Thank you Citibank! I got my money back because of the service you have provided.
My online shop was outdated after using it for more than 5 years. It was time to upgrade to make sure that it was secure and to give my customers a new look when they visited it the next time. Instead of doing it myself, I decided to engage a company for the upgrade so that they were able to handle unexpected events during the upgrade.
There were 2 options, go fiverr or upworks, shortlist the programmer I should work with and engage him with me tracking the progress from time to time. The only problem was finding the right guy for the job.
The second option was to engage a local Singapore company which I have used before for the project and not to worry about Personal Data Protection since the company was registered in Singapore.
I chose the second option. How wrong I was to choose this option.
After dragging the launch for more than 2 months, I decided to take over the upgrade. It was then that I found out later that the programmer who was doing the upgrade did not have the relevant experience. Instead of using a tool to transfer the database, he was manually transferring the data one by one. I didn’t trust his method because the switch over required (because it was live data) was about 2 hours. If he was going to take one month to transfer the data manually, my data would have been outdated and the process would have to restart all over again. I decided to stop his service but he refused to budge. He kept telling me that he was going to finish soon.
I have no confident in using him knowing that his method was wrong. Since he refused to budge, I decided to talk to his boss. That was another bomb that I receive. His boss told me that the programmer is from India and his company was not involved. The programmer basically just his company name to get projects. If I wished to terminate the project, I need to talk to the programmer who refused to budge.
I have no confident in his work and yet I was not able to get my money back. So I decided that I should cut my losses by waiting for him to hand over what he had done and I got someone else to take over.
I did that. But since I had paid him using a credit card, I decided to call Citibank and see if there was a way to get my money back. It was more than 3 months long and the programmer would have been paid. I was trying my luck. To my surprise, Citibank customer service officer told me that there was still a possibility to get my money back. I didn’t believe her, really but since I activated the process, I decided to just go along. It did not take a lot of effort for me to activate the process. I didn’t place a lot of hope in it actually.
After going through a round of dispute and appeal, I was surprised to get my money back after more than 6 months. It was a very pleasant surprise! This could only happen because Citibank customer service officer was able to advise me correctly. Thanks to her.
Citibank, if you wish to find out who she is, please feel free to contact me so that I could give you the reference number for you to trace her. She deserved to get a recommendation from me.
Lessons to be learnt:
1. Do your due diligence to shortlist the vendor whether online or offline.
2. Online is a better choice if you do one. Because the vendor does not receive the money until you approved the delivered. Upworks is a better choice because the payment needs to be approved by you. Fiverr will release the payment if you don’t respond within 3 days. That could work against you if you missed the email regarding the delivery.
3. If you choose to work with a brick and mortar company and if they have credit card payment option, use it. My case is a good example of the protection I could get with credit card payment. Use Citibank because I do not know if other banks have the same high standard of customer services. I have been with Citibank for more than 20 years.