Overtom's weblog

Trusted site? Forget it!   (5 November 2008)

Do you ever buy things on the Internet? The following story story demonstrates that not all the shops operating on the Internet can be trusted. It also shows that the word Trusted may mean exactly the opposite of what you would expect.

If you ever read my weblogs, you may know that I'm a sucker for small devices and very much interested in languages. In fact, for thirty years I've been teaching both computer and human languages.

You won't be surprised to hear that a few years ago, I bought a translation computer called Franklin Bookman. But this was not just a cheap average translation computer.

The computer was sold with the argument that the cartridge on the back could be replaced by other languages, encyclopedias or even the Holy Bible.

But how to get a new cartridge?

I wrote an e-mail to Franklin, the manufacturer, and received an e-mail that they only shipped within the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Googling the words franklin, bookman and cartridge found me PrinterNetz, a shop that claimed it could supply the cartridge I needed. I used PayPal to pay 49,35 Euros to PrinterNetz.

After a few days, PrinterNetz informed me that they had ordered the cartridge, but the delivery was somewhat delayed. Could I please exercise a little patience? I am a friendly man, so I waited a while.

After more than a month, PrinterNetz telephoned me and claimed my "address was incorrect". I sent them a page of the telephone directory, which showed that the address I had supplied was 100% correct.

From that moment on, the guys at PrinterNetz seemed to think they had done enough and did not respond to any of my e-mails. They never sent me the cartridge, and I'd simply lost my 49,35 Euros.

Printernetz is part of a chain of shops named Trusted Shops. So I wrote an e-mail to Trusted Shops with a complaint about PrinterNetz. What do you think their response was? Well, you might have guessed ... NOTHING!!

You will agree that the name Trusted Shops must be a joke! And you'd better think twice before ever ordering anything from

A friend asked me: "You paid via PayPal, so why didn't you apply for buyer's protection? Well, I did, but through all the delays caused by Printernetz, the term for applying for this protection had been exceeded! So far about PayPal's famous Buyers Protection!

Finally -- being a language fanatic -- I'm wondering about the question whether PrinterNetz should be called crooks, criminals, defrauders, emnbezzlers, swindlers, cheaters, tricksters, fraudsters, con men, larcenists, purloiners, filchers ... or just ordinary petty thieves.

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