How Not to get Scammed by E-Commerce Company
“I never got my pants and I can’t get a hold of these people!” That’s what my dad yelled at his computer and at me when we were Face-timing just the other day. He’s upset because he ordered quite a few things from his home over the past few moths while in quarantine; some hippie pants, a holder that would allow his iPad to hover over his face in bed, and a couple other miscellaneous items. Unfortunately, that was back in mid-march and it is now mid-June and still no packages and no product.
In the midst of the Covid 19 stay at home orders, online shopping became so popular and necessary that even the leader in e-commerce, Amazon, had issues getting orders out to people. This climate is also the perfect opportunity for shady e-commerce companies from outside of the USA to market their products and never follow through on fulfillment.
Yes, this is something that actually happens. Scams are real. E-commerce is a giant, unending world of buy and sell that reaches every corner of the internet. It is very important that Americans know which types of companies to trust and give their hard-earned money too. Sure, buying products that come from far outside our country is cheaper, but it’s not at all worth it when what you paid for never arrives.
So, how do you know if you’re purchasing an item from a trustworthy source? You can watch out for a couple things.
- These companies make very interesting and engaging video advertisements for their products and they usually sell a variety of products that do not at all relate to each other. You’ll find that your Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest feed are often saturated with these type of promotions and “sponsored” ads. These videos are usually eye-catching and move in a fast paced motion that allows for the shopper’s small attention span to not get in the way of making the sell. This type of marketing is not unethical, but it is one of the first things to look out for when trying to decide if the company is trustworthy.
- If you fall in
love with a product after seeing it’s advertisement on one of your
social media accounts, start with visiting the website and browsing
though it before you make the purchase. You may notice that the
company itself is selling a huge range of
products that don’t necessarily relate to one another and they tend to have peculiar brand names (we found some like Big Black Friday, Genie Mania, and Genie Mama) ;
- For example; they sell a pair of water resistant pants that your husband really wants but they also sell kitchen accessories, motorized tools, children's toys, and self-defense weapons. This should automatically raise a red flag.
- Secondly, try
to find the section of the website that says “contact us”.
Ideally, if something were to go wrong with the order or months go
by without hearing a word from them, you would want to have a
customer service agent help you with your issue. Untrustworthy
companies will not have a phone number or a customer service
department. Instead, like in the case of Big Black Friday, they will
simply have a generic email address that you can reach out to.
Needless to say, these emails are never reviewed and no one ever
gets back to you.
- If there is a phone number included, call it. Talk to a customer service representative and become sure that this company is legitimate. Ask them a few questions:
1. If I make a purchase today, how long will it be till it is processed and will I receive a confirmation of some sort?
2. How long will delivery take and what carriers do you use?
3. If the product arrives damaged or doesn’t arrive, what will your company do to make it right?
- If you’ve
made a purchase from an untrustworthy e-commerce company, it is
likely that you will not receive a confirmation of your purchase
directly from the company itself. There will be no follow up emails
and if there are, they are quite generic and do not provide any
contact information to the company itself. If you can not reach the
company, it is a scam!
-Google the company! If the company is a scam, you will easily find hundreds of reviews from people who had serious issues with the company throughout time.
It is unfortunate to be taken advantage of by a “fly by night” company. This term was coined to describe the snake oil salesman of the 1900’s who would travel to new towns to sell products every morning and then leave by nightfall without fulfilling their sales. It still happens everyday and more and more of these types of companies are starting to pop up all over the internet because they are making enough money to continue to expand and push more unethical marketing strategies.
When you do purchase from a reputable and trustworthy online company like Turtleback Case, you will notice the following type of shopping experience:
- You see that there is a common theme in all of the products and there is a specific issue that they have created solutions for.
- You take it a step further to be sure and you find the contact page. There is an email address, phone number, and an address for the facility they work from. All this looks good, but still…
- You decide to call. A kind representative answers and assures you that, yes, they operate out of their warehouse in the USA and are shipped using USPS or any other carrier of your choosing. They can also provide you with detailed information about the products, their return policy and they assure you that if you place an order it will process and ship out no later than the very next day.
- Within minutes after making your purchase, you receive an email with a confirmation number for your order.
- The next day you get a second email, updating you that your item has shipped and will arrive in 5-7 business days.
That is how a trustworthy company treats their online customers.
That is the Turtleback way.