Tag Archives: Complaints

Consumer Experience: Networking ‘Scam’?? (Planet Mobile | Top Deals)

A couple of weeks ago we featured an article about what’s really going on with ‘networking’ companies particularly Planet Mobile (grocery??) and Top Deals (online advertising??)..

Today, an update.

And guess what? It does not sound good; instead, it only confirms our doubts of ’em as ‘scammers’. Yeah, unfortunately for those who have joined, that’s bad news. And perhaps you would only realize it when you’re not really ‘working’ on their advertised purpose but most-of-the-time just ‘recruiting’, like trying to brainwash a child — and that’s the sad reality.

PLANET MOBILE

The ‘come on’ is that it’s a grocery business, so why are members doing more of recruiting rather than selling items? Okay, you get compensated through ‘binary pairing’, or for every pair that you recruit. Then again, why say it’s a grocery business when all you really buy from them is what you would consume? Can’t really sell expensive items, you know.

Yes, you get those ‘point values’ but you could also get them in supermarket ‘rewards card’ — and at a much, much cheaper membership fee. More so, most of Planet Mobile products are quite expensive compared to those in supermarkets, much more, public markets. So, why even buy from them? Makes sense?

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If only for trying your luck, that would be understandable — since the ‘grocery’ idea is really a basic need. But then, if there’s no ‘product warranty’ like a refund then it must be a ‘scam’, right? After all, there are really no products in their P3,888 ‘joining fee’ but just 10 coffee sachets! See?

TOP DEALS

If you look at the streets, at many of the walls especially the posts outside your home, you will notice the flyers posted by Top Deals. Some says ‘job opening’, others say ‘350 online advertisers needed’, and still others say ‘home-based work earn up to P5k a week’ — and many more, at your own time and pace.

But. As you have read from our previous ‘networking’ article, you only get paid once you ‘recruit’ — and that is at least three! Wow!

Well, talked to more senior online advertisers, and they would even challenge you on selling your P1,800 ‘joining fee spot’ for P20,000 to them! Like saying “see, that’s how good it is to be part of Top Deals”! This could then make you believe on the tremendous earning potential of an online advertiser for the said company.

top-deals-updated

Still, you could get caught by surprise even as you have attended their orientation since the focus is on earning while using Facebook. But recruit first before being paid, more so three, that’s just wow!

Earning by recruiting first only shows that t’is not really about being an ‘online advertiser’ but a recruitment den, a ‘quicksand’.

If Top Deals do not offer refunds — then how could they even pay you that P20,000 challenge? Isn’t it a scam then?

Funny how this company is trying to divert our attention now.

Instead of going by recruiting online advertisers, they have gone the other route by offering online businesses to entice unknowing ‘victims’. And, at a much more hefty fee — close to P5,000 on membership that is. Again, wow!

Isn’t this something like being ‘thick-skinned’?

At P1,800, you could already have the said online business, it’s part of it — so why even increase the fee? While it’s good to have their ticketing, loading, ‘cash padala’ business, et cetera at your fingertips — you need to fund it first. It’s not like you get a customer and when the customer pays, it’d just be deducted online — as in, profit goes to your account while the regular charge goes to the said service entity. But no. So, it’s not good. Tough on the pocket. Like ‘forced funding’.

Hey, with these consumer experiences gone viral, wouldn’t you (Planet Mobile, Top Deals and alike) ‘positively’ address the issue if you were not a ‘scammer’? Otherwise, you may have the papers but does that make you any better than a leech?

Look. If you see write ups especially from those with first-hand experience regarding your company that is more of a complaint, or say a warning to ‘outsiders’ — should you just ignore it? Would you just say that these are simply coming from critics or something like that? Or that such negativity will just get blown by the wind?? Huh!

Of course not. That is if you value your reputation. If you are what you really say you are. Because ‘inaction’ would only give a negative signal to the public — that you don’t care, even and especially, for your members. And that you are indeed a ‘scammer’.

Would anyone still want to join such companies then?

Consumer Experience: Network Marketing (Planet Mobile | Top Deals)

Have you heard of Planet Mobile? How about Top Deals? Oh, we did feature about ’em before, remember? That was right after we ‘encountered’ these groups. Well, these are just some of the ‘networking’ companies to take advantage of social media.

And here’s what we learned about ’em..

PLANET MOBILE: The ‘grocery’ business??

Although they try to sell the idea of a grocery business (especially in their online presence) as in the case of Planet Mobile, it ain’t really such! It’s no actual business but simply networking. That, it should just be referred to as the business of networking.
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Yes. Planet Mobile has grocery products or basic goods that we use daily; then again, most of their products are in fact more expensive than those in supermarkets. Really. Even rice. And so, members are just ‘forced’ to buy (and not ‘truly’ sell to others, which is what ‘real business’ is all about) from their hubs to get that ‘point value’. This ‘point value’ (or some kinda discount) is what you get whenever you purchase from Planet Mobile hubs — which supermarkets actually offer as well.

Some of ’em calls it ‘rewards card’. Others ‘elite card’ or whatever. Have you tried it?

While it takes P3,888.00 to join Planet Mobile and with practically no products included but only 10 sachets of coffee — in supermarkets, you would only need around P150.00 to have that membership card for repurchases through ‘point value’. Wow! With the huge difference, Planet Mobile certainly looks like some scam since you could also not get a refund once you pay the joining fee!
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Then again, if you like ‘recruiting’ people to pay P3,888.00 then Planet Mobile may be the opportunity for you — as you would be eligible for the networking income they offer once you get those ‘binary pairings’ in place. Yeah, t’is something that supermarkets don’t have.

Still, for legitimacy’s sake, refunds should be allowed within a year (like a product warranty) of joining as not all are made for ‘networking’. After all, there were no ‘actual’ products given and P3,888.00 is hard-earned money — and not just a measly amount these days.

TOP DEALS: Just ‘click, like and share’ to earn??

Another ‘networking’ company that you could fall for is Top Deals. This is.. a lighter version of Planet Mobile considering their joining fee of P1,800.00 which is a little less than half of the said ‘grocery’ business’ joining fee of P3,888.00.
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Here you are being enticed to join the company through a ‘job offer’ (as part-time or full-time online advertiser) — that, that you should actually pay for to enlist!

The Job. Just ‘click, like and share’ their said ads on Facebook and you’ll earn! That’s simple and certainly tempting since you could make your Facebook time more productive. Then again, here’s the catch.. you can’t ‘truly’ earn and get your benefits like the ‘birthday cash’ unless you recruit at least three others.

Whew, this then sounds like a scam! Hey, it’s not a job of clicking on Facebook (as an online advertiser) that’s really being offered but for you to recruit three others in order to start earning!

Sure. Although you would be informed of such condition during the orientation, you won’t really get a grasp of it unless you have tried it — since in the first place, the emphasis was on the ‘click, like and share’ on Facebook and get that chance to earn P5,000.00 or more a week. Period.

In all and at the very least, only a refund opportunity on these ‘networking’ companies’ (Planet Mobile, Top Deals and alike) joining fee could remove our ‘scam’ doubts on ’em.

Lesson. When you hear the line, ‘this opportunity is for open-minded people only’ among others — then it must be about ‘networking’ wherein you’ll pay a membership fee. If you’re up to it.. Join at your own risk.

Trip Review: 2GO (Manila-Cebu)

It’s been a while since I last rode a ship on my travels. And so I thought, how about a change of ‘scenery’?!

Hmm… On the onset, the problem with local ships though is that if it gets delayed, its departure gets rescheduled. At least that’s exactly what happened on my trip from Manila to Cebu. A Monday 7:30pm trip got moved to a Tuesday 5am departure — which in fact became even an hour later.

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Lobby
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Main staircase

Still, sea travel has a different kind of appeal. Notice why cruises are valued and luxurious? Anyway, for this one, let’s go through a little more of 2GO’s St. Francis Xavier..

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Galley
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Galley

The ship is not really ‘grand’ actually but it does have some amenities you could find, well.. Helpful in your trip.

From stores to spas and salons to ‘videokes’ and acoustics at night among others..

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Charging stations all over the ship
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Roaming snacks for sale

Yet many passengers are grumbling amongst themselves, and why not? Not only is the cellphone charging slow that it eats up all your coins, the ‘packaged’ food is so little and almost ‘everything is bought’.. Even water. Good if they’re reasonably priced, you know.

Just imagine the less privileged.

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Still, more than just the lower fare and centralized airconditioning, if only for the experience and friendships you’ll make along the way..

It’s still worth the trip.

Consumer Video: How to Spot Fake Rice

Think all rice-like grains are “real” rice? Apparently, it’s not. Then exactly how do you know if the rice in front of you is fake or not?

Well, let’s then take a look at some videos to give us some light..

So, did you get any tips? Nothing. Guess the lesson in that one would be to improve or make clear ’em key points when giving tips..

Now, let’s check an ABS-CBN report on fake rice from Davao del Sur.

Oh, so that’s what “fake” is. Rice doesn’t spoil. Looks like styrofoam when cold. Water comes out when pressed. It doesn’t stick to fingers like ordinary rice. And it smells like sweet potato when burned.

Still, be careful also on what is spreading as plastic rice..

Consumer Video: Careful of Dirty Business

Here now are a couple of videos submitted to us over the week; oh, and what you are about to see are some dirty tricks by some businesses that just happens to be in.. Russia. Yup, for it could happen and could also be anywhere in the world – so consumers, beware!

Oh! An old mattress turned new by just replacing the covering. Well, while we know this could be possible, guess it would be pretty tough for buyers to determine the fraud unless we tear off the mattress itself. But, would any buyer who spent hard-earned money even dare think of tearing their “brand new” mattresses?

There must be a way but for now, all we could hope for is a conscientious seller..

This video is said to be about increasing revenue and what buyers will never know..

Hmm… Do you have an idea of what’s exactly happening? At least a hunch? It’s a fruit stand, yes. But whether the vendor is cheating on her scale or including some bad fruit – don’t you think she’d be caught one day? No? Then why the video?

The power of technology is in our hands now, it’s just a matter of using it not just for selfies..

Consumer Watch: Starbucks Manager and Anger Management

Many of you may have already seen our featured video as it’s been trending recently; in fact, over 3M YouTube views already. Well, we’re talking of no other than Starbucks Manager with Anger Management Issue..

Yup, the terrible experience Ruby Chen had with Starbucks Elmhurst Store Manager Melissa last May 12 of this year. Let’s check this one out..

Whoa, how loud can you get?!!?

Whatever the issue maybe, even if it’s the customer’s fault, a store manager at that should not just yell at customers – unless the customer is some sort of terrorist, perhaps threatening other customers, or just simply destroying company property.

But then, Ruby’s issue was just a simple case of not hearing Melissa’s staff asking her name to put on her cup – as she was preoccupied opening her reward app that she’d use to pay for her order..

Yet just like that, Melissa started shouting at her in a bad way. Later, even accusing Ruby of ‘stealing’ the straw – Wow!

Hmm… It’s been 3 weeks now, Starbucks must have fired Melissa already. Still, what’s happening to Starbucks? Issues have just been popping like mushrooms. They better do some workshops, and probably review their setup as well.

The subtleties of #socialmedia

The subtleties of #socialmedia

Just last Monday, Facebook went down for a while. And some of you who were trying to post on Facebook may have noticed this error message:  “There was a problem updating your status. Please try again in a few minutes.”

Sounds like just a little technical problem, huh? But it was experienced in many places (as in several IPs all over) that #facebookdown trended in Twitter.

This was experienced even after 3 hours since the problem was reported. Well, of course, Facebook was able to eventually fix the issue.

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Meanwhile, just yesterday, LinkedIn also had a share of its problems. Click here to see an example posted at Xperlink.

Good customer relations is like treating one as family – you listen, you help. Like, if at times your family says or acts unfavorably in your eyes; but since you really know the person is principled, those unfavorable words or actions may just simply be a “misunderstanding.” All you need to do is clear things up as necessary. See, a truly good person will always be good.

At any rate, this thing with the internet or social media – there are times when it would break down just like having a car or a TV set. Since you use it, it goes through wear and tear. Maintenance is key in products. However on services like the internet – “immediate attention” is crucial to great customer service.

If you do that time and again, you would have built a good reputation that customers would be more understanding once it happens – especially if it’s just once in a while.

Calling WordPress…

While doing a monthly round-up of the site the other day, August 28, we noticed four of the posts (July 31 Wine… anyone?; July 27 Consumer Photos II; July 25 Frequent flyer; July 24 The customer is…) “when not specifically opened” has an initial display of the following:

http://lender-24h.com/

http://www.lender-24h.com

indypressny.org

pay day loans online

http://lender-24h.com/short-term-loans

http://www.indypressny.org

instant payday loans

fast payday loans

IndypressNY

http://lender-24h.com/contact

online payday loans

payday express

online pay day loans

instant payday loans

pay day loans online

payday loans no credit check

***

Go ahead and try searching those blogs in the search box. It seems that lender-24h.com and indypressny.org “still” found its way to “forcibly” advertise without the knowledge of Consumer Live, or even a notification to us by WordPress.

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I say “still” because we did notice this intrusion “through tags” in the early days of the site — that is, whenever we did add a blog post and consequently edited before posting it. But, we were able to remove them by simply clicking “X” on the tag display at the right side of the screen. So, we let it go.

But now, when we checked the whole site — as we’ve said, 4 blogs were penetrated by ads. This forced us to temporarily close the site to look for answers.

Yes. We were looking for a way to contact WordPress about this but seems there was no way one could get in touch with their customer support except through a WP “support” link. And when we did, it just led us to another support link which was not really of help — and so that speaks of today’s blog.

If you have the answer fellow-bloggers, especially WordPress, kindly email or leave a comment. Thank you.

Flying with some “history”…

Talking about an unpleasant experience, well, it always makes one uncomfortable. Yet many times, it’d be better to let it out — and so find peace and eventually, a solution. So try it, and start talking..

At the NAIA tarmac ...
At the NAIA tarmac…

Well in my case, and perhaps for many others as well.. Cebu Pacific Air, unfortunately, has a “not so good” history what with some notable accidents and “constant delays”, then again — it’s a wonder as many still fly with them — yup, I occasionally do, and every time I just get delayed.

Isn’t there any other airline? Of course, there is. But I guess, there’s at least two obvious reasons why we still fly with Cebu Pacific. One, flight schedules. Sometimes, the only available schedule (at the time of booking) that one could manage with is with.. Cebu Pacific. Two, seat availability. I mean, if other airlines have your desired schedule but is fully booked — where else would you fly?

And so, this brings us to a third reason — the choice between two evils. Naah, don’t take me out of context but what I mean is that — you simply have to pick the “not so good” rather than the “bad” one, right? And I’m not trying to stain any of them — it’s just experience.

But wait. Don’t think that there’re only a couple of low-cost carriers to choose from, of course not. And besides, there are good ones too, if you’re lucky enough to get a seat that is; so, just think of the above reasons then — and that’s the way it is.

In the end, when accidents and delays are significantly reduced — one thing Cebu Pacific should fix is their “impossible” promos. Consider the promo date. Hey, you got to give more choices; its flight schedule can’t be too far from the date one acquires the ticket — for this is like you’re just committing your patrons for nothing.

This is when “sincerity in customer service” would count a lot. It’s when you really try to address their needs rather than your profits.

Rule #1, the cu…

Rule #1, the customer is always right. Rule #2, if the customer is wrong, refer to rule #1.

Funny but we hear this slogan time and time again… and many times, it is either abused by “not so good” customers themselves, or misinterpreted by organizations who lost its true meaning amidst a sea of competitors.

Yet, if only both buyer and the seller comes to truly understand both the product and the need, then a connection would be formed… and troubles would be eliminated if not minimized for good.