26 May 2010

We'll Charge You with Fraud!

When I was writing about my wedding dress fitting, I hinted at another story that needs to be told...I'm sure my mom will be thrilled about this one. :)
On Monday, May 10, I was hanging out at Tim's house and my mom called me. She was very upset and said, "I need your help." I asked what was going on and she proceeded to tell me the story. A few months ago, she and my dad joined a produce co-op called Bountiful Baskets. They've been ordering a basket each week for $15 that contains a TON of fruits and vegetables of all sorts. It's pretty much a cornucopia (always wanted to use that in a sentence on my blot) of goodness and they're loving it. However, there have been some major hang-ups with the website. My dad has been frustrated and since he was working, it was my mom's turn to place the online order...
Well, she went to the website and tried to order her 3 baskets. There were issues with her debit card, with her security number, and each time she tried to place an order it would say her cart was empty. Now, apparently she kept clicking...kinda like my little neice Kate does which eventually crashes the computer. The computer didn't crash, but when my mom checked her e-mail, she saw that she had ordered 30 baskets! Yes, 30 $600 worth of produce!! At this point she called me and told me the story and my response was not unexpected. I started laughing...and laughing...which did not make her happy. When I finally stopped laughing, I told her to send the basket people an e-mail explaining what happened, and go to the credit union to stop payment on the order. The orders were placed literally 2 minutes apart so I was sure any reasonable thinking person would understand that there were some issues and it was an honest mistake. I should have remembered that most people in the world are not reasonable people...
The next morning, the day of the wedding dress fitting, my mom was at the credit union when it opened and explained her situation. She found out that her orders had all processed...bummer. She asked if there was any way to get in touch with the basket people and so the credit union called them. When my mom talked to the woman in charge, she received some very rude feedback..."How do you expect me to be a stay-at-home mom to 3 children and answer every phone call and e-mail regarding the baskets?" You know...that sort of thing. She told my mom that out of 12000 orders that day, my mom was the only one with a problem and that she would have to buy the baskets.
In the meantime, the president of the credit union came out and asked if there was anything he could do. My mom explained her story again, including the part about the rude basket lady and he volunteered to make a call. I guess the lady was rude to him and told him that if my mom put a stop payment on the account that my mom would be charged with fraud! The bank president said that he would do everything in his power to put them out of business if it were him, but my mom said that she would try to sell the baskets and if she couldn't they would take them to a food bank and write them off.
So, the phone calls started...she called everyone she knew who might be interested and thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law Karen, who sold 15 was able to sell all the baskets. Now the tricky part was how to pick up a semi-load of produce! In my head, I had this visual of pickup trucks driving down the road with produce piled high and leaves falling out. My mom figured that 3 trucks ought to work, so she started making arrangements.
In the meantime, back at the Bountiful Baskets headquarters, a realization occurred...apparently, there was a flaw with ordering on their website. Really?! No way!! People at a variety of sites had ordered ALL of the baskets at the 1 person ordered over 100 baskets...unintentionally. So, they decided to refund multiple orders, which would have been good news, except that my mom had already sold her baskets. In sort of a miraculous way, my mom ran into the coordinator for the site where she was picking up her baskets, and made arrangements to volunteer and get all of her crazy-ness picked up and get all 30 of her baskets. We then had people picking up baskets at our house on Saturday morning.
So, yes, my mom was told she was going to be charged with fraud. We kept teasing her that she would be spending my wedding day in jail for clicking too much with the cha-ching of dollars ringing away in the background. Who knew that you could go to jail for a poorly designed website and rude customer service?
P.S. Yes, my parents are considering switching to a different produce co-op. I think it's called Click2PickProduce.


Barb said...

What an experience...not needed this close to wedding date, for sure!