So, my father-in-law called me the other day and let me know he had received a check for ~ $3800 and his instructions were to deposit the amount the check was written for, pocket a paltry $200 and wire back the rest. Where have we heard this before?
I had never received one of those before so I asked him to read the letter out to me. To a naive & trusting (read: MUMU) person, the letter sounds professional. However, I could pick up on several red flags in reading the letter. I asked him to scan the letter to me when he did and I’ve embedded the letter on Slideshare for your viewing pleasure.
A check-cashing scam letter
On the 28th of July, 2009, I made the mistake of purchasing an application (if you must know, it was the JoikuSpot Premium app) from the Ovi Store. My download of the app got interrupted and they made the dumb decision of not having your purchased apps available for re-download. I contacted them to get access and when I sensed that the process was going to be long and painful, I went ahead to purchase the same item from the Joiku Shop. Satisfied that I had fulfilled my craving for the JoikuSpot app (which sadly turned out to not be for me anyway), I decided to request a refund from Nokia/Ovi Store. You can track my posts on the Ovi Store mess through my “Ovi Store Sucks” or “Ovi Store Fail” tags.
Here is the full history of my contact with the Ovi Store:
- I communicated with their representatives via email at first when all I wanted was to re-download my application. See my first Ovi Store related post regarding the specifics of that conversation and how that went.
- Next, I contacted the Ovi Store via phone at least 3 times and each of those three times, my request for a refund was “escalated” to the Ovi Store Special Response Team. Each of those times I called, I was promised a callback in 24 – 48 hrs and I never received a callback. Each time, I had to initiate a call whereupon their response each time was to escalate the issue to the Ovi Store Special Response Team which is apparently unreachable by phone. I would like to take this opportunity to issue a $25 bounty (payable to whomever wins via Paypal) for anyone who can provide me with a working number for the Ovi Store Special Response Team. This fee will be payable upon my successful communication with the Ovi Store Special Response Team representatives. Note, I’m half-joking, but half-serious. If this transaction is illegal where you are, then you are out of the running. 😀
- My last phone communication with the Ovi Store was last week when I called and in a fury, demanded to speak with a real supervisor this time. This supervisor promised yet again that he would personally ensure that the matter was escalated yet again to the special Ovi Store Special Response Team. They actually gave me a number to fax my purchase details to and I absolutely balked at that because:
- I don’t have access to a fax machine.
- Is Nokia serious about needing everyone who wants a refund to FAX their purchase to a number? How 1990s is that?
- Has Nokia heard of identity theft? There is no way in hell I am going to fax my personal details to a number I have no idea about who it belongs to nor am I particularly inclined to trust that the Nokia folk aren’t blowing smoke up my arse.
- Of course and just as I had suspected, I still hadn’t received a call from the Ovi Store Special Response Team (OSSRT) and I decided to dispute the transaction with my bank. I made the mistake of using my VISA Debit card to make the purchase, but all is not lost as I took the following precautions:
- Allowed the Ovi Store time to resolve the issue. Again, see my first post for specifics.
- Have recordings of my conversations with the Ovi Store representatives on all occasions. If you don’t have a call recording application on your phone, I highly recommend you get one. I am currently using Best CallRecorder which I love because I can create rules as to which calls to not record i.e. conversations with my husband, etc. lol. The downside to Best CallRecorder is an annoying beep which, thankfully, doesn’t transfer to the actual recording.
- Followed procedures contained in their terms of service (Ovi Store Terms of Service) and followed the instructions I was given each time I spoke with the Ovi Store representatives. To make sure things haven’t changed suddenly, here is my capture of the Ovi Store Terms of Service document as of August 18, 2009 here.
- The particular issue that pertains to me are the sections highlighted. If you purchase an item from the Ovi Store, please memories this section (“Cancellations and Refunds”). To save you time, the relevant sections are: “You agree to the electronic delivery of Content being initiated concurrently with the placement of your order. You will not be able to cancel your order once it has been processed, and acknowledge that the nature of the Content is such that it cannot be returned. In the event that after your purchase you discover and promptly inform Nokia that (a) the Content license you have purchased is faulty; (b) the Content Nokia delivers to you does not match the description of the Content you ordered via the Ovi Store; or (c) technical problems delayed or prevented delivery of your Content, your sole and exclusive remedy with respect to such Content will be either replacement of such Content, or refund of the purchase price paid for such Content, as determined by Nokia. Otherwise, no refunds are available. If you encounter any of the above issues, please contact Nokia Customer Support at http://www.ovi.com/services/support/care. In the event Nokia opts to provide you with a refund, Nokia will attempt to process the refund within thirty (30) days. Please note that Nokia may not be able to process your customer support request if you are unable to provide your Transaction ID, which is provided to you by Nokia following your Content license purchase from the Ovi Store; provided you have supplied Nokia with a valid e-mail address at the time of purchase. Nokia may only process refunds for Content where the total price is above the monetary limit stipulated in applicable local legislation.”
- Thank heavens I also twittered about my frustrations because that will serve as further proof of the timeline and such.
- To cut this long story short, I contacted my bank today to dispute the transaction. I did this in good faith and maybe my bank will be able to get in touch with a person from the *gasp* Ovi Store Special Response Team or OSSRT. </end sarcasm>
Once again, the Ovi Store is a cautionary tale for all who are ga-ga about Nokia’s web store. It is nothing to write home about so do yourself a favor and purchase directly from the developers. I have since received a refund from the Joiku Shop in less than 2 weeks after letting them know that the application was not working as it should on my device. They didn’t ask for stupid stuff like my IMEI number yet again because guess what? They actually use the receipt numbers they issue as a means of tracking!! Who knew that things like receipt/order numbers served a purpose. Nokia would do well to take a leaf from the Joiku Shop’s playbook or hell, Handango’s!! At least, Handango keeps you in the know about the procedures and I got to know the representative! *sigh*
<rant>Or give me a get-out-of-jail-free card. I’m serious. I don’t really care about integrating my account with Facebook, Flixster or Wixster. I don’t care for the fancy visual changes. How about giving us POP or IMAP access for free? If that’s too much to take, offer POP/IMAP access for less than the current rip-off price of $19.95 per year. I mean, all I use my Yahoo! email for is just that – mail and because Yahoo’s been apparently resistant to freeing up the email pipes, I’ve slowly and surely made other services (Hotmail & Gmail) my primary means of contact. Why? Because I can fire up Outlook and have my mail ready to go. As much as I like using a web browser, checking mail is one of the more annoying tasks I have to undertake because I have quite a few. Note to self: In your next life, find 1 email service and stick with it. </end of rant> Here are some of the ‘changes’:
It doesn’t stand out to me, but I wish them well.