Wow. The internet is indeed the great equalizer. Yesterday, I penned a post about shady business practices. In that post, I levelled my ire at AWS Convergence Technologies, makers of the WeatherBug software. I had purchased a subscription to WeatherBug Plus and I almost instantly had buyers’ remorse. To make matters worse, activating the Plus part of the software was taking longer than advertised. The last straw was the deafening silence on AWS’s part in responding to my pleas to look into my activation issues. Then, I decided to obtain a refund and got no word. For the gory details, check the other post out. The purpose of this post is to talk about what I learned from this experience (from the consumer’s standpoint) and highlight what went wrong.
What happened: In the end, I was able to get an amicable resolution to the matter of my refund. This didn’t happen instantly. My first email to AWS was about the activation issues I was having and no response was received. My fraud radar went up and I followed that email up with one requesting a refund. When I received no answer, I instantly began researching online for any history of weird behavior with WeatherBug. To their credit, I didn’t find anyone who had been given the run-around like I felt I was being given. In fact, this should have told me that, maybe, just maybe they were under-staffed or something. However, I have had a few close calls with online purchases and I take my finances rather seriously. After some more email-fu and a couple of calls, I sent a email missive laden with phrases like “good faith effort” and “legal system”. 🙂
Seeing results: When my best effort at sounding serious didn’t raise any responses, I blogged about the problem on Jane Talks Tech!. My intent in blogging about it was to see if I would get anyone online to sympathize with me or even give me a hint as to what the deal with AWS could be. Well, in less than 24 hrs after sending the strongly-worded email and publishing my post about the saga, I was contacted via my blog by a representative from AWS. According to the representative at AWS I spoke with, they were ‘backed up’. I can understand that and I probably over-reacted a little bit in thinking the worst of them. Nevertheless, you should know that AWS Convergence Technologies does have humans in charge who care (:)) and they are actively monitoring the intarwebs which is why I believe this case finally got resolved. Ultimately, some lessons for consumers and sellers alike are: Continue reading The fine art of negotiation or not. 🙂