The Multiply Series: When should you blog about an annoying customer/seller on OFFICIALLY BANNED?

Officially Banned (http://officiallybanned.multiply.com) is like Multiply’s virtual police station/jail. Scammed buyers and sellers come together in this group to blog about their horrible experiences, post photos of the culprit so other Multiply users can side and give their take on the story.

To be blogged about in Officially Banned is the last thing a seller would like to happen (for a buyer, sometimes it’s okay especially if he/she uses a different account for online shopping). Once a seller is blogged about in officially banned, it will surely result to a tarnished reputation and he/she will really be required to explain his/herself over and over so he/she could get back to business. But once the news has already spread like wildfire and you just can’t talk it out (a.k.a. if all else fails), make a new account, a new virtual you.

So, when should you blog about a person whom you think is making a fool out of you (in a buyer-seller context)? I will give you 5 stages to ponder about before hitting that publish button.

STAGE 1

Initially very enthusiastic but after sealing the deal, turns discreet.

It’s exciting when you found something very unique online after browsing shop by shop. You contact the seller and she immediately responds, gives you the details and asks you to settle the payment. Being the excited human being that you are, you pay right away before asking other couple of details like when you can ship this thing, when will it arrive to me. After settling your payment, the seller gets less interested in answering to your queries and eventually getting no replies at all. Don’t panic, it just seems that way but most probably, the seller is just annoyed getting the same attitude of being “makulit” from a lot of buyers over and over. Your task now is to wait while your order is being processed and try as hard as you can to be patient and not texting the seller every chance you get.

STAGE 2

Sun down, Sun up around siesta time, still no update about shipping details.

Giving the seller until around afternoon to ship the item is enough time already (if the agreement is that the item will be shipped within 24 hours). So once it has already reaches this time of the day, it’s time to calmly ask for updates. If you get no reply around 30 minutes to an hour, it’s time to text the seller again and this time sound a bit more critical. If you still get no reply and it is not yet up until (non-mall based) couriers’ closing time (around 5:00 pm), no need to panic yet. We must take into consideration that the seller might be a student who’s still in class or an employee who can’t be out until office hours is over and goes to the mall to ship the items.

STAGE 3

Malls are closed already, still no update from the seller.

Some shops have an area in their sites for tracking numbers because sometimes texting the clients one by one can be exhausting. So if it’s already past 9:00pm and you still haven’t gotten your tracking number, go and check the site, let’s give the seller the benefit of the doubt that maybe she doesn’t have load and posted the tracking numbers on her site instead. If you found none, it’s time to text the seller, now sounding more firm, confrontational and with much conviction.  If you still get no reply, call the seller. Still no answer? Don’t blog yet. Kidnap victims are not declared until they have been lost for 48 hours already. (Is this even correct? I’m just guessing.) So let’s give the seller a little more time, and for the buyers a chance to do some research about the seller.

STAGE 4

Go and ask other Multiply netizens.

Some Multiply shoppers might have experienced transacting with this seller already, or might be from the same batch of buyers as you are so it would help to do a little research. So if you found a combination of positive and negative feedback about the seller, it won’t hurt to give it a little more time, another 24 hours for the seller to redeem herself.

STAGE 5

It’s Time.

Full two days have passed and still no updates through SMS, personal message, e-mail, YM or what have you. No refund whatsoever is taking place, no item is arriving, no updates made through her Multiply site. Don’t wait for other signs anymore, time to share the experience to give that seller her lesson and enlighten other Multiply shoppers in choosing where they shop wisely. Don’t forget to put photos and write the full account of what happened without exaggerating.

These are just personal opinions based on personal experience. Buyers and sellers alike should be careful when blogging about a person’s mishaps because one blog can make or break a person’s reputation. We wouldn’t want to destroy someone’s reputation (especially a seller) when the gravity of what happened between the two of you can fall under the category of catfights and could have been fixed through calm and peaceful communication.

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About Marj Casal

Maria Angelica Nepomuceno Casal is a student of the University of the Philippines Manila and this blog is created as part of the requirements of my OC152 class. And might as well be a long term hobby.
This entry was posted in For OC152 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Multiply Series: When should you blog about an annoying customer/seller on OFFICIALLY BANNED?

  1. Mina Loyola says:

    When I was still an online seller, I always checked OB because I was a bit paranoid that a nasty customer of mine would post my (poor) online shop there. Luckily, that never happened (because I’m a nice seller heehee), but I was always amused with posts there, especially when catfights start (!).

    The problem I have with OB is that it violates the privacy policy of Multiply. If I remember it right, stated in the terms that photos and profiles of people cannot be reposted even for reasons like this. And yet, the practice continues on OB so we can track down bogus buyers and sellers. I think Multiply should work on this part, because as buyers and sellers, there has to be some assurance of privacy and safety in transacting online, and a single, insignificant part in the whole process might end up with a OB post.

  2. Pattydc says:

    I was a Multiply-junkie before but I didn’t know that there was a site like officiallybanned. I’m guessing it’s not something official, right? But then it’s good to have this kind of “police” to keep online sellers in line.

    Regarding Mina’s comment about reposting profile pics of people, I don’t exactly agree. Yes it may be a violation of terms but then if you don’t want to be branded as a “bogus buyer” then why commit acts that would make people brand you as such? Plus, I’m sure online sellers don’t just put people in their bogus buyers list without really having a good reason. There are some clients who pre-order and confirm their orders then disappear or don’t reply to any kind of message (online or sms). Ordering something online is not something to joke about, and so there are sure to be consequences when one does not take it seriously.

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