Archive for December, 2008
Let’s face it, there are a lot of businesses out there that range between piss poor customer service to outright frauds. This web site is dedicated to paying back those businesses that I have felt the sting of. Instead letting these business kick me around — I post the facts here in the hope that others avoid the same trap — and to hurt these businesses where it counts, their cash register. Frankly, I have more important things to do that spend a lot of time on this site — so get listed here means that the business is truly evil in my mind. Your run of the mill jerk business, isn’t worth my time, so you can expect that the businesses I have here, are in my opinion the absolute worse of the worse!
Below are the companies who have burnt me, and my explanation of what they did.
While this site was a major redesign in mid December 2008, I have maintained a web site dealing with these bad companies for close to 10 years now. The vast majority of the businesses I had originally listed here, made things right with me, and so I have removed them from the site. While they might have contacted (email@example.com) me being sweet as sugar with wanting to be removed - I never forget that these were the same businesses that wanted nothing to do with making things right before the search engines had this site in the Top-10 for a search of their business — and my version of making things right enough to remove them from this site evolved the longer they pissed me off by first not wanting to do the right thing. In a nutshell, that means as a business listed here you can be removed by making things right — but the amount of time that you had wronged me will determine what I feel is making things right.
I am a reasonable man who only expects to also be treated reasonably. I am not looking for something for nothing. Only a couple of businesses a year (less than 20 in 10 years) have pissed me off enough to make me want to take the time to list them here.
I suggest others take my lead and also put together their own “Businesses Who Screwed Me” web site. The more places that businesses have to worry about showing up in their Top 10 searches — the fewer will be wanting to risk screwing the public and their customers. Southern Start Web Hosting is a cheap place to register a domain name and to host a site like this.
Feel free to comment about the businesses in their posts.
I bought a new computer and it didn’t come with Outlook in the version of Office that came with it. I live and die by my email and calendar — so I needed to find some place that I could either download it immediately — or run to the local computer shop.
A quick Google search hooked me up with www.shopnroll.com, which promised an immediate download LINK of a “Full Retail – Genuine License” version. So at 8:01AM I place my order. I should have smelled a rat, as when I checked out — it told me that I selected Paypal. I hadn’t select Paypal — and after doing a couple browser backs and re-placing the order — I found that there was no option for any payment.
OK — so I got this far — and although I didn’t like the deception of telling me that I selected something that I didn’t select — I paid for it with my personal Paypal, despite it being a company charge. I immediately get an email saying something to the effect that they have to manually approve the charge — before they will send me the serial number and the other information required by Microsoft to activate the downloaded application.
Now this really pisses me off. I’ve now paid for something I need right now, but I’m at the mercy of when they get around to it. If I’d known this, I would have bought elsewhere — as I needed it now — not (if and) when they get around to it.
At 11:47AM — still nothing, so I open a support ticket asking for my numbers to activate.
At 5:53 PM — still nothing, so I go and check my support ticket — and it has been deleted. I open another.
At 7:05PM — still nothing, so I reply to the email address on my receipt. At least they hadn’t deleted my second support ticket yet! I’ve searched the web site, and there is no contact information — you can’t even tell if they’re in the US — which I doubt.
The next day, 7.22 AM — still nothing. It has now been a full day since I was charged and I still can not activate a program I needed to have used 24 hours ago. The support ticket 494D8568 is still active, yet unanswered. The email sent to them is also not been answered.
At this point, I can only assume they’re a fraud, or at best — the worst software house I’ve ever run into for Customer service.
Please do yourself a favor and avoid this business like the plague.
60 hours later and still no answer. I’ve complained to Paypal and to Microsoft — and not been answered by either of them either. I’ve send over a dozen emails and service ticket replies to ShopNRoll and not received an answer.
I did a Google search and found that to be very disturbing. My search on “Shopnroll + paypal” and “ShopNroll + Fraud” tells me that I’m not the only one to get suckered. These searches appear to indicate that ShopnRoll and Shoparhive are from India and the bogus downloads without the key comes from Digital Zone and/or Digital River. Further reading tells me that the reason they don’t take credit card and only accept Paypal is because they been dropped from every credit card processor they ever used for non-compliance of terms — whatever that means! The link below is from the ShopNRoll site as an answer to why they only accept Paypal:
Further — I read complain after complaint where Paypal is a participant in the scam — in as much as that you have no recourse from Paypal if it wasn’t used on an auction. While at the moment Paypal hasn’t answered my complaint — but I read a dozen copies of emails sent back to customers where they tell the customer is beat because it wasn’t an eBay auction.
UNLESS YOU KNOW THE PERSON PERSONALLY AND TRUST THEM — NEVER USE PAYPAL TO PAY FOR AN ITEM THAT ISN’T EBAY. IT APPEARS THAT THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT BEING A TOOL FOR FRAUD.
Well I learned my lesson about buying downloadable software that is advertised as being “Genuine” and Full Retail Version”. Cost me $50 and a couple of days. I hope posting this causes thousands from avoiding ShopNRoll, Shoperhive, Digital River, and Digital Zone for anything. I also hope that whenever you run into someone that will only accept Paypal and not any other form of payment — that you should be smelling rat.
After sending emails every hour, reporting to Microsoft as selling pirated software, giving them a link to this site, and reporting to Paypal as a fraud — they refunded my money 2.5 days after my purchase. I was lucky enough to get my money refunded (but wasted a lot of time in the process) — but don’t count on being so lucky. ShopNRoll is a fraud!
Panasonic and All Brite Electronics
About two years ago, I bought a home theater system — and was boned about $6,000 for it. One of the components was a Panasonic TH-42PHW5 42″ Plasma screen. The whole system is garbage — but especially the Panasonic monitor.
Anyway — a little less than two years later the monitor would immediately turn off after turned on. After hassling with the installer (since out of business) and getting him to finally call the place he got the monitor from — I was told to call All Brite Electronics — the “Authorized Panasonic Repair Center”.
I did, and knew right away from the evasiveness of the person I spoke with, that I was going to need to grease up and bend over. Long story short, these clowns gave me some mumble-jumble that they typically give old ladies (I’ve repaired electronic boards since the late 70s) about a board repair and gouged me $880.74 (Claim Number BJ65382 9) to no doubt solder in a 15 cent regulator.
6 months later — the TV is dead again. Their warranty for their repairs was only 90 days.
When you pay this much for a Plasma Monitor — you don’t expect to have throw another $880 at them every 18 months. So my advice to all of those who will listen is to stay away from any Panasonic junk, and have just about anyone in the world beside All Brite Electronics repair your stuff. If they were air conditioner repair people — they’d be the type to be pissing on your outside unit and charge you $300 for the clean job.
I’ve not repaired the TV and leave it as a testament for virtually who comes to my house — to convince them to not buy anything from Panasonic — and to not have All Brite repair anything of theirs
All Brite Electronics
3115 Fondren Rd
Houston, TX 77063
MGM Mirage is NOT Gambler Friendly
Those who know me, know that I like to gamble and that I go to Vegas often. What I learned on my last trip was that I will never again go into a MGM/Mirage hotel or casino. I will not stay at any of their hotels, casinos or go to their shows — and I will tell all who listen my little story. MGM / Mirage properties include MGM Grand, Bellagio, Mirage, Treasure Island, New York New York and a few other lesser properties. Their big shows are Danny Ganz, and O.
Many months ago, our good friends called to say that the 4th of July was going to be Tom’s birthday, he’d never been to Vegas, and she hadn’t been there in 20 plus years — so would we like to go? We said sure, and as a couple of months earlier I’d won $3,700 on the Black Jack tables at the Mirage — and they had (like every other casino for the last ten years) comp’d my hotel and food for my play — I suggested we go back there. We made reservations for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights — and returned on Monday — the 4th of July.
Now I make it a point of always giving all of my table action to the hotel I stay at — and never walk out the doors until I take the cab back to the airport. This weekend I was at the blackjack tables at least 10 hours a day — and spent 15+ hours on Sunday. I’d be there at 6AM and I’d be there at 2AM. Now I’m no Dennis Rodman, but I’m not piker either. I often sit a an empty table where the game moves faster and my bets often get in the $300 per hand range when I’m on a streak. I also always put the dealers in when I get Black Jack or have won three hands in a row. This last trip had me tipping the dealers over $750 — but I’ve had trips when the cards were kinder to me where they’d get many times that.
On this trip, the cards weren’t especially kind to me, and often my bets were $25 and $50 per hand — but there was 100s and 100s of hands where my bet was over $100, and dozens and dozens of hands where they were over $300 a hand.
At 7am on the morning we were to check out, I made my customary walk to the Casino host, to ask them what my play was worth to them. This time the couple we went with also went with me to see what their action was worth. Now they did gamble some there — but did more at Caesars (next door) and because they were being tourists and seeing the town — sat at the tables a very small fraction of the time I did. As luck would have it, we both lost the same amount — $2,500. Well we walk into the casino host’s office and there are two hosts. I walked up to the one closest to the door, who was a black man by the name of Demetrius or something. My friends walked up to an older white guy. My host looks at my play and says “we can cover your room — but not your meals”. I was pissed (but calm) and asked what they had me down for as my play. The hours and average bet was way low (I’m thinking they lost the last slip where I sat at the same table for about 6 hours and had a high average bet to try to make up ground lost) was way off. They did however have the total loss about right. If that didn’t piss me off enough (again I stayed calm), the other host covers virtually everything of my friends. Even my friends were astounded at what their play was worth compared to mine, as I’d been the one trying to talk them into giving the Mirage all of their action like I was.
About five minutes later I go back and asked how is it someone who places 100 times more bets (that is no exaggeration) is comp’d less than a tourist? My answer was that they had lost more than I had — because they’d lost $4,000 — which they hadn’t (we’re childhood friends and former business partners — until someone made us an offer we couldn’t refuse for the business) — and I’m certain of it. That was a pure bullshit answer anyway — because the trip before I’d won $3,700 and went to the older white guy and was nicely comp’d. It’s not if you win or lose — but how long you play and the size of the bet. They feel that over time they’ll always be the winner if they can get you back to the tables.
At breakfast, this was still eating me up — so I went back and handed the white guy my Player’s card and told him I wouldn’t need it anymore. I guess I expected he’d try to explain better their position — but he just said OK and took it. When I checked out I was was asked how my stay was. I answered that I won’t be back to a MGM / Mirage property again, and while I was expecting she might ask if I wanted to speak with a manager (I didn’t — but thought she’d ask) — she just said something like “The Casino Host, huh?”. I’m not sure if they called the desk to say if I was an asshole to have security break my legs — or if a lot of people were complaining that morning about the host I had. Her statement really puzzled me.
Anyway, it is very obvious that MGM / Mirage (and so I assume all of their hotels) really wants hotel guests and show guests — and could care less about the gamblers who come in with ten grand a couple of times a year. I asked a couple of dealers about the obvious turnover in dealers from previous visits — and was told that Wynn was making better deals for the dealers (and that they get better tips and are waiting for openings for them to book out the Mirage as their tips average $200 a day there and twice that at Wynn’s) because they do care about the gamblers. I guess I’ll have to put Wynn on my list of places to consider for my next visit.
Do yourself a favor and book your Vegas stay at any hotel but MGM Grand, Mirage, Bellago, New York New York, or the Boardwalk. Mandalay Bay is nice, Caesars has another tower about to open, Paris is nice, Luxor has the Blue Man Group (Mirage doesn’t have anything sine Sigfried & Roy bailed), and I might go visit Mirage’s old dealers at Wynn next trip to fill them in.
I’m sure many times a year the conversation with family and friends turns to Vegas. Please bring this up to them so they too can find a casino that cares better for those who sit at their tables. Why not stay at Caesars, and walk next door to tell the casino hosts at the Mirage that the Old Hippie says hey — but you need to get back to play the tables at Caesars.
This is the absolute worst experience of any business I have dealt with. These people are truly evil!
I have used Earthlink for two years now and have been on their unlimited ISDN plan for a year. Every month I am billed $29.95. This month I get my American Express Statement and see that I am billed $1,909.75. That is 64 times the plan I had agreed to. I feel like I am about have a stroke and call their customer service to find out what the problem is. A recording informs me the wait is 52 minutes. It winds up being 74 minutes before Shamika answers the phone. I tell her that there must be a mistake because I have Unlimited ISDN. She tells me they do not offer Unlimited ISDN. I tell that they did — and how can she explain my bill, which has always been $29.95 — now $1,909.75. She says I must be using it more — and then hangs up on me. My blood pressure goes to 400 over 400.
I call back and wait 51 minutes until Oleander gets on the phone. He appears to be a nice person — but does not have a clue. Gives me an incident number of 31056209. Finally, he puts his supervisor on the phone — a person by the name of Thomas Montgomery. This person tells me that they switched everyone off Unlimited in August and not only do I owe the $1,909.75 for August 23rd to September 23rd — but that from September 23rd until October 4th I owe another thousand. He was actually taunting me. I asked if he was really enjoying this and he said its business. I asked how he felt they could get away with that and he said that they sent me an email. I said I never got one — and he calls me a liar. I start to get a little angry and he starts laughing and then hangs up.
I called my attorney in the morning. She said there is no way they could do that, that I must have not spoken to the right people, and that she would call and get it cleared up so we would not have to sue them. After two hours of calling around and trying to get this clear up — someone told her that her call was not going to get her anywhere and then hung up on her. Now she is the most mildly mannered person I know. I have never known her to speak too much above a whisper.
It is obvious that we will have to sue these suckers to get this fixed, as all I have seen on the Internet is horror stories. I have never in my life sued — but I would love to be the lead member in a Class Action on this one!
You must email this page to anyone you know who is using or intends to use Earthlink.net
Do not forget to check out Earthlinksux.net where a former DSL tech tells of how they read your email and track where you are going on the Internet!
Update: Despite spending over $1 million dollars in the last two years on my American Express — they appear to not be willing to back me up on this. It appears that I will have to file my first lawsuit ever. I have always been proud of the fact that I have resolved all previous issues with companies without depending on our Judicial system!
Update to the Update. Earthlink sent American Express some mumble-jumble that did nothing to address the dispute. American Express in their Infinite wisdom (my companies have spent over $2,000,000 in the last two years on American Express) had their Vice President write me to say that they’d eat the $2,000+ I was over-charge. Bonus points for Amex — but doesn’t excuse the actions of Earthlink. My guess is that this page will cost them many times the $2,000 they screwed me out of.
RUN, DO NOT WALK, AWAY FROM EARTHLINK BEFORE THEY CHANGE YOUR PLAN AND CHARGE YOU 64 TIMES WHAT YOU AGREED TO.
FTD/Flowers by Adela
Many days in advance of Valentine’s Day 2001, I ordered the largest and most expensive flower arrangement on FTD.com for delivery to my wife.
I had used FTD.com about a dozen times previously and had never had a problem with them.
By about 5PM on Valentine’s Day my wife is starting to ask me if I had forgotten. I told that I had not and that the flowers had to be on the way. Finally, at about 8PM the nastiest little flower arrangement I had ever seen arrived. My wife took it very personal and started to cry – as I had always in the past had a very large arrangement delivered to her on Valentine’s Day.
They next day I logged onto the FTD.com web site to get the phone number to complain – and saw that they had a satisfaction guarantee refund if you were not happy. Now I cannot ever remember requesting a refund on a satisfaction guarantee – but I was down right angry. After wasting a good hour being transferred around and waiting on hold while they got the florist’s side of the story – FTD offered to deliver another arrangement (this is February 15th now!) with their compliments. I told them that would do nothing to salvage the Valentine’s spirit around my home and that I demand a refund. They refused.
I will never use FTD.com again and I feel it necessary to warn everyone that what happened in my love nest last Valentine’s Day can happen to you if you use FTD.com or their florist Flower’s by Adela.
Save your money and go to your neighborhood florist instead of FTD.com
Dub’s Shrubs &
West Houston Tree Movers
PO Box D
Simonton, TX 77476
Over the last couple of years, I have given Dub Sabrsula many thousands of dollars for dirt-work, underground irrigation to my trees, an underground drainage system to drain my property after major storms, and many truck planted trees.
Last year he truck planted a hundred or so trees – of which seven immediately died. I have called and sent him many letters and postcards over then last eight months, all to no avail. Dub is a nice guy – but I strongly recommend you use someone else to truck plant your trees.
4/26/2001 8:30PM Update: Dub just called me in a very emotional state saying that I’m slandering him and that I need to remove this page from the Internet tonight. I told him that truth is my best defense and that I would be more than happy to remove it when he takes care of the dead trees as he had previously promised. I reminded him that I had sent him many letters and postcards over the last eight months – none of which had I received a reply to. His claim is that there has not been any opportunity since October where it has been dry enough to replace those trees (of which he feels he only should replace 4 of them). I begged to differ! Right now that is the case as it has rained quite a bit in the last couple weeks – but there have been many times since I first contacted him that he could have done it. He says that his solution will be that he will replace them and that he does not care what he tears up on my property doing so. I told him that to come here in anger and purposely tear up my property is not exactly going to make things right.
Stay tuned. If he does the right thing, (replace the dead trees with live ones of the same size and quality as soon as it is dry enough to do so-without destroying anything in the process) I will remove this page. If he does something in retaliation (like bust up my irrigation system, septic system, fences, ditches, dogs, children, building, etc…) – I will report that. The ball has been in his court for many months now. Getting angry and blaming someone who has paid you good money for trees with a guarantee, after not replacing the dead trees, will be the wrong solution. Accepting the fact that you neglected to do the right thing – but then resolving will be the right solution. We do not have to be friends anymore, but he should take care of his obligations just the same.
Another update – Never heard from Dub again. Have talked to another of Dub’s former customers who claims to have also been screwed.
Bishop Irrigation and Landscaping
Aka Dead Trees ‘R Us
Randy Bishop (owner)
Since 1994, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars with Randy Bishop on my landscaping and sprinkler system. This is strictly a case of “Screw me once-shame on you, screw me twice-shame on me” as he has required many phone calls to handle finishing every job or warranty work he has done for me.
The last job he did for me (1996) involved about 10 zones of sprinklers, an acre of sod, 15 Palm trees, and other tress & landscaping totaling over $25,000. Six of the palm trees died immediately, and it took dozens of calls and emails before Randy would come out. He finally after many more months of calling replaced four of the six trees (said he would come back on the 5th) with trees that never showed life. All of those trees still have the pink plastic marker on them. He will not return phone calls or email.
Never have I known anyone to care less about customer service than Randy. I have heard the same from another former customer of his.