Beware "PCWorld Shop" / "stackcommerce.com"

A few days ago I purchases a 5TB lifetime subscription to Polar Backup via “PCWorld Shop”, which is “powered by” stackcommerce.com. Not a lot of detail on the workings of the system available, but the site does state that there is a “30-day Money-Back GUARANTEE”.

It did not take long to determine that the system is not what I require. The actual deal-breaker being that it takes 3-12 HOURS to recover a file! Ok, no foul, just get the money back and try another one … yeah, right.

Contacted Polar Backup only to be told I have to go through the website it was purchased from. Went back there to find myself dealing directly with StackCommerce (rather than PCWorld Shop). The “Support Heroes” on that site came back with the following:

Carol (Support Heroes)
Oct 21, 10:11 AM PDT

Hi,
Thanks for writing in! I’m sorry to hear you’re unhappy with your purchase.
As it stands, we are contractually tied to a no refund policy with our vendors, allowing us to offer amazing products at a huge discount. Additionally, digital license codes and redemption assets are sent out immediately upon checkout, at which point the vendor is paid.
For more information, you can always find our Refund Policy in the ‘Terms’ section on the deal page.
Again, sincere apologies that I could not help you out with a refund. If you have any further questions or concerns, our team is happy to help.
Take care!
Your Support Hero,
—Carol—

6 Likes

PCWorldShop is the site you did business with. Lots of red flags there such as how to contact them is opaque and through a form.

Try posting a complaint with the US Better Business Bureau. Stackcommerce seems engaged with them and shows the BBB logo at the bottom of the PCWorldShop page.

https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/venice/profile/online-retailer/stackcommerce-1216-1013267/complaints

You might also send your dissatisfaction about Stackcommerce to Polarbackup dispassionately citing what was offered versus what was delivered regarding the guarantee and what you want; even though it might be obvious it needs stating.

5 Likes

If you used a credit card to make the payment, contact your credit card provider and see if you can arrange a charge back.

I am not sure if a change in mind type scenario qualifies, but one could use the grounds that the merchant is not honouring their 30 day money back guarantee.

5 Likes

Not sure if either of these 3 reviews are for the PCWorld Shop you dealt with, but all are reprehensible.

https://au.trustpilot.com/review/www.pcworld.com

https://au.trustpilot.com/review/www.pcworld.co.uk

And reviews for Stack Commerce.

https://au.trustpilot.com/review/stackcommerce.com

https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/venice/profile/online-retailer/stackcommerce-1216-1013267/complaints

Also a site where users are querying whether Polar Backup is legit.

2 Likes

Thanks for back-filling my lapse there @phb, also if payal was used you should open a dispute with them.

5 Likes

It was PayPal that I used. I will try opening a dispute there … never done that before, it will be an interesting experience in itself.

5 Likes

Unfortunately the latter is sometimes the case. Be careful not to allow them to close your case by agreement if you are not satisfied. Sometimes they will accept the vendor side and close regardless.

If you have the time and inclination doing ‘all of the above’ (eg the BBB) might be a service to others, but do them serially not all at once or it could cause confusion and delay any outcome, let alone a favourable one.

Prior to purchasing from any web site it is always recommended to check how they communicate with customers or hide behind opaque forms and identify themselves beyond their hype, as well as to google for complaints and so on.

6 Likes

That PCWorld Shop looks very familiar - there are a lot of similar StackCommerce shopfronts out there with pretty much the same wares and the same design theme - right down to the discount popup when you first visit the page.

5 Likes

Did someone say “Scam”?

1 Like

I also ordered the lifetime storage. Stay away from Polar Backup. I bought the lifetime storage and after running the program for over three days, I have still over 64,000 files pending. This is in Turbo Mode. When I inquire about the problem to Polar Backup tech support, I was told to reinstall using the repair option. Another two days and same results. They asked for logs and I sent it but they responded that I have not. Basically delay tactics every day. They finally said to uninstall and reinstall all the MS Visual C++ redistributable and this is when I said “enough” since no other program using the Visual C++ redistributable have problems. So I requested a refund and they deflected it to PC World where I purchased the package. PCWorld said they’re contacting the vendor, etc. etc. To make a long story short, I have a USELESS product which I spend $59 and now I can’t even cancel and get a refund. Do not use PCWorld shop /stackcommerce since apparently they will just talk you out of getting a refund and basically has no reasonable refund policy.

5 Likes

G’day Raoul and welcome to the forum. Well done to identify the delaying tactics.

While US residents do not have anything like our Australian Consumer Law, you can still go to your issuer for a credit card chargeback if you used a card, or open a paypal dispute if you paid that way. Each will require their own evidence trail but misrepresentation (in various forms) should be easy to demonstrate.

Separately a complaint to the Better Business Bureau seems in order since stackcommerce is a member, but you might best wait to see how a card chargeback or paypal dispute goes before doing so.

Good luck with that.

3 Likes

Much the same here. Delay, delay, BS, deflect, lie …

After the refund refusal I instigated complaint with PayPal. They replied to PayPal that it was out of their hands because I applied outside the 15-day period in their T&Cs. The original request was on day three (3) … not to mention that the website had a “30-day Money-back GUARANTEE”!

I have continued battling-on with the program … If I’m going to be stuck with this “storage space”, I might as well use it. The program stopped uploading and no amount of resetting/rebooting would fix it, so I reinstalled … three times!

Still didn’t work. It could not be activated as it would not accept my stored password. Employed the “forgot password” facility several times to no avail. Gave it one last chance using the link from the website (instead of the previously downloaded setup exe) and was successful! Yay!

At the current rate, presuming no further breakdowns, it should complete the backup in about a month running 24/7 … in turbo mode.

3 Likes

Was that a dispute or a formal complaint?

Paypal’s Australian presence and regulatory framework including complaints and oversight can be found here.

Note that we have mediation rather than resolution from https://www.afca.org.au/ that is as often as not pretty window dressing to provide us with often unfounded assurances in financial dealings. Companies that want to do the right thing do, and those that do not do not, when the AFCA wrings it hands and suggests you might consider a lawsuit.

3 Likes

So far, I have only instigated a dispute with PayPal. PolarBackup responded with the 15-day rubbish. I will get back to PayPal, I believe I have until 11 Nov to do so.

Not my first rodeo. Had dispute with Lenovo (immortalised somewhere here), which was only resolved after two years of back-and-forth e-mails. Australian authorities were useless. Seems to be many company’s method these days … just stall until you give up and go away.

4 Likes

Have you thought of taking action in your State’s Civil Admin Tribunal if other ways don’t work out. ACL should cover you here as the product is sold here and the Tribunals are then able to rule on those matters.

2 Likes

The cynics among us realise Tribunals can rule but they usually have no authority to enforce, although their rulings can be used as evidence when/if one goes to court for enforcement of whatever is due.

3 Likes

If the other ways fail at least something may come of taking Tribunal action. I didn’t say it would be an avenue to proceed with now as they do have other actions in the works. I also agree they may not get anything back even if they go and win in the Tribunal but it may lead to some better outcome when all else is lost.

2 Likes

If in your opinion the product is ‘flaky’, then I would strongly recommend against using it. While it may make all sorts of claims about how secure your data is, if the product is in other ways not up to scratch those claims may not be worth the pixels upon which they are written.

I bought a similar inexpensive ‘backup’ solution several years ago, and realised rather quickly that the security seemed to be rather lacklustre. In that case I simply accepted the loss and deleted the program.

Actually, I have now looked through my records and that product called itself “Degoo Premium: Lifetime 3TB Backup Plan”. I bought it from StackSocial - as mentioned earlier in this thread, a lot of these websites use the same basic shopfront. (StackSocial still has Degoo, and is also listing Polar Backup.)

4 Likes