All Business, Good & Bad

Sometimes, an awful consumer experience. Let's call them out. Okay, mostly. But sometimes awards. Yes? All the accounts are truthful. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike. Email me with your stories and I'll include them.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Fla-Shop: Warnings and Language Barriers

I was looking for an interactive USA map for a client last week, something on short notice, something in Flash that I could buy the bare bones of and tweak to add specific functionality. After some digging, I found The site's a little busy, a little confusing, but after fishing around for a little bit, I found a functioning Flash app that looked like it fit the bill. After reading the description, I purchased the zip file for $69.

After purchasing the file, I quickly realized they were not selling me the FLA Flash source file, just the compiled SWF file that can be modified by pre-programmed elements through an XML file.

The store is called Fla-Shop. The description of the product states that no source file programming is required. But nowhere does it state that the FLA file is not included. So now I have a Flash app that I either need to convince my client to get less than he wants or eat $69.

I emailed Fla-Shop with this problem and they backed up their good name with the following:
It can be compared about name Microsoft. The word "micro" is
meaningful "very small". During too time products from company
Microsoft become more and more big (by quantity of megabytes).
Of course, this argument makes no sense. I'm saying I entered Boxes, Etc. and when I bought one I got a picture of a box and he's saying I should be disappointed when I enter Pac Sun and the Pacific Ocean is not there. And needless to say, there is a language barrier here.

So Fla-Shop falls into the Questionable Business category:
  • they are not really selling what their name says they're selling
  • if you somehow magically knew you were supposed to search for an FLA source file, you'd have to search
  • the website is confusing
  • and "customer support" will blame you for having unreasonable expectations and invalidly argue that point with etymology of a language they don't fully grasp.

But I'm not entirely without blame. I was in a hurry, frustrated by the site, and didn't take the time to explore every corner. I also assumed that "Fla-Shop" would be selling me an FLA file.

Lesson? As always, caveat emptor. If you have even the tiniest of inklings that something is not conveyed correctly or the least question about a product, it is always worth the time to contact someone and clarify the issue. And never, never assume when your money's on the line.

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