Brassed off with Groupon
Reporter : Ali Mau
Over the past couple of years, "one day deal" websites have become one of our favourite ways to shop. You can get some incredible bargains - up to 90% off! - but there are pitfalls. Who has to give you back your money when the deal goes wrong?
We speak to two women who have complaints with Groupon - they've been left frustrated by what they call a lack of customer service and follow-up from the website. They were eventually given refunds after Fair Go intervened.
Our Websafe panel of experts suggest always using a credit card when shopping on the net; that way if the deal goes sour you can ask your bank for a charge back. Find more information here
The PC virus cold callers get nasty
Reporter : Gordon Harcourt
In the last year they've become a plague in the English speaking world - the call out of the blue saying your computer has a virus, it's about to crash.
They're the PC virus cold callers, and we think they're getting nastier and cleverer.
Debbie and John in Kaiapoi fell victim to "ransomware". The caller persuaded John to give up remote access to the computer. By the time Debbie got home the computer was completely out of her control, and the caller demanded she pay money to get control back.
Tim Miller from IPC Computer Solutions in Kaiapoi says they're hearing about threats of violence, particularly against the elderly.
All the evidence we've seen points to the calls coming from Kolkata in India. They are extraordinarily skilful fakes if that's not the case.
The calls come via the internet - VOIP calls, Voice Over Internet Protocol. Unwittingly your telephone company accepts the call and sends it to your home.
But the telcos say there's very little that can be done to stop them. Education is the best response.
Our expert panel has advice on what to do.
Most importantly NEVER give up remote access to your computer to someone who cold calls.
Tim the computer man has a tip - leave a whistle by the phone, and blow it hard!
- Hang up immediately
- NEVER let someone you don't know and trust take remote control of your computer
- If you do stay on the line, write down the phone number (if you've got caller display), and especially the website the callers says they represent. The website can be tracked.
- Report this information to Netsafe's The Orb
- Report it to your telephone company too; there's not a lot they can do but we think you should let them know their network is being used
- Tell the caller you're taking their details to report to Police; we reckon that decreases the chance they will call back
- There's more advice here
The website looks flash - but who are you really buying
Reporter : Libby Middlebrook
They're the shop front to the modern retail world - snazzy websites set up by companies to attract shoppers. But doing business with them might not be as straightforward as you might have expected.
The people in our story thought they were buying from a master craftsman, when they discovered Hampton Gates online, a company that manufactures wooden gates.
But they claim they were delivered poor quality goods, following lengthy delays. The also accuse the company director, Steve Bird, of bullying behaviour.
Mr Bird told Fair Go that some problems had occurred in recent times, and that he regretted them. He said his company only manufactured with the best quality materials, and that most of his clients were happy with his work. Delays had occurred due to illness.
With thanks to Alberton House, Metropolitan Rentals and Bird Barn.
The power of internet feedback
Reporter: Amy Kelley
We receive tonnes of feedback from people who've have bad buying experiences online... this story is about what happens when consumers use the power of the Internet to fight back.
Kiwis all over the country thought they'd struck online shopping gold when they came across 'Click-A-Bargain' - a website selling imported electronics at unbeatable prices. But why are so many people still waiting for their products more than 3 months on?
We track down the site's founder, Wayne Jackson of Upper Hutt... and take a look at how his customers are rallying together to try and get their money back.
How easy is it to create a fake website?
Reporter: Ali Mau
The growth of e-commerce has resulted in a new kind of villain - the faceless creators of fake websites. These look just like the kind of websites you've bought (successfully!) from before, but once you've paid your money, you wait.. and wait.. and wait.. and the product just never arrives.
That's because it's a fairly simple process, for anyone with a bit of computer nouse, to build a website that appears to be selling legitimate products, at good prices. Once upon a time you could rely on the "lock" symbol, or the "s" at the end of http: but even these are simple to fake these days. To find out just how easy it is, and with nothing to sell, we set out to create two fake but convincing websites, and test them on some unwitting internet shoppers.
Important notes: those fake sites we built never went on the internet. They were only accessible on a closed system here at TVNZ. And one note there are two sites with similar names out there - surplustech.com, and surplustraders.co.nz. They're not fake!
Fake websites are hard to spot - our panel of experts will tell
you how to keep yourself safe.
You can find more information here