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Serious Business: How Not to Keep Customers

February 8, 2011

Today’s post was going to be about the outfit I wore to my auditions (because it was awesome) but sadly I’m not finding any good pictures of my threads online.  Polyvore really let me down here, as I wanted to put together a little display so you all can see how totally wonderful I must have looked.

Instead I’d like to tell you the story of something that happened to me this past December, and how we, as small business owners, can all learn a lesson from it.  Here goes.

In December I was shopping around for a neti pot.  My cheap Walgreen’s version had already been packed, so I wanted to take the opportunity to get myself a nice one.  I shopped online and eventually found a nice looking, handmade neti pot on a website I had never heard of.  I had my suspicions, since I hadn’t run across this particular site before, so I poked around and a bit and it seemed decent.  I put in my order, then checked their shipping information page.

I read that it would take 1-7 days for my order to go from “processing” to “shipped”.  Not terrible, considering it was the holiday season.  However, after 7 days passed, I got concerned.  Two emails to the company went ignored, and then a third.  I paid through Paypal, and of course they have a limited time frame for disputes.  Since this company obviously didn’t care about my business, I filed a claim and hoped to get my money back.

To cut the suspense right now, I’ll tell you that I did eventually get my money back.  It took awhile though, because they weren’t responding to the Paypal claim either.  Once they did respond, I got an email that had me rolling on the floor with laughter; I believe the scientific term is ROFL!!!!1

They were quite upset that I filed a dispute.  Apparently is was just a simple stock issue, in that they had no more neti pots in the color I requested.  More pots would come in in X amount of time; I was to immediately close the dispute and they would ship my order, but would not ship unless I closed the dispute.

Are you rolling around on the floor with me?  I was to trust a company who had ignored my order and my emails?  Wow.  Wow.  I sent a stern email in response, describing how unacceptable this whole thing had been.  My money was refunded.  A few days later I got a nice email from them letting me know that I could place my order again because the green neti pot I wanted had been stocked.  Needless to say, I ignored that email.

Even as someone who owns a small, handcraft company, I can understand why the general public are wary of giving money to small businesses.  Companies like this make us all look bad!  So lets take some lessons here:

  1. Most importantly, keep the lines of communication open.  No matter what is going on, don’t ignore your customers.  If at all possible, get out in front of it!  Your customers will be grateful that you are keeping them in the loop.  They understand that things happen, and that small businesses aren’t going to function like Amazon and the like.  Chances are, that’s the very reason they’ve come to you.  If you can’t get something out on time, say something.
  2. Keep good stock.  I personally don’t keep much of a stock due to the nature of my products.  If you can build inventory without sacrificing quality, you should do so.  This will avoid situations like mine in the future.  Of course, things run out and orders come in at bad times.  This leads me back to #1.
  3. Don’t be ridiculous.  Your response to customer service issues shouldn’t make the customer fall over laughing while simultaneously weeping for humanity.  Its really unbelievable that this company expected me to close the dispute, thus rendering myself unable to pursue any kind of refund through Paypal if I didn’t receive product, before they would make good on an order already paid for.  

I debated whether or not to post the name/wesbite of this company.  Saying bad things about others usually only serves to make YOU look bad, this I understand and I endeavor to uphold this truth.  However, because I think the folks at are purely scammers, and because they “sell” natural-medicine-type products and could potentially be scamming my customers, I’m going to spread the word.  I most certainly wouldn’t do this lightly, but I think we have a responsibility to each other on the internet to share information like this.

I suppose I should have titled this post, “Beware of Scammers”;  I really, truly believe that’s what this company is.   We can still take lessons from them though, because we may make mistakes in our business practices that could lead others to think we are scammers, too. 

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2011 9:55 pm

    >Wow, that is utterly amazing. Some people just aren't cut out to be small business owners and these people apparently are just that. I'd hate – no, I stand corrected. I wouldn't mind seeing their business fail, because as you said, it's ones such as theirs that have the potential to bring upstanding business like yours down.

  2. February 8, 2011 10:14 pm

    >I know, crazy right? And yep, people like that definitely make the rest of us look bad. The best we can do is just keep doing good things and hope that people like that will fall by the wayside.

  3. February 9, 2011 12:33 pm

    >Hmn…I was thinking scam from the beginning. It's sad, but I don't know that I really trust any internet based company unless it's affiliated with a more reputable company. I.E. I'll shop for handmades where we all sell, would buy from a person's website that I know, but would only buy otherwise in person. I really hate to admit it, but it's how things go.

  4. February 9, 2011 10:36 pm

    >Nancy, I think that's why a lot of folks are using the Amazon payment system nowadays. It lends a bit of credence to the whole thing, because if the seller doesn't deliver, then Amazon takes action. I suppose there is no substitute for building your own loyalty base though!

  5. February 23, 2011 7:30 am

    Hi stumbled on your post when i searched for ‘myworldhut’ scam which was something I wanted to investigate.

    Placed my order 9th Feb, till now still awaiting fulfillment. No responses have been made to my email to them.

    I’m going to try a 2nd time and I will file a paypal claim if I do not hear back.

    I shop online very often and this is the 1st time that I’ve encountered such ‘cannot be bothered’ attitude judging from your post.

    • February 23, 2011 4:27 pm

      This is why I’m glad I released their name. I’m so sorry this happened to you too, and I would encourage you to email them again (just so you can say you tried) and then file the claim ASAP. I believe Paypal has a 45 day window in which you can file a claim, so its best not to let that expire (I’m sure you already know this). I also shop online often and I suppose we sometimes take for granted the fact that there are still companies out there like this. Thank you for sharing your story, and please let me know what happens. If I can be of any help, feel free to ask.

      • February 12, 2012 12:07 am

        Just to let you know, my order did eventually arrive. The magic trick – filing a paypal claim.

        When it did arrive, I was angry. Items I ordered to come in bottle form, came in packet form and vice versa. Who the hell does that? Don’t you consult your customer first.

        What a shame because they do have one of the biggest range with discounts on the laundress range.

  6. Kane permalink
    January 16, 2013 8:28 pm

    Shame I didn’t see this earlier!
    All is well, after a couple of attempts at contacting them and documenting it, I have now opened a dispute with Paypal, which I am sure that other than the stand up comedy routine myworldhut may try after the receive the email through Paypal, that I will eventually be refunded.

    • Kane permalink
      January 16, 2013 8:49 pm

      btw… this is what I sent them before I opened the dispute with Paypal, as well as through Paypal:

      “This is my second attempt at contact.
      I tried on 15th Jan, but had no reply as yet.
      The item has been “Awaiting Fulfillment” since the 4th.
      It is now the 17th.
      Before ordering I saw this on your site:

      Q. What does “Awaiting Fulfillment” mean on my order status?

      A. This is the default status when you place an order with a credit card. It means your order is being processed and in queue to be shipped. This usually lasts 1-7 days.

      I paid with paypal, and there should have been no delay.
      At this stage, I am requesting a full refund, as the item is still not being shipped out, and your company has made no attempt to inform me of any potential delay at the time of checkout, or up to date.
      I would appreciate an appropriate response in a timely fashion, otherwise I will be left with no option but to take up the issue with Paypal.

      • January 22, 2013 12:59 am

        I’m so sorry that you have had a problem with these idiots as well. Like I said in another reply, I’m glad now that I mentioned their name and got the word out.

        This is another company that will see how far they can push you. Some of these shady companies will keep your money if you don’t fight with them, instead of, yanno, actually sending you a product. Its a rip-off machine. I’m very glad you took it u with Paypal. Keep me updated on what happens.

        • Kane permalink
          January 22, 2013 2:05 am

          After opening the dispute, 2 bizarre things happened.
          1. On their website, my order showed up as refunded, while Paypal had no knowledge of this.
          2. They sent me a private email which made no sense.

          “Hi Kane,
          Thanks for your order.
          Sorry for the delay as we are currently out and new stock has taken longer than expected.
          Please be aware new stock from the mfr is due to arrive in “February” and we’ll ship same day received, unless notified otherwise before 3/4/13.
          Thanks for your patience and I do sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

          Ok, lets dissect this.
          I had already demanded a refund and opened a dispute before the seller sent me this, and the seller made no attempt at communication before I opened the dispute.
          Seller sold me out of stock item without informing me.
          The seller is telling me that they expect the item in Feb, while in the same email, assuming this is a US calendar format, that it will be the 4th March, otherwise, it will be 4th April.

          Well, after gathering enough information, such as their private email that they sent me, the refunded status, and google results entering the word ‘scam’ after their name and forwarding it all to Paypal, as well as informing Paypal that I have screenshots with time stamps of all the suspicious ‘status updates’, I was miraculously refunded that same day.

          They trade under but being registered with Paypal as I am suspecting this is how they’ve been flying under the radar.

          Purely on principle, I couldn’t let them get away with it.

          I would like to think that Paypal will ditch them, which would deter many potential unsuspecting customers in the future.

          Thank you for your blog, and stay beautiful 🙂

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