Your Secret Weapon Against Online Scams

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I never thought it would happen to me, but I’ve fallen victim to an internet scam!

When I heard news that Al Howell was in hospital with appendicitis, I decided to send him some flowers through the internet. Unfortunately I chose UrbanFlorist.com, and while I was charged the second I completed my order, the goods were never delivered and nobody’s returned my calls requesting a refund.

I was going to harass them again today with another phone call, but decided instead to poke around the internet and see if anyone else had dealings with them. Lo and behold, I found this post from blogger Greg Froese with his horror story, along with similar bad experiences by others and a link to even more bad press at Epinions.

So that’s that. Lesson learned. Sixty bucks down the toilet, right?

Wrong.

I immediately called my credit card company inquiring about a stop-payment. They couldn’t do that, but they offered something even better—to dispute the charge with the scammers themselves. It’s a lengthy process that can take up to 45 days, but if VISA is satisfied that the scumbags at Urban Florist didn’t deliver what I paid for, then I got all of my money back directly from them, without so much as a service charge!

So from now on when someone tells me that shopping online isn’t safe, I’m going to tell them they should get a better credit card…

😎

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5 Responses to “Your Secret Weapon Against Online Scams”

  1. Lord Wat says:

    You were sending Albert flowers because you love him and you want to marry him.

  2. Lord Wat says:

    PS. I have always used online florists and have never had a problem. Lately, I’ve been using Tidy’s Flowers:

    http://www.tidysflowers.com/

  3. Warren says:

    Did you file a report with the Vancouver Police Department? I did (as well as disputing the charge). This blog is quite interesting (see all the comments):
    http://www.camworld.com/archives/001365.html#more

    You can also leave a review at Epinions:
    http://www.epinions.com/Urban_Florist_Online_Store/display_~reviews

    I hope you get your money back. I did, but the company refused to admit that they had double billed my credit card.

  4. Hi Warren,

    Thanks for the message… I did file a report on Epinions, and was going to do the same with the Vancouver police, but an online scam didn’t fit their requirements for a web or email submission.

    Getting the FBI involved as mentioned in that first link is intriguing, though… I’m already imagining the movie of the week version in my head!