Eforcity Bribes User To Remove Negative Amazon Feedback

Sarah bought some car chargers from Eforcity through Amazon, and was disappointed to find that the charger plug doesn’t stay in the phone unless you hold it in. She said as much in her Amazon feedback. In response, Eforcity said they would be happy to give her a refund, as long as she deleted her negative feedback. In other words, a bribe for self-censorship. Eforcity’s email, inside…

Dear Sarah X XXXXXXXX

RE: Amazon order #XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXX
Invoice #XXXXXXX
Item title: SAM M300… Car Charger

Thank you for your recent purchase with Eforcity on Amazon.com.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. We would like to offer you a refund, if the negative feedback is removed.

Please reply to this email directly and let us know. As soon as the feedback is removed, we will go ahead and process a refund.

Please follow the below instructions to remove feedback on Amazon:

1. Go to http://www.amazon.com/your-account.
2. Find the pull-down menu next to View by Order. Select ORDERS PLACED IN THE LAST 6 MONTHS, and hit the GO button.
3. After you sign in, you’ll find a listing of your recent orders. Select the relevant order and click the VIEW ORDER button.
4. You will find a feedback section 2/3rds of the way down the page. To remove feedback, click on the REMOVE link in the feedback section of the order summary.
5. You may only remove feedback if it is 60 days or less since you left the feedback.

We appreciate your business, and again would like to extend our sincere apology. Please feel free to let us know how we may further assist you with your order.

Sincerely,

Salina

Customer Service Team

Getting good service shouldn’t be contingent on the customer taking down reports of a product that doesn’t work. This kind of quid pro quo approach to customer service is dishonest and shameful.

Comments

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  1. NumberFiveIsAlive says:

    Eh, this kind of thing used to happen all the time on eBay before the feedback policy was changed. Of course, now the opposite is happening. Since negative feedback can no longer be removed on eBay, you no longer get customer service after one is left.

  2. shadax says:

    I wonder, though, are you able to change and/or add to feedback already posted? If you could, I wouldn’t mind if they encouraged me to revise to reflect said refund, but requiring its total deletion is wrong. Besides, it’s not like they made the product themselves. Things happen. But THIS is pathetic.

  3. mgy says:

    I wouldn’t even necessarily mind a little note at the bottom of the list saying “We noticed you gave us negative feedback. We apologize for the problems you’ve been having, and if you feel as though the situation has been handled to your expectations, we invite you to update the review. Thanks”, or something along those lines.

    These bribes are just getting silly. Haven’t they noticed the other sellers getting destroyed on the internet about doing this sort of thing?

  4. BrendanEff says:

    She doesn’t mention if she ever contacted the company to make the situation right in the first place. If she did, all this probably could have been avoided. (speculating, of course)

  5. eekfuh says:

    I’ve purchased a few things from Eforcity via ebay, their website and amazon as well.

    They always seemed to have sub-par customer service but never anything like this, but at the same time I could easily see this company pulling stuff like this.

    They basically are a seller of chinese parts/accessories for little profit. So what can expect when she probably paid $4 for that car charger.

  6. MissTicklebritches says:

    In situations like this, it’s important to remember that a cookie is a “sometimes” food.

  7. AngryEwok says:

    They should refund her even if the negative remark ISN’T removed.

  8. stevegoz says:

    Could be worse — they haven’t threatened to give her retaliatory negative feedback, as some Amazon sellers do. (I recently had one diss me as “a not very understanding person who must not ever make mistakes” after I bitched in my feedback about how it cost me two bucks in shipping costs to return a produce for a lousy seven-dollar refund….)

  9. wwviper says:

    If the refund is contingent on removing the feedback, she should remove it, get the refund, then add her feedback with a link back here.

    And what Eforcity should do is stop selling a charger that’s going to get negative feedback.

  10. Mira Mi Huevo!!! says:

    They take you money, they don’t help you, they ignore you… seems like they might be a division of Sears.

  11. dorianh49 says:

    Just so everybody knows, Amazon doesn’t let you revise seller feedback; you can only remove it.

  12. ReidFleming says:

    It would make sense to amend the feedback IF the company fixed the problem and offered to fix the other products that were sold. Were I the reviewer, I’d be more inclined to post *another* feedback indicating the shady dealings of Eforcity.

  13. eekfuh says:

    @MissTicklebritches: Or that pringles are sometimes potato chips, or is that sometimes not potato chips?

  14. If it was a crappy product, but the store sent it in a timely manner, it might actually not be their fault at all. It may just be a crappy product. There’s lots of them for sale on amazon

  15. sashazur says:

    The moral of the story is: If you’re unhappy with the service, make sure you get your refund BEFORE you leave the negative feedback.

  16. MercuryPDX says:

    @wwviper: What will probably happen is Eforcity will sit on the return of her funds until the 60-day mark (and her ability to change back the feedback) passes. This was common on eBay too.

    Couldn’t you leave the negative and try for the chargeback, or does the fact that she still has the charger negate that?

    Maybe there’s someone at Amazon who needs to see this and step in?

  17. MercuryPDX says:

    @sashazur: Hindsight is 20/20 :)

  18. dorianh49 says:

    @ReidFleming: On Amazon, you can only leave feedback once per order. Once you hit the “submit” button to leave feedback for an order, you cannot revise it, only remove it. To leave feedback again, you have to place another order.

  19. MercuryPDX says:

    @wwviper: OK… as dorianh49 says then, once you remove it they have no worries about anything negative coming back. :/ Lame. Bullies suck.

  20. dorianh49 says:

    @MercuryPDX: “Maybe there’s someone at Amazon who needs to see this and step in?”

    As long as the 60-day limit isn’t up, the OP can file a reimbursement claim under Amazon’s “A-to-Z Guarantee”. Once filed, Amazon will do an investigation that (in my case, anyway) usually finds in favor of the buyer. Amazon then credits your account/card themselves, and takes the necessary money from the buyer without getting you involved.

  21. ReidFleming says:

    @dorianh49 – I suppose it could’ve changed but you used to be able to review things you hadn’t even purchased. If that is still true, anybody could, I dunno, leave another feedback indicating what’s going on. I don’t know if there’d be any moral objection to that.

  22. NinjaMarion says:

    @wwviper: And then they should use their magic psychic powers for more important uses than just psychically checking to see whether or not a product may break unexpectedly.

    There’s tons we don’t know about this story, but everyone’s on their case about it like they’re deliberately sending broke stuff out to people then refusing refunds if they’re given negative feedback. Sure, they could have requested the removal more politely, and to require her to remove the feedback before they’ll give the refund takes away her small amount of leverage and leaves her at their mercy. That aside, we don’t know if she ever even attempted to contact them before leaving the negative feedback. Just because the product isn’t exactly what you expect or work properly, doesn’t mean the seller deserves negative feedback as long as they show willingness to rectify the problem.

    If she left the negative feedback without contacting them first, then she’s the one who was in the wrong and should remove the feedback if they fix it. If they ignored her until she left the negative feedback and only offered to help her to get rid of it, then yeah, screw them.

  23. dorianh49 says:

    @ReidFleming: You can always write a review for a product, and should be able to revise it at any time. From my understanding, though, this item was purchased from a 3rd party seller on Amazon. The customer was displeased with the product and went into her account, found the order in question, and then clicked a certain link in her order that allowed her to leave feedback ABOUT THE SELLER (not the product). Now, the seller is bribing her to REMOVE THE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK ABOUT THE SELLER (located on the seller’s feedback page, not the product page) in order to give her a refund.

    [Sorry about the CAPS; I promise I’m not yelling; I just don’t know the code format to specify italics or bold, so let’s see if [bold]this[/bold] works] ;)

  24. dweebster says:

    @dorianh49: HOWEVER – you can only file two (2) claims per LIFETIME on Amazon.

    Chargeback to the credit card has always worked for me the times I was scammed by Amazon merchants. Never had a bad trade on Ebay (yet) but it seems a lot of dirtbags flock to selling on Amazon. Doing the chargeback doesn’t count against your “two disputes per lifetime” Amazon allotment.

  25. Mary47 says:

    Still better than Dell – in January I bought a computer highly rated on their website. It had problems, I returned it in less than 24 hours, and left a less than glowing review on their website. Somehow my review never got published.

  26. @dorianh49: Use carats and b only. For example carat b carat to open and carat /b carat to close (and without the spaces) will get you bold. Use “i” for italicize.

  27. krispykrink says:

    My Reply:

    The negative feedback stays. I just completed a chargeback with my CC, and the product goes into the trash. And your email is now public.

  28. LoganRage says:

    The exact same thing happened to me a while back, a seller sent some DVDs that were nothing but VHS copies and when I asked for a refund, they included the stipulation that I not leave negative feedback. Then gave me only 75 percent (the DVDs were supposedly worth 179 dollars). I left negative feedback anyway, with a caveat that the order came on time.

    They sent the rest of the refund and demanded that I take the feedback down.

  29. dorianh49 says:

    @dweebster: Actually (and I just found this out), it’s 5 disputes lifetime. Either way, it sucks that there’s a cap. I didn’t even know this until you brought it up, so I went onto Amazon’s site to find out for sure:

    [www.amazon.com]

    5th bullet under “What are the requirements of the Amazon.com A-to-z Guarantee?”

    I’ve probably used about 3 of my 5 already over the last few years.

    @FightOnTrojans: Thanks! And, [b]Go USC![/b]

  30. dorianh49 says:

    Oh, CARATS!

  31. GiselleBeardchen says:

    I bought a cell phone battery once from Eforcity that was no good. I left neg feedback with Amazon. Eforcity contacted me and asked if they replaced it would I remove feedback? I replied that I would. With no further strings I received a new battery that worked in short order. I then removed feedback. I thought it was fair and just.

  32. rpt1700 says:

    I never leave feedback, positive or negative. I don’t leave tips in those tip jars that are everywhere these days either.

  33. overbysara says:

    this happened to me on amazon. I bought some french language software that turned out to be total crap. I refused to remove it after the guy CALLED and E-MAILED me every day. He must have gone to amazon because they removed it.

  34. dweebster says:

    @dorianh49: Well, either it was two and they increased it to five, or I’m losing my memory.

    Whichever it is, when a company actually has a *rule* of a finite number of times within YOUR lifetime (!) they will assist you getting money back from THEIR vendors who either never ship a purchase or ship something different than what you bought – it’s a bad sign. I was ripped off at least TWICE by Amazon vendors – a non-ship of about $400, and a shipment of something completely different from what I bought. Thank you VISA chargeback!!

    If my credit card said I’d only be able to file 5 chargeback complaints in my lifetime, that would be the end of them. Amazon has *some* association with the vendors they display, and then allows and promotes rampant theft and fraud by the vendors and tries to wash their hands of liability when those vendors steal from you if the thefts exceed five times before you die. Weird.

  35. dweebster says:

    @GiselleBeardchen: I always contact the vendor first in situations like this.

    However, if they aren’t immediately helpful and willing to do what it takes to get me what I purchased, then I consider it a necessity to warn others about the merchant. Posting negative feedback before seeing how the merchant responds does not seem fair. Posting an honest review of how the merchant responds to a complaint is absolutely honorable – and if they hold the resolution hostage after that then I’d just do a chargeback rather than remove an honest review.

  36. dorianh49 says:

    @rpt1700: To be fair, though, Seller Feedback is for your thoughts and comments about the seller, not the product. The seller’s job is to get send your purchase to you within the allotted time period and in the condition described. If they don’t, you’re supposed to contact them through the proper Amazon channels to get it corrected. If they don’t communicate or correct the issue in a reasonable amount of time, then you should leave negative feedback about the seller.

    If the product itself sucks, write a negative review of the product on the product page. If I were a seller, I would be livid if I worked my ass off to get you your order as quickly and in as good condition as possible, only to receive negative feedback because, I dunno, the music on the CD you purchased from me just isn’t your cup of tea.

    If the product is damaged, e-mail the seller. Give them a day or two to contact you. I usually will e-mail a seller 3 times within a 7-day period. If they don’t respond (this has only happened to me once), then leave negative feedback and file a claim/chargeback. If they respond but don’t resolve the issue satisfactorily within 10-12 days (this has happened to me only once, also), then do the same.

    Sorry about the lecture, everyone, but I constantly see negative feedback given to sellers where the buyer is unhappy with the product, not the seller.

  37. mxx says:

    @GiselleBeardchen: It was not fair or just for other customer who are looking at that company’s misleading rating of 92-95%.
    If you purchased a non-working product, replacement of that bad product should not be a condition to remove bad review. You could’ve updated your review stating that their approached you to resolve this issue, but not to completely remove negative feedback.

  38. valtr0n says:

    I’ve had similar experiences with sellers on Amazon.com, and it’s one of the reasons I no longer buy products from the site unless it’s specifically sold BY Amazon.

    I ordered an out-of-print book for my dad, for Fathers Day. It was advertised as “like-new condition.” I paid $110 for a “like-new” out of print book. Not only does it take weeks to arrive when I pay for priority shipping, but the book is clearly not “like-new” at all. The cover is torn, the spine is broken, it’s clearly heavily used in every way. There’s even some water damage.

    So, I leave negative feedback. What do I get? A scathing reply from the seller about what an asshole I am for leaving negative feedback.

  39. allstarecho says:

    I’ve bought from EForcity before and their items are cheapo crap. I bought a desktop charger for a Nokia cell phone. It would charge the phone standing up in the cradle and hold an extra battery at the back to charge as well. It wouldn’t charge anything unless you wiggled the cord that plugs into the charger and neither of the 2 charging lights ever worked. Avoid EForcity. They suck.

  40. JoeLikesRamen! says:

    I received an identical email from the same company during May of last year. I bought something for my phone, and what I received was not what I ordered. I talked to customer service and they said they would refund my purchase but they wanted me to delete the negative feedback I left. I didn’t though, heh.

  41. Meretrice says:

    I believe this practice of bribing customers to remove negative or neutral feedback is widespread among Amazon sellers. In the past year, it has happened to me twice.

    In the first instance, the item was advertised as a brand new CD in the shrink wrap. When the CD arrived, it was clearly not brand new. It did not have the Security tape on the edges of the jewel case, and the shrink wrap was not the kind that CDs are wrapped in. (You know, the kind that takes a razor blade to remove.) Also, the jewel case was broken. So I left negative feedback, as the item did match the seller’s description.

    The second time, the book I ordered was received late. I left the seller (different guy this time) neutral feedback.

    Both times the sellers offered refunds if I would remove my feedback. I declined both times, and in fact reported the second seller to Amazon as they became pretty nasty after I called them out on their shady practices.

    Why should anyone bother using the Amazon Marketplace when clearly the sellers have learned how to game the feedback system?

    I hope more people are contacting Amazon about sellers who are bribing their customers into removing negative feedback, and Amazon needs to revoke the selling privileges of those sellers who are doing it. Given that the sellers are communicating with customers by email, it shouldn’t be too hard to prove that the seller is in the wrong.

  42. I’ve never had problems with eforcity, which means I’m in the minority here. I’ve had similar problems with ebay; waiting weeks for a product it arrives and it’s not as described at all. e-mail them, wait a day or two and hear nothing. Leave negative feedback and get an angry e-mail claiming I’m unfair. Whatever.
    Specifically this happened recently when my wife wanted to buy singstar karaoke for the playstation 2. We ordered from someone who claimed “New in box” when item arrived it had everything, not in the box, but everything was there, the microphones were switched, but we didn’t even notice at first. My wife sang some songs, and then asked if I would join her. When I stood up and tried to sing a song; nothing came from the microphone. It was then that we noticed the microphones have 2 distinct colors for first and second players. We e-mailed the person asking about it. Nothing happened, we decided we would go and buy a new one at a local game store. Bought it, worked fine, defective microphone. We left the negative feedback and were quickly chastised for being unfair.
    Sorry about the rant, but Ebay torques me off sometimes.

  43. Askiba says:

    If EForcity is as bad as I’ve heard, then I’m sure that desperate times call for desperate measures. But still, that’s quite annoying and uncalled for.

    I suggest this: remove the comment, get your refund, and then repost the comment. Although it may get you in trouble with Eforcity, what could they do? They deserved it, selling you a product that doesn’t work up to snuff.

    Or would the above simply be a bad idea?

  44. zenith2000 says:

    Dear Valued Customer,

    RE: Invoice #XXXXXX

    Amazon order #XXXXXXXX-XXXXXX

    Item title:Apple Ipod Rapid Car Charger for Ipod / Mini / Nano / Video,

    Thank you for shopping with us.

    We would like to follow up with you regarding the issue you had with your order.

    Our record indicates that we have refunded after receiving your complaint with your order. If you are satisfied with the solution, we would appreciate it if you can remove the negative feedback left on the transaction posted on Amazon.

    We are trying our best to assist and satisfy our customers, if you are still not satisfied with the solution or have any remaining issues with your order, please let us know, so we may further assist you.

    Thank you again for shopping with us, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

    Sincerely,

    Rosa

    Customer Service Team

  45. evslin says:

    Wait, I don’t get it. Was the customer unhappy with the product or the seller? Did they try to resolve the complaint through normal channels before going straight to feedback?

  46. meadandale says:

    Is this news?

    I gave negative feedback to almost all of the mom and pop shops I bought christmas presents from via Amazon last Christmas due to extremely high shipping and handling costs (some charged me almost as much to ship the item as the item itself).

    I got one of these emails from every one of these merchants and they all offered to refund the shipping costs I paid to remove the negative feedback.

  47. @dorianh49: AMEN!!

    I’ve seen the same myself, people just unhappy with the product. When I leave seller feedback, I take into account the whole transaction. If you buy something brand new in the package, and it happens to be defective, how is that the sellers fault? Granted, I would still contact the seller about a possible exchange over a refund, as I still want the product.

    But leaving negative feedback without giving the seller a chance to remedy the issue is childish to me. You leave negative feedback when they are impolite, take an extremely long time to ship, falsely advertise something new when its used… get the idea?

    @Astos: I tend to agree. If they weren’t contacted about the malfunction, how were they to know there was a problem before the negative feedback was left? They can either A) just live with the (-) feedback or B) Offer to help the customer and in return, remove the feedback, as it no longer applies to the transaction if the seller fixed it.

  48. Schlake says:

    I complained to Amazon about a merchant that sent me an email asking mt to give them a 5 star review. I complained to Amazon and was told such things were not allowed and that they would deal with the issue.

  49. UnicornMaster says:

    I think she owes it as a service to any other buyer at Amazon to leave the review up. The product still sucks, a refund doesn’t change that. The charger still doesn’t stay in the phone. How many people have ordered this product before her? How many will order it after her?

  50. xphilter says:

    I had the same thing happen to me with these guys. I ‘won’ a mobile phone from them and then they canceled the auction after I paid. They refunded my money but not after 10 days, so I left a negative review. They then reported me to ebay (who first sided with them and then with me) and I had to remove the negative review to get their report off of my account. I haven’t used ebay since.

  51. Jamie All Over says:

    I used a different cell phone company (WebTreo) on Amazon a few months ago, and the same thing happened. They sent me the wrong charger, and it took close to 4 emails just to get a response. First, they kept going on about how it was the right charger (when it clearly didn’t come close to fitting) and then they finally started promising they would refund my money and send me a new one. They didn’t even follow through on that. I would’ve fought it, but it was only a matter of about $5.

  52. dorianh49 says:

    @dorianh49: Sorry, I meant to direct that first sentence (about seller feedback being for the seller, not the product) to overbysara, not to rpt1700.

  53. ras_d says:

    fuck eforcity

    apparently amazon feedback is worth more than money

  54. ianmac47 says:

    Why would anyone remove the feedback BEFORE getting the refund anyway?

  55. LouDobbsChivasJersey says:

    @AngryEwok: I agree, but do stores have a right to have feedback updated once they make good on their shortcomings?

    Once something is posted on the web, it can stay there FOREVER. I wouldn’t want my business to suffer because someone was justifiably angry enough to complain but not sufficiently satisfied to warrant a partial retraction.

  56. Stoogie says:

    @meadandale: I don’t get it. You know what the shipping and handling charges are BEFORE you make the purchase, but then leave negative feedback about the charges after you paid? And then gloat about leaving negative feedback for all the mom & pop shops on Amazon? Maybe because they ARE mom & pop shops, they don’t get the discounts that larger, high volume, companies enjoy.

  57. chynezriceboi says:

    Here’s an easy solution. Remove that feedback, then after getting the refund leave TWO new feedbacks, one for defectiveness and one for bribery. Problem solved, and they’ll think twice before bribing again.

  58. Anonymous says:

    I have dealt with eforcity and have purchased a laptop battery for $99 that doesn’t charge anymore and recently purchased items that were missing items and I had to pay the shipping back and wait indefinitely for a refund. If anyone has a phone number let me know. They don’t list one and emails take 24hrs to get a response basically generic with no customer relations to better the situation

  59. mchance818 says:

    This is the email I received from them about a defective VGA to HDMI cable (keep in mind I work with networks and set up computers all day). I tried this cable with a brand new laptop with a very good video card, 2 other laptops which are less than 2 years old, 2 TVs, through and HDMI hub and all other cables (including other VGA to HDMI cables) work.

    Dear Client,

    Thank you for contacting us.

    We apologize for the inconvenience. Please kindly note your Video card must support digital signal output through VGA port function. Please consult with your VGA card’s user manual for more information.

    Thank you for your checking again.

    Sincerely,
    Cindy
    Customer Service Team