We know how it is. As soon as a big star dies, you feel the immediate urge to buy his old stage-used sweat rag on Craigslist.
See this gift card, the one that says “GIFT CARD” in big letters? Ticketmaster insists it’s really a “Discount Card,” and thus, not covered by the California law preventing gift cards from expiring.
Call your grandma: the BBB reports a big mailing of Publisher’s Clearing house scam letters went out on March 6th and March 20th, promising people big bucks in exchange for a hefty up-front fee. The fraudulent letters use the name Publisher’s Clearing House and Reader’s Digest but are sent by flim-flammers, not these organizations.The prize never materializes and the scammers dematerialize after you stop forking over bogus processing fees. One grandma, thinking she won $1 million, got taken for over $4,000. The fraudsters sent her a “downpayment” check of $6,000 and told to deposit it and send $3,700 of it elsewhere to claim her million-dollar-prize. Inside, what the scam letter and check look like so you know what to call your grandma and tell her to watch out for.
Rob bought a monitor from Dell. Not just any monitor, a defective one. Ok, he didn’t specifically request it to come defective, but that’s how it did. So did its replacement. “The backlight was flickering constantly and it made me feel nauseous just looking at it,” writes Rob. He’s returned the monitors but Dell has yet to give him back his money. Every time he calls, they tell him it will be just 7-10 days more and that he paid with two credit cards is complicating things. So far it’s been 45 days.
Robo-scammers are ringing up consumers and pretending to the Better Business Bureau, saying, “We’re from BBB – Because of bailout, we can offer you a low-rate credit card.” In this iteration, we see several three common scam characteristics combined: *Unexpected communication * Automated communication * Mention of topical event * Use of recognizable institution’s name * Money-saving opportunity. Investigators were unable to tell the exact nature of the scam. It could be been to steal your account numbers, or it might have just been a marketing affiliate’s sleazy way of generating leads for a credit card company trying to get people to transfer their balances. Complaints have been received about the scam at a BBBs serving Washington, West Oregon and Northern Idaho, as well as Midland,Texas.
Scammers love to tap into national trends to put a new face on an old scam, and the “Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Equity Prize Draw” scam spotted by the Louisville, KY BBB is no exception.
A reader sent us the contents of a Better Business Bureau complaint filed against Taco Bell. It describes how a customer tried repeatedly to find out what grade beef Taco Bell uses in its food, and how nobody at the company was able or willing to provide an answer. Not surprisingly, the BBB complaint also went unanswered. Let’s just hope they’re not sourcing their beef from forklift cattle, which is like downer cattle but has odd prong-shaped bruises on the side.
Bookmark this: MSNBC has a nice interactive map you can click to find your state Attorney General and/or Better Business Bureau. If a company is being really bad, it’s important to file an official complaint so it’s on the record. If a company gets enough complaints, it can move an AG’s office to investigate. The BBB will sometimes open a hearing in the event of a dispute, and your complaint goes into a publicly searchable database, although the anecdotal evidence supplied by our readers doesn’t paint a very encouraging picture of their dispute resolution process.
Tiny Details is a work-at-home company that pays hobbyists to make little dollhousey things. You buy the materials from Tiny Details for $55, make the assigned object(s), and Tiny Details buys them back. Unfortunately, many customers have complained about problems getting payments or refunds from the company over the years—here’s their less-than-stellar BBB entry. Yesterday Kristopher Buchan, the owner of Tiny Details, emailed one former customer/client to tell him his complaints amounted to libel. Buchan demanded the customer remove them from teh interweb, and threatened him repeatedly with a lawsuit. And now we’re posting about it on The Consumerist! See how that works, Tiny Details?
Score another point for consumers making it over the unyielding wall of “customer service.” Keith writes in about his recent struggles with Vonage, over an account he thought had been completely canceled six months earlier, “The carpet bomb instructions were inspired and within 3 weeks of sending my carpet bomb I got my resolve… The great part is I got my credit from the same person who stone walled me the months previous. Oh success is sweet.”
Another great way to establish a public record of a company’s customer service negligence is to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
It’s campus book buy-back time which means one thing: tons of students getting screwed over across the nation.
UPDATE: Patricia wrote in how she purchased a defective laptop from the Uniwill corporation who didn’t respond to her requests for them to live up to their warranty for on-site service. Even after finally getting through to the repair center and sending her laptop in, it was sent back in exactly the same condition: it powered down whenever a CD was inserted.