• Report: #238959

Complaint Review: Square Trade

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  • Submitted: Thu, March 15, 2007
  • Updated: Thu, March 15, 2007

  • Reported By:Alma Arkansas
Square Trade
575 Market Street, 10th Floor San Francisco, California U.S.A.

Square Trade Assured confidence in bidding, deceiptful practices, misleading. ripoff San Francisco California

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Square Trade.com Rip-off report False Advertising, Misleading and deceptive. I have copies of all paperwork, e-mails etc. Will be reporting to FTC and BBB.

I do know a lot of information posted on their website is misleading, contradictory and deceptive. As of 3/14/07 @ approx. 1730 hrs., I have found 36 entries on ripoffreport.com in reference to Square Trade. Mine is next.

Square Trade
Contact- sending email to privacy@squaretrade.com or 575 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105. If SquareTrade does not respond to your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactorily addressed, please contact TRUSTe.

I wanted to buy a portable DVD player for my nephew turning age 5 on March 8, 2007, so I e-mailed square trade to assure this seller was legitimate due to his feedback rating of 98.6% which is not real low compared to # of sales on 1/18/07. Got the following response:
From : SquareTrade - Compliance
Reply-To : SquareTrade - Compliance
Sent : Friday, January 19, 2007 3:34 PM
To : "
Subject : SquareTrade Support


Hello Kimberly,Thank you for contacting SquareTrade. UI have checked and confirmed that this user IS a legitimate SquareTrade seal member. For future reference, you can go to www.squaretrade.com, click on theBuyer Services tab and enter their eBay id in the text box labeled Verify eBay Sellers to know if the user is SquareTrade verified. You should feel comfortable with the SquareTrade Seal and Seal members for the following reasons: We have a stringent multi-factor approval process. It involves identity verification, selling history verification, dispute resolutionhistory verification, type of goods and categories of salesidentification, volume, price and quantity of sales verification among other checks. This process helps us determine and ensure that only those applicants who are likely to fulfill their commitments of meeting the SquareTrade Standards, become Seal members. We have a Compliance Group that uses complex, real-time systems toensure that buyers continue to have a good buying experience withSellers, and that Seal members continue to meet their commitments. However, please note that we are a separate company from eBay, and are not directly involved in item transaction/seller issues. If you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Sincerely,JackSquareTrade Customer Supportwww.squaretrade.com

I placed a bid and won the item for $167.85 on 1/19/07 (paid the same day) and received the receipt along with the item a few days later.

The square trade logo (which I have a printout of the item I purchased) also says bid with confidence. I e-mailed square trade before I bid because square trade requires a certain feedback score before you can become a member (or did at the time), which was 98.3% (it is now too late for me to prove this as I can not find it on their website). The only information I can find is below. This is why I e-mailed Squaretrade before bidding on the item because sellers' feedback was 98.6%, a 3/10 % difference. I felt comfortable after receiving the above e-mail back from them and won the item. Come to find out, the DVD player does not play DVDs, nor does it have a brand name and the e-bay seller is no longer a registered user. I am awaiting a response from e-bay on the date he was deemed or retired as a registered user.

This below website page has their seal/logo with the bid with confidence and Member of Square Trade, but underneath in blue writing and underlined states: click to learn why. Problem is, you can not click there.
http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/sap/overview_seal.jsp;jsessionid=hgoj93h6p2?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&cntid=hgoj93h6p2&odrid=exw6xrh842&memid=yzho6mh7g1&cntid=hgoj93h6p2&odrid=exw6xrh842&stmp=squaretrade&vhostid=daffy&memid=yzho6mh7g1&toRedirectToODR=false


What does the Seal stand for?

The SquareTrade Seal stands for increased trust in a seller. SquareTrade's application review process and ongoing compliance monitoring ensure that only high quality sellers are Seal members. SquareTrade CANNOT guarantee a transaction or Seal member's performance, though the Seal Program can substantially lower the risks of buying online.Then why do they state on website: All SquareTrade Seal Members have agreed to maintain high selling and customer service standards, including but not limited to: Describing in a clear and accurate manner on their listings and/or website:
o Goods and services for sale
o Pricing, including applicable fees
o Policies on after sales services, such as refunds and shipping policies.

Offering products for sale that comply with the marketplace's guidelines

Disclosing Contact Information, including the company name under which they do business, e-mail address, and physical addresses if requested to do so by a buyer. Contact information must be sufficient to ensure customers can contact Seal Members offline. It is like spreading butter into thin air??? And how are sellers held accountable, and what is the definition of standards?
Found @:
http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/hlp/seal.jsp;jsessionid=nmnzrri872?vhostid=daffy&stmp=ebay&disid=25gu8ri7y2&odrid=luofshi873&cntid=nmnzrri872&cate=0&ques=5

The SquareTrade Standards

http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/sap/standards.jsp;jsessionid=nmnzrri872?vhostid=daffy&stmp=ebay&disid=25gu8ri7y2&odrid=luofshi873&cntid=nmnzrri872

First and foremost, Sellers are expected to explicitly define their selling policies, which are to be fair and informative, and to disclose relevant information to their buyers. All SquareTrade Seal Members have agreed to maintain high selling and customer service standards, including but not limited to:

Describing in a clear and accurate manner on their listings and/or website:
o Goods and services for sale
o Pricing, including applicable fees
o Policies on after sales services, such as refunds and shipping policies.

Offering products for sale that comply with the marketplace's guidelines

Disclosing Contact Information, including the company name under which they do business, e-mail address, and physical addresses if requested to do so by a buyer. Contact information must be sufficient to ensure customers can contact Seal Members offline.
SquareTrade makes no representation that the SquareTrade Seal Member is complying with these Standards, nor are we responsible for monitoring compliance with these Standards, (yet, We have a stringent multi-factor approval process, as noted on their website) . If you believe a Seal Member has violated these Standards, please contact compliance@squaretrade.com. Why should someone with no affiliation to their website have to report problems with the people who pay them to do it and why do they have an application review and ongoing compliance monitor?? Or do they as they state?

SquareTrade's Compliance group will investigate complaints made by buyers against a Seal Member for violation of these standards. If, in SquareTrade's sole opinion, a Seal Member is found to consistently violate these Standards and/or fail to act in a fair and ethical manner, their SquareTrade Seal membership may be suspended.

Is there a minimum feedback requirement?

Currently there is no minimum feedback requirement. However, we encourage new sellers who do not have an offline business to get at least 10 positive feedback as a seller before applying for the SquareTrade Seal.
Found @:

http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/hlp/seal.jsp;jsessionid=3pd9fsict1?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&cntid=3pd9fsict1&cate=1&ques=5

Buying from Members

Can I trust a Seal member with low feedback?

Feedback on eBay is only one of many factors that we use to determine if a seller should get the SquareTrade Seal, and if the seller has low feedback, we look at other factors such as off-line selling experience and item type to see if they are worthy of the seal. SquareTrade's application review process and ongoing compliance monitoring can substantially lower the risks of buying online. However, SquareTrade CANNOT guarantee a Seal member's performance or eliminate the risk of fraud.


Found @:
http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/hlp/seal.jsp;jsessionid=3pd9fsict1?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&cntid=3pd9fsict1&cate=8&ques=2

Benefits of Membership

How does having the Seal increase my sales?

Many times, browsers hesitate to bid because they are afraid of having a bad buying experience. The Seal gives buyers the extra assurance they need to buy from you. As a result, Seal members have experienced an increase in sales. This increase varies from seller to seller and depends on a number of factors, including feedback rating and main selling category.

Found @:
http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/hlp/seal.jsp;jsessionid=3pd9fsict1?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&cntid=3pd9fsict1&cate=3&ques=1

Benefits of Membership

Does the Seal really reduce negative feedback?

You bet. A study of 600 Seal members shows a remarkable 43% decrease in negative feedback received after becoming Members. Over the course of 4 months, our Seal members received an average of 1 negative feedback for every 280 feedback left. Before joining the program, the same group received 1 negative feedback for every 160 feedback left. Of course, we can't guarantee that you wont get a negative feedback, but we can also help you get a negative feedback withdrawn if it was left prematurely. You can find out more about withdrawing negative feedback.

Found @:
http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/hlp/seal.jsp;jsessionid=3pd9fsict1?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&cntid=3pd9fsict1&cate=3&ques=3

I must be an idiot, but couldn't believe you can actually pay to have negative feedback permanently removed.

Additional benefits of feedback withdrawal with SquareTrade:

1. Offers permanent removal for transactions ending prior to Feb. 9th 2004. 2. Still possible if other party doesn't respond (see below). 3. Flexibility of single comment withdrawal. 4. No time limit to withdrawal requests if both parties agree. 5. SquareTrade sends multiple email reminders to other party. 6. Unlimited number of comments per month
Found @:
http://www.squaretrade.com/spl/jsp/eby/eb_nf.jsp?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&cntid=3pd9fsict1#eBay

Flexibility of Single Comment withdrawal


If you were left a positive comment and want to withdraw the negative you left for someone else or vice versa, you can use SquareTrade to meet the feedback guidelines for withdrawal. If the other party responds, you can agree to the withdrawal of only one comment or both comments. If the other party doesn't repond, only the comment left for you will be withdrawn.



Found @:
http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/htm/pop/popup_flexSinComment.html

Buying from Members

Why Seal members are more trustworthy.

When you see the Seal on an auction listing, you know that the Seal member has committed toSquareTrade's selling standards. The Selling Standards cover a number of things, including the disclosure of contact information, pricing, and clear return policies. SquareTrade's application review process can substantially lower the risks of buying online. However, SquareTrade CANNOT guarantee a Seal member's performance or eliminate the risk of fraud.
Found @:
http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/hlp/seal.jsp;jsessionid=3pd9fsict1?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&cntid=3pd9fsict1&cate=8&ques=1

Buying from Members

Can I trust a Seal member with low feedback?

Feedback on eBay is only one of many factors that we use to determine if a seller should get the SquareTrade Seal, and if the seller has low feedback, we look at other factors such as off-line selling experience and item type to see if they are worthy of the seal. SquareTrade's application review process and ongoing compliance monitoring can substantially lower the risks of buying online. However, SquareTrade CANNOT guarantee a Seal member's performance or eliminate the risk of fraud.
Found @:
http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/hlp/seal.jsp;jsessionid=3pd9fsict1?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&cntid=3pd9fsict1&cate=8&ques=2

The e-mail I received from Square Trade (above) told me I could (trust a seal member with low feedback). And you should not advertise bid with confidence trust a Seal member with low feedback? This is why I e-mailed before I bid!!

And why should we have to sign in with our e-bay user id and password on Square Trade website to file a complaint, especially when they specifically say they share our information with third parties under their
Seal Member Agreement found @ http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/lgl/seal_use.jsp;jsessionid=sr1ktjj1h2?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&sap2id=8qso1lj212&odrid=hwpnbpj1m1&cntid=sr1ktjj1h2&sealapp=yes
Number 5. 5. User Information.

"Public Seal Information" is defined as any information you provide to us or other users in registration, bidding or the listing process or through any email. SquareTrade's use of Your Public Seal Information is governed by the Privacy Policy. You specifically agree that SquareTrade may provide Your Private Information to a Party in Interest, (WHAT??, Party in interest? And shouldn't provide say sell?) marketplace, licensing body, or government or law enforcement entity if there are complaints about Your sales behavior, or if there is a basis for SquareTrade to suspend or revoke Your Seal. Other than in the case of a concern about Your dispute behavior, suspension or revocation, SquareTrade will use the information specified as Your Private Information in accordance with the Privacy Policy.
Number 3 under Privacy Policy Public eBay Information For eBay Seal Members (pending, currently active, suspended or cancelled) we collect public eBay information including sales, feedback and listing information. We may manipulate this publicly available information to produce meaningful statistics with eBay sales metrics. We may also collect similar information for users of our Dispute Resolution Services.

Upon application for a SquareTrade Seal:

Public When you become a member of the SquareTrade Seal Program and display any SquareTrade Seal, you will want the world to know that you are making smarter, safer, easier online shopping. Accordingly, we will treat it as public information that you, known by your SquareTrade Seal Member Number, have become a member of a SquareTrade Seal Program. Also, your Public SquareTrade Seal Information will be available to the public, the license holder and the marketplace.
Found @ http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/lgl/user_conf_agree.jsp;jsessionid=sr1ktjj1h2?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&odrid=hwpnbpj1m1&cntid=sr1ktjj1h2#conf_infocollect

Nothing is disclosed about keeping your e-bay user id (no big deal) or password (big deal) private. Found under public @ http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/lgl/user_conf_agree.jsp;jsessionid=sr1ktjj1h2?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&odrid=hwpnbpj1m1&cntid=sr1ktjj1h2#conf_infocollect

Although we use industry standard practices to protect your privacy, we cannot guarantee that your personally identifiable information or private communications will remain private, third parties may unlawfully intercept or access transmissions or private communications.

We do not sell or rent any information you provide. It is possible that SquareTrade could merge with or be acquired by another business entity. Should such a combination, you should expect that SquareTrade would share some or all of your information in order to continue to provide service. You will receive notice of such event (to the extent it occurs) and we will require that any new combined entity follow the practices disclosed in this Privacy Policy.
Found @ http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/lgl/user_conf_agree.jsp;jsessionid=sr1ktjj1h2?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&odrid=hwpnbpj1m1&cntid=sr1ktjj1h2#conf_infocollect

These should be issues they take into account, as a member of their posse, we should NOT have to worry about this info., especially if they are so misleading in holding an account with them.

5. Control of Your Password. You may not disclose your password to any third parties or share it with any third parties. If, despite the foregoing, you lose control of your password, you may lose substantial control over your personally identifiable information. Therefore, if your password has been compromised for any reason, you should immediately change your password from the home page (www.squaretrade.com). SquareTrade Seal Program Members may change their membership passwords and other personal identification information by contacting Member Services at memberservices@squaretrade.com , or by going to the Member Services Page on the SquareTrade Web Site. back to top



6. Third Party Collectors of Information. Our policy only addresses the use and disclosure of information we collect from you. To the extent that you disclose your information to other parties, whether to the respondent of the dispute, or to the marketplace wherein the dispute arose, different rules may apply to their use or disclosure of the personal information you disclose to them. Since SquareTrade does not control the confidentiality policies of third parties, you are subject to the confidentiality customs and policies of that third party. back to top



7. Security. SquareTrade uses industry standard efforts to safeguard the confidentiality of your personal identifiable information, such as encryption and Secure Socket Layers. SquareTrade has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse, or alteration of any information under our control. However, "perfect security" does not exist on the Internet. back to top



8. Confidentiality of Dispute Resolution Process. SquareTrade is committed to maintaining confidentiality within the Dispute Resolution process. As described above, SquareTrade will collect and track information about you, the Case, the Dispute Resolution process, the settlement agreement (if any), and your Dispute Resolution behavior. We will retain this information in the strictest confidence, except as otherwise described above. If we are going to use your personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time of collection we will notify you via email. You will have the choice as to whether or not we use your information in this different manner. In addition, if we make any material changes in our confidentiality practices that affect user information already stored in our database, we will post a prominent notice on our web site notifying users of the change. In some cases where we post the notice we will also email users, who have opted to receive communications from us, notifying them of the changes in our confidentiality practices. back to top



9. Links to Other Sites. This Web Site contains links to other web sites. Please note that when you click on one of these links, you are "clicking" to another web site. We encourage you to read the privacy statements of these linked sites as their privacy policy may differ from ours.
Also found @ http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/lgl/user_conf_agree.jsp;jsessionid=sr1ktjj1h2?vhostid=daffy&stmp=squaretrade&odrid=hwpnbpj1m1&cntid=sr1ktjj1h2#conf_infocollect


Appearing on 3 million listings, the SquareTrade Seal is the#1 way to show buyers that you can be trusted.

The SquareTrade Seal shows your buyers that you are:
Continually meeting high selling and customer service standards
Committed to following through with your sales.
A trusted seller who has agreed to meet the SquareTrade Standards

http://www.squaretrade.com/cnt/jsp/sap/overview_seal.jsp;jsessionid=x4kadqjn11?vhostid=daffy&stmp=ebay&disid=m0pzk0jmx2&cntid=x4kadqjn11&odrid=atkam7jn12&stmp=ebay&cntid=x4kadqjn11&campaign=sqt_mem_pro&refid=seal_008749359632&disid=m0pzk0jmx2&vhostid=daffy&toRedirectToODR=false

Topics of dispute (to sum it up):
Consumer deception
Misleading Advertising/False Advertising


By the way, I received an e-mail today, advice received: blame it on someone else:

From : SquareTrade - Compliance
Reply-To : SquareTrade - Compliance
Sent : Tuesday, March 13, 2007 8:09 AM
To :
Subject : SquareTrade Support

Hello Kimberly,Thank you for contacting SquareTrade. We are sorry to hear about this issue.Please note that SquareTrade, the premier online warranty company,offers care plans for eligible eBay items. However we are a separatecompany from eBay, and are not directly involved in itemtransaction/seller issues.If you have attempted to contact the seller of your item and received noresponse, you may want to consider eBay's "Standard Purchase ProtectionProgram".

As a courtesy, I've included some information about this program to assist you in determining your eligibility:EBay's Standard Purchase Protection Program reimburses buyers (up to a maximum of $200, less $25 to cover processing costs) for eligibletransactions when:1. An item was not received. 2. An item was received but significantly not as described.For complete details on eBay's Standard Purchase Protection Programprocess, please copy and paste the following link into your browser: Additionally, if you paid via PayPal, you may want to consider PayPal'sDispute Resolution Center. PayPal offers this buyer forum for filingclaims against:
Items that were paid for, but never received. 2. Items that were received significantly different then describedwithin the eBay listing.For complete details on PayPal's Dispute Resolution process, please copyand past the following link into your browser: #pbp-policyIf you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate tocontact us.
Sincerely,
JackSquareTrade Customer Supportwww.squaretrade.comSquareTrade - Making online shopping Safer, Smarter and Easier! (sm)You can find out more by going to the SquareTrade website.

Original Message Follows:----

As you see, I asked you before I bid on and paid $165.00 for this DVD player I purchased for my nephews 5th birthday on March 8, 2007. I got this response from you. My nephew, my sisters child was excited of course. The DVD player does not play DVDs. What???? I even have the printout of the item (#130069619437) with your logo that reads "Bid with Confidence", and the user is no longer a registered e-bay user (brainydeal). Since he/she is no longer a registered e-bay user, we need to get something straight here. Are you a member of the BBB? I have no idea how/where to get it fixed because there is no brand name. Have you heard of ripoffreport.com? Please help me rectify this situation and not by blowing me off.


UNBELIEVABLE! Who threw this sloppy money making scheme together?

Kimberly
Alma, Arkansas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/15/2007 06:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Square-Trade/San-Francisco-California-94105/Square-Trade-Assured-confidence-in-bidding-deceiptful-practices-misleading-ripoff-San-F-238959. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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