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Dirty Microbe - bad customer service and no contact

primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposalDetroit, MI Icrontian
edited Sep 2007 in The Icrontic Pub
I don't know how popular they are or if you guys have ever ordered (or wanted to order) from dirtymicrobe.com. They make a lot of funny t-shirts.

At any rate, I ordered one on June 19th, they charged my credit card right away and sent me this lovely and trendy cute email:
Dirty Microbe said:
Brian,

Thanks for your Dirty Microbe order! As we speak, legions of packing
ninjas are assembling your products and lovingly placing them in our or-
ganically grown styrofoam containers.

If you have any problems or questions, just respond to this e-mail.
You can check on your order's progress with this link:

some link

Your order is expected to ship on
=================================

Wednesday June 27, 2007
by 03:00 PM eastern
Oh hay! Thankz ninjaZ! how cute!

Unfortunately, I never got the shirt and when I emailed them starting on July 5th, I didn't get any responses either.

I'm starting to see other, similar complaints around the web.

Point being: despite the ubiquitous advertising and trendy, indie shirts, STAY THE **** AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY. THEY SUCK. :rant:

Comments

  • RWBRWB Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    Good to know, thanks ;)
  • GargoyleGargoyle Illinois Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    They had some cop-out excuse on their contact page about being overloaded with emails right now. They said the wait to hear back was one or two days, hardly the week that you've experienced.

    Glad you warned me off them. I have a weakness for t-shirts.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    Still no contact. I found the owner's personal email address and emailed him directly.

    Nothing.
  • ThelemechThelemech Victoria Member
    edited Jul 2007
    Thanks for the heads-up:eek:
  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ @TheButterflyman Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    Yeah, I see their ads around, and I've oft been tempted to order from them. No longer.
  • NomadNomad A Small Piece of Hell Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    Road trip with pistols.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    Still nothing. I've emailed the CEO twice and the [email]support@dirtymicrobe.com[/email] address like four times now.

    ****! :rant:
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    Nomad said:
    Road trip with pistols.
    Werd !! :mad:
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    Oh they have a myspace. time to see if he'll be my "friend" :rarr:
  • DanGDanG I AM CANADIAN
    edited Jul 2007
    just call your credit card company, 99% of the time they immediately side with the card holder and will do a chargeback to the company.
  • NomadNomad A Small Piece of Hell Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    primesuspect said:
    Oh they have a myspace. time to see if he'll be my "friend" :rarr:
    What is it? I'll get people I know to leave negative feedback about their customer service.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    The "corporate" profile:
    http://www.myspace.com/dirtymicrobe

    Christian Von Kleist's profile (the "CEO")
    http://www.myspace.com/cvonkleist

    One of the models/employees ("cat")
    http://www.myspace.com/starinmyjar

    :mad:
  • ThelemechThelemech Victoria Member
    edited Jul 2007
    primesuspect said:
    Oh they have a myspace. time to see if he'll be my "friend" :rarr:
    :eek3: Did he make you his "friend" yet?;D

    Dirty Trolls:werr:
  • tmh88tmh88 Pittsburgh / Athens, OH
    edited Jul 2007
    too bad the company sucks, this shirt is amazing http://dirtymicrobe.com/products/roflmao
  • edited Jul 2007
    Prime, have you gone and rated these asswipes at resellerratings.com yet? I see they aren't listed there yet, so you should by all means go get them listed and give them a bad rating. It might save someone else from getting ripped off by these bastards.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    I've been in contact with some of their affiliates, and unearthed other, similar complaints as well. For all it looks like - they've dropped off the face of the earth. I hope it's just "They're thieves and jerks" and not something tragic instead... :(
  • GargoyleGargoyle Illinois Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    primesuspect said:
    I hope it's just "They're thieves and jerks" and not something tragic instead... :(
    For real. Some of their models were kind of cute.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    The other thing that doesn't endear me to them right now is that it is basically impossible to find a real phone number for them. I've gone through all my normal intervestigation methods and can only find that one number they give as their "fax" number. I'm going to fax them:

    image
  • edited Jul 2007
    Hey.

    Just signed up, as i googled and found this thread.

    I too am having similar problems with Dirty Microbe.

    I ordered two shirts on the 30th May. I put a ticket in 21st June when it became apparent nothing had come...i got a response on the 22nd June
    Chris,

    Hi! Sorry your package hasn't arrived yet! Shipping to the UK
    usually takes about 4-7 business days, so if it hasn't arrived by
    now, it could be that your package was lost (hopefully not!) or that
    it's being returned to us because of a delivery error (which is
    usually at a snail's pace).

    Though I see your order as having been shipped on the 8th, I noticed
    that somehow you never received a shipping confirmation with your
    order--- we really apologize for that! We take pride in keeping our
    customers well-informed throughout the order process, and its strange
    that you were overlooked. I blame human error on our part, since
    those emails are sent manually. :(

    However, since not getting a confirmation shouldn't keep you from
    getting your package, I'm going to assume it lost and put you down
    for a reship. :) Can you please verify that it was shipped to the
    right address?:

    [Address Blanked out]

    Thanks very much for letting us know about the problem, Chris!
    I'm sorry about the shipping trouble, but we'll be more than happy to
    send you another. :)

    -- Effie
    I responded confirming my address, and heard nothing.

    Since that i have had no human replies. I have placed tickets on the 2nd July, 6th July, 10th July, and Today. I am considering calling Mastercard (as i paid via Credit) with this information and point em to the fact this is quite possibly a scam/fraud.

    I called the number i found on their page on their certificate site... 352-505-1911. This went through to a "this number is not in service". I called from the UK so i stuck a +1 in front. I assume that was right number. If anyone from the states could check, i'd be much obliged.

    I'm pretty fecking annoyed with this whole thing. It's coming up to 2 months since i ordered.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    I just tried the number:

    "We're sorry you've reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service."

    I'm willing to bet that they're gone. Out of business. I'd recommend everybody call their credit card companies and get the charge refunded.

    Thanks for checking in, Chris :)
  • edited Jul 2007
    if you drill down via whois you can get alot of info, (use the godaddy links at the bottom). home addresses/phone numbers. neither work out of interest. one seems too long, other says its out of service, after ringing.
    Registrant:
    Dirty Microbe, Inc.

    329 NW 17th St K
    Gainesville, Florida 32603
    United States

    Registered through: GoDaddy, Inc.
    Domain Name: DIRTYMICROBE
    Created on: 21-Jan-06
    Expires on: 21-Jan-08
    Last Updated on:

    Administrative Contact:
    Christian von Kleist, - zybx
    Dirty Microbe, Inc.
    329 NW 17th St K
    Gainesville, Florida 32603
    United States
    3522145092 Fax -- 3522145092

    Technical Contact:
    Christian von Kleist, - zybx
    Dirty Microbe, Inc.
    329 NW 17th St K
    Gainesville, Florida 32603
    United States
    3522145092 Fax -- 3522145092
    Registrant:
    N/A

    9999 SW 13th St.
    Gainesville, Florida 32608
    United States

    Registered through: GoDaddy, Inc.
    Domain Name: ZYBX
    Created on: 10-Feb-02
    Expires on: 10-Feb-08
    Last Updated on: 19-Mar-07

    Administrative Contact:
    vonKleist, Christian zybx
    N/A
    9999 SW 13th St.
    Gainesville, Florida 32608
    United States
    +1.34958322972 Fax -- +1.34958322972

    Technical Contact:
    vonKleist, Christian
    N/A
    9999 SW 13th St.
    Gainesville, Florida 32608
    United States
    +1.34958322972 Fax -- +1.34958322972
    That second one looks reet dodgy.

    is his listed email address/domain for the second one. tried both, second rings twice...then says it's not in service

    second one seems too long.

    gonna give this another few tries to see if i can find someone to shout at, if not i'll be calling mastercard.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    I've emailed Christian a few times, and tracked down his other personal email addresses from other domains he owns, as well as sent him messages on facebook and myspace.

    Nothing.

    Chargeback time :(
  • LeonardoLeonardo Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    However, since not getting a confirmation shouldn't keep you from
    getting your package, I'm going to assume it lost and put you down
    for a reship. :) Can you please verify that it was shipped to the
    right address?:
    Classic stalling verbiage. 10 to 1 odds they are going out of business (or already closed) and want to be out of site before stiffed customers have any power against them.
  • edited Jul 2007
    applied for a chargeback already. if they wanna send me free t-shirts, so be it xD
  • edited Jul 2007
    Hows about... ya say... open some of yer emails and get responding... cos by now i'm assuming your quite happy with my money, but i'm not happy about my lack of shirts.

    If i do not get a reply by Friday 20th July 2007, i will be calling mastercard and getting my money back, and filing a fraud report against you.
    actually got a response.
    Chris,

    Hi! Sorry you weren't happy with your purchase at Dirty Microbe.
    Have you gotten in touch with Percy or Kelli at [supportemailaddy]? I started Dirty Microbe, but most of the
    operations are handled by staff.

    If you can't get your problem taken care of through support,
    please let me know! I'll be happy to call in and bust some heads if
    that's what's required.

    Thanks! ^__^

    -- Christian
    I responded with...
    Hello,

    I've actually sent 5 separate tickets now, via the web form. I originally have had one from "effie" asking for an address confirmation, and then heard nothing.

    It seems i am not the only person having problems with your company

    [links to here and t-shirt island - blogspot] < which i have posted at also

    I have found other links on google as well, but frankly cba to hunt them down at the moment.

    I have actually already contacted my card company and have forms on the way regarding this matter for a chargeback.

    I am really disappointed in this company. I was very impressed at your range, but the service has been diabolical.

    I am still considering whether or not to proceed with this order or whether its less hassle to just cancel it now and just forget about it.

    I would seriously suggest getting some phone lines that work, and some staff that care.

    Regards

    Chris
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    Amazing that you got a response. I guess the threat of fraud reports got his attention. I've emailed him 3 times with no response at all.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    Well I finally got a response.... On facebook of all places. It had to come from the owner - I STILL never got a response from any of their support staff.

    Two months later, and I'm getting my $19 refunded. Yay, I guess :-/

    I suggested to Mr. Von Kleist that he check up on his staff. They're obviously not doing their jobs very well.
  • ThelemechThelemech Victoria Member
    edited Jul 2007
    primesuspect said:
    Well I finally got a response.... On facebook of all places. It had to come from the owner - I STILL never got a response from any of their support staff.

    Two months later, and I'm getting my $19 refunded. Yay, I guess :-/

    I suggested to Mr. Von Kleist that he check up on his staff. They're obviously not doing their jobs very well.
    Well, at least you got your refund - two months though - WTF!
  • edited Jul 2007
    Gonna pop him an email tonight. I have my forms here from the card company.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    Try facebook. I emailed him thrice to no avail.
  • edited Jul 2007
    will give it a shot, i got one reply via email... can't access facebook from work :(
  • edited Jul 2007
    I am also having problems with these guys! the last i heard from then was 1st of June and this was their reply,
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Karl,

    Hi! I see that your order was indeed expected to ship out on the 22nd, so I'm very sorry it hasn't yet! We try really hard to meet the expected ship date on all our orders, but unfortunately a large shipment of blank shirts from American Apparel arrived late and delayed our printing schedule last week. Because of that, some orders from that day are still going out late. :(

    I'm so sorry for the delay! Virtually all of our orders ship out on time, but in the past few weeks our traffic volume has doubled and we're rushing to get everything printed. Our shipping and customer support queues are waaay backed up as a result, so we totally apologize for the inconvenience, and for not responding sooner.

    I'm going to add a lifetime 15% off discount card to your order, and I hope that it partly makes up for the totally uncool lateness. Thanks very much for letting us know about the problem, Karl! We'll get your order shipped ASAP. :)

    Kelli

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    15% discount, sure il just give you even more money for nothing!! I got the credit statement checked, it seems they cashed in my money as soon as they received it..

    I made my order 14th May, and other than the email pasted in this entry, i have heard or recieved nothing! I even emailed a section of the Fair Trading Act (New Zealand Law stuff) that pretty much got them! if not for the fact they are in America..

    I'm pretty newb at the whole international/credit card thing, what the hell should i do? ring up the credit card company and explain this or get in contact with Mr. Von Kleist, and if the latter, what is his email address? i have a word or 2 to say to him -_- 1 of the t-shirts i ordered was for a birthday present! got yelled at because i had to come up with a secondary present -_- stupid microbe ninjas, they call them selves ninjas! SIF!

    Help meh plz =(
  • ThelemechThelemech Victoria Member
    edited Jul 2007
    Snowman said:
    I am also having problems with these guys! the last i heard from then was 1st of June and this was their reply,
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Karl,

    Hi! I see that your order was indeed expected to ship out on the 22nd, so I'm very sorry it hasn't yet! We try really hard to meet the expected ship date on all our orders, but unfortunately a large shipment of blank shirts from American Apparel arrived late and delayed our printing schedule last week. Because of that, some orders from that day are still going out late. :(

    I'm so sorry for the delay! Virtually all of our orders ship out on time, but in the past few weeks our traffic volume has doubled and we're rushing to get everything printed. Our shipping and customer support queues are waaay backed up as a result, so we totally apologize for the inconvenience, and for not responding sooner.

    I'm going to add a lifetime 15% off discount card to your order, and I hope that it partly makes up for the totally uncool lateness. Thanks very much for letting us know about the problem, Karl! We'll get your order shipped ASAP. :)

    Kelli

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    15% discount, sure il just give you even more money for nothing!! I got the credit statement checked, it seems they cashed in my money as soon as they received it..

    I made my order 14th May, and other than the email pasted in this entry, i have heard or recieved nothing! I even emailed a section of the Fair Trading Act (New Zealand Law stuff) that pretty much got them! if not for the fact they are in America..

    I'm pretty newb at the whole international/credit card thing, what the hell should i do? ring up the credit card company and explain this or get in contact with Mr. Von Kleist, and if the latter, what is his email address? i have a word or 2 to say to him -_- 1 of the t-shirts i ordered was for a birthday present! got yelled at because i had to come up with a secondary present -_- stupid microbe ninjas, they call them selves ninjas! SIF!

    Help meh plz =(

    I'm no financial expert! - but I would definitely get in contact with your Credit Company and touch base with them (I'd cancel out on DirtyMicrobe if I was you - shady ..... too many on-line complaints for this to be just coincidence)
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2007
    The only way I was able to get in touch with Von Kleist was through facebook, and that took about two weeks.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Aug 2007
    Apparently this has made Digg....
  • edited Aug 2007
    I've also purchased a tee from Dirty Microbe and received zero merch and zero response from all attempts at contact. I joined Facebook today, for the sole purpose of emailing Christian Von Kleist.

    Here's what I wrote: Christian, As I am sure you are well aware, there are major problems with dirty microbe. I placed order#XXXXX with dirty microbe on July 5th. I have not received my order, nor have I received any human responses to the emails I have sent. I no longer care about the merchandise. I want my money back. When I called my bank about the matter, they informed me that I would need to work with you to make that happen. So I am making an appeal to you in order to get a refund. If I do not hear from you, I will file a police report as advised by my bank. Alicia

    Unlike primesuspect, I received a rather prompt response:

    Alicia,

    Hi! Wow, this is the second Facebook request I've had about Dirty Microbe! It really sucks when your company is letting people down, so I'm really sorry about your late order. :(

    We're experiencing a lot of missed orders, slow support e-mails, and other problems at Dirty Microbe since I left in May, so it's a tricky situation! I hope I can fix things.

    I just refunded $33.98 to your card, and you'll see the credit appear in 1-3 days (usually within 24 hours).

    Thanks for letting me know about the problem, and I'm really sorry for the trouble. We've shipped over 8,000 shirts since I started Dirty Microbe and always had awesome customer support, but in the past 2 months we seem to have disappointed lots of folks.

    Let's see when my refund shows up. Hopefully this is not long and drawn out for me. And hopefully anyone unable to get a charge back worked out will be able to get a refund too.

    I also joined a number of forums, this one included, in order to get the word out that these people are doing bad business.

    @Primesuspect: Have you received your refund?

    Edit: I wonder exactly what he means by "since I left in May"?
  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Aug 2007
    I did receive my refund. My dealings with Christian Von Kleist, in the end, were satisfactory. However I'm still disenchanted with his apparent "shrug of the shoulders" about his company's (major) problems. His response to me was quite the same-- to paraphrase, "Wow, sorry. I'm not there anymore, they must be screwing up. I'll refund your money." Not a great way to "own" a company. :-/
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian
    edited Aug 2007
    Agreed,

    He is not there anymore, but he is giving you the money back? Strange.
  • edited Aug 2007
    Looks like facebook is the way to go. I'll have to do that tonight lol.
  • edited Aug 2007
    hello all,

    i tried to post the link to digg here when i posted it however the forum blocked me...

    too bad this is happening, if we could at least know what's going on or what happened to the company it would be better. until a few months ago all news about them was good news.

    at least we can 'retaliate' our lost money, time and patience by 'dirtying' their image around the web. :bigggrin:

    cya and good luck
  • edited Aug 2007
    I too have fallen victim to the D.M. scam. I think it's about time somebody got a count on unsatisfied D.M. customers so we can band together and do something about it. I, for one, do NOT want to let this go by the wayside. I want my t-shirts or I want my money back. (T-shirts preferable)

    If there are enough unsatisfied customers out there, it might even be worth threatening DM with a lawsuit. If it was just me, I'd probably hang my head and shake my fist at the sky, but after I realized this was a far more significant problem, I got far more significantly irritated.

    Anyone else think that it would be good to compile a list of D.M.'s "victims" to get an idea of how many people they have scammed?
  • LeonardoLeonardo Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Aug 2007
  • LeonardoLeonardo Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Aug 2007
    You guys stiffed by this shop need to report your experiences at Resellerratings.com. Dirty Microbe is not even listed there. I'd do it myself, except that such ratings should be first-person, from the customer. Help protect future, potential customers.
    band together and do something about it
    One word - Resellerratings
  • edited Sep 2007
    Although I was never officially affiliated with or worked at Dirty Microbe, I'm a personal friend of the founders.

    After receiving a MySpace message from someone trying to track down Christian about an order, I did a Google search and found lists of complaints on blogs and forums, including this one.

    Dirty Microbe has been going though severe financial trouble for a few months and has recently gone out of business and filed for bankruptcy. The founders are scrambling to liquidate the company's assets to repay creditors, including outstanding orders. I'd advise anyone who is missing an order to do a chargeback as soon as possible.

    Dirty Microbe was a very small company and unique in that they printed all shirts in house, by hand. I mean, so small that it was rare that more than two people were working at any given time in there. You can imagine the workload. Lack of manpower was one major reason they went under and I suspect the main reason for the silence now. It's hard to imagine how much time it takes to go through the legalese for bankruptcy plus all the other stuff that has arisen from the situation. The owners have pretty much been slammed doing that, and they were already way backed up on orders and support requests.

    Tens of thousands of dollars were invested in printing equipment, web store design, signing artists, affiliates, advertising, etc... and subsequently lost. There was no scam -- believe it or not, order volume was relatively low and the value of all unshipped orders tiny compared to the investment. Many recall that Dirty Microbe shipped a lot of shirts before they went down.

    I feel for anyone been burned by this, I've been shafted by buying stuff online before and I know it sucks. I've tried to advise the owners to make some sort of announcement so those looking for answers have some idea what happened, but they've been tough to get a hold of. I'm sure they're just trying to get past what has been the most difficult time of their lives.

    I'm going to cross-post this on a few of the other blogs in hopes of getting some word out to do a chargeback ASAP, as there is a time limit on those.

    Manny
  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Orange, CA Icrontian
    edited Sep 2007
    Welcome to Icrontic, Manny.

    Thank you for the information. It's depressing to see a company go under, but unfortunately all too common. Even worse, in this case, everyone loses: the company and the customers.
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