How to do business like a jerk and disgrace a campaign
1. Be “GOP Trunk” and sell McCain campaign merchandise.
2. Link to the McCain campaign website.
3. Act like you’re open for business. Be specific. Specify when you expect to ship an order.
4. Do not ship the order as expected.
5. Do not ship the order at all.
6. Pre-charge the purchaser’s credit card although you have not shipped the order. After all, your customers are here to float you till you can afford to ante up for the stuff you claim to be selling. Pre-charging is illegal in some jurisdictions, and is considered a crummy way to do business by most consumer advocates.
“Even if the company is in an area where pre-charging is legal and their merchant account does not preclude the practice, the legality of this behavior is predicated upon the customer being informed of the policy. The only remotely fair way for this policy to be implemented is if at the time you place your order, the salesperson tells you that some items are backordered and that your card will be charged for the item(s) immediately, unless you want to remove them from the order. As much as I don’t like pre-charging, I have to admit that this is at least reasonable–the customer is in control of the situation and can decide if this is acceptable or not.” —Source
7. Do not respond to email inquiries about the order.
8. Ignore your phone to the point where callers receive a “mailbox full” message.
9. Close your website for “upgrades” less than four weeks before the election. Be sure to post a date by which you will reopen.
10. Do not reopen your website on the date you posted.
11. Do all of the above to this blogger, who has an excellent VISA Signature Card history. Blogger will fuss to VISA, the FTC, and other instruments of your imminent doom.
Disappointed GOP Trunk customers will receive their campaign apparel, if ever, too late to have much fun or impact with it prior to the election. I deal quite well with disappointment. VISA is launching a dispute on my behalf against GOP Trunk, and has issued a provisional credit to my account.
GOP Trunk uses a payment processor that comes through on the credit card statement as “e-donation.” But the outfit is a for-profit corporation, and makes it clear on its website that purchases should not be considered campaign contributions. Is GOP Trunk trying to make it look as if the purchase was a donation so they can pull off pre-charging credit cards? Or were they planning to call the purchases donations when challenged by credit card companies? I don’t know.
GOP Trunk has accomplished the elements of doing business like a jerk and disgracing the McCain campaign. I declare GOP Trunk disgusting, and it’s really too bad. Honesty and efficiency go together, and the unfortunate thing is that this for-profit enterprise is linked to the McCain campaign. Leadership means the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, and GOP Trunk stains the Campaign’s claim to leadership. That is far more disappointing, and damaging, than not sending out someone’s McCain-Palin hat.