The Adversarial Consumer Society In Practice - Who's side are you on? Blog Discussion

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Shop but don't drop
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Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Shop but don't drop
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  • I think Mr Carvell sounds like a very reasonable man with a balanced view.
  • RufusARufusA Forumite
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    I hate to say this I'm on the side of Mr Cavell.

    I like many other MSErs play the game and try and am happy to grab what bargains we can when they are being offered. However I have a personal "code of chivalry" or "fair play", you spar with your MSE rapier using wile and cunning where possible, but you don't kick an opponent when they are down, and don't risk permanent injury.

    Giving away free CD players, reams of paper and free next day delivery in return for a £1 order to 1000's of MSErs is economically unsustainable. It is a shame if Viking suffers financially and by reputation because of the sheer volume (and greed) of MSE members. Sometimes I feel like MSE is a little like the Krell's Educator (Forbidden Planet) where the savings of one by knowledge are multiplyed in to an invisible monster that destroys all it touches!

    Time and time again companies have been forced to remove offers because MSErs have taken aggresive advantage of them (Virgin Wines, Redcat, Credit Cards etc.). Some retailers such as Tesco are big enough to handle the pressure from consumers but loads aren't. Widespread abuse of vouchers and discount codes have landed MSE in hot water. Freebies are continually being applied for by MSErs making multiple applications and sometimes inventing companies to get them - despite the advice at the head of the forum page. Is this to the benefit of consumers at large where genuine and sustainable customers are prevented from getting offers because of a fear by the retailer of widespread abuse.

    I've reached the stage where I have intentionally not posted bargains / offers because I know the negative effect on the retailer will be too great.

    I don't know what the solution - is Martin a financial Dr Frankenstein who has created a monster he now cannot control?

    Rufus.
  • RufusA wrote:
    Time and time again companies have been forced to remove offers because MSErs have taken aggresive advantage of them (Virgin Wines, Redcat, Credit Cards etc.). Some retailers such as Tesco are big enough to handle the pressure from consumers but loads aren't. Widespread abuse of vouchers and discount codes have landed MSE in hot water. Freebies are continually being applied for by MSErs making multiple applications and sometimes inventing companies to get them - despite the advice at the head of the forum page. Is this to the benefit of consumers at large where genuine and sustainable customers are prevented from getting offers because of a fear by the retailer of widespread abuse.

    I've reached the stage where I have intentionally not posted bargains / offers because I know the negative effect on the retailer will be too great.

    I don't know what the solution - is Martin a financial Dr Frankenstein who has created a monster he now cannot control?

    Rufus.

    Very well said, Rufus, and I'm in complete agreement with you. I too am dismayed at the greed displayed by some users of this site and then the whinging and whining at whoever and whatever when it all doesn't go their way.

    Not what the site was intended for, not what it's supposed to be about but it is becoming a breeding ground for vultures. The greed is like a cancer and it seems to be growing on this site on a daily basis.
  • RaveRave Forumite
    513 Posts
    Although he states that the sheer volume of people taking advantage of this offer will force Viking to implement more restrictive conditions on their next offer, Mr Carvell's real complaint seems to be that his staff are being abused by 'MSEers'. 300,000 people now get the email and the boards must have thousands of users; unfortunately it's inevitable that a proportion of that number are going to put their own need for a bargain before the need to be courteous and polite. I'm not sure there's much anyone can do about this.

    While I personally haven't taken advantage of any of the Viking Direct offers, they're part of a company with sales of $13.6bn, so I reckon they can probably afford it.
  • There's definately a touch of madness in some people trying to get 100's of an incorrectly priced item or a freebie. At the same time, however, if a company has a legitimate offer, surely it's up to the company to make sure that they won't lose loads of money and put themselves out of business as a result. If you're going to give away a CD player or whatever, best put a minimum order value on the offer! By all means be generous, but don't moan if you offer something and people take it...
  • sickboyedd wrote:
    if a company has a legitimate offer, surely it's up to the company to make sure that they won't lose loads of money and put themselves out of business as a result. If you're going to give away a CD player or whatever, best put a minimum order value on the offer! By all means be generous, but don't moan if you offer something and people take it...

    I'm not too sure which side Sickboyedd's coming down on here, but my take on the viking email is that he's not complaining about people taking advantage of his offers, merely a gentlemanly nod at martin and MSEr's saying well played, but I've got your measure now and it'll be harder for you chaps next time...

    What he is obviously upset by is the abuse his staff has had. Anyone reading through the weekends Argos 49p thread can see how this could come about, I dare say some Argos customer services have taken an uncalled for aggressive call or 2 this week. This attitude IS unacceptable and could tar's every MSER with the same brush....

    E.M.
  • JasonLVCJasonLVC Forumite
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    Whenever I have issues with a company I never take it out on the call centre staff - hey, they're just like you and me and have a job to do. If I'm really angry then it's a phone call to the MD or pa and a terse letter setting out my complaint.

    I've never had much time for folk who mouth off at call centre staff - picking a fight with the weaker person is just bullying, vent that rage on an executive director as whatever has got your goat, the buck will stop with them.

    I've never had time for those folk who order 50 of something to sell on e-bay for a quick killing, thus denying other folk the chance to share the offer or have the offer cancelled by the company.

    Fair play to Viking and, fairplay to Martin too, his response was excellent. He's right, if you have an offer, be prepared for the outcomes (free flights to the USA with Hoover anyone?) and adjust your business strategy as required.
    Anger ruins joy, it steals the goodness of my mind. Forces me to say terrible things. Overcoming anger brings peace of mind, a mind without regret. If I overcome anger, I will be delightful and loved by everyone.
  • I think it's a perfectly valid and reasonable point. There are many times I've read stuff on here, been angry at people thinking they have the right to take advantage of a company rewarding its loyal customers, (using product vouchers at the checkout without buying the product in question for example) but held off expressing my views because I didn't want the wrath of the bargain hunter inflicted on me :-)

    Some people do, like he said, take the p***, and those people that abused the call centre staff should be ashamed of themselves. You're not entitled to bargains, bargains are a bonus.

    Sure, there are some unscrupulous businesses out there, but what a lot of people forget is that there are probably far more unscrupulous customers. My stepfather has run a company providing tours around Europe for over a decade now. He's worked his backside off to get thsi off teh ground, he never takes advantage of people, always provides a fair service, yet some people treat him like he's almost insulting them by daring to make a living from the honest service he provides.

    It's nice to be able to grab a bargain from one of the big companies that you know won't get into financial trouble for providing it, but when you get those people that take advantage of a small company's mispricing and getting all snotty because they think they deserve it due to probably innocent human error, it just seems so, so wrong.
  • Where are the comments from the MSE'ers his email was referring to?
  • RufusARufusA Forumite
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    martinpike wrote:
    Where are the comments from the MSE'ers his email was referring to?

    Which "his email" Martin's or Mr Carvell's.

    AFAIK Mr Carvell was referring to abuse aimed at staff over the phone. Martin was referring to positive feedback in relation to Viking that can be found on various threads over the months on the MSE forums.

    HTH - Rufus.
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