Think Geek Responds

Valorie just received the following email from Think Geek (in response to our previous issue with them):

From: Caroline Offutt [mailto:<email address at>]
Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 7:05 PM
To: <valorie's email address>
Cc: Rob Patak

Subject: Issues with ThinkGeek order

Ms. Osterman,

I would like to apologize for all of ThinkGeek for the fraud issues you had with your recent order and the response you received from our customer service department. We are about to roll out our new fraud prevention program including implementing CVN this week (it is unfortunate that we didn't roll it out two weeks earlier). With our new program, most orders, like yours, will process without a hitch and we hope that only those orders that are truly fraud will be stopped. If you are interested, I would be happy to go into more detail of why your order was stopped and how we are changing the process.

If you decide to have your ThinkGeek order# <order number>processed, we would like to take $50 off it. Or if you rather, we will email you a $50 gift certificate to use towards a future order. Please let me know how your would like to proceed. Also, feel free to contact me directly if there is ever anything we can do for you. Because of the holidays, I will be at our warehouse much of the next month and not always available, so please contact Robert Patak, Customer Service Supervisor, if you are unable to reach me (<email address>, <phone number>).

Caroline Offutt


Caroline Offutt, VP & GM

ThinkGeek, Inc.

Tel: <phone number>| Fax: <phone number>


I'm glad to see that they realized that they have an issue - I don't know if they found my earlier whine, or if their internal processes picked up on the issue, but I'm very happy that they're attempting to address our annoyance.

We've still not decided what to do about this issue yet, but I do need to acknowledge that they are listening and are trying to resolve the issue.  Two points to Think Geek.

Comments (14)

  1. Anonymous says:

    OT: Larry, pimp your hanselminutes ep.

  2. Anonymous says:

    They sound a lot more sincere than your employer sounds.  I’d accept it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think this kind of honesty and "we’re willing to fix issues" attitudes should be rewarded. 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    I had the same problems already last year (ordering from Western Europe) and I tried really hard to solve the issue without exposing my whole identity.

    But since they insisted in a copy of my passport I told them to cancel the order and they couldn’t care less.

    So I’m done with ThinkGeek.

  5. Dean Harding says:

    Thanks, Norman. You just can’t resist a Microsoft jab, can you? I think someone needs to get out more….

  6. Anonymous says:

    "They sound a lot more sincere than your employer sounds.  I’d accept it."

    Plus, ThinkGeek is owned by SourceForge, hence open source!  That means they can’t possibly ever do anything wrong!  F/OSS!  Woo.

  7. Anonymous says:

    "Plus, ThinkGeek is owned by SourceForge"

    I didn’t even know that.  I only saw what was quoted in this blog.

    "You just can’t resist a Microsoft jab, can you?"

    Depends.  I wish Microsoft would stop giving reasons for Microsoft jabs.  If Microsoft’s warranties weren’t fake then that would go a long way towards improving things for everyone.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I cannot help but think that TG are being all cuddly since you are a celebrity and have aired your grievance in a public way.

    I suspect if “Joe Public” had been through the same issue then their response from TG would have been different.

    But perhaps that’s just me being cynical. 😉

  9. John: You may very well be right.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I had this same thing happen with the Golf Warehouse online for a simple $50 gift card. They demanded that I send them a photocopy of my latest credit card statement and a utility bill showing the billing address… I told them to take their golf balls and put them where the sun don’t shine.

    An hour later I got a call from them saying the same thing you did…. our bad, new system, it shouldn’t have flagged your order, we’ll restore your order and give you a discount. I told them to put those golf balls up a little farther because they obviously weren’t stopping them from verbal diarrhea.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I understand the frustration I went through the same process.  However, it is a lose lose situation for them in a way.  If they were not to protect against fraud and there was a case/cases, the repercussions would be far worse than if I sent my info to a reputable company who i could cross reference on the bbb, etc. Yes there is always the issue of a misc. employee seeing and using my personal info however I think that is a risk to take with ecommerce until they develop a better system.  

    I say that the fact that they admitted their wrong and went as far as to offer your choice of a gift certificate or discount is a big plus in my book.  As far as their sincerity I too have experienced excellent customer service from thinkgeek, so i think they deserve the benefit of the doubt in that category.

    Hoping that they will fix the super sensitive fraud cases in their new system.

    one last note, in my experience working in retail, there are cases where insurances, credit card processing agencies, or the larger parent companies require such policies to protect every link in the chain.  

  12. Danielle, if we didn’t have a previous customer relationship with them, and my wife hadn’t been able to pull up the previous order #s from them (which showed a pattern of orders that was consistent with the current order), I’d agree with you.

    I was annoyed at the initial rejection of the order (mostly because I’ve never had an online vendor do that).  What frosted me was THEIR response to my wife’s answer to their rejection.

    I give major props for TG for working with us to resolve this to our mutual satisfaction, but I honestly believe that if I didn’t have a blog this would not have been resolved, and that’s a shame.

  13. Anonymous says:

    > I give major props for TG for working with us to resolve this to our mutual satisfaction, but I honestly believe that if I didn’t have a blog this would not have been resolved, and that’s a shame.

    Larry I work in technical support so I my point of view is a little biased. What more do you want them to do? They admitted a mistake, the system is flawed and they are going to correct it. Maybe your blog got attention, maybe not. Why don’t you ask them? If your going to still stop shopping with them, thats fine, but why don’t you ask yourself, what would it take for them to keep your business. If they still can’t meet your needs then by all means, spare them the pleasure of your company but please don’t keep bitching about a mistake when you don’t even know what it will take to make you happy.

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