Ducey: Stay on the ball with online purchases - East Valley Tribune: Business

Ducey: Stay on the ball with online purchases

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Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013 6:55 am | Updated: 10:37 am, Wed Jun 5, 2013.

The conversation went something like this:

Joe: “Hello, I’m Joe Ducey, a reporter with ABC15 in Phoenix. I’m calling about a consumer who didn’t get a proper refund.”

Representative: “Sir, I would like to help. Can I have your order number?”

Joe: “I can give you the consumer’s order number. I didn’t order anything.”

Representative: “Sir, I need YOUR order number.”

Joe: “I don’t have one. I’m with a television station trying to get this man’s money back. Let me speak with your supervisor.”

Representative: “He will tell you the same thing.”

Joe: “I don’t care. Transfer me.”

CLICK. He hung up on me.

The man I was trying to help ordered a green tea product online. It wasn’t until after he gave his credit card information, that he saw some added charges. But, it was too late. The charge went through and calls to the company went much like the conversation you just read.

Frustrating!

When he got the product, he shipped it back, expecting to get everything refunded for everything but the minor shipping charges. Instead, the business took $40 more for a “restocking” fee that was never mentioned before.

I share this, because I’m getting more and more complaints about people ordering online products from sites they don’t know and getting charged monthly, or much more than they thought they would.

My advice: Stay away from these flashy sites that promise everything. Or, at least do your homework before you order.

A quick look through the site and there’s almost no usable contact information except for the number that sends you to the earlier-mentioned representative.

You have to at least do some resarch online of the business name listed on a site. See if there are other complaints. Can you find the business name listed with the Better Business Bureau? Or anywhere else? I couldn’t.

I’m not giving up yet.

There’s a site called www.whois.net. It can give you some basic information about who is behind a website, for free. You can pay for more information.

So, I’ve tracked these guys down to a Los Angeles address and another in New York. And I have a couple of new phone numbers to try.

My fear is when I call, I’ll hear “What is your order number?”

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