Handbag buying experience: did this cross The Purse Forum etiquette line?

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  1. The background
    I'm leaving brand and retailer names out of this little story because I wanted to get others' thoughts on how this forum was used. A couple of weeks ago I bought 2 handbags (same brand, 2 different styles) from a reputable online boutique retailer. The bags had multiple manufacturing flaws so I snapped a few pictures to explain to the retailer what I found wrong and mailed the bags back for a refund which I got.

    The main act
    Besides sharing pictures and feedback on bags we love, TPFers also share pics and feedback on quality issues we've encountered. I posted a thread about my experience to give others a heads up to possible erratic quality since the bags retail $400-$500. It's a brand that has some really cute styles so my bottom line advice was to buy the bags from retailers with solid exchange/return policies just in case. I don’t think I was off base in sharing my experience and I later discovered that another TPFer had posted her own pics of flaws she discovered in the brand. My tone in my post was (I think) level and fair. I even included in my comments that the bags were cute.

    Well, about 15-20 minutes after I posted my experience the retailer called me at home to discuss my post! (They had my phone number from my order.) I felt like I was in some cheesy conspiracy movie where the Sandra Bullock character does something online and then the phone rings because they’re on to her. Oh, the drama.

    The retailer introduced himself and said he understood I just posted some comments about brand X on a forum. He took issue with the way my post could be read that his store had a negative opinion of the brand (I meant it to read that they were upset/apologetic that I had a negative experience). I spluttered out that I would go back and edit the post to take out the 2 misleading words. He then went out to make a kinda odd (I think) argument that the whole thing was more the retailer's fault than the manufacturer's, that his store should have caught the defects before sending the bags out and again, that it was worse that the retailer sent out bags with flaws rather than the fact that the manufacturer missed the flaws. I was so puzzled by this logic and more than a little weirded out to have someone call me about something I had just posted online. I asked him how he knew I had just posted and he said it was a small community.

    I went back to my computer to edit the post (one of the helpful TPF moderators helped me there) and saw that someone had replied to my post with almost the same wording the retailer used about how it’s worse for the retailer to send out flawed bags than the manufacturer. The argument and wording was too specific to be a coincidence. Turns out the poster was someone who had recently started a different thread chatting up how cool the brand is without disclosing she had any association with the brand. This left me wondering is this poster the retailer? Or the manufacturer? Who is the person behind the mask? And will Scooby and the gang be able to solve the case?

    The burning question(s)

    Did it cross some sort of line to phone me to discuss my post? Shouldn’t the use of my phone number be limited to shipping/billing type questions? Shouldn’t I be free to share my experience with a handbag brand on the Purse Forum? If the other poster represents the brand, shouldn’t they be on the level and just say so?
  2. I'd say, yes, it did cross the line - supposedly you are free to say whatever you like and not get contacted for it.
  3. I thought one of the many benefits of this forum was the freedom to share information annonymously. I do not in any way, shape or form think the store should have contacted you about your post.

    I admit that I am not too "with it" in the world of technology and the internet, but basic ettiquette tells me the seller was way out of line.
  4. Yes, I think the line was crossed. Your phone number should not be used to contact you about something you posted online. Now if you'd gone into the store with the pics and it was unresolved after you left the store, THEN someone called you at home to discuss/resolved the matter then that would have been ok.

    Personally I think its a little scary :s :shocked: that this person contacted you at home about something you posted online even though it had to do with a store/manufacturer he works for. If I were you I would look into filing a complaint with this brand/manufacturer.
  5. I would feel very weird if a retailer contacted me to discuss a post here!!! I agree with all that LeeLee has said above.
  6. Didn't the retailer signed up with the business name and introduced him/herself with this thought? I didn't even see the retailer's name posted originally. Your post was very fair and discussed the quality issues with the bag and got refunded, nothing unusual (I bought a moni moni bag also and was fully aware of the potential problems through several reviews on them although mine had no defects). Not sure why a phone call was necessary or a detailed post claiming they, themselves, were responsible. Even though some small boutiques can look over items, they didn't make the bag and inspection starts at the source. Doesn't mean the distributor is negligent. It's like if you go to walmart and a handcream's packaging was prone to a defective pump. It's the manufacturer, not walmart. I doubt walmart would call you at home to discuss a post about a problem you had with it. You discussed your experience, posted pics to back up your claims and didn't post anything slanderous (or negative at all on the retailers part). I'm glad he doesn't have my number....no PMs please. :smartass: :lol:
  7. They absolutely crossed the line. He's lucky that that you don't post a thread blasting him on how unproffessional it was to call you in the first place on a matter that is no longer business related. That would make me very uncomfortable and they are lucky that you sound like such a nice person, cuz someone like me would end up telling him off and then call the better business bureau on him for making me feel so uncomfortable in my own home!! I think the story is repulsive!! It makes me really angry that someone who has a business would take a transaction to a personal level, and uncomfortable level at that.... Contact the manufacturer's PR directly too and let them know how uncomfortable this retailer made you. It's unacceptable. Soliciting phone calls to sell is one thing, but to call a paying customer and comment on things you say in a PUBLIC forum is absolutely unacceptable. Put them on blast and let us know who this guy is so I make sure never to buy from him.
    I hope he reads this!! Maybe then he'll appreciate how nice your tone really was!!
  8. It was really inappropriate for you to be contacted like that.
  9. I too think this was way out of line. What happened to privacy? I've bought some moni moni bags way back (about 2-3 years ago) when they were first coming out, before they got so popular and have had zipper problems, handles coming unattached etc. so I know there are problems. It is frightening to me that someone can get your number and have the audacity to call you about this.
  10. PS - I would contact one of the wonderful moderators here at PF, tell them how uncomfortable this situation is and have him booted.
  11. Wow if someone called me I would have been furious, who gives them the right to call? You have every right to state your opinion. You should file a complaint.
  12. I agree. the line was crossed. They should not have contacted you in reference to a post on here. This is suppose to be an anonymous forum. What happened to privacy?
  13. I agree with the others...he most definitely crossed the line. You can write whatever you want, and as long as it's not totally false, there's nothing he can do about it and definitely he should not be calling you!!
  14. You didn't cross the line. He did. I would have hung up on him. That's borderline harassment on his part if he contacts you about discussing it again.
  15. It crossed the line.
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