Thursday, December 2, 2010

I’ve Been Had!

So, a couple of months ago I posted about Overstock.com.  I had been contacted by a representative who offered me a reusable 10% off code with no expiration date to share with my readers in exchange for a blog post.

Shortly thereafter, I used the code to order a new sewing machine.  My old one was getting finicky and was a major source of frustration.  I just wanted a simple machine without a hundred stitches I’d never use.  This Brother got good reviews everywhere I looked.  I’ve used it several times, and I like it fine.

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My mother always told me not to sew over top of the pins (the ones holding the two pieces of fabric together, perpendicular to the line of stitching).  My home ec teacher said we could.  I’ve been ambiguous about it ever since, sometimes sewing over top, and sometimes pulling them out before the needle crosses over them.  I’ve never had any problems.

Then today, with my brand new machine, for the first time in 25 years, the thing my mother warned me about happened.  I didn’t take a pin out, and the needle hit it.  It bent the pin and jammed it down into the whatever-you-call-it under the needle until the point poked back up through the other side.

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I had to take the whole plate off to get the thing out.  Considering the damage done to the pin, I was amazed that the machine still appears to be working fine.

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The 10% off code, however, is another story.  I tried to use it the other day, with no luck.  I had a quick online chat with a customer service rep and she had no idea what I could be talking about, as Overstock evidently doesn’t have any codes that do not expire.

I sent an email to the original woman who contacted me with this whole thing, and it looks like her email is no longer working either.  On further inspection, she was in fact a representative of MSO Marketing, and not of Overstock directly.  (Although theoretically, the O could have hired a marketing company.)

So it’s all very strange.  It appears to have been some kind of sham, and yet I was able to use the code once.  And how some third party could benefit from my post about Overstock, I have no idea.  I may delve into this a little more and see what I can find out.  But it seems I’ve been bamboozled!  Hate that.

ETA:  I had one reader who was also able to use the code back in October.  However, I got looking and Elyse Mallone has contacted many bloggers with the same offer, and it’s generally accepted that she is some kind of scam artist. I really don’t know how it benefits her; I did not give her any personal or financial info, and all the links in my post were directly to Overstock.  Weird.

I have deleted my October post, and contacted Overstock (just the customer service dept.  Hopefully, they’ll be able to tell me who I really need to talk to).

11 comments:

Suzan said...

How odd. Yesterday I received an email from a woman with MSO Marketing (apparently) that wanted to speak with me about my blog. I tried to link back without sending an email and the website is not there. Obviously some type of scam but to what end?

About your sewing machine...when you it a pin like that often it throws off the timing. One time should not make a heck of a lot of difference. That being said, don't believe your home ec teacher! I use a very fine pin that I can usually sew over without difficulty but never a regular straight pin. Pull your pins just before you get to them. If your machine has a "needle down" feature it is helpful (so the fabric won't shift) but not necessary.

Paula said...

I'm so sorry about this. I received an email about Overstock and posted a 10% off code. I'm going to go delete that post! I knew I was suspicious and even said that in my post. Please let me know if you find out more. The person who emailed me was Elise Malone.

KarenSue said...

That's a strange thing. How do they gain from this? Interested in what you find out.

Julie said...

How odd! What did Overstock have to say about it? Did they think it was alarming that someone is giving out 10% off coupon codes to bloggers? It will be interesting to see what happens!

Anna said...

I had someone e-mail me the same thing, but I did not reply to the e-mail. My blog is small and it's mostly to share things with friends and family so I wasn't interested in posting giveaways etc

Cass @ That Old House said...

Your machine will survive, but I'd skip the sewing over pins from now on. BTW those things underneath the throat plate on your Brother? Those are called feed dogs. Odd name.

Weird about MSO and Overstock. I've been contacted by MSO also, but haven't pursued it.
It's a funny old world out there.
Cass

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Holly, that is insane! It is crazy to think of all the freaks out there who try to slide stuff like this by. It was pure luck that I happened upon a blog last year that was directly copying my posts and posts from other bloggers. It took us a week of threatening emails (to a man in India!!!) to make him take the blog down, but who knows how many others like him are out there.

Thanks for sharing your story! It's a good reminder to look into things more before I take on any reviews, etc. :s

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

First- I cannot figure out what this Elysse girl gains from this odd scam. I am so sorry but at least you got a fun machine. When I replied back to her- before my post on her was published- her email wasn't working. But she is still using that email so I assume she just blocks certain email addresses once they catch on to her.

Also, I have sewing needles break all the time. I can sew on one for months and then break four in one night. Those are never good nights- haha. I also prick and cut myself all the time too. Sewing's a dangerous sport! :)

Country Dreaming said...

Sorry to hear about this. Hope all turns out and that the machine will work again for you.
One nerver knows about some people.
Thanks for sharing.

Melinda

Hilary said...

My guess is that Overstock and MSO are one and the same. Overstock is hiding behind a faux marketing company called MSO so that you will indeed make purchases without their coughing up the promised discount. They shrug their shoulders at who MSO might be but they've already made the sale. I just got the same email and Googled my way to your blog. So thanks for this.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

How very frustrating for you. I absolutely HATE things like that, when people are underhand for no reason at all.

Grrr.....This has made me feel very cross on your behalf. Still, at least you got your lovely sewing machine!

I got a pin stuck in my machine for the first time the other day so I too have vowed to take my pins out!!

Sarahx