Friday, 2 December 2005

You scam me, I damn you

By some freakish coincidence, I stumble onto 3 (THREE!) very, very similar stories yesternight. All involving some generally idiotic behaviour by a 'seller' over some relatively trivial thing, which results in not-so-pretty things happening to them.

In short, selling party tries to pull one over buying party, and realizes - the hard way - that they've screwed with the wrong people. Not quite "Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less", but actually much worse. In that amazing book (and not-so-amazing movie) the victims just scheme to get theyir money back. In these following cases, the scamsters lost a BLOODY GREAT DEAL more than they would have gained through their shady activities..

Precautionary note: When relating these stories to a colleague, he found them intensely boring. It's probably me. But they really do make for compelling reading. The scam itself is not too innovative, but the retaliation that follows is simply awesome.

This one has the most violent response ever. It actually gets physical here. And interestingly, this case has a Wikipedia entry too. The 'scamster' does end up apologizing, but not out of any feeling of guilt, more out of fear for his life.

Lesson learnt: NEVER mess with road rashers. Even online. Especially if you're a snotty brat.

Orbitz, an Internet travel company (damned if they're getting any PageRank through my blog!) based in Chicago, decided to sell Maddox an 'impossible itinerary', accepted their error, and refused to refund him. This guy's really popular, and puts up his experience on his site. Immediate result: MASSIVE losses to Orbitz. Then Orbitz actually tries to justify their stance by attempting to discredit Maddox's claims, only to end up going "Ow, ow, ow...ooohhh bullet in foot hurts ooohhh". And losing still more customers.

Lesson learnt: None. Orbitz still hasn't issued an apology. Unless you count some random fake email Maddox received. But on some level, they're now more wary of who they decide to screw over.

(This, I found through Slashdot) This is very similar to the regular online shopping scam deals. Guy orders dirt cheap camera, only to be taken for a ride he's not likely to forget. PriceRitePhoto, the retailer in question (once again, no PageRank from here, dude) is gradually being de-listed from various shopping sites, and the icing on the cake would be that it's also been reported to the New York State Attorney-General's office. Read the comments on the Slashdot post for more horror stories.

Lesson learnt: Listen to good ol' Abe when he says, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

1 comment:

Vijay Krishna said...

Good one, especially the PageRank part.