If you shop online, and I’m sure most readers do, then you’ll be glad to know a recent crackdown or trend is happening as we speak.
There are just too many scams or tricks on the Internet. And you thought con artists only existed in the days of Paper Moon? There’s a sucker born every minute…
In the business world, you can make money either by adding value to the customer or by taking advantage of their weakness.
It’s no different in ecommerce, except your store is open 7/24. Hopefully 5 nine’s (99.999%), but that’s another story.
The FTC have recently cracked down on bogus testimonials for web sites and blogs. As well, you must fully disclose your relationship to the seller of any product or service you write about. That includes commissions for affiliate sales and paid reviews.
There are so many scams out there, from Government Grants application software to the Acai Berry weight loss pills.
Here are some examples:
- $25 shipping charges that cost $4.95
- FREE product but $25 recurring charge every month (good luck trying to cancel)
- Up sells and recurring charges
- Countdown timers with expiring deals, but don’t really expire. Just hit F5 and refresh your browser.
A well known Internet marketer recently posted his latest terms and conditions from a credit card merchant provider (it was either Visa or MasterCard). It doesn’t matter which one it was, but I enjoyed reading the latest customer service SLA’s.
Now, these are “best practice” guidelines, but if it ever became law, I can see where you simply outsource your VoIP call center to a foreign country as your glorified answering service. Right? As long as the wait time is less than 2 minutes before speaking to a live agent, you are well within the guidelines.
Here is the snippet that only pertains to customer service:
- Multiple methods of cancellation must be provided for consumers to cancel or request refunds, including at least two options of contact. Example of acceptable service channels include: phone, email, mail, and online chat. Phone support is strongly recommended as one of the options.
- “Contact Us” information including contact methods and hours of availability should be prominently displayed in all marketing, offer and payment pages, as well as included in purchase confirmations, invoices and any other communication with consumers.
- Customer Service must be easily accessible and available during reasonable business hours
- Refund and Cancellation Policies must be followed as disclosed to the consumer at the time of order
- Hold times to reach Customer Service must be less than 2 minutes.
- After hours voice mail should include a greeting that properly identifies the merchant to the consumer, provides hours of Customer Service availability and an expectation for call back.