Saturday, October 01, 2005

If You Put Words In My Mouth, I'll Make You Eat Them

This may be a long post. Just giving fair warning.

Deb and I signed up at when we first moved out here. They pay for you to read e-mails and give you cash back when you buy stuff through them. Deb had received two checks from them, and I was supposed to get one from them in a couple of days. I say "supposed to" because they have since cancelled our accounts. Why? According to the oh-so-helpful Sandy, their terms of agreement say that you cannot have two people at the same mailing address in the program. I don't know why this is a rule, and yes we should have printed out the whole of the terms and read it. But here's the thing... the accounts were cancelled scant hours before I was due a check. In the five months prior to this, they've had our names and addresses, and never once was it questioned. Not while the money was going in their direction, anyway. Here's my response to Sandy:

So for six months we were allowed to buy things through you, each of us spending money freely, but when it came time to request a payment our accounts are cancelled. Coincidentally, cancelled only hours before I was due a payment from you. How terribly convenient for you.

I do not require a response. Quite frankly, I'm weary of dealing with your organization. This may just be for the best.

Sandy replied thus:

I do suggest you read the Terms of Membership for anything you sign up for in the future. They are listed for a reason.

To her credit, I laughed. Not the kind of laugh you want to hear coming from me, but it was a laugh. You want to get sarcastic with an anti-social ex-New Yorker who generally hates people who breathe? Not a good idea, Sandy.

Thanks so much for the advice. Thanks also for responding, even though I said you didn't have to. Actually, I expected you to do the exact opposite of what I asked, because it's what I've come to expect from your organization.

I would've suggested something called a "database" which cross-checks your user information and prevents such things from occuring in the future. However, I know you won't implement such a thing, as it would be counter-productive to your organization's goals. Mainly because it would help people, and also it would prevent you from bilking more people. Since profit is far, far more important than customer service, I know where your priorities lie.

Once again, you do not need to respond. That being said, I look forward to your response.

Apparently I made Sandy cry, because the response to that was from Mike the Manager.

Thank you for your technical advice. Rest assured, that our highly trained and incredibly experienced IT staff has thoroughly considered how we deal with duplicate accounts. You aren't considering such things as legitimate duplicate names (with over a million members, people DO share the same name). Furthermore, displaying an error message during signup such as "someone is already using that name" would only encourage people who ARE trying to take advantage of our system to hide themselves better, such as adding a fake middle initial, etc.

Now, if you're still reading this, thank you very much. But I'd like you to look at what I said before Mike gave me this information. You'll notice that nowhere in there did I say the word "name". I did say "database", which apparently to him is the same as "name". Maybe they wear database tags at all their office, or he's been to the desert on a horse with no database. Whatever. My response to the noun-challenged Mike:

Thanks for your response. I'm sure your IT staff is capable, and I'm well aware that people share the same name. You'll note that I did not make the name correlation in my messages. In the snippet of your user agreement Sandy provided, the second point was "mailing address", not name. Run a cross check first by zip, then by address. Not name. But I'm not going to go into "geek mode" here.

I've not heard from either of them again. It fills me with a great sadness. Mainly because I think the two of them are the only ones involved in the business, and I just called one or both of them an idiot because they engage in linear thinking. Logic is good, but assuming is bad. Like the old saying goes... when you assume you make an ass out of you, but leave me out of it.

There is a point after all of this: stay away from inboxdollars. And I don't mean just because of this incident. We were going to cancel anyway, after we received our checks. The best one by far is

Times like this, I wish my high school had a debate team. Just so I could see people cry. Yes, I'm a cruel, sadistic, sarcastic prick. But my wife loves me, so I win. So there.


Storm said...

well, I don't have anything fun or witty to add, just wanted to drop a line to say I enjoyed that little rant (came from BE, BTW). I hate stupid people. I hate assumptions even more.

Wontar said...

Thanks storm! Glad you enjoyed it. And yeah, I hate stupid people too.

Casey Lee Cobb said...

Those Bastards!!

ella m. said...

That whole exchange made me laugh, especially when combined with the visual of the two of them crying in their empty offices.

I guess i am also a cruel person, not that that revalation surprises me much.

Wontar said...

Casey - They sure are!

Ella M. - Picturing people reduced to tears from my words is what kept me going at my old job. Must be a night shift thing. Glad you enjoyed it!