Small point, then the big point.
Small point, I heard from a friend that Google’s email service, Gmail, is now offering IMAP access to some percentage of accounts. I’ve been looking forward to this for ages, so I logged onto Gmail to see if my account had been set up with IMAP. It hasn’t, unfortunately, but there was a nice prevalent link on the help page named “What about IMAP?” Clicking it? 404 error. Good help there, Google.
Big point. Later I was lamenting the fact that it’s impossible to find a portable AM/FM radio with rechargable batteries, so that you could charge it like your cell phone or iPod and not have to constantly buy more expensive AAAs. That same friend found a product called Griffin iFM which actually plugs into your iPod and turns it into a radio, no batteries required, and even linked me to Google’s product search page of all the retailers selling the iFM.
The most affordable was from an outfit named Jepago. Never heard of them before, but Google supposedly vets these vendors before allowing them to use Google Checkout, and I trust Google more than most web companies, so I clicked the large “Google Checkout” link next to the product listing and proceeded to enter all my billing information– name, billing address, credit card number, expiration date, that little verification number on the back of the card. I hit “Submit” and waited. And waited. And waited. Five minutes later I gave up, resigned to having to call my credit card provider to reverse the charge that I know is coming. Or, at worst, to have to get a new card altogether as this sleazy company sells my credit card information to very crook in the US.
I’d like to tell Google how much Jepago sucks ass, but of course there’s no feedback link for stores. If it has the Google Checkout logo, it’s supposedly trusted and there’s nothing you can do to change Google’s mind, not even an email address to use. Crap.
The next retailer on Google product search with the iFM listed (Advanced Tech Toys) didn’t steal my card, but their site was terrible. When you created an account, it asked for an address but didn’t specify whether they wanted a shipping address or a billing address. I just took a wild-ass guess and put in my billing address. Next step in the process, it says it’s going to ship to the address I just entered, and if I want it shipped somewhere else I have to add another address to my “address book.” Fine; Amazon works fundamentally the same way. So I go to their address book, and it states clearly at the bottom that I’m only allowed one address. Strike two.
The third retailer I tried (priceparts.com) actually seemed to work on the first try, miracle of miracles.
Hey Google, your Google Checkout retailers all seem to suck. Please do a little bit of quality control, and filter out these scam companies and companies that don’t even have a working website. Thank you.
P.S. As I was typing this, I got an email from Jepago.com. Apparently they HAD processed my credit card and created an order, despite their website not working. Thank God, that means they’re probably not going to steal my credit card information, and hopefully there’ll be a human there that can cancel my order.