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Old 02-25-12, 02:40 AM   #1
Bob Dopolina 
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Nefarious Business Practices

I received an email today, the subject line of which I found intriguing enough to open; It promised me a discount on products I was already buying and mentioned the on-line shop by name.

Now, this wasn't for any bike related stuff, directly, but was for some vitamins and supplements I buy on-line because the tariffs on these items makes them ridiculously overpriced here.

The thing was, the email was from an on-line retailer hereby knows as "Dooche Drugs" and they were not only offering a 15% discount on similar products that I have been buying from "Ol' Standby Supplements" for years but went on to cast aspersions on Ol' Standby's products and customer service.

I found this a bit over the top.

One of the things I learned early on when I worked in retail was to NEVER badmouth your competitor. This only made you look bad and often backfired. This stuck with me and I try to adhere to it (I sometimes fail...).

Now, I am very familiar with Ol' Standby's products and they have always been a good value and the quality is up to snuff. As for customer service in all the years I have been ordering from them there was only ever one mistake. When I contacted them about the mistake I received what I felt was a genuine apology and they shipped out the correct order right away and even refunded my original shipping charges to my PayPal account.

Other than a small delay on one order I've always been pretty happy with the service.

As for the pricing Dooche Drugs was, in fact about 10~15% less expensive on products that were similar enough to be comparable. Shipping was also pretty much a wash.

So, as a long time customer, I contacted Ol' Standby to let them know that Dooche Drugs was engaged in, what I felt to be, some shady business practices. They told me that they were aware that Dooche Drugs had done this to one of their competitors but it was clear that they were now targeting Ol' Standby's customers as well.

I have to say I was a bit surprised (hence the thread). We've been doing on-line retail since 2008 and I've been an on-line shopper for years and this was the first time I had a first hand experience like this.

Have I been living in a bubble?

Is this something that happens all the time? If it is we have absolutely no interest in going this route.

Would you buy from Dooch Drugs considering they were actually a bit cheaper ? (I can't address if they are as knowledgeable but Ol' Standby has given me some good advice in the past).

Discuss.
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Old 02-25-12, 03:42 AM   #2
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Emails about vitamins and supplements fill my junk mail by the hundreds each year. I delete them all.
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Old 02-25-12, 04:03 AM   #3
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The scariest part of the entire scenario is how they got your personal email address and how did they knew you took vitamins at all. Then to know the specific type of vitamins is really over the top.

I've also noticed how I'm constantly being bombarded with advertisements related to irrelated websites, of the website that I maybe currently viewing, but are related to websites that I've viewed in the past.

I think this is the result of either successful spyware or big business selling email addresses and personal info to other businesses.

At any rate, it's Big Brother at your doorstep!
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Old 02-25-12, 04:09 AM   #4
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^^^Actually, I am pretty sure they got the info from a sports health/nutrition forum I used to frequent.

I know I'd talked about specific products and sources there so it was public info and my email address is also listed there for other members (I'm guessing that Dooche Drugs was somehow attached to the forum).

I wouldn't normally open stuff like that but the subject line was VERY specific.
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Old 02-25-12, 06:49 AM   #5
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I'm going to send this off to Foo. It may get more play there.
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Old 02-25-12, 07:30 AM   #6
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What arrives as spam stays in spam. I consider the source and toss it on the discard pile.
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Old 02-25-12, 01:41 PM   #7
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I'm not much interested in any vitamins or supplements, for the specific reason that there's no regulation of the industry. Although I do take vitamin D, because studies seem to say it could keep me healthier than I would be without it, for all I know it's dried beetle dung.
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Old 02-25-12, 04:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by icyclist View Post
I'm not much interested in any vitamins or supplements, for the specific reason that there's no regulation of the industry. Although I do take vitamin D, because studies seem to say it could keep me healthier than I would be without it, for all I know it's dried beetle dung.
Well, it probably is dried beetle dung. As far as I know, the best source of vitamin D is sunlight and there are very few other sources of it.
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Old 02-25-12, 06:25 PM   #9
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Well, I am getting very tired of Google throwing ads at me based on websites I may have visited for reasons other than interest in what they offer. I mean I could never fit into a Wicked Weasel swim suit. How ridiculous!
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