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Not so good Buy.com
December 13th 2000, 17:51 CET by Andy

This was going to be a story about Buy.com using a bait-and-switch voucher scam to sell products at prices far higher than those advertised.

Unfortunately, although I confirmed the scam myself, just for once I stupidly didn't keep any evidence to prove it, and it isn't happening anymore.

But quite accidentally, another Buy.com voucher scam has turned up...

A few days ago I ordered a Christmas present from Buy.com's UK site. (I'll not say what it was in case the person it's for is reading.)

In the run-up to Christmas, once you order something from Buy.com, you're given a 10 gift voucher for "friends or family". And sure enough, once the order was confirmed, I received an e-mail from customer service:

To thank you for shopping with buy.com, we would like to offer any of your friends or family 10 off any order over 20. To collect their voucher, all they have to do is go to [address].

Sounds good, doesn't it? And let's be fair, it's a nice discount. Until someone went to claim the voucher, that is, at which point they were presented with a message saying the voucher had expired. This was less than 10 minutes after Buy.com sent their e-mail.

I contacted customer service about this to ask what was going on. Here's their reply:

Unfortunately, the voucher you received has now expired, please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please note, that I am unable to provide you with a new link to a voucher. As these discount vouchers are sent randomly to a wide variety of people and we cannot guarantee who will receive them.

I'll not be ordering from Buy.com again.
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#1 by "Whisp"
2000-12-13 18:09:03
whisp@vt.edu
One example doesn't make a conspiracy.  It could be just incompetance.  Do you have any other examples of this type of behavior, or accounts from other people who have noticed similar behavior?

-Whisp<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#2 by "mcorleone"
2000-12-13 18:19:29
kurin6@home.com
Andy you shouldn't have!

But I haven't got you anything yet!
#3 by "Chromag"
2000-12-13 19:02:00
chromag@planetcrap.com
Was there no mention of expiration anywhere?

It does sound fishy, and it's definitely unfortunate for anyone who orders from them.
#4 by "RyslinANDIndigo"
2000-12-13 19:12:38
ryslinmoon@yahoo.com
this is kinda what i went thru with pc..thou it was more sinister..

wandered to thier site ...after closing site..poof..go here to get a free mag..

ok sounds nice..sign me up...

free my behind...charged a full subscription ..and we refused..called pc they said not only are they not offering this ...that isnt thier company..

course i have been back a few times...everytime that popup is still there..

doesnt take much to scam

vouchers vanishing in seconds..do they expect you to warp across the internet..sheesh<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#5 by "Andy"
2000-12-13 19:15:48
andy@meejahor.com
Chromag -- nope, you just get this image...

[img]http://www.gb.buy.com/buy_assets/promo/expired_money_off.gif[/img]

... and text saying, "This coupon has expired".
#6 by "palutke"
2000-12-13 19:18:32
kcpalutke@tasc.com
I've had problems with buy.com in the past.  I agree with Whisp . . . it sounds more like incompetence than malice.

I ordered a Christmas present last year on the day after Thanksgiving.  Two days before Christmas it still hadn't shipped.  I had attempted to cancel the order several times at that point, but it hadn't been cancelled.  After several hours playing phone tag, I managed to speak to a human customer support person who told me "I'll submit a cancellation request, but I can't guarentee that it won't ship anyway."  I told her that if it shipped, I wasn't paying, but she didn't seem to care.  They were guilty of having a fucked-up customer service system, but nothing that I consider dishonest.

The only thing they've ever done that seemed questionable to me is their tendency to sell things that are backordered for very low prices (I paid about $10 for my Matrix DVD), but when they get the item in stock, sell it for full price to new customers before filling the (lower-priced) backorders.  That seems a little slimy, but falls short of fraud (IMO).

I no longer order anything from them that's backordered, and I order nothing from them around the holidays.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#7 by "datafox"
2000-12-13 19:50:28
datafox@yahoo.com
Thanks to the monitor lawsuit I won $160. Now I wonder how much of the win did that bastard lawyer get.
#8 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-13 22:19:47
warren@epicgames.com
Whisp (#1):
One example doesn't make a conspiracy. It could be just incompetance.

Where did Andy say it was a "conspiracy"?  It's a marketing lie ...

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#9 by "fyrewolf"
2000-12-13 22:31:50
csweitzer@intellution.com
It's really just a design flaw.  They need to stop sending out the vouchers if they're no longer valid.  But getting that through the roadblock that usually separates customer support and engineering is always difficult.
#10 by "Quicken"
2000-12-13 23:33:41
geoffrey@access.com.au
There's a good saying that applies here. "Never assume malice to that which can be explained by incompetence"
#11 by "paul"
2000-12-14 01:10:14
pbullman@webhitzone.com
WarrenMarshall:

Andy's entire goal is to twist something enough to create a conspiracy.

Andy, does England not have a method of putting people behind bars who commit these white collared crimes? I guess the people who enforce these laws feel much differently than you.

- Paul
#12 by "None1a"
2000-12-14 01:31:54
none1a@home.com
<b>Quicken</b> (#10):
<quote>There's a good saying that applies here. "Never assume malice to that which can be explained by incompetence"</quote>


incompetence doesn't make some thing right. What if andy did buy from buy.com for the voucher (not that'd I's assume he did that), incompetence or malice he'd still be out one of the reasons he ordered from them in the first place.

This isn't the first time buy.com had has problems (did some one bring up the monitor lawsuit), once you start having multiple problems accoring each and every year you've got gross incompetence or malice (I wouldn't want to do business with any one that may be running into those lines). <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#13 by "wabut"
2000-12-14 01:55:20
wabut@yahoo.com
wait a sec. I like buy.com. I picked up a ~$3 cd player from them that's worked perfectly.

And they've always got coupons, like 30 off 150, or 10 off 50. use those on free shipping days, and the prices can barely be beat.

  They just need to fix their wasteful shipping. I also bought a pack of film (for those "real" camera thingys) and it came in a 3 x 12 x 12 box packed with those styrofoam thingys.
#14 by "Andy"
2000-12-14 02:05:56
andy@meejahor.com
<b>wabut</b> (#13): The gift I ordered from them was about the size of a PC game box, but the package it came in was about 18x12x12. I turned it away at first because I thought it was the wrong package, but the delivery guy pointed out how light it was so I checked inside and sure enough, there was this small box taped into the bottom of the huge carton.
#15 by "datafox"
2000-12-14 02:28:43
datafox@yahoo.com
Wasteful shipping is fun with these guys. I have all the foam peanuts I could ever want now.
#16 by "None1a"
2000-12-14 03:18:53
none1a@home.com
<b>datafox</b> (#15):
<quote>Wasteful shipping is fun with these guys. I have all the foam peanuts I could ever want now.</quote>


Peanuts, real shiper use the air filled plastic pillows (far more usefull then peanuts since it makes a great head rest when watching TV). <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#17 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-12-14 03:35:42
appliedavoidance@mindspring.com
<b><u>None1a</u></b>, in the delightfully enlightening post <b>#16</b>, babbled the following:
<quote>Peanuts, real shiper use the air filled plastic pillows (far more usefull then peanuts since it makes a great head rest when watching TV). </quote>

I used to work for a company that used popped popcorn as packing. It actually works pretty well,  and you can just through it out in the yard when done with it. <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#18 by "datafox"
2000-12-14 04:02:20
datafox@yahoo.com
None1a [#16]:

Yea I like how amazon does that but packing bubbles are the best.
#19 by "undule"
2000-12-14 05:11:45
undule@tampabay.rr.com
Andy, that's a drag, truly.

Anyway,  can we somehow steer the 'Crap back to gaming related topics? Or was I always on the outs thinking that was the focus? Why has the obvious decision been made to desaturate what was so interesting here? The hope of ad sales?  The screwball 'empowerment' of the subcrap concept? *sigh*

Just to get this straight -- this article is about being jiped out of a ten dollar voucher from Buy.com?
#20 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-14 05:23:16
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#19</b> "undule" wrote...
<quote>Andy, that's a drag, truly.

Anyway, can we somehow steer the 'Crap back to gaming related topics? Or was I always on the outs thinking that was the focus? Why has the obvious decision been made to desaturate what was so interesting here? The hope of ad sales? The screwball 'empowerment' of the subcrap concept? *sigh*

Just to get this straight -- this article is about being jiped out of a ten dollar voucher from Buy.com?</quote>


Who made you aribter of the topic around here?

Since you seem to have missed it.  Here's a quote from morn on 4/21/2000 in a thread (the first thread), called "Return of the Crap!"

<quote>
We publish stories on all sorts of, yes, crap, and you can comment on them. Simple, eh?
</quote>

I suggest you re-think your comment that something has been obviously rethought around here. There have been many, many non-gaming topics since that date.

I just quickly counted at least 18 of the 36 topics since relaunch are in fact gaming stories, and more may be, but were not obviously so in the title.

NEXT.


<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#21 by "undule"
2000-12-14 05:28:08
undule@tampabay.rr.com
What makes me arbiter? Well, nothing of course. RE: 4-21, well that's smashing! Merely pointing out things have been drab.

Perhaps I'll just amble on . . . as I'm sure you'd like me to. 8) Good day, sir! - - and watch those rankled haunches.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#22 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-14 05:42:52
barneyque@hotmail.com
Perhaps I was harsh,  if I were given power to remove you, I would not excercise it. The more the merrier.

As for drab, it happens, we have up's and down's. Sometimes it's rockin an rollin here, and some are happy, sometimes, it's slow and methodical, and others are happy.  Never are we all happy at once in unision.

We all need to wait for our favorite hotbutton topics to roll around.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#23 by "Quicken"
2000-12-14 06:32:22
geoffrey@access.com.au
In a rather late reply to #12

incompetence doesn't make some thing right.


I would never say it does. But it's far better than labeling things as "Evil" or accusing them of "lies". Gets people settled down and looking at things seriously rather than throwing out the kind of abuse that the company will either ignore or take as slander (which it is) and sue.

Clearly Buy.com has made themselves a bad reputation due to more than a few cockups and if they don't turn it around it could end their business (.com's are hardly stable right now). They can get away with such bad press on Planetcrap but if it shows up in the newspapers...
#24 by "Dethstryk"
2000-12-14 07:28:09
jemartin@tcainternet.com
<b>VeeSPIKE wrote in post #17:</b>
<quote>I used to work for a company that used popped popcorn as packing. It actually works pretty well, and you can just through it out in the yard when done with it. </quote>
Well, that's definitely interesting to say the least.


--
Dethstryk
#25 by "Sgt_Hulka"
2000-12-14 14:11:45
rwaring@ameritech.net
Thanks Andy, but I've already got an electric dog polisher, what am I going to do with a second?
#26 by "Milamber"
2000-12-14 17:37:51
milamber@amoeba.com.au
Double your dog polishing productivity?<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#27 by "None1a"
2000-12-15 02:15:35
none1a@home.com
<b>Sgt_Hulka</b> (#25):
<quote>Thanks Andy, but I've already got an electric dog polisher, what am I going to do with a second?</quote>


Get a second dog, or just use it on strays.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#28 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-12-15 02:48:01
appliedavoidance@mindspring.com
<b><u>Barneyque</u></b>, in the delightfully enlightening post <b>#22</b>, babbled the following:
<quote>We all need to wait for our favorite hotbutton topics to roll around</quote>

GUN CONTROL!!

US vs. UK!!

Freedom of Speech!!

(that help? ;>)


<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#29 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-12-15 02:50:26
appliedavoidance@mindspring.com
Damn! I forgot:

id SUCKS/ROCKS/is out to get my money.

Epic Sucks!!

Monolith Sucks!

Derek Smart Sucks!!

Trolls Suck!!

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#30 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-15 02:58:59
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#29</b> "VeeSPIKE" wrote...
<quote>Damn! I forgot:

id SUCKS/ROCKS/is out to get my money.

Epic Sucks!!

Monolith Sucks!

Derek Smart Sucks!!

Trolls Suck!!

</quote>

I hate to be a bother, but I don't see 3dfx/nvidia on the menu tonight.

I demand to see the manager!

I came here for an argument.

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#31 by "None1a"
2000-12-15 03:55:26
none1a@home.com
<b>VeeSPIKE</b> (#29):
<quote>Damn! I forgot:</quote>


You still forgot 3dr's IPs<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#32 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-15 07:35:25
warren@epicgames.com
Barneyque (#30):
I came here for an argument.

No you didn't.  You came here for an argument!

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#33 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-15 10:48:44
barneyque@hotmail.com
Now look here fine man,  I came here for an argument, and I'm not leaving until I get one.



:)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#34 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-15 20:18:35
warren@epicgames.com
Barneyque (#33):
Now look here fine man, I came here for an argument, and I'm not leaving until I get one.

No you didn't.

:P

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#35 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-15 20:39:02
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#34</b> "WarrenMarshall" wrote...
<quote>
No you didn't.
</quote>

Yes I did.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#36 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-15 20:41:00
warren@epicgames.com
Barneyque (#35):
Yes I did.

No you DIDN'T.

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#37 by "Kallisti"
2000-12-15 20:46:58
kallisti@uswest.net
Hey come on now, we paid for blooooooooooood

liven it up a little d=<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#38 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-15 22:04:47
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#36</b> "WarrenMarshall" wrote...
<quote><B>Barneyque</B> (#35):

<quote>Yes I did.</quote>
No you DIDN'T.

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)</quote>


An argument isn't just contradiction.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#39 by "RyslinANDIndigo"
2000-12-15 22:57:16
ryslinmoon@yahoo.com
but i contradict that the argument that you made Of an argument not being mearly a contradiction is in fact WRONG and that an argument being a contradiction is and usually can be a REAL argument if only being parts of contradictions.


there
;p
#40 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-12-16 01:49:56
appliedavoidance@mindspring.com
OK - Now 3dfx REALLY <a href="http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/001215/ca_3dfx_in.html">SUCKS</a>!!!!

As if people did not see this coming for awhile though.

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#41 by "webrunner"
2000-12-16 02:48:21
046105s@acadiau.ca
Styrofoam packing peanuts are the missing matter in the universe.
#42 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-16 03:20:16
warren@epicgames.com
Barneyque (#38):
An argument isn't just contradiction.

/me wishes he could remember how the rest of this goes.  :P

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#43 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-16 03:25:55
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#42</b> "WarrenMarshall" wrote...
<quote><B>Barneyque</B> (#38):

<quote>An argument isn't just contradiction.</quote>
/me wishes he could remember how the rest of this goes. :P

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)</quote>


Hehehe, here's a refresher.  :)

http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/smc/ml/montypythonargument.html<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#44 by "Milamber"
2000-12-16 06:14:43
milamber@amoeba.com.au
Monty Python have never been funny, and never will be.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#45 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-16 06:22:34
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#44</b> "Milamber" wrote...
<quote>Monty Python have never been funny, and never will be.</quote>

Yes, that much is obvious from their stunning lack of success.

You know, if you really wanted to be a nice guy, you'd write that down on proper paper, and mail it to them.  I'm thinking someone should let them know, and after all these years of people pretending to laugh at them, I don't have the heart to do it.

You need a sign.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#46 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-16 06:36:40
warren@epicgames.com
Barneyque (#45):
Yes, that much is obvious from their stunning lack of success.

You know, if you really wanted to be a nice guy, you'd write that down on proper paper, and mail it to them. I'm thinking someone should let them know, and after all these years of people pretending to laugh at them, I don't have the heart to do it.

No shit ... But hey, since Milamber said it, it MUST be true.  What was I THINKING all these years?!

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#47 by "RyslinANDIndigo"
2000-12-17 00:26:11
ryslinmoon@yahoo.com
there you go thinking again Warren..
you don't get paid...wait ..you dont get paid for your opinion here ! imagine that !! Thats it Warren ya just dont think for any reason and you will never be thinking wrong again!

ha haha...oh gee..
<trips ..falls on floor..lays there..>
#48 by "Milamber"
2000-12-17 03:50:10
milamber@amoeba.com.au
Warren #46:
<quote>No shit ... But hey, since Milamber said it, it MUST be true. What was I THINKING all these years?!</quote>

You wanted an argument, I was merely providing the fuel. Unfortunately, the monty python loving hordes didn't take the bait.

Personally I am a huge a python fan, having watched everything they've produced and then some. It hurt me to type those words, it hurt me deeply but I worked through the pain in order to bring the joy of a good argument to the masses. The things I do for you, the things I do.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#49 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-17 03:57:54
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#48</b> "Milamber" wrote...
<quote>Warren #46:

<quote>No shit ... But hey, since Milamber said it, it MUST be true. What was I THINKING all these years?!</quote>

You wanted an argument, I was merely providing the fuel. Unfortunately, the monty python loving hordes didn't take the bait.

Personally I am a huge a python fan, having watched everything they've produced and then some. It hurt me to type those words, it hurt me deeply but I worked through the pain in order to bring the joy of a good argument to the masses. The things I do for you, the things I do.</quote>

Dammit, are you trying to make me feel bad?  First you call MP not funny, and then you tell me you did it for us?

Shit, you had me beat, aparently I'm a bit slow, and you need to bait me with at least a subtle hint.

Dont hate me....please.  :)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#50 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-17 04:04:29
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#48</b> "Milamber" wrote...
<quote>Warren #46:

<quote>No shit ... But hey, since Milamber said it, it MUST be true. What was I THINKING all these years?!</quote>

You wanted an argument, I was merely providing the fuel. Unfortunately, the monty python loving hordes didn't take the bait.

Personally I am a huge a python fan, having watched everything they've produced and then some. It hurt me to type those words, it hurt me deeply but I worked through the pain in order to bring the joy of a good argument to the masses. The things I do for you, the things I do.</quote>

One other thing, since you are a fan, I'd like to apologise to you and any other fans that might be out their for doing a very poor rendition of the argument, but it came up rather spontainously, and I don't think either me or Warren were really ready for it.   :)

In 'real life', I can pull it off in pretty respectable manner.

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
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