BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Programmes: Working Lunch  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Working Lunch Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 17:06 GMT
Addressing the problem
Macromedia website
David wanted to buy Dreamweaver
Watch out when you're buying online.

Your card might be rejected just because of your e-mail address.

Internet shopping is supposed to be easy and good value.

But that's not what David Duxbury found when he tried to buy some new software.

His experience is a cautionary tale for anyone heading for the virtual High Street and using a free e-mail provider such as Yahoo, Hotmail or Bigfoot.

The software in question was on sale from Macromedia's website.

Macromedia website
David's attempt to pay was rejected
It was a package called Dreamweaver which David could use to design and build websites.

But when he tried to pay by credit card a message came up suggesting that David's card company had rejected the transaction.

"It was ridiculous," complains David. "My credit card company said there was no problem."

In fact, it was Macromedia's own anti-fraud system which threw up the misleading message.

Targeting

And the main reason was that David was using a Yahoo address.

Macromedia's Carol Burns
Carol Burns: Fraud problems
"The messaging will be changed," Carol Burns of Macromedia told Working Lunch.

But Macromedia doesn't apologise for targeting internet shoppers who use free internet addresses.

"We had an issue with fraud last summer," explains Carol. "One out of every two attempts came from e-mail addresses that were untraceable or free."

E-mail addresses are not such an issue for internet retailers who end up delivering real goods to a customer's doorstep.

If fraud crops up, they can always run checks on the delivery address.

Alarm bells

But Macromedia's customers tend to download the programmes they buy over the internet.

If they enter an untraceable e-mail address when they register for a purchase, virtual alarm bells start to ring.

David Duxbury persevered with the internet and managed to buy the software from Amazon, using his credit card but paying 4 extra.

That was after Macromedia had offered to make the sale over the telephone for a 20 surcharge, leaving him miffed and mystified.

Home
View latest show
About us
Consuming Issues
Rob on the road
Lunch Lessons
Guides & factsheets
Story archive
Names, numbers & links
Contact us

Watch us on BBC Two
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 12:30pm
Wednesday 1:30pm
Friday 12pm

RELATED LINKS

 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Working Lunch stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes