastercard.” I told her that the Mastercard is the only one that should have been charged. The Visa was what I had used with previous orders, but I sure as hell didn’t authorize the charge.

She said, “Well, what do you want to do?” I told her I didn’t need the boxes and I certainly didn’t want to be charged for them, so I wanted to return them. She told me how to return it and I double-checked to make sure that they’d reimburse me for shipping.

“Well… since it was kind of both our faults, how about we split it?”

“Well, really, it wasn’t my fault at all. The way I see it, it’s entirely your fault. I called and told you about the duplicate order and did not authorize a charge to my Visa.”

“Yes, but I don’t see how we could have messed up. The reason we call is to avoid duplicates. I’ve been working here six months and this has never happened before.” And then came the kicker, “Well, how about we split the cost.”

“Um, didn’t you just say that?”

The argument went on for a few more minutes where she basically implied I was lying and I should cover half of it. I was tired of dealing with it, so I told her “fine” and hung up angrily. Sure, it was only going to cost me $2.50, but I don’t like being called a liar by some moron who didn’t even realize she was the person I dealt with through all this.

So, I’m going to write a formal complaint letter to the company and let them know they’ve lost a customer that’s spent almost $200 with them over the last year-and-a-half. Now, all I have to do is find a place that also sells storage boxes for collectors. (If you know any, pass them on!) -ram

Posted in Consumer Commentary

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