Everyone knows that the “personal touch” of using your name in an email, printed letter, or CSR call is powered by a database and a computer, and not really personal at all. Still, when a company gets it wrong it can be annoying. When a company gets it wrong, then apologizes by sending a follow-up message that makes you smile, all can be forgiven.
An anonymous RadioShack employee sent us what he considers unethical talking points distributed by the corporate office to help employees upsell the RadioShack Replacement Service Plan. According to our tipster, “each example encourages lying.” Read the deceptive talking points, inside…
The only thing crazier than people involved with wedding planning are people in the scrapbooking supply industry, it seems. Weddingbee reports that an online craft supply store called Urban Expressions (not to be confused with the handbag company) completely lost it when an angry customer wrote in asking why they had neither shipped the item she’d bought nor specified otherwise as promised. Their response makes us understand why they chose the name “Urban Expressions” for their store.
Edmund Scientific has contacted me and offered to refund the $13 difference. Although they did lay some of the blame on me for clicking the link they have also said this has been a recurring problem that they will look into further.
We’re starting to think Amex doesn’t take this whole “data security” thing very seriously. First they confused a customer, and us, a few months ago with their random confirmation phone call, where they demanded a customer turn over bank account information over the phone without giving him a way to verify they were really Amex. Now a reader says the company has “for years” been sending him someone else’s account info via email, including the customer’s name and the last 5 digits of his account number. J.R. writes, “Seriously, I’ve seen better security on a video game forum.”
Max wants to know why he hasn’t received the $10 gift certificate that the cashier at Sears promised him for turning over an email address to receive marketing messages. We contacted Sears and found out what’s actually going on.
Freddie writes that his friend was tricked by a phishing email. All the warning signs were there to tip off his friend—an email saying he needed to click a link, a suspicious url, a page asking for his login info—but he clicked and entered the info anyway. Please do not be like Freddie’s friend, who is now probably on the phone with the real Wells Fargo trying to get his account number changed.
Vinay’s StubHub tickets to see Lady Gaga never arrived in his inbox, but StubHub insists that they delivered the goods and refuses to issue a refund. StubHub’s only communication with Vinay was a short confirmation email promising that the real tickets would arrive via SubHub’s e-LMS system. The tickets still hadn’t arrived the day of the concert, and armed with only a confirmation email in hand, Vinay was turned away from the venue.
Reader Lance emailed Digital River to opt-out of the automatic license renewal that came with his three-year subscription to BitDefender Antivirus. Rather than read Lance’s email, Digital River instead decided to cancel his entire purchase. After throwing several protest emails into Digital River’s customer service void, Lance decided to accept the refund so he could buy a different antivirus package. Except now, the refund is nowhere to be found…
It’s not uncommon to run into a dead end when trying to resolve your Xbox 360 or Xbox Live issues with the official customer support channels, which is why sometimes you have no recourse other than to try to get the attention of the executives at Microsoft. Here are some addresses to try, culled from the Penny Arcade forums.
Reader psionix bought some PJ’s from JC Penney for his wife and, upon checkout, chose not to receive any emails from JC Penney. The retailer then emailed him to let him know that they won’t be emailing him, and asked him to fill out a survey on why he didn’t want to receive any emails from them. Here’s what they sent:
We all know that just because a rep on the phone promises you something, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true. But in Alan’s case, two different United reps both confirmed, repeatedly—he asked several times before completing the purchase and again before canceling—that he could cancel his tickets within 24 hours of purchase without paying a fee. A week after he canceled, he was hit with a $150 non-refundable fee that one United rep admitted was a new policy that wasn’t in writing—but United still refused to reverse it.
Who knew Petland could be so snarky? Here’s a really bitchy email Chris Beth, their director of Regional Operations, sent the head of a group of protesters who have been demonstrating outside a Petland store in Plano Texas over Petland’s alleged use of puppy mills. Bet he never thought it would end up on the internets:
William got an email from Vonage yesterday telling him they’re raising his bill starting in February.
Consumerist reader Darkrose writes, “I just got this in my e-mail. Thought you guys might be interested in it.” In the email, GM’s president Troy Clarke is in high PR mode, pointing out the grave consequences and emphasizing that GM wants not “a bailout but rather a loan that will be repaid.” We thought other readers who aren’t GM customers would find it interesting.
David didn’t have the money to pay his account (for some mystery service—we don’t know what), so he decided to see if they’d accept a drawing instead. Turns out they won’t. The email exchange that follows is hilarious, and much more entertaining for both parties than the old put-the-wrong-check-in-the-envelope trick.
Is this Verizon promotional email being over-enthusiastic with its subject line, or is it actually misleading? A phrase like “you’ve earned a new ___” doesn’t usually get followed up with, “Just pay us anywhere between $100-$200 for it,” unless it comes from a scam vacation offer. Or Verizon. As Bryan notes in his email to us, “The subject line must mean something like when you tell Verizon, ‘You’ve earned my suspicion and contempt.'”
We’d hoped that Activision’s blunder would be the last one, but it turns out the HR department at Aflac can’t find the BCC field either. Reader Corey writes in to let us know he just received an email addressed to him and 623 other people who were interested in jobs with the insurance company. Our guess is some of the recipients won’t be so interested in a career with a company that doesn’t care about the privacy of its employees. After the jump, a quick guide to obscuring other recipients’ email addresses so this doesn’t happen again.