Customer Service - 6/4/05
A month ago I downloaded a zip program from the website of a company called Allume, for the purpose of reading some web design files I'd received. It was a free 30-day trial version of the program, but unfortunately I had to give my credit card number to get the program, and promise to pay $19.99 if I didn't delete the program within a month. I know, I know, but I figured the program would be gone in a day or two, and I'm pretty good at keeping track of stuff like that and to make sure I don't get charged. I used the program once, deleted it off my computer, and, just because I'm anal, called the company to make sure I wouldn't be billed. They assured me I wouldn't.

A month later, a charge from Allume showed up on my credit bill. Because I'm anal, I called them immediately, figuring I'd be able to get out of the charge no problem, since I'd wiped the program a month ago and had followed all their other instruction. They must have made a mistake.

Turns out it wasn't only one mistake. First of all, the charge was for $86.15, more than four times the original amount. This was because they had billed me not for the 30-day trial version, but the full-out deluxe version. For Macintosh. Which I don't have.

They also send this version to my house. Despite the fact that I obviously downloaded and used the basic PC online version, they decided to also mail me the Mac version, just in case I decided A) to keep the program, B) that I needed a CD of it, and C) to buy a Mac.

Finally, this package never arrived to my house. So they billed me $86 for a computer program I didn't order, didn't want, couldn't use, and never got. The conversation with the customer service guy went something like this.

GUY: So you ordered the deluxe shipped version?
ME: No, the free download one.
GUY: For Mac?
ME: No, for PC. I don't have a Mac.
GUY: Do you live at 702 Paulina?
ME: You got that part right.
GUY: Has the product you ordered arrived?
ME: First, I didn't order it. Second, no, it never arrived.
GUY: Oh. OK. (Pause) Well, if it comes, send it back.
ME: You can be sure that I will.

He promised me the charge would be removed from my next credit statement. Lest another $86 charge appear for another irrelevant Allume product, you can bet that I'll check. Because I'm anal.



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