For more than a decade I have been an online member of the Jumbo Auction. You know the one, huge, big, ginormous (OK a made up word). The one all other on-line auctions try to emulate, only because of the massive amounts of money to be made by not making anything and not selling anything other than a bit of space on a hard drive.
Anyway, Jumbo Auction sent me an e-mail a few months back, one of many received on a weekly basis. Yet this e-mail was different. Generally they want you to buy, sell, spend, all so they can take their outrageous percentage fee charge from your sale amount. However, this e-mail indicated that I was a chosen one, an offer only provided a few. Wow, this made me feel like I was one in a million, rather than the usual one in a billion.
Their e-mail offer was simple, download an app for your mobile device, post an item for sale from your mobile device and pay zero, nada, zip, squat. Hey, I’m all for keeping MY money and happily took them up on their offer. Following the simple steps contained in their e-mail my mobile device became one app heavier.
My item posted on the Jumbo Auction website and I waited for it to sell. About a week later a lucky buyer bought the item and it was sent off to them using UPS. (I had to mention UPS as it is the subject of an earlier blog.) The buyer’s payment goes into my account and soon thereafter Jumbo Auction begins invoicing their cut of my proceeds. I say to myself, “What the F?”
So I decide I better contact Jumbo. Of course their website contact area has been designed with them in mind, not you my dear customer. No e-mail contact form, no e-mail addresses, no Live Chat button, but wait – a phone number that expires in 10 minutes.
When I contact a company I like a PAPER TRAIL. I really like to know who I am conversing with, dates, times, actual words on paper so there is no question about who said what, when, and where! Phones don’t allow this. I knew my struggle was to begin.
With Herculean effort I pushed the phone’s keypad and dialed Jumbo Auction. A pleasant female from the Philipines answered my call. I explained the situation to her. The Jumbo Auction e-mail offer, the download of the Jumbo App, the sale of the item, and Jumbo’s taking of fees that I read would not take place.
“Please Hold” was the reply I received. After five minutes of background Muzak she came back on the phone and asked me to explain again. So I explained the situation to her. The Jumbo Auction e-mail offer, the download of the Jumbo App, the sale of the item, and Jumbo’s taking of fees that I read would not take place.
“Please Hold” was the reply I received. Hm! Seems as though this was stated before……
And so after another five to ten minutes of holding she came back on the phone and asked for me to explain it again. I have found that as I get older my patience has gotten much better, yet this situation was making me a teenager again.
Sorry, I just couldn’t do it. I already explained this to them three times, so I asked for a supervisor, four times, yes four! Finally another female with a Philippine accent comes on the phone and states she is a supervisor. Now, please understand, the reason I mention the accent is because I speak the USA version of the Queen’s English. I can understand folks from England, Australia, New Zealand, definitely Canada, Ireland, Wales, and they have accents, but I have a problem with accents from other places, especially India, China, the Philipines to name a few. Bless them that they try, but I CAN’T UNDERSTAND THEM, and it is not their fault. It is the fault of the Jumbo Auctions, the Mega-Fixer-Uppers, The Computer Makers, and other U.S.A. companies that have outsourced all the past customer service jobs (and sadly too many other types of jobs) from this country to others so they can save money and NOT pass those savings on to you.
Sorry, I had to wrant in a wrant. Anyway – the Jumbo Auction supervisor tells me that Jumbo Auction most certainly never did and never will send out an e-mail like the one I received and that it must be fake. I asked her that if it was fake then why, when I clicked on a link within the e-mail, was I taken directly to Jumbo’s website? Who, other than Jumbo, would benefit?
There was silence for about ten seconds. Even though I am probably eight thousand miles away, in a different time zone, speaking a different version of English, I could hear the gears of a customer service supervisor’s brain clicking and clanking, attempting to give a reasonable answer to my question. I guess that clinking and clanking wasn’t thought after all as again I was told it had to be a fake Jumbo e-mail. My rusty old brain came back with “Well, let me forward a copy to you, what’s your e-mail address?”
Whoa! OMG! Hold on there buddy! You got to be kidding! She simply replied “Oh, uh, I cannot accept e-mail.” Hm! I was thinking that maybe the Jumbo Auction customer service department was a fake. Can’t accept an e-mail copy, especially one from your own company, what the h-e-double hockey sticks? So now I am in the bend over position!
I was then, and immediately, told to forward the e-mail to fake@jumboauction. So I did. A reply from fake@ took two days. When it appeared in my inbox I was sure there would be an epiphany. Oh, I am such a hopeful person. It was a canned, corporate, we’re sending this to appease an inquiry, reply. Didn’t answer a thing, wasn’t signed by anybody, and in my opinion just didn’t cut it. So, adeptly using my right index finger, I hit the reply key to this e-mail received from fake@. I add a few sentences regarding how they haven’t addressed my concern, didn’t have the courtesy to assign a human’s name to the e-mail, and that I needed to know why they thought the Jumbo Auction’s original offer e-mail was a fake.
After two more days I receive my reply from fake @. Low and Behold – this reply was an EXACT duplicate, verbatim, of the first e-mail received from fake@. Now I felt like a test lab rat, stuck in the maze that I know goes nowhere. Hm? What to do?
Did you know that in e-mails you receive, and possibly dependent on your e-mail provider, you can right-click on an e-mail and find out all sorts of things. Generally a menu may show up, but if you do some investigation you can find out IP addresses of the originating e-mail, or even a company name. So, I right clicked on the original Jumbo Auction e-mail and found out that – 1) By golly, they didn’t send it directly, and that 2) it was sent by a marketing company that Jumbo Auction has hired to send out marketing e-mails. I knew that epiphany was to be found sooner or later.
With the information about Jumbo Auction’s marketing partner I decided that contacting customer service and fake@ were not going to be pro-active. Hm, what to do? Let’s go to the Jumbo Auction website and do some corporate research. Well, well, well – look who’s listed the Chief Executive Officer, or CEO for short. If you read my blog on ‘Truth in Advertising………Huh?’ you would have read how I perceive many things I do in life as a game of chess. Go for the King, attack, bypass the pawns, knights and castles. Granted one always has to start with the pawns, but after using them, and to no avail, why bother with the in-between.
I printed out a copy of the original Jumbo Auction e-mail offer. To that I stapled a copy of the website page from the marketing company that showed Jumbo Auction is one of their customers. I then wrote a letter to Mr. Jumbo Auction CEO and explained the entire scenario I have written about in this blog. I simply asked for Mr. CEO to honor his company’s e-mail offer and to possibly train his customer service staff to know what is going on with the company and any offers they extend to members. After signing the letter and placing it in the US Postal Service mailbox I simply await a reply.
After almost two weeks, with no reply, I contemplate filing a small claims court action. Wouldn’t it be great to see a David versus Goliath on a TV judge show? Just some of the thoughts running through my mind. They owe me my money, they made the offer, they didn’t honor it. I’ll win for sure.
As I peruse the State’s website to find out who at Jumbo Auction is their appointed person to receive legal papers I receive an e-mail from no less than the Office of the President of Jumbo Auction. Not quite the CEO, but it will suffice.
The president’s office apologized profusely, stated that their customer service people should have better information, and best yet – promised to refund MY money.
Yahoo, was all I could think of. And don’t confuse that yahoo with the website.
This process took about four weeks, start to finish. Using phone, e-mail, and finally the postal service, I was able to get what should never have been taken in the first place. The point, as I have mentioned in similar corporate dealing blogs, is that if you don’t ask, pursue, and fight for your rights, money, whatever, then don’t grump about the situation. If you have, say money, owed to you by a billion dollar company and you don’t fight for it then you have too much already. If that’s the case then give it to your local humane society and not that billion dollar company.
I received my money yesterday!