Author Topic: My first Mail Order experience  (Read 2588 times)

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shark_jj

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My first Mail Order experience
« on: July 26, 2008, 12:04:27 PM »
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I had never ordered anything by mail before, however, a product was announced which was unique to the prototype I model and was only available by mail order.  I am fortunate to have an excellent local hobby shop, Trains on Brant, in Burlington, Ontario, and had first enquired of them whether they could get the product, they couldn't.  Going to the Internet site, I filled out the order form and at the point they asked for credit card information, I opted for the "call me when it is available choice".  Lack of trust in Internet ordering systems with my credit card.  I did however, want to ensure that I received the product so I called the storefront location and talked to a clerk and gave them the Order Receipt number, explained my reluctance to provide my credit card info over the Internet and provided the information by phone. 

Months passed, which wasn't too unusual, since it is a small manufacturer who deals exclusively with this one retailer and I recognized that this wasn't a production line situation.  I was patient, made several email enquiries over the months, recieved assurances that things were coming along and finally received a shipping order advising that they were in and ready to ship. 

Nothing happened.  Rather than rely on more email correspondence, I knew the retailer and manufacturer were both going to be in Louisville as was I, and I could deal with it face to face.  I met both of them at a room sale and made my enquiry.  The retailer advised me that he had been "short shipped", couldn't fill all the orders and mine was one of those not filled.  This clearly came as a surprise to the manufacturer who hadn't heard this before.  He took me back to his room where he had a couple of samples which he provided to me and assured me that now he knew of the problem he would get the others made a.s.a.p.  I was happy with the manufacturer, less than happy with the retailer whose last information to me prior to that night was In Stock Ready to Ship. 

Today, I get an email from the manufacturer, saying that the product is ready but the retailer doesn't have my credit card information.  This is the same retailer who has sent me a number of confirmations, and told me to my face that the only reason my order wasn't shipped was lack of product. 

Right now, I am somewhere between frustrated and angry.  Clearly the retailer lacks the inventory and ordering systems to place information from the Internet and the telephone together.  Losing credit card information raises serious consumer trust issues.  I still want the product, but no longer want to deal with the retailer, but I can't have one without the other.  When I calm down I will probably call them, sort it out, and never deal with them again. 

I haven't named either the retailer or the manufacturer since I don't want to slag the manufacturer who has been quite above board in all my dealings with him.  I also recognize having read a number of threads about mail order that there are some really good dealers out there and thousands of modellers who don't have access to a good hobby shop and who rely on them.  We are however, products of our own experiences and I suspect it will be a long, long, time before I mail order anything else from anyone.

up1950s

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2008, 12:42:36 PM »
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You can always send 2 emails with just half of your CC info on each , with a note on each to that fact . This is not foolproof , but it is a common way to tilt the scales of security more in your favor . First 8 of cc number and expiration month on the first eMail , and the last 8 of cc number and the year of expiration on the last eMail is the most common split if info .

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2008, 12:49:22 PM »
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You can always send 2 emails with just half of your CC info on each , with a note on each to that fact . This is not foolproof , but it is a common way to tilt the scales of security more in your favor . First 8 of cc number and expiration month on the first eMail , and the last 8 of cc number and the year of expiration on the last eMail is the most common split if info .

I wouldn't trust that.

Not at all.

If some part of the email routing is compromised, chances are that both emails would hit the same point.

It would make it more difficult to pick out automatically, but it wouldn't make it impossible, or even difficult.


3rdrail

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2008, 12:54:24 PM »
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You can always send 2 emails with just half of your CC info on each , with a note on each to that fact . This is not foolproof , but it is a common way to tilt the scales of security more in your favor . First 8 of cc number and expiration month on the first eMail , and the last 8 of cc number and the year of expiration on the last eMail is the most common split if info .



I wouldn't trust that.

Not at all.

If some part of the email routing is compromised, chances are that both emails would hit the same point.

It would make it more difficult to pick out automatically, but it wouldn't make it impossible, or even difficult.


You can also use more than one email address, one for each part. The odds of both going to the same wrong place are infinitesmal.

Hyperion

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2008, 01:07:41 PM »
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I don't think he's worried about the intercepted email aspect of any of it.  The 'problem' is he's already given this retailer his credit card number once and he's managed to lose it.  That, coupled with other actions by the retailer, make him not want to give the business to the retailer at all, trust it will actually get ordered, or trust him with his credit card number. 
-Mark

John

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2008, 04:26:53 PM »
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I got around that .. Chuck .. Send it to me. .. charge it to my card .. trust the dealer first .. develop that relationship .. the CC company will do the rest ..

rslaserkits

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2008, 12:24:51 AM »
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I don't think he's worried about the intercepted email aspect of any of it.  The 'problem' is he's already given this retailer his credit card number once and he's managed to lose it.  That, coupled with other actions by the retailer, make him not want to give the business to the retailer at all, trust it will actually get ordered, or trust him with his credit card number. 

 Maybe not lost, A lot of places don't keep the number on record just so it does not get into the wrong hands. If they have not already charged to his account he should be OK, just call them and give it over the phone again. Plus I would trust Email over a cell phone anyday, or he can fax it in a two part fax also.
 rich
 

Denver Road Doug

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2008, 12:53:40 AM »
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Never, ever, ever send your credit card number via e-mail, period.  Not even broken over two e-mails, not even from different accounts.  If you think that is more secure than using a secure website--or more secure than anything, really--you are misinformed.

Since the manufacturer knows your story, I would be surprised if they would force you to continue down this path.  I would contact them and see if they can just do the deal direct.
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.

Walkercolt

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2008, 02:09:25 AM »
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Doug, I have a "no risk" credit card I use for e-mail transactions. Works fine. Some shops(like ours) use paper to record phoned in CC info, and the paperwork can get thrown into the trash by accident, with 1200 lbs. of Chinese food waste on top of it in the dumpster. There are more clerks at retail stores memorize CC numbers('til they can write them down) than from e-mail transactions, according to the FTC and the CC companies. The shop owner is a banker(VP of loan operations) but he know the CC people too, of course. I had a clerk at K-Mart try to memorise my check and Driver's License info, but the check cashing place called me to confirm the info. She had nearly a year in the slammer to think about what she did wrong.

Denver Road Doug

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2008, 03:05:05 AM »
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Well, if you have a "no risk" credit card then it's all kind of a moot issue anyway, right?  I suspect that many/most of the popular cards nowdays are protected.  I would argue you still have to deal with going through the motions should your card be compromised...what is your time worth?

While using e-mail may "work fine", that still doesn't make it secure.  It is quite true that social engineering steals more credit card numbers than computers, and using a secure website is the BEST and MOST SECURE method of online commerce.
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.

CBQ Fan

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2008, 07:43:49 PM »
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I have always had good luck with ordering on-line.  I have always gotten what I ordered.  However I am getting tired of having to wait three weeks to get my orders.  I spread my orders around but I have had the same experience over the last three or four orders.  I have a large pre-order on file with one place that does not use a shopping cart.  I called in my info and have placed orders since the original pre-order that has not come in.  I did email a stock order just to confirm all is well.  That was July 11th.  Athearn is responsible for part of the delay but I don't need the decals and advised the shop the same, still waiting...................
Brian

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Chris333

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2008, 02:51:25 AM »
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If it wasn't for mail order I wouldn't have trains. My local shop has one small case of N and things like  $185 for a AA set of Bachmann F-units doesn't get me to spend much money there.

Pete Steinmetz

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2008, 11:22:50 AM »
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I did however, want to ensure that I received the product so I called the storefront location and talked to a clerk and gave them the Order Receipt number, explained my reluctance to provide my credit card info over the Internet and provided the information by phone. 

Wouldn't using a secure server with your credit card be more secure than calling the card number in by phone and having a clerk write the number down?
I don't ever let somebody write my cc number down.  Who knows where it goes from there?

There are no totally secure methods of using a cc.  Some have much better odds against fraud than others.

I mail order regularly and have had no problems.  Many on all lists have their favorite e tailers.  Just about all are good.  You seem to have found the one that has problems.

Pete S
Pete Steinmetz
Encinitas, CA

Kisatchie

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2008, 11:53:22 AM »
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I always go to Chuck's Feather River Train Shop for my online shopping - mostly Micro-Trains trucks and wheelsets. I get fast delivery (California to Louisiana / 2-3 days) and personal attention. If Chuck doesn't have (and can't get) what I need, I'll also use:

Brooklyn Locomotive Works   http://www.blwnscale.com/

M.B. Klein   http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/

Wig Wag   http://www.wig-wag-trains.com/index.htm

and a couple of other stores.


"Hmm... Chuck always
includes a banana for
me in every order..."




Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
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Walkercolt

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Re: My first Mail Order experience
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2008, 02:27:14 AM »
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Well, you've got to write the card number or print it out so you can enter the number in your card machine. Thankfully, most people are honest, especially at train stores. Doug, I've had one problem with my "no hassle" card with a power tool e-tailer. I called the card company, told them, they took it off my account right then, opened a "file" for me, two weeks later I get a letter from them saying it was a bad charge, they contacted the company for me, it was taken care of, I had a confirmation number for the bad charge, they filed a police report for me, and all was well with the world again. Just for grins, who do you think has the most complaints on credit card transactions? According to the FTC, for the 35th year in a row, Sears/K-Mart. Me and Sears had a major hassle with me buying an air conditioner and paying off without it accuring interest. The store manager and I had it out when I threatened a small-claims court suit, I got my money back and in front of him I cut-up my Sears' card and told him I'd never buy anything from that store again, and I've never been back in 27 years. And in the two years before, I had spent over $5000 on carpet, a refrigerator, two other A/C's, tools, and stuff when I bought my house. And Sears wondered why they have lost so much business in the last 30 years.