Over at Tom’s Hardware, I have been watching a battle take place between reviewer, Tuan Nguyen and David Free of Macpadd.com/QMS Inc. Free is the alleged owner of QMS Inc the maker of the “Macpadd”, a custom mousepad for Macintosh computers. The problems began over two weeks ago when Nguyen order a Macpadd from Macpadd.com in order to review the mousepad for Tom’s Hardware.
No email, No answer
According to Nguyen, over the course of seven days he and others at Tom’s attempted to contact a representative of Macpadd.com. While they received an automated email response from Macpadd.com after the purchase of the mousepad, they never received shipping confirmation, tracking number or any kind of correspondence from Macpadd.com.
Eventually they stumbled upon the business contact number of QMS Inc. via the statement Nguyen received from PayPal. Nguyen attempted to make several calls with no answer.
With no communication from QMS, Nguyen filed a dispute with PayPal and explained to PayPal what had happened up to that point. About five minutes after the dispute was filed, Free responded via email explaining that they mailed the mousepad and that shipping from their location in Canada to California takes a while. Not long after that, Free called and once again explained. Nguyen requested the tracking number within an hour. Free responded by saying he would email the number. After three hours no call or email came so Nguyen called Free back. The rest of this story can be read here.
How not to respond to criticism of a product or a service provided
On November 2nd, the day that Tom’s published the report on the dispute with QMS, David Free updated Macpadd.com with this statement. (Note: this statement is no longer on the Macpadd.com site but it is now available here.)
Fraud or not, Free’s attempt to play the victim in this situation is exactly how you should not run your business. You don’t publish statements, responding to any criticism about your products or services. You improve on what you offer. At least this is what is supposed to happen.
Late yesterday, Finnish time, Tom’s published a third article about this subject. This time, Nguyen provided a detailed explanation why they have taken the actions they have taken. They even included the Canada Post tracking number Free provided. This number was for a shipment that had taken place three prior to the beginning of this saga. You can read the entire article here.
According to Nguyen, Free has completely stopped all communication with him about this situation. He has reported QMS to the Canadian Competition Bureau and the RCMP Fraud Prevention Department.
While I am going to reserve my end judgment about David Free and QMS Inc., I will say that Free handled this situation with the grace of a collapsing building. Someone asking you to do your job is no grounds for verbal abuse, threats and providing false information to a customer. Every action that Free has taken in this matter has cast serious doubts and has made people question whether there might be some type of fraud going on.
I was once the victim of a scam involving a supposed seller on eBay years ago. Back then, the seller was offering a certain amount of copies of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun (Yes, it was that long ago!) via Dutch auction. Many people came out as winners. We all paid our money and received nothing in return. By time we all realized what had happened, the seller closed up shop and took off.
I have posted about this story not only because everyone should be aware of the potential of online fraud, but also because QMS is selling the Macpadd in the EU. I’m not going to tell you not to buy it, just consider your options.