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Friday, November 26, 2004

An exercise in giving thanks

[heh] [Speaking to self: Self, read yesterday's post. OK, now you can write this one. :-) ] Wednesday, I recieved the motherboard I was waiting on. Put it away, cos, well, family was here, it was The Anniversary and the next day was Thanksgiving. Very "righteously" avoided even looking at it on Thanksgiving Day. This morning, opened it up, put all tools, etc., out, arranged everything and began the process of installing the new board. It was not the board I ordered and paid for. It was not at all the board advertised, promised for delivery or confirmed as being shipped. The company I ordered from stiffed me by shipping me an inferior product. Not an explosion, but a very, very fast burn... Later, more calmly, after being stiffed multiple times by a disfunctional voicemail/phone system at the other end of the pipe, I sent an email detailing the need the company had to make me whole, in order to demonstrate good faith. Hours went by... more attempts to penetrate the impregnable defenses of a disfunctional voicemail/phone system. Nearly twelve hours later, an email. Their remedy? They're sending me an RMA#. I am to ship the inferior product that I did not order back to them. The company makes NO representation in the email concerning either replacing the inferior product with the product they advertised, which I ordered and paid for and they said they had shipped OR any reference to a refund! Now, am I thankful for this lil difficulty (and admittedly, it is a small difficulty)? Well, yes. And here's why. I responded to the "RMA" email by detailing a few of the ethical and legal lapses in the company's behavior. I very truthfully pointed out that should the company NOT make every effort to make me whole that I would bring their illegal bait and switch behavior to the attention of the federal fraud folks (http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/ ;-) and two States' Attorneys General, as well as complaints to Yahoo (since it was a "Yahoo Store"). Why take such a hard line? Well, while it's no big deal for such companies to cheat me on such a small scale, unless a few folks (metaphorically) rap them upside the head with a brick bat for such behavior, they can mulitiply it hundreds or thousands of times, defrauding--harming--hundreds or thousands of other people. So, I am grateful for the opportunity to climb on my swaybacked white horse, don my flowerpot helmet and take up my mop-handle in poor imitation of Don Quixote in hopes that this lil inconvenience for me may not be so readily perpetrated upon others, who may very well not find it a small inconcenience, but a heavier burden. BTW, if you want to drop by the business that stiffed me and just let them know you'll be spreading the word that you give credence to my opinion (based on my experience with them) that they are unethical, unreliable and altogether despicable, here's their site and email: http://www.justdeals.com customerservice@justdeals.net One more dishonest place to avoid doing business with, IMO. Update [11/30/04] Spent an hour on the phone with a "manager" at Justdeals.com having the distinct pleasure of lecturing him on the moral. ethical and legal failings of his firm. Finally wringed from him the "concession" that he would refund the transaction on our credit card (as though he could avoid doing so: by this time, our next step was calling the credit card company to report their fraud and have the CC company get the charge reversed, which they would certainly do [heh]—and he very well knew it by the time he made the "concession".) By this time, he was also offering to avert complaints to the California Attorney General's office and the FCC as well, so he told me to simply keep the product we had not ordered (as though he had the ability to demand a return of something we had not ordered! [heh]). [sigh] Some people are really dense. (Of course, there was also the language barrier... :-) I had both those "offers" in my pocket to begin with! Well, eventually (when it's convenient for me to be near a UPS dropoff) they'll get their inferior product back. IF the refund is posted to our account by Thursday. Warn folks you know: in my opinion doing business with this company means you don't necessarily have any kind of chance of getting what you pay for and getting any kind of good faith behavior out of them after the sale is a chancy thing at best. But when you get right down to it, having the distinct pleasure of exercising my "prophetic gift" (speaking forth hard truths, clearly, unequivocally, unreservedly) was nearly worth the inconvenience of doing so while burdened with a (temporarily) deaf "phone ear"... (Laid up today with a frequently painful stopped up left ear... sometimes clears temporarily only to plug up again... drainage? wax? If it goes on, I'll have it seen to [sigh]). But man! The guy had to deal with me while I was nursing a case of deaf phone ear... Personally, I bet he'd rather have had to deal with a bear with a tootheache. [heh... heh]