Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Don't get a membership from Vault.com!

Location: Ontario, Toronto
Industry: Other
Company: Vault.com

Warning for anyone who is considering a membership from Vault.com - DON'T GET IT!

Two years ago, I got a membership to Vault.com which is a career information site. They renewed my membership twice without informing me and refused to refund. Last year, when they auto-renewed my membership, I was told to uncheck the auto renew option on the website and there should be no more auto-renewals. I unchecked right away. Despite this, I still found a charge for Vault.com on my most recent credit card bill, charging me for a membership out to March 2008.

I contacted a customer service rep, Matt Carstensen, who told me that they cannot refund the fee this year because this is not my first renewal - yes it's not the first auto-renewal, I wonder whose fault that is. When I pointed that out, Matt did not reply to me. Matt told me that he has unchecked the auto-renewal function for me and that Vault.com will not scam me again next year. Although Vault.com's slogan is "the most trusted name in career information", they simply cannot be trusted! I went online to check my membership profile, sure enough, the auto-renew option is checked again! I guess Matt really has bought in to the unethical culture of the Vault.com.

I promised Vault.com and Matt that I would share my experience with other potential members so that they can be more careful and think twice before getting a Vault membership.

If you are already a member, remember to uncheck! Better yet, cancel your memebership before the renewal date.

If you're not a member, don't bother. Especially if you are studying or working in Asia, there is nothing worth money on the site.

Following are selected excerpts from the e-mail correspondance between Matt and I:

We have already cancelled your automatic renewal option from your account,
so there will be no future renewal charges.

Due to the fact that this is not your first Membership Renewal, you are not
eligible for a refund.

Please let me know if I can be of any other assistance.

Matt Carstensen
Vault Customer Support
I remember that I selected not to renew my membership automatically when I
first set up an account; however, vault has automatically renewed my
membership and charged my credit card. I DO NOT wish to renew my
membership. Can you please cancel it and reimburse my account.


I apologize that you did not find our service helpful, however as stated previously we do not offer refunds for Gold Memberships.

Matt Carstensen

What you stated was that "Due to the fact that this is not your first Membership Renewal, you are not eligible for a refund." , what you stated WAS NOT that Vault doesn't offer refunds for Gold Memberships. As I stated in my last e-mail, the reason for why this was not my first renewal is quite clear.

You mentioned that "We have already cancelled your automatic renewal option from your account, so there will be no future renewal charges." I would like to confirm that and if the automatic renewal happens again, I have kept records of this e-mail correpsondance.

I am surprised and frustrated at how Vault is unwilling to refund $61 to an individual and that you contradict yourself in your refund policy. Since I am an individual only and Vault has already charged my credit card, you make it quite clear that I will have to let Vault take advantage of me. The actions that I can take will just be word-of-mouth and forwarding this conversation to my online communities.

Best Buy has some bad policies....

Location: Ontario, Toronto
Industry: Retail
Company: Best Buy
md mv

Normally, I would not share this with others, however, since this could happen to you or your friends , I decided to share it. If you purchase something from, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, JC Penny, Sears etc. and you return the item with the receipt they will give you your money back if you paid cash, or credit your account if paid by plastic.

Well, I purchased a GPS for my car, a Tom Tom XL.S from 'Best Buy'. They have a policy that it must be returned within 14 days for a refund!

So after 4 days I returned it in the original box with all the items in the box, with paper work and cords all wrapped in the plastic. Just as I received it, including the receipt.

I explained to the lady at the return desk I did not like the way it could not find store names. The lady at the refund desk said, there is a 15% restock fee, for items returned. I said no one told me that. I said how much would that be. She said it goes by the price of the item. It will be $45.00 Dollars for you. I said, all your going to do is walk over and place it back on the shelf then charge me $45.00 of my money for restocking? She said that's the store policy. I said if more people were aware of it they would not buy anything here! If I bought a $2000.00 computer or TV and returned it I would be charged $300.00 dollars restock fee? She said yes, 15%.

I said OK, just give me my money minus the restock fee.

She said, since the item is over $200.00 dollars, she can't give me my money back!!!

Corporate has to and they will mail you a check in 7 to ten days.!! I said 'WHAT?!'

It's my money!! I paid in cash! I want to buy a different brand..Now I have to wait 7 to 10 days. She said well, our policy is on the back of your receipt.

I said, do you read the front or back of your receipt? She said well, the front! I said so do I, I want to talk to the Manager!.

So the manager comes over, I explained everything to him, and he said, well, sir they should of told you about the policy when you got the item. I said, No one, has ever told me about the check refund or restock fee, whenever I bought items from computers to TVs from Best Buy. The only thing they ever discussed was the worthless extended warranty program. He said Well, I can give you corporate phone number.

I called corporate. The guy said, well, I'm not supposed to do this but I can give you a 45.00 dollar gift card and you can use it at Best Buy. I told him if I bought something and returned it, you would charge me a restock fee on the item and then send me a check for the remaining 3 dollars. You can keep your gift card, I'm never shopping in Best Buy ever again, and if I would of been smart, I would of charged the whole thing on my credit card! Then I would of canceled the transaction.

I would of gotten all my money back including your stupid fees! He didn't say a word!

I informed him that I was going to e-mail my friends and give them a heads up on this stores policy, as they don't tell you about all the little caveats.

So please pass this on. It may save your friends from having a bad experience of shopping at Best Buy

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Location: Ontario, thunder bay/toronto
Industry: Government

I'm need to get a longform birth certificate for a VISA application(to work another country).
I applied online through Service Ontario and I mistakenly forgot to put something on the application, so a week later, I received a correspondence letter from them and gave the proper information.

A couple of week later, I decided to call and see what was happening.... I had to deal with a rude operator that said that I could do nothing but wait 8 freaking weeks before I can receive the longform birth certificate. I was suppose to get it within 15 days! If I did not put in all the proper information...why was my application processed! It should have been rejected! Service Ontario is so freaking incompetent! I registered a complaint to the ombudsman of Ontario. I've wasted so much time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Ranger

Location: Other, Laramie, WY
Industry: Restaurant
Annoyed by: Allison (bartender & friends) mv

My husband have been patrons of the bar portion of this business for close to a decade now. My husband even longer for he lived in this town since he was 10. We went in on Sunday to see the end of the Celtics game 7 and to have a drink. Allison and her two male buddies were already there fairly liquored up and we sat near the nearest t.v. to watch the last few minutes. We ordered our drinks and my husband proceeded to play some tunes, since we noticed that others were allowed to play fairly loud music upon entering the establishment. I just had a FEELING it was going to be turned down. For I have noticed certain "airs" with other bartenders towards my husband. We live in a somewhat small town that seems to have taken issue with the fact that my husband has brown skin. Sure enough the music was turned down because it was requested by one of Allison's friends and we asked why this was done. When we were ready to deal with it and watch the game the bigger of the two guys said something to the effect that he and his friend would have to kick my husband's expletive. There being two of them my husband had to act in self defense. The bartender not only tried to take her friend's (aka the instigator's side) but also proceed to make it look like it was my husband that started the trouble. The gentleman from the liquor store, thank goodness, was all about solving the problem and got us out of there. We left peacefully trying to get into our vehicle. Well the bigger of the two guys followed us and started in on us again. His friend came out as well and it seemed like a threatening situation once more. I was busy yelling at Allison who not only should of stayed in the bar but keep her hot headed friends in there as well. We ended up hiding because one of the guys threatened my husband with a gun. Great RELAXING atmostphere right?! Don't make ME LAUGH!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

British Airways - Total Lack of Assistance and Compassion

Location: British Columbia, Vancouver
Industry: Transportation
Company: British Airways
mv md

I acquired BA points through one of their credit card partnerships. Previously I had travelled this route by converting credit card points to Asia Miles.

I booked a flight to Hong Kong from Vancouver - BA points on a code-share flight with Cathay Pacific. When I booked the original flight, I was able to book Business Class to HK, but only Economy home. No big deal. However, my understanding was that I could change this at a later point if seats became available. All in all, the BA call centre in Toronto (when I booked the flight, they have subsequently closed this office) was very helpful.

I flew to HK with no problems. However, while in HK I broke my ankle (broke the tibia, snapped off both sides of the joint, completely dislocated the ankle). I was hospitalized for one night, and the ankle was set in a temporary cast. I was advised to undergo surgery as soon as I returned to Canada (which was scheduled for a few days later). When I was released from the hospital (to the great care of my friends whom I was visiting), I proceded to try to contact BA. Sunday - no luck.

So, waited until Monday, and called BA in Hong Kong - they wouldn't deal with me and advised that as I had booked the ticket in North America, I must deal with North America. So, wait another 12 hours for it to be Monday in NA. When I called the service centre (now in Fort Worth, Texas), I provided my booking number and explained my predicament - I have an unstable fracture, I must have emergency surgery, and as I am not a HK resident, I must have it when I return to Canada. In the interim, my foot must be elevated (problematic in cattle class on a 12 hour flight!) - I would like to use 25, 000 BA Miles to upgrade to business class. Reply - you have started your trip, you cannot make changes.

After much discussion the best I was able to get was to use 50, 000 points to book an entirely new one way business class ticket (with taxes and fees - which, of course, I had already paid once).

I expected better... Next time, will convert my credit card points to Asia Miles!

Cathay Pacific gets kudos, they treated me very well and were helpful throughout my flight and all the way to my family who were picking me up to take me to a Vancouver emergency room to await surgery - the next trip should be interesting (will set off metal detectors with my ankle from now on!).

Friday, May 2, 2008

Unauthorized Debits - fraud?

Location: Ontario, Milton
Industry: Utilities
Company: Enbridge Gas

Has anyone else had Enbridge Gas making unauthorized debits from their bank accounts? I have never had an account with them, I have never given them any information - and in the past 4 months they have taken almost $2000 from my account. I have got it all back, but this past month I also had a cheque bounce because of it. I am now closing my account because neither the bank or Enbridge can figure out how this has happened. The bank says Enbridge has to have a void cheque in order to do this, but I have never given them one. I don't know how else they could have my banking information.