I have a story for you – and it is long…. But hopefully worth your time.
This is a cautionary tale. In the spirit of the season, we will call it a Horror Story. One made of nightmares and bad English. Yes. Internet purchasing.
Once upon a time, there was this awesome, beautiful, thin, cool, smart, young-looking princess (shut up, this is MY story). We’ll call her Missy (cuz it’s me), and in an effort to get her Christmas shopping started early decided to place a few orders on-line at the beginning of October. Because as it turns out, Missy is organized, prompt, and ready for the season. Ok, Missy is just plain lazy.
So several orders placed, several gifts purchased, Missy is feeling very proud of herself for getting a good start on the Holiday Season. Items start being delivered and Missy is feeling very ahead of the game. Almost smug. She may have even boasted to friends…. Perhaps with an air of arrogance. Ok. I taunted the crap out of them. All was good in Missy Princessland. At least until one item had not been delivered three weeks later. The Princess was concerned, but not overly worried.
One day last week, being the responsible, organized person she is (shut up, it’s still my story), Missy decides to clean her email box. And located in the SPAM folder is an email from the store where the missing item was purchased. Clicking on that email, she found a photo of the item, price, specific details that were unique to the purchase and her address. She also notices a link that says “to complete your order, click here”. Thinking she had erroneously neglected to complete the process, she quickly follows the link and reorders the item. Remember this item hadn’t arrived yet, so it made perfect sense that the original order was incomplete.
At home that very same evening, a package had been delivered. Missing item, no longer missing. The email, a fraud. The item, adorable. The Princess, ticked. So immediately Missy sends an email to “bill” of the fraudulent spam email bills asking to cancel the second order – this was sent the SAME day.
I won’t give you all the gory details, but we will cap this with: it was a pain in the rump, and “bill” was completely ridiculous and “fraud” isn’t a term that’s recognized in China. So I contacted my bank and filed out fraud paperwork. After “bill” reminded me that he had my card number and address, I also cancelled my card. Lesson for all you kiddies…. Don’t put thinly disguised threats in writing. That’s called evidence.
But much like Lord of the Rings trilogy, where you think the movie is over a dozen times, but it really has two more hours, this was just the beginning.
Yesterday, I attempted to use another card from the same bank (different account) only to find it declined. Upon researching the issue, I find that an order for software had been placed with my card, a fairly large amount, leaving a zero balance (interesting, huh? The odd amount was for exactly what was in my account).
Now. Hear me say this: Not every company from oversees is bad – not every Chinese company is bad. This post is NOT intended to be a stereotype or a country-bashing session. I’m simply relaying my saga, and it happens to be from China. This isn’t meant to discourage you from ordering from China, rather to advise you to use caution when ordering online period. I should also note that I have no proof that the two incidents are related, other than the fact that I don’t believe in coincidence.
So. The moral of this story is this:
· Don’t trust “bill” – also, “bill” doesn’t understand sarcasm so it’s a complete waste of time….
· If you purchase on line, be sure to monitor your accounts.
· Your bank will not loan you money to hire an overseas hit man.
· Websites change their “skins” so you often do NOT know who or where you are buying from.
· After I cut up the two cards, I immediately had a most uncontrollable urge to buy something. I think I may need professional help.
· I am renting the movies Kill Bill 1 and 2 this weekend. Just for the irony of it. Again, maybe some help is necessary.
· And lastly, my bank has been absolutely wonderful (AGCU). I received advice and assistance immediately and they were very knowledgeable about what to do. So hats off to Tiffany and Juanita. You are da bomb! Thank you!
I hope someone reads this and learns from my errors. And “bill”… watch your back my friend.