On March 1, I woke up to one of those WTF moments. MLB, an organization that I have supported faith fully over the years with my devotion to the Phillies took $115 out of my PayPal account. Since my PP account is linked to my Checking Account, this created a problem. I immediately checked my PayPal account and the transaction said, “pre-authorized” subscription. This irritated me. I spent $10 for a subscription mid-season and I even questioned its worth at $10. Little did I know that it came with the fine print to automatically renew at the “Cadillac” level. I told PayPal that it was unauthorized. Immediately they interpreted that my account was insecure and locked it. I had to create a new password. I cancelled the authorization to MLB and contacted MLB. They agreed to the cancellation and offered me a refund…in 5 to 7 business days. That’s business speak for 2 weeks. I cried foul. I sent them another email saying that they have triggered a cascading event of bills that won’t get paid because I am a retired person on a fixed income (yes, I played that card) and that I would most certainly seek out legal representation, call it an acceptable business practice and have a class action suit with my name attached before the week was out. The money was back in my account within the hour.
Last night, I was playing Starbucks Bingo. The space I was filling was the coffee with friends space. Now, it is important to know that there was a specific definition for “Coffee with Friends”.
The game said to purchase 3 handcrafted beverages in one purchase charged to a single Starbucks Card. My daughter had a Caramel Macchiato, my 2 “Handcrafted Teas”. Now, I know that the teas cost a whole lot less and if I were the company, I would have tried to make that clear. This is probably not the idea they had when specifying the drinks. Then why call the teas “handcrafted?” The handcrafted nature of the teas must be the reason that they can charge $2.30 for dropping a teabag in hot water.
Hence, a complaint raised via Starbucks website. An email was returned to me within 2 hours saying that they were sorry. They gave me 5 free stars (loyalty stuff), and encouraged me to finish the contest. This infuriated me. I responded that they couldn’t guarantee that this wouldn’t happen again and that they are responsible for misrepresenting this contest to the entire “loyal population”. I accused them of making this deception a standard business practice and told them that I was going to expose it to the world and particularly their loyal users, who give Starbucks interest free loans everyday, might object to this. I told them that they needed to credit the entire sale. I had the entire amount back within the hour.
Now you might think that this is no major victory…but think about it. They tried to appease me with stars. Stars have no value and no cost to them as a company. Furthermore, 5 stars can’t do anything by themselves. I am also a single person in a group that should not be identified as a target for a fraudulent business practice. Also, I know that things that happen electronically can be countered with a couple of keystrokes and the nonsense that you have to wait for your money is a pile of crap.
I am going to take this as a lesson that it is time to start fighting more battles for right. In both these instances I have argued my case passionately and logically. I have also said that I would contact my attorney to begin a class action suit in my name. The best part is, I didn’t have to actually go through with contacting my attorney. My argument, my logical argument stands. It was wonderful.
This marks a change in my approach to recovering a whole lot of money that was wrongfully taken from me. I am going to pick up the ball and run with it. There are much bigger fish to fry.