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Be careful with your credit cards!

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Carol Haynes:
did you contact the magazine to ask for a refund?
-tomos (November 27, 2009, 04:10 AM)
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Yes - but I have yet to get a reply.

For the record this isn't a tin-pot little mag - it is Scientific American.

I have to say their magazine is brilliant but their customer service SUCKS.

I am not kidding when I say that every single time I have made a payment to Scientific American there have been issues!

Carol Haynes:
I would push a bit on the HSBC side - that doesn't seem logical on their part, and it might be the person you spoke to didnt quite understand?
-iphigenie (November 27, 2009, 08:41 AM)
--- End quote ---

I have now spoken to 4 people including a fraud detection supervisor.

Excellent warning.  I've adopted the strategy of always using my credit card through PayPal (whenever possible).  If any vendor tries to stiff me (by violating the terms of sale), PayPal gets contacted immediately and I register a dispute with them against that vendor.  From PayPal:

'If you are unable to resolve a dispute with a seller, you may file a claim that a PayPal investigating agent will review.  If you are unable to resolve the dispute, the next step is to file a formal complaint. At this point – depending on fund availability in the seller’s account – the funds are frozen for the amount of the transaction.  PayPal will contact both parties. If our investigation team finds the claim in favor of the buyer, the amount of the transaction, if available from the seller, will be transferred back to the buyer.' (Plus, they can revoke the vendor's account with them.  As the world's premier e-commerce transaction agent, that can be quite crippling.)

PS - Of course, the above is in addition to the protections offered by my individual credit card issuer(s).

Carol Haynes:
I usually use PayPal for that reason. The problem here was that the discount subscription was only available by post. I could have sent a cheque from the UK but I wasn't sure if/how much the bank would charge when it was cashed in a US account.

I figured that a company the size of Scientific American would at least be honest - I was obviously mistaken.

This morning I got into work and saw that our site had gotten 9 orders yesterday. Since we market to businesses and not consumers, and most of our customers are in the USA, I thought that was odd, so I looked at the orders in a little more detail.

With all five in front of me, and a little common sense, it's obvious that five of these were fraudulent. So obviously we're not processing the orders, and the accounting guys are contacting the credit card companies to have the card#s blocked. Sucks for the people whose cards were stolen.

Every fraudulent order I've looked at here has come from IP addresses in Africa. I'm thinking about having the web site block users, or at least orders, from anywhere in Africa.


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