Learn from my mistake and don’t make an online purchase without knowing the vendor’s refund policy. Because if you do, you may find yourself – as I did – at the mercy of the kindness of strangers.
I had an interesting and somewhat harrowing experience in September with Postcron, a website that enables you to schedule social media posts in advance. I sincerely thought I had done my due diligence. I read the site copy. I watched YouTube videos. I agonized over the site’s bulk uploader functionality and whether or not I should purchase it.
But what I failed to do was investigate the company’s refund policy.
It doesn’t have one. No refunds are given for any reason. At all.
The company is based in South America. I’m spoiled with United States consumer protection laws. Silly me.
You get what you pay for
I started with the free version of Postcron to check it out. The irony is that I have been using MavSocial’s free version for a couple of years and have had very good experience with it, including a very satisfying exchange with customer service. So why wasn’t I loyal to MavSocial? Why didn’t I purchase MavSocial’s bulk uploader for Facebook and Twitter?
Because I was too cheap!
Because Postcron’s monthly fee was a few dollars less than MavSocial’s. And since Postcron appeared to have a working bulk uploader, I purchased Postcron’s annual plan.
Do as I say, not as I did
Wrong move! The Postcron bulk uploader does not work as advertised. Doing exactly what the website and YouTube video instructed me to do in order to schedule posts to Twitter, I did not get the result I was promised. There were more than twenty posts flagged for errors of the following two types:
- Randomly, Twitter’s 140 character limit was exceeded for several posts, even though those posts had less than 140 characters. I counted them. Twice.
- Also randomly, the bulk uploader’s image preview did not display the image I attached to my upload file, per Postcron’s instruction. Instead, it displayed the image pulled from the URL I also included in the bulk uploader, also per Postcron’s instructions.
I purchased my plan on a Saturday afternoon. After a couple of hours and three bulk upload attempts with the same unsatisfactory results, I immediately requested a refund. No one was home. I didn’t hear from customer service until Monday.
Hello? Is anybody there?
Over the next week, there followed an exasperating exchange with a Postcron customer service rep, who was obtuse and absolutely no help. The rep simply kept insisting that the bulk uploader worked and she couldn’t recreate my preview errors. She could only recreate the exceeds-140-characters error.
She then tried to tell me that Twitter’s character count was exceeded because I had put the tweet text into the field Postcron’s instructions told me to put them in. Where I really should put them was in another field, where they display better. As if anyone could ever know that without first having to call customer service because the way s/he was instructed to do it didn’t work!
Despite my other upload attempts that also resulted in incorrect image previews and excessive character counts, and despite sending screenshots of those errors to the customer service rep, she would not budge. She never even acknowledged or addressed my screenshots.
America to the rescue
Long, sordid story short, one month later, my credit card company came to the rescue. The customer rep I spoke to there was very clear and very firm with me.
“Sir, we lost your payment dispute. Postcron will not refund your money. The website clearly states that you would not be entitled to a refund under any circumstances. It is your responsibility to know the company refund policy before you make your purchase.”
He was right, of course.
“But since we want you to be a happy customer, we will refund you the money ourselves.”
I was troubled that Postcron could get away with selling such a flawed product with no consequences, but you better believe I took the money.
I ran far away from Postcron and straight into the arms of MavSocial’s monthly – monthly – subscription plan. No more annual plans for me. And yes, I am satisfied with MavSocial. Very satisfied, indeed.
A word to the wise is sufficient
Take my advice:
- Stay away from Postcron: the bulk uploader does not do what Postcron says it will do in the way Postcron says it will do it. You will be posting to Twitter blind, without truly knowing what your followers will see. That’s a risk I was not willing to pay for the privilege of taking.
- Do not make a purchase without knowing beforehand the vendor’s refund policy. DON’T. DO. IT.
Learn from my mistake and for heaven’s sake, read the fine print, even if you have to make a special search for it. I regret that I didn’t.
All photos sourced from Unsplash.com.