Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Etsy Shop Feature 12/19/2012- Random Shops

I am a huge fan of Etsy. I could spend hours there looking at everything I want to buy. I have made so many treasuries on there and once had one of my treasuries make it to the front page (most exciting Etsy moment for me ever!). Well with my old blog I always did features on Etsy shops and loved that I could help give more exposure for them. So today I'm featuring some random shops I found while wandering through all of Etsy's goodies.

Pea Pickle Farm's shop owner Leslie Allen lives in Michigan. She makes ornaments, candles and lip balm from natural beeswax. You can check out her journal at or her youtube channel at You can also find her on Twitter @PeaPickleFarm Here are some of my favorites from her shop!

Creation Unique is a brand new store still awaiting on its first sale! Based out of Memphis, Tennessee These darling little bows are sure to make any little girl happy.


Hodgepodge - Last One of 2012

Though it is the last hodgepodge of 2012 this is my first one!

1. How will you spend 'the night before Christmas'?
We will be at the parents of my husband's ex-wife. We try and be civil between the two families and his ex's parents have always been good and kind to my son. It is also nice for my step-daughter to be able to celebrate the holiday with both of her brothers at the same time.

2. What is one thing you are not?
A fan of cleaning hahaha

3. Fudge-are you a fan? Your favorite flavor?
Eh I can do a bite or two but that is it. I usually like peanut butter or peanut butter and chocolate.

4. Did you attend any craft/vendor fairs in the month of December? Do you prefer homemade goodies or the more professional stalls? Are you giving any homemade gifts this year?
No I usually don't attend craft fairs. I'm all about homemade goodies though. This year for Christmas I'm making about 8 different kinds of cookies as gifts for close family and friends.

5. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering?
Small family get togethers.

6. We're approaching a new year...what's going to be different in 2013?
I'll be blogging! Whoo-hoo new blog

7. Share a favorite scripture, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to peace.
"The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war."
                                     Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. Insert your own random thought here.
 I hope every one has a very Merry Christmas and safe and happy New Years.

Amazon-Beware of Double Billing- Part 2

Logo Courtesy of

In Part One I told you all about how Amazon double charged me causing 2 $30 overdraft fees. For those that do not want to go back and read the short of it is that I had to contact Amazon multiple times before ultimately going through my bank to get the charge reversed. I was still out the $60 in overdraft fees.

Here I was very upset over the whole thing. I found myself logging onto Facebook and telling my friends and family what had happened. I did a little bit of research on the net and found so many others had the same exact thing happen to them. So I went directly to Amazons facebook page and after reading a number of comments of people unhappy at Amazon I decided to voice what happened to me. I received a copy and pasted response that I could fill out an inquiry form. I was very snarky and replied to their response that yes indeed I too can copy and paste like they do. I then received a non copy/paste reply that gave me some hope. So I went to the link and filled out only to receive 12 hours later the same copy/pasted reply about their bank confirming only one charge.

2 more times I commented on Facebook expressing my disgust over their company. It was then that Crystal R intervened. She attempted to call me but I don't answer withheld/unknown numbers. We communicated via email and I explained why I was so upset and angry with Amazon. I explained how now my 5 year old son and 14 year daughter were not going to be getting more than one gift each because we are going through hard times and being out that $60 is huge. Crystal then did the one thing that redeemed Amazon and had them credit me the $60 overdraft fees. The credit on my bank account says "goodwill credit". Either way I'm happy to say that I can continue to do business with Amazon because they finally stepped up and did the right thing.

Here are my personal thoughts from experience on what you should do if Amazon double bills you.

1. Immediately contact both your bank/credit card company and Amazon. Do not wait the 6-10 day period. Inform them of the double charge. Have BOTH look in to it. By contacting both you are covering all bases. Your bank/credit card company may ask when you informed both parties of the double charge and what sort of contact you had with Amazon over it.

2. Keep a record of all emails and names of those you have been in contact with both at Amazon and your bank/credit card company. Jot down simple notes of what was said in phone conversations.  Again your bank/credit card company may want to know how many times you contacted them/amazon and what ways you communicated.

3. If your bank confirms the double charge  and Amazon says you were not  double charged you can either
              A. File a dispute of charges with your bank
              B. Wait for a paper statement and fax it to Amazon (though most banks no longer give them and it takes a long time)
              C. Three way call with your bank and Amazon Customer Service

4. Keep copies of your order confirmation, shipping confirmation and packing slip when item arrives. You may need these to show to your bank/credit card.

5. Do voice your opinion on their Facebook page. Emails and phone conversations in my experience lead to nothing. They care though when other people can publicly see your complaints.

6. Don't give up. Be honest and forthright. If your bank credits you back the money but you have an overdraft fee talk to your bank and see if they will waive it. If your bank wont (mine would have but it would have required another visit and wait over 1-2 weeks) then let Amazon know. By letting them know how they were ruining Christmas for us they realized that it was better to pay for their mistake and make a happy customer.

7. No matter how big or small the double charge or subsequent fees are you have a right to be heard. Warn others of what has happened but do let them know if and how it is resolved. Try and keep your anger in check when dealing with customer service. Let them know you are angry but avoid calling names/cursing/being offensive. 

8. Contact them several times without spamming. Writing on their Facebook page once every day or two or calling/emailing them every day or two lets them know you are serious. Doing this more than that will just keep your anger amped up and they are more likely to ignore you.

I would love to hear from others that have been through this and what they did to resolve it.

Amazon- Beware of Double Billing Part 1- My Story

Logo courtesy of

Here is a cautionary tale for any one who shops from Amazon. Last month my husband and I decided to buy two items on Black Friday from's Lightening Deals. The one item went through fine and we received our confirmation email and were charged the correct amount. However the second item which was more expensive caused us much frustration. We had ordered the new Skylander's Giants  Portal Pack for our XBox360. The order seemed to go through fine and we received our order confirmation. However, the next day as I signed online to check my checking acount balance I noticed something odd. There was a double charge for the Skylander's. I thought to myself this has to be wrong. I was worried that maybe I had done something wrong and had accidentally ordered two somehow. So I logged into my Amazon account only to confirm that I had only ordered one.

From here the trouble starts. I immediately contacted Amazon. Number one getting in contact with people at Amazon is a nightmare. First you have to find the contact us information on their website. The website doesn't just give you a number to call you have to go through trying to look up answers to your issue before you can even find email/phone numbers. After sitting on hold for a few minutes I was put through to someone who very obviously was not a native English speaker. Though they give names like "Sam" and "Vicki" it is obvious that is the American name they have taken on for Amazon's Customer Service. I explained the situation to the person on the line. I spent nearly 20 minutes arguing with the person. I was told that my bank had put a hold on my account and that it should clear up in 6-10 business days. I was also told that Amazon does not take out any money from accounts till an item has been shipped. I told the woman politely that "well then my items must have shipped because I have 3 charges on my account and only 2 were authorized". I was then lied to again and told that once the items shipped that extra charge would go away. She then said that she would put in a request for their fraud detection team to see if I was double charged and that I would be CALLED in 12 hours.

48 hours later I still had not received a call from Amazon. It turns out instead that they had sent a copy and pasted email to us stating that their bank only showed one charge and that if our next statement showed the double charge we could fax our statement over to Amazon. I called my bank at that point and had them look in to it on their end. They had to forward the issue to the people who work on the debit portion of my checking account. They called me 20 minutes later to confirm that indeed Amazon had double charged me. They told me I had two options I could come down to the bank to file a dispute or I could fax Amazon a screen shot of my checking account. You see my bank like so many others has gone green and no longer sends out paper statements. At this point I email back Amazon and explain to them how my bank does NOT give paper statements and I attach to the email a copy of my online bank statement clearly showing the double charge. I also mentioned how my bank confirmed the double charge and gave my bank's contact information. On top of that my husband also faxed over the same exact thing to Amazon. So what happens? We receive the same exact copy and paste reply we received before that their bank only shows one charge. The only thing on the emails that changed is the replying person's name at the bottom.

As you can imagine at this point I'm getting pretty angry. Well the next bit had me ready to completely leave Amazon all together and never look back. We could not afford that double charge and it began to cost us even more as two automatic payment charges came in causing us to receive 2 $30 overdraft fees. We would have been fine had we not been charged that extra $40. At this point we were out nearly $100. Wednesday we received both items we ordered and we still were showing the double charge plus now we had the two $30 overdraft fees. I decided to stop dealing with Amazon since I was just stuck talking to people in India who really didn't care that now my son was only going to be opening the Skylanders gift on Christmas since that $100 would have bought him a number of nice little gifts and mommy and daddy are broke and behind on bills. I then go to my bank and fill out a dispute on the charge. My bank refunds me the double charge but did not refund me the $60 for overdraft fees.

Continue in Part Two-I'll tell you what I personally believe you should do if it happens to you and how I got Amazon to pay for the overdraft fees.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

First Post for a not So New Blogger

Photo courtesy of mike Licht,

Here it is my first post on my brand new blog. However I am not what one would call a new blogger. I used to blog on smallish/medium sized book blog. I loved that blog. Loved it so much that lately I've been missing it. So what to do? Do I go back and start posting after abandoning it for a whole year? Do I wipe it clean and start fresh? Or should I leave it out there and just start a brand new blog elsewhere. As you can tell I chose to start a brand new blog.

Photo courtesy of John Althouse Cohen
I learned a lot in my first blog. I learned how to successfully host a giveaway. I learned the best times to post and the best ways to drive traffic to my blog. I forged friendships along the way and learned a lot about myself. However, I soon grew tired of the constant upkeep. The most successful blogs require lots of work and lots of time. At that time my son was still home and taking care of him took up most of my day. Now my son is in kindergarten but is struggling. It appears he has both behavioral and learning disabilities. Right now as I type the school is arranging testing for him. I love my son with all my heart but taking care of him can be very taxing.

So why am I blogging when it takes so much time and energy? Because I've let so much of my life fall apart. I need to start taking care of myself and my family. I need to stop wallowing in my depression. One of the best ways is to get organized. One of the best helpers at organizing? Blogging, of course! So please join me on my journey to straighten out the mess that has become my life.