Monday, December 5, 2011

Upromise Shoppers: BEWARE!!

I have just come out of the most awful customer service experience I've received in YEARS!

It all started when I started thinking about buying a brand new Mac Book Pro last Christmas. My parents offered to chip in a decent chunk of the expense as a combined Christmas/birthday present, but I wasn't in financial shape enough to sink over $2400 into a new computer. I figured I'd wait until August (which is when most states give consumers a 1-week reprieve from sales tax just in time for back-to-school shopping) and take advantage of any deals I could find during that month. I was glad that my employer also offered an employee discount program through Apple that I could take advantage of - with a whopping $150 in savings. Still every little bit would help. I just had to bide my time and save my money.

Months went by and I was starting to save, waiting for a great deal to come along. On May 21, 2011 it did - from Upromise, whose online shopping program has helped me make very small extra payments (about $65/yr) on my student loan for the last 4 years:

Apple was about to roll out a new operating system and was trying to get rid of old inventory. I was going to get almost $500 back in student loan contributions AND get a great deal! As I understood it, I qualified for all the conditions listed in the email.

Little did I know...

August 31st rolled around with no contribution to my Upromise account. I contacted the company to inquire and they asked me to fax a copy of my receipt to them to research, which I immediately provided. I got the following response:

No response. I followed up.

Again, no response. I tried again, undeterred, though getting more angry. I received an auto-response:

I guess they finally read my email because 3 days later they tried to call me. I didn't recognize the number so I didn't answer. They left a generic message from customer service asking me to call back during their standard business hours and followed up with this email:

They never tried again.

I've been trying to plan my Christmas budget and have been factoring all along that I will get to skip a few student loan payments because of the credit my account was to receive as a result of my purchase. It was not to be.

I called customer service again today (their call center is located in India) and was told that my purchase did not qualify because I had used my employee discount program, which voided any Upromise contribution as stated in their terms and conditions. I told the rep that this was unacceptable because it was not clearly stated in the email's terms and conditions (above) and asked to speak to his supervisor.

Supervisor #1 answered the phone after being briefed and explained that there was nothing he could do for me. He tried referring me to their website's terms and conditions and I asked to speak to his supervisor. As is standard, he told me that his supervisor wouldn't tell me anything different, that there was nothing that anyone could do.

Supervisor #2 answered (Sunny - as in the weather, no last name - they don't have them, I ASKED!!) and sounded unpleasant, despite his name. He had also been briefed and repeated that there was nothing he could do to give me the credit for my purchase, as outlined by their terms and conditions. I told him that they were screwing me out of $500 and if I had been aware of these conditions, I would have forgone the employee discount (of about $150) because the Upromise offer was a significantly better deal. He kept telling me that things were laid out clearly on their website and I was bound, as were all members, by those terms and conditions. He seemed to think that everything stated on their website was effectively written in stone.

I jumped at the chance to beat him at his own game and explained that on their website, they state that customer service issues will be resolved within 30 days. My inquiry had been lingering since August 31st (97 DAYS!!!!), with no resolution that I was aware of. Though they had apparently resolved my inquiry without notifying me. They'd essentially stopped responding to me and NEVER gave me updates to the status of my request. Guess how much I earned from being treated so poorly. Seriously.






I'm boycotting them and their crappy customer service and want to spread the word far and wide that they will not give you a fraction of the money that you're owed. Buyer beware!!!

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