The Gift Review ploy

Earlier this week, we received an item, addressed to our husband, send to our postal box. Since it was a “gifty” item and coincided with a family birthday, we tried to find out who had ordered it. No friend or family member ordered it, and there was no gift card or return address other than the company’s/sender’s return.

So DH called the company to ask who ordered it. They told him they would have to contact the order department and get back to them. He also e-mailed and asked if they would e-mail him the information. No word since then.

Researched and found out that last holiday season, the media ran a story about a couple who received a number of unordered gifts, most of them modestly priced (between $20-$100 or so) and couldn’t figure out who sent them, why they kept receiving them.

Then I read about a review ploy that works like this: a company wants to bump up reviews of a product, so they will create an account, order an item, send it to a random address and then, as a verified purchaser, post a high-star review of that item. That way, in the future, people who check out the item will see that it got a positive review.

The question remains: do I keep the item (I’d probably give it away, it’s nothing I’d use) or take the time and money to send it back?

If it costs you to send it back, I’d keep it/give it or throw it away. Some company’s unethical review scheme shouldn’t cost you. And really, they paid for their own product then gave it away.

at work, i got a call from a company. They asked if i would like to receive a fee gift. I said sure. Week later, we recieved a case of clear tape, the kind used to seal shipping boxes. the gift they promised was not in the box. Then an invoice came for $400 with my name as the PO number. I called the company and asked what the deal was the invoice for. they said i ordered tape. I told them i was not the puchasing agent and we only issue numbered PO’s, not a name. They said i had to send the tape back. I told them anything that hits our dock without a valid PO is thrown away. never heard from them again…

actually, we kept the tape…

Woah i have heard of people sending pizza deliveries to strangers but not this. Thanks for sharing this.

Ugh. It gets worse. The scam where they send you stuff to bump the ratings - that’s called “brushing.” But just got a credit card bill, was billed for the item by a third party, plus billed for another item we didn’t order and didn’t receive. 45 minutes on the phone with the original company who STILL can’t tell me who placed the order, where it was originated, and then with the cc company to cancel cards.

Try to find a review of the item in your name and expose the scumbags in public?

You better check your credit report right now and be sure someone hasn’t started opening accounts with your info.

A review wouldn’t be in my name. The way it works is that someone (in the company?) opens an account in a name (I have no idea how they do this, but apparently this has been going on for some time) - they are Purchaser Joe Smith. Purchaser Joe Smith then sends an item to a random address. Then Purchaser Joe Smith, as a “verified purchase” gets to review the item, and will, of course, give it a 5 star review.

The two companies involved have had a series of complaints, low reviews.