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When deals go bad

July 19, 2012

I posted Tuesday about my husband’s luck with turning trash (our old all-season tires) into treasure. But today I’m here to admit that things don’t always go so great, and I’ve got two examples. (Second one here)

After more than a year of participating in various ‘group buys’ (Groupon, TeamBuy, YourCityDeals, WagJag etc) I’ve hit my first bad apple.

In May of this year I completely lost my mind and decided to go in on an offer for summer palette nail polish kit. Not only were there 5 bottles of polish, but other nail-polishing do-dads for the low, low price of $15 (Each bottle of this brand usually sells for  around $9). Now, I’m not really sure why I decided to do this. Much like my attempts to style my hair, I am completely incapable of painting my own nails. Sure I get pedicures, but you’ll note I leave the painting to the professionals. So it seems kinda silly to acquire 5 bottles of my very own.

Anyways, May. So I ordered. It looked promising, they suggest I wait three weeks after ordering for delivery. Makes sense, it’s coming Canada Post, and we all know that takes time, and I’d expect that their offer would generate a bit of a backlog too. It’s now been 9 weeks, and I decide to check the status of my order and I find that it is still processing, whatever that means. At this point I’m being selfish so I decided to proceed with getting my order sorted out without checking the reviews, I mean who cares how great these are, I don’t have mine! I contact the vendor and the group buy customer service emails. I get an immediate reply from the buy site asking me if I want them to follow up or if I just want my refund (I lose my shipping unless my CC will reverse the charges). Since I already contacted the vendor too, I decide to wait. I mean, after all, their autobot did state they’d get back to me in 24:
Thank you for contacting us!Due to higher than normal email volume, its taking us a bit longer to respond. We want to thank you for your patience, and we are doing our best to get back to you within 24.Have a wonderful day!

Seems friendly, seems helpful, sounds like their a little bit swamped…wait, 24 what? Hours? Nope. Days? Weeks? Years? Not going to wait that long. So now the team buying site is trying to contact them, and I go back to my account on the vendor’s site, and decide to look up the comments on the product I ordered. Well crap. 30 comments and not one person has received their product. And not one person has gotten a reply when sending a message. Me thinks my toes are going to be woefully unadorned this summer.


This next one is a bit more comical. Hubby and I have been casually looking for a replacement car for a while now. Our 1997 Camry (or as I call it – a smelly death trap) is showing it’s age. Don’t get me wrong, it’s done us well, we bought it in 2000 and almost immediately drove it down to, and all around Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton, back in the day when we could just hop in the car and take off with just a tent and no reservations. Hubby also used it during his stint as a sales guy for an unnamed alarm company. His territory went from about Kemptville to Cobourg.

Whoa, I just Google mapped that, it’s about 275km (170mi) of wide-open highway with a bunch of trees that aren’t buying alarm panels. No wonder he hated that job.

So, newsed cars –  we’re looking at’em. Because I like my windows to roll up and my handles to not fall off, and my air conditioning to work. Hubby found one that looked interesting on Kijiji. It was one of three of approximately the same model and vintage, and it was significantly cheaper than the other two. This sort of raised alarm bells for me, but hubby decided to check it out, so he contacted the seller. How many alarm bells does this reply set off for you?

Hi,

The vehicle is still available for sale, price as stated in the ad $8000.It’s in perfect working order, no wear and tear, no scratches, it wasn’t involved in any accidents.I moved to Spain with my work but I left the vehicle at a shipping company in Thunder Bay, Ontario.All shipping costs and insurance during transportation are included in the price, I won a promotion(1 free shipping). You will also receive all necessary documents in order to finalize the purchase.Email me back if you’re interested and have further questions.

Thanks

Now here’s an interesting exercise – Google any unique part of that message. See how many times it shows up in discussions about scammers. You’d think they’d check on that before carrying on with the same message. But I guess the Google doesn’t work in Spain.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2012 12:54 pm

    Uh huh, yeah. Maybe email back and tell them you live in Thunder Bay, and would like to pop around and take a look 🙂

    • July 19, 2012 1:33 pm

      ‘Thunder Bay, Ontario’ dontcha know. Like someone on Ottawa Kijiji wouldn’t know where TBay was.

  2. Kevin permalink
    July 19, 2012 1:13 pm

    I got scammed once on a deal with Kahoot for an SD card from K &M Toys Online. Kahoot has since gone out of business so I have to swallow the loss. No more online deals for me.

    If a deal for a vehicle seems to good to be true, then it usually is. That’s a scam for sure. Happy car hunting! Why not buy a new one where you can get 0% interest?

    • July 19, 2012 2:30 pm

      Ugh. Drag. I think they’ve gotten a bit better now, you generally still get your dollar value out of the deals if they expire before you use them, and their refund policies are getting solidified (from what I’ve heard).
      As for the cars? Because Bill’s *really* good at finding deals. We basically paid, 4 years ago, what you’d pay for a 2005 odyssey now. I’m not sure I’ll ever buy a new car…

  3. July 19, 2012 8:06 pm

    Well, that sucks 😦

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