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Loss Prevention Letter from Dvdplanet.com

Old 01-03-07, 01:29 PM
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Loss Prevention Letter from Dvdplanet.com

Anyone else get one of these? I just got one today.
i placed 20 orders($600+) during the B1G1 sale thru google checkout and 1 order had an issue, where i got 2 items instead of 1 free.
They claimed that I purposely did whatever was necessary to get that glitch to get an extra free item.
Apparently they didn't do any research before calling me a fraud to see that I had placed 19 other orders that were perfectly fine.
They also demanded that I send the item back to them or pay by certified check/money order or legal action would be taken.
Even worse, they said I owed them for 2 items. I don't see the logic in that - I ordered 1 , got 2 free.

I emailed the address on the letter to tell them I'd be happy to return the item, but only at their expense since it was their error , not mine.

I don't think sending threatening letters is exactly the best business practice or a way to keep a customer.
Old 01-03-07, 01:35 PM
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We had several customers manipulate the cart and take Buy 1 Get X (more than 1 free). If you received this message then you likely got more than 1 free. Did you buy 2 items or 1 item on this order? You are free to e-mail me regarding this.
Old 01-03-07, 02:16 PM
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Wow, can you post the whole email? that sounds like a pretty damn accusatory a letter to be sending out to people without any proof that malice was involved.
Old 01-03-07, 02:19 PM
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Well I can assure there was malice involved with some of the people that received the letter. We had a ton of Buy 1 Get 20 free type orders. I am sorry if you think it was unreasonable that we contacted people that received more than 1 free item per 1 paid item.
Old 01-03-07, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Pookymeister
Anyone else get one of these? I just got one today.
i placed 20 orders($600+) during the B1G1 sale thru google checkout and 1 order had an issue, where i got 2 items instead of 1 free.
They claimed that I purposely did whatever was necessary to get that glitch to get an extra free item.
Apparently they didn't do any research before calling me a fraud to see that I had placed 19 other orders that were perfectly fine.
They also demanded that I send the item back to them or pay by certified check/money order or legal action would be taken.
Even worse, they said I owed them for 2 items. I don't see the logic in that - I ordered 1 , got 2 free.

I emailed the address on the letter to tell them I'd be happy to return the item, but only at their expense since it was their error , not mine.

I don't think sending threatening letters is exactly the best business practice or a way to keep a customer.
Perhaps we can tone it down a notch. This is the second time in two days the word "fraud" has come up (i.e. yesterday someone claimed a vendor committed fraud). After all I seriously doubt they 'called you a fraud.'

A vendor needs to protect their stakeholders from loss. If the vendors cost of doing business increases obviously so will their prices ... something NONE of us want to see happen.

DVDPlanet has been very responsive on this board, something that I as a consumer respond to. What other vendor has done the same?

When I hear the word "manipulate" I infer that the way to beat the system was to put in a different URL or some other scheme to beat the standard checkout process.

If that's the case, then I don't think there is much to discuss further.

Either way, I'll take you at your word and hopefully you can resolve this offline.
Old 01-03-07, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ctyankee
When I hear the word "manipulate" I infer that the way to beat the system was to put in a different URL or some other scheme to beat the standard checkout process.

If that's the case, then I don't think there is much to discuss further.
You heard the word 'manipulate' form the vendor, who is the one making the accusation here. I think it's a sad world when DVDtalkers slam somebody who seems (by their own account) to have done nothing wrong and who received a threatening email from a vendor.

I think it's high time that these vendors put a little more effort/money into their e-commerce sites and stop attacking people who exploit loopholes. DVDplanet may be nice people here and may have been responsive in the past, but the have one of the shakiest e-commerce sites that I frequent.
Old 01-03-07, 05:04 PM
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of course there going to be mad that you want them to pay for the item that wasnt supposed to be free just look at the amazon thread and you will see a whole lot of people mad
Old 01-03-07, 05:17 PM
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Wow another B1G1 glitch.

Old 01-03-07, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Peep
You heard the word 'manipulate' form the vendor, who is the one making the accusation here. I think it's a sad world when DVDtalkers slam somebody who seems (by their own account) to have done nothing wrong and who received a threatening email from a vendor.
Stop right there. The O.P. accused the vendor of calling him a "fraud." That's a very strong statement in my book. Now if the O.P. wants to quote the original e-mail that called him a "fraud" (as opposed to merely describing fraudulent activity that has occurred on their site) I'll not only back down but offer my personal and public apology for ever doubting him. Fair?

I think it's high time that these vendors put a little more effort/money into their e-commerce sites and stop attacking people who exploit loopholes.
Sounds like you're the type of person that blames the cowboy for not taking the saddle off his horse when he goes in the saloon for a drink and his horse is stolen.

DVDplanet may be nice people here and may have been responsive in the past, but the have one of the shakiest e-commerce sites that I frequent.
Well if you have some helpful actionable suggestions, why not make them?
Old 01-03-07, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Planet
Well I can assure there was malice involved with some of the people that received the letter. We had a ton of Buy 1 Get 20 free type orders. I am sorry if you think it was unreasonable that we contacted people that received more than 1 free item per 1 paid item.
It's absolutely unreasonable. It was your glitch. You should've fixed it. You shipped the order as placed, and you really don't have the right to demand that the customer return merchandise. I don't think you have much legal ground to stand on here, as it seems this is just like the recent Amazon snafu.
Old 01-03-07, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by abrg923
It's absolutely unreasonable. It was your glitch. You should've fixed it. You shipped the order as placed, and you really don't have the right to demand that the customer return merchandise. I don't think you have much legal ground to stand on here, as it seems this is just like the recent Amazon snafu.
Well, if you read the Amazon thread and read the cited article about the rights of a merchant, I don't think you would be posting this.

But breaking down the argument, it's a bit like money falling out of a security truck. You seem to contend that it's their mistake and they have no legal right to demand their money back from people that came across it. That's nonsense.

Last edited by ctyankee; 01-03-07 at 06:28 PM.
Old 01-03-07, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by abrg923
It's absolutely unreasonable. It was your glitch. You should've fixed it. You shipped the order as placed, and you really don't have the right to demand that the customer return merchandise. I don't think you have much legal ground to stand on here, as it seems this is just like the recent Amazon snafu.
I tend to side with this opinion more than the company side. I'm somewhat at a loss to figure out how companies feel that they can recharge someone for a transaction that was agreed upon by both sides on a website order provided by the company itself. It's not as if the customer is generating their own purchase order and illegally defrauding the company.

I know that it's easy to compare this to a B&M transaction, but if there is a legal precident to retroactively placing an additional charge on someone's credit card after the transaction has been completed and shipped, then I would understand, but I haven't seen it. I have not seen anything produced yet verifies that. People call this and the Amazon B1G1 free stealing, and I see where they're coming from, but isn't the burden of the sale placed on the company to provide a website or POS system immune to hacking? Where is the responsibility of these companies to hold their own system and technical professionals accountable?

Edit: I read the above post quickly after I posted. I haven't read through the entire Amazon thread, but if there is a post or link someone could provide to show the legal example for this case, I'd appreciate it.

Last edited by bravesmg; 01-03-07 at 06:29 PM.
Old 01-03-07, 06:38 PM
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Amazon may have some limited recourse (very limited indeed), but I read the posts at SD about this and DVDPlanet has a problem;
It appears the sets were purchased using Google checkout (this is apparently what allowed the glitch), The invoices apparently say "Sold to: Google Shopping". They would have to sue Google, who in turn would have to sue you guys. The DVD's you bought will be on the $1.99 clearance rack before this was settled in court...
Old 01-03-07, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ctyankee
Perhaps we can tone it down a notch. This is the second time in two days the word "fraud" has come up (i.e. yesterday someone claimed a vendor committed fraud). After all I seriously doubt they 'called you a fraud.'

A vendor needs to protect their stakeholders from loss. If the vendors cost of doing business increases obviously so will their prices ... something NONE of us want to see happen.

DVDPlanet has been very responsive on this board, something that I as a consumer respond to. What other vendor has done the same?

When I hear the word "manipulate" I infer that the way to beat the system was to put in a different URL or some other scheme to beat the standard checkout process.

If that's the case, then I don't think there is much to discuss further.

Either way, I'll take you at your word and hopefully you can resolve this offline.
I emailed Mark to let him know whats up - and i understand completely about the letter if people are getting 20 items free after buying 1. That's a good reason to cover yourself. On the otherhand, I'm a good example of someone who wasn't doing anything malicious who got a not-so-nice surprise in the mail today.

And as far as the word 'fraud' goes, I'll quote part of the letter -

"DVDPlanet has determined that such orders were made in an attempt to defraud DVDPlanet from proper payment." *Followed by a paragraph of Credit Card Fraud Act: 18 U.S.C.A 1029 .......then a mention of Mail Fraud*

So i didn't just pull that one out of my ass.
Old 01-03-07, 06:43 PM
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In fairness to DVD Planet, the difference between this situation and Amazon's was that with Amazon, no-one did anything pro-active to get around the legitimate nature of the sale. It was strictly a programming glitch on Amazon's part that deducted too much money for the promotion during the standard check-out process.

From Mark's description of "manipulate the cart", it sounds like people (maybe not the OP, but other people) specifically used methods to get around the legitimate sale. While dvdplanet should surely fix whatever allowed this manipulation to occur, it was not a "glitch" per se.

It's hard to judge without all of the facts, but I can see why dvdplanet is not too happy about this.
Old 01-03-07, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bravesmg
I read the above post quickly after I posted. I haven't read through the entire Amazon thread, but if there is a post or link someone could provide to show the legal example for this case, I'd appreciate it.

Sure.

http://www.lctjournal.washington.edu...2groebner.html

Here's what I'm referring to:

The Equitable Doctrine of Unilateral Mistake Defined

<11> When online retailers make honest, good-faith pricing mistakes that result in huge losses to the benefit of opportunistic online shoppers, their mistake could be grounds for rescinding the unfavorable contract under the doctrine of unilateral mistake. One partyís mistake can make the contract voidable when the mistake concerns a basic assumption on which the contract was formed and has a material effect on the agreement that is adverse to that party.20 In addition, the adversely affected party must establish that either: (1) the effect of the mistake is such that enforcement of the contract would be unconscionable, or (2) the other party had reason to know of the mistake or his fault caused the mistake.21
Old 01-03-07, 06:54 PM
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This really was not a pricing error. It was a result of a handful of people finding a way to manipulate the cart into working not as intended or reflective of the offer.
Old 01-03-07, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Pookymeister
And as far as the word 'fraud' goes, I'll quote part of the letter -

"DVDPlanet has determined that such orders were made in an attempt to defraud DVDPlanet from proper payment." *Followed by a paragraph of Credit Card Fraud Act: 18 U.S.C.A 1029 .......then a mention of Mail Fraud*

So i didn't just pull that one out of my ass.
Pooky,

It wasn't the word 'fraud' that was the the point of discussion, it was how you used it. It's your statement that they should have done some homework "before calling me a fraud." They certainly didn't call you one now did they?

Let's move on.
Old 01-03-07, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ctyankee
Sure.
Thanks for that, I have missed that section before and it does shed some light on this. I think it's a bit vaguely worded in terms of proving intent, but it certainly may be applicable.

I'm still not sure where you would draw the line at taking advantage or "opportunistic."

For example, I did take advantage of the Amazon B1G1 free offer for 2 seasons of Married... With Children. I feel it was a sole issue on behalf of the structure of the site and don't feel any guilt. However, I also added two seasons of ALF to the order that I was going to purchase elsewhere to the order. I didn't do that to get around the $0.00 sketchy charged price, I legit did that to order something from Amazon that I wasn't going to order from them. Now, assume I'm telling the truth on both knowingly purchasing the "glitch" items and the additional orders (I am being honest, but I know there are skeptics), is that taking advantage? Could I argue (falsely) that I thought the ALF seasons were part of the promotion and I legit thought it was taking two sets off, and it mistakenly took the wrong two? It's just a big grey area to me, which it sounds like could happen with these DVD Planet orders.

If you ordered 20 different sets of 2 seasons without any other items all for $0.00, I think it's hard to argue that you're not taking advantage. It's just open to a great deal of interpretation IMHO, but I went into this knowing that if I get stuck with an extra charge of $35.99 for the mispriced seasons, I could live with that.
Old 01-03-07, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ctyankee
Yes, but what you failed to quote was:

<16> Rescinding the contract is the only available remedy under unilateral mistake; it is not a basis for reformation.31 This means that online retailers cannot require the customer to continue with the sale at the actual retail price. Instead, the retailer must cancel the customer’s order and re-offer the product at the actual price. Understandably, however, many customers might not elect to re-purchase at the full price after losing the bargain.

Which means, even if it was decided in the retailer's favor, they can't do anything, short of reposessing the items, to recoup the loss. They cannot expect, nor can they charge for, the difference.

<17> .... In addition, courts have refused to rescind contracts when the mistake resulted from the affected parties’ negligence or lack of due care.

How can sending out 21 dvd's to a customer who only paid for one not be considered negligent?

Of course, one should read the whole article (as I cut out stuff, too) and without rehashing everything that was said about this in the Amazon thread, this is merely an article by a year 2 student, and not anything that has, as far as is known, seen a courtroom or had a ruling.

Last edited by i86time; 01-03-07 at 07:10 PM.
Old 01-03-07, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ctyankee
It wasn't the word 'fraud' that was the the point of discussion, it was how you used it. It's your statement that they should have done some homework "before calling me a fraud." They certainly didn't call you one now did they?

Let's move on.
Yes, before anybody realizes what a meaningless distinction you are making.

Anyway, my point is, why rush to judgement and side with the vendor? Nothing that Pookymeister wrote made me think that he had done anything wrong. And just because some people seemed to trick Google into allowing multiple free items, I'm not sure that there is any proof that it wasn't a gigantic programming glitch. I've already been victim of two Google programming screwups, so I wouldn't be surprised.

DVDplanet shouldn't be so quick to accuse people of defrauding them by manipulating their carts unless they have seen some actual proof that people were doing so. As a kid, we once passed a vending machine that was dispensing candy bars form one of the slots without charging. Sadly, we did not have the moral strength to resist cleaning out that slot. Noticing a bug and taking advantage of it is far different from f***ing around with URL's to hack into a "deal".
Old 01-03-07, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffrey r
In fairness to DVD Planet, the difference between this situation and Amazon's was that with Amazon, no-one did anything pro-active to get around the legitimate nature of the sale. It was strictly a programming glitch on Amazon's part that deducted too much money for the promotion during the standard check-out process.

From Mark's description of "manipulate the cart", it sounds like people (maybe not the OP, but other people) specifically used methods to get around the legitimate sale. While dvdplanet should surely fix whatever allowed this manipulation to occur, it was not a "glitch" per se.

It's hard to judge without all of the facts, but I can see why dvdplanet is not too happy about this.
I'm not sure if I agree with DVDplanet's assumption. It could have easily been a glitch that just only kicked in in certain circumstances. We saw in DVDtalk that people were posting (illegal) URL's to bypass the "in stock" restriction that Google checkout was enforcing - that I consider proven manipulation.
Old 01-03-07, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Planet
This really was not a pricing error. It was a result of a handful of people finding a way to manipulate the cart into working not as intended or reflective of the offer.
Was it people "manipulating the cart", or was it a glitch in your system?

The difference is great.
Old 01-03-07, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by i86time
How can sending out 21 dvd's to a customer who only paid for one not be considered negligent?
Exactly.

At some point, a human being put those DVDs and an invoice together in a package. That's negligence. At that point, in my opinion, it becomes the fault of DVDPlanet, and the worker that did that should be held at fault.
Old 01-03-07, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Peep
I'm not sure if I agree with DVDplanet's assumption. It could have easily been a glitch that just only kicked in in certain circumstances. We saw in DVDtalk that people were posting (illegal) URL's to bypass the "in stock" restriction that Google checkout was enforcing - that I consider proven manipulation.
Indeed. They're certainly being vague about what this "manipulation" was, exactly.

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