View Full Version : Unscrupulous vendors

05-23-2001, 02:10 AM
Before I knew the Gurus existed, I decided to upgrade my 8500. I purchased (via credit card) a Powerlogix G3/500 daughtercard from MacMall. I received the card shortly thereafter. Read the instructions and installed the unit. I found that I was not able to run the backside cache at anything past 200mhz or it would cause an instant freeze. I made several calls to the tech support at powerlogix and was told the unit should allow my machine to run the 2:1 ratio (250mhz) nevermind overclocking. I answered all the techs questions and did all the things he suggested, without success. I mentioned the problem to a friend who suggested trying the Gurus site. I started a thread. The Gurus and others suggested a variety of things to try, all without success, the unit just would not work as advertised. One of the Gurus suggestions early on, was to pull the card and return it. Hard head that I am though, I was determined to make this work if possible.....All I got for my effort was a lot of frustration and more grey hair than I already had. I gave up and pulled the card out and called up MacMall (this is after only 1 week of ownership) to get instructions for returning the item. After my phone calls and messages were not returned and a huge telephone runaround when I finally called back, I was passed to a sales manager who flatly rufused to allow the return of the unsatisfactory item. By the end of the conversation, I was not fit to talk to or be around (I will leave it at that). Never having been in a position like this before I was not quite sure what to do about it. Although I did not really have much expectation of getting a response that would tell me I was anything but screwed, I decided to email the Gurus for advice on the matter. Much to my surprise, I had an immediate response from the Gurus. They informed me that what the vendor was attempting to do to me, was indeed wrong, and that I did have recourse. This news really did brighten the day up for me quite a bit. They told me to call the vendor and ask for a Return Authorization number, the name of the person I was speaking with, his title, and contact information. I was to also inform them that I was returning their product and politely end the conversation. The Gurus told me to call my credit card company and explain to them the situation, and ask for their guidence. I was also to ask the credit card company to execute a CHARGE BACK. I didnt even know such a thing existed. Sure enough the credit card company was on my side (as Gurus assured me they would be) and said the transaction would be taken care of and complete very soon. Today I mailed the package back to the vendor, making sure to insure the package for the full value of the item and noting the tracking number of the package, as per the advice of the Gurus. Although my computer is down right now, it should not be for long as I have ordered a good quality XLR8 card from the Gurus (if you check like I have about 10 or so places you will find that along with being the best help around, Gurus prices are as good or BETTER than everyone elses). I am now hoping that I will never have to hear from MacMall or anyone representing them ever again. I lost some system software in this process, and now suffer the incovenience of my computer being down while I wait for the new OS I ordered. I have paid the shipping both ways for something I dont want. I have spent endless hours in frustration trying to make something work that evidently wont. I feel personally abused, but if not for the Gurus, it would have been much worse. Homey the Clown says "what have we learned here today boys and girls"? Well, Buyer beware comes to mind, check out the vendors you are considering dealing with before taking the plunge. There are alot of snakes out there. My instincts tell me dealing with the Gurus is a good thing. I will continue to ask them for advice, help and I will purchase more of their products. I have confidence in the Gurus and in their business practices. I believe I can TRUST the Gurus and I never say that lightly. I hope someone reads this before they get themselves in the position I got myself into. As for the Gurus, you have my undying respect and eternal thanks, you all are the BEST!!!!! Rob P.S. I appologize for this being so long winded

[This message has been edited by Macdaddi2u (edited 23 May 2001).]

05-23-2001, 08:14 AM

I appreciated you sharing your story and could totally relate to your frustration. The gurus are truly a great resource and they have saved me from completely loosing it many times. I am glad that you called MacMall to be persistent with your refund. Companies get scared when you involve the credit card people. I had a similar experience with Other World Computing when I purchased a hard drive that was bad needless to say I would never buy from them again). They wanted to hassle me when they sent me a lemon!!!! This was an emergency for me since I had no other drive to fall back on when my old drive died. I think I took it a step further than you did since I demanded my all the shipping be refunded and got it. I decided a long time ago that if I receive something that is defective, I wont pay any shipping regardless of the company policy on shipping fees because I knew the credit card people would back me up on this issue. Now if I bought something and changed my mind, then I don't mind paying for shipping at all.

Way to go with putting your foot down, sometimes it necessary. I am sure you feel so much better now. Stick with the gurus!!!

05-23-2001, 09:28 AM
I purchased a Cisco switch from ClubMac who was my main vendor for items MacGurus didn’t sell. We decided to return the switch. My account rep gave me an RMA and I repackaged it in the same manner I received it. ClubMac refused the package "due to bad packaging". The box had the shipping label from them to me! We inspected the items, found them to be in perfect working order, repackaged them and resent it to ClubMac where they had it for over a month without issuing a credit. I called my Credit Card Company, told them the story and they issued a charge back. ClubMac immediately shipped the package back to me! We refused the delivery and they received it again. The Credit Card Company issued us the credit. ClubMac issued a claim to the Credit Card Company stating that the merchandise was damaged. They went on to say they told me to file a claim with the shipping company for damages. Which is a lie. ClubMac never contacted me or my company instructing us to file a claim with the shipping company. I wrote all this in my last letter to the Credit Card Company since they needed my side of the story to compare to ClubMac’s claim. They are evaluating this again while ClubMac has the merchandise in their possession, which to our knowledge is in perfect working condition.

The RMA was issued on 1/8/2001 and I purchased the switch on 12/14/2000. We are still having trouble with ClubMac.


--Angela, OWC has the reputation of selling bad stuff. In my experience, they do generally try to fix it. My question is why they sell junk in the first place.

05-23-2001, 11:39 AM
damn, guys.

you know what really makes me angry, though? Aside from the fact that many of these vendors are betting that we ignorant consumers are too stupid to know our rights?

it's that so many of these vendors are doing business online, giving internet vendors a bad name.

05-23-2001, 04:33 PM
Well, they mostly give magazine vendors a bad name.

The reseller who installed our network was also a Mac reseller. I bought a 7600 from them for $3,000. The price dropped before I received it. They gave me a run around and it got to a point where my boss said, "either he gets his $700, or you guys take all this network stuff with you". Well, I didn't get $700, though I got an external 6 GB hard drive which was almost the biggest drive out and was selling for $800.


05-25-2001, 10:40 AM
Hey there,

Just chiming in with a bad MacMall story of my own. I purchased a great UMAX scanner from MacMall only to get not a new product but a refurbished product. The packaging was all messed up, no documentation AND the scanbed glass was scratched. I called MacMall bullied them for an RMA - returned the item and then got a call from them asking why I was returning a used item. I got a manager on the phone who lied to me by saying that they never re-sell returned items. They kept the scanner and still charged my credit card. I contacted the same manager and told him to get me a new scanner or credit my account or I would sic my lawyer on them. He flat out denied receiving the scanner - which I in turn gave him the routing number to proove to him that I did send it back. I asked to speak to his superior who, upon threat of lawsuit, authorized shipment of a new scanner.

This is the reason I tell every Machead I know to go to the Gurus site. The customer service and forum advice is unsurpassed.


05-25-2001, 10:00 PM
damn....MacMall sounds like Dave Goldman and his old BLOL crew took it over.

oops--did i say that or just think it?


05-28-2001, 03:29 PM
The only thing good about MacMall/PCMall is that they moved the whole warehousing and distribution to Memphis (cheap, dumb labor). They have an outlet store and I can walk in and buy returns and overages for half price.

05-28-2001, 05:47 PM
My company ordered a 19" Hitachi from MM. We had just changed offices, but MM had already sent us several orders to the new address. So we figured on getting the Monitor in about 3 to 5 days. Well, its been over three weeks now and no monitor. The kicker is that the new owners of the site are a Church. So I guess its in gods hands now http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

There are may krap vendors out there and I think its getting worse as companies attempt to tighten budgets and squeeze out a profit. Of course attempting to be the cheapest guy in town can start a downward spiral....

06-01-2001, 04:51 AM
i just got the new MM catalog in the mail, and reading the fine-print, guess what? It says ALL SALES ARE FINAL, and that NO REFUNDS for processor upgrades will be granted!

that takes some nerve, IMO.

the thing I don't get is, how long do they think folks will tolerate this?

we know how expensive RMA's can get, but I believe a vendor MUST stand behind the stuff they sell, else why sell it?

i guess they aren't making enough money charging manufacturers for ads and for carrying their merchandise.

(that whole racket really cracks me up).

I notice that Outpost just merged with PCMall/MacMall, I believe.

the big guys are fading fast.

it just goes to show: if you suck, you will not survive in a relatively free Darwinian marketplace.

Urinal Puck
06-01-2001, 08:59 AM
Man, that sucks. I used to like Outpost. That had free shipping, and when Bizrate could get you 3% back it was awesome. We must have saved a few hundred bucks on my wife's iMac buying it through them, between the sales tax, shipping, and Bizrate rebate.

Urinal Puck

06-01-2001, 12:12 PM
This is a great thread about terrible vendors and how you have to put your foot down with them when they start acting crazy. Its a shame that you have to threaten them with administrative actions before they start listening to you and taking you seriously. I am totally scared to buy from online vendors because of their return policies. "You bought it, its yours" attitude just is not customer friendly. Actually, I do better getting stuff off ebay. At least on ebay, if someone sells junk, you can burn them with negative feedback. I got the new MacMall catalogue too and I am looking at in the trash can.

Hail to the gurus for excellent products and technical support!!!

06-01-2001, 02:16 PM
angela, don't even worry.

buy anything you want online, just make sure you use a credit card. Don't even worry about the returns policies these yahoos post. To a large extent, they are meaningless, and simply serve to intimidate customers. They give the vendor the empty ability to say "our policy is XYZ." I tell vendors like this, "That's nice. What's your name? What's your job title? What's your extension? What's my RMA number? You won't give me one? No problem. I'll send this defective product back directly to you, and inform my credit card company so they can execute the charge-back. Have a nice day."

there isn't a danged thing they can do. The credit card company will refund your money everytime, and the vendor will eat it, whether they like it or not. Pretending they have other options is just bullshit. They only have other options because they scare customers into THINKING they do. Don't buy it. You are the customer. The credit card company is on YOUR side. And there are a LOT more customers in the world than there are vendors. The vendor needs the credit card company A LOT MORE than the credit card company needs the vendor. In fact, too many charge-backs results in a vendor getting their rates raised!

the only other thing you have to do is write notes, and memorandize everything that happens. Paper is king. Document everything. Who you talk to. What they say. The date. The time. Their job title. How you reached them. How they can be reached again. Don't argue. Don't discuss anything, and do not agree to talk to a technician. Simply state "the product is defective," or the "the product does not work for me." Nothing else. Do not clarify. If they ask for clarification, simply state "I appreciate your interest, and would like to have a meaningless conversation with you, but all I really need right now is an RMA number. If you will not give me one, I'll note that in my letter to my credit card company." They got no where to go, and you are giving them no pretexts or rationales they can use to fight you.

when you ship the product back, make sure you use FEDEX or some other shipper so you can track the package, (insure it, too, against loss), and confirm delivery and WHO SIGNED for it upon receipt. Once you have confirmation that the vendor received the hardware, with a confirming signature, you're done. If the vendor declines to accept the product, don't worry: just document that fact, and put the product in a closet somewhere. You tried. At some point, the cc company or the vendor may ask for the product. Maybe they won't. It doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you tried to do the right thing.

There is NO company in the world that can fight these tactics. Pretending otherwise merely rips the mask of deception and exposes shitty companies as the slimeballs they are.

ugh. Now, I GOTTA get off this soap box!


[This message has been edited by magician (edited 01 June 2001).]

06-02-2001, 08:22 PM
FYI - here is the Offical letter I received from OUTPOST http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/eek.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Dear Outpost.com customer,

As you may recall, I sent you an email about five weeks ago about the tough times for dot-com companies and the tough times we were experiencing here at Outpost.com. Amazingly, about 7,000 of you sent us, well, they were pretty close to love letters, in response. Today I am thrilled to be able to tell you that it now appears that, like The Rolling Stones, we will indeed be here forever.

We have just announced that our friends at PC Connection have agreed to acquire your favorite company, Outpost.com. The best part is that we will remain Outpost.com and we will remain in our gorgeous headquarters town of Kent, Connecticut. Thus, we will continue to do business with you as we always have, with a deep commitment to you, our customers, with our rather healthy sense of humor, and with the enormous resources that will now be available to us through the PC Connection family. And yes, the gerbil stays. We wouldn't have it any other way.

The most immediate impact this will have on our business is that, effective immediately, we have access to tens of millions of dollars of inventory on a daily basis. This will help us speed your orders on their way to you much sooner. The gerbil brought in some of his buddies to work in the warehouse, so we now have many more hands (paws?) available there as well.

Needless to say, we are awfully excited about this. PC Connection is a company we have long admired, and to say that this is a good fit is quite an understatement. So, the bottom line is that you are stuck with us. We just won't go away and we plan on finding new and even more clever ways to entertain you as you shop for a very long time to come.
****GERBIL ALERT, GERBIL ALERT, GERBIL ALERT**** http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
As a matter of fact, we would really appreciate it if you could help us name this silly gerbil as we are all getting tired of calling him, "Gerbil". You can do this at:

Thanks again for all your support over the past six years. It has been an honor serving you and getting to know you.

Darryl Peck
Founder, CEO & President
Outpost.com (forever, really!)

Visit us at http://www.outpost.com/entry?site=ajn1


I did alter the letter a bit. OK, I know this is a bit long to post, but I figured someone may want to see the OFFICIAL letter. I wonder how long the http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/dance.gif is going to last. It sounds like they dont know PCMall like we do.

Its the http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/crossbones.gif of the World as we know it and I feel FINE!

[This message has been edited by dragon_x (edited 02 June 2001).]

Urinal Puck
06-02-2001, 08:32 PM
Are Mac/PC Connection and Mac/PC Mall one and the same?

Urinal Puck

06-11-2001, 02:32 PM