Tuesday 29 December 2020

Santatool & santascrape Warning

Santatool & Santascrape

Given my experience with the company that supplies these.


Image credit Amazon.ca

So, with the onset of Christmas, most of us look for stocking stuffers, little things, gadgets whatever, and what I’ve seen all over the Internet - as I do every year - is this attractive little gadget pictured above. The one I saw on the company's website that this blog post pertains to–which is almost exactly the same picture as the one above–is called the santatool...

(I'm not using any of Santatool's images, which I would think they themselves have no right to use, given the other places I've seen them used. All images here are in the public domain).

Santatool's logo is similar to this - pic courtesy or picpng.com

Perfect for someone I know that might actually get some use out of this little multi tool designed to look like a snowflake. It even comes in a little decorative box and actually fits into a stocking. 


This year I decided not to wait until Christmas Eve to get everything done, and so when I came across this site -  santatool - advertising on Facebook, I was, at first, a little wary, as I am of most sites that advertise on social media.

Looking up which Company they appear to be under the umbrella of, it appears they might run a bona fide business. So then I look at all the comments. I see the moderator, who goes by the names ‘Santatool’ and Santascrape very kindly takes the time to answer the most perfect questions any company could ever hope to be asked from a marketing perspective and subsequently responds with the most perfect answers we all would like to hear–including an assurance that delivery would be made before Christmas. 

In fact, the confirmation stated it would only be 2–5 days by DHL as they (apparently) have manufacturing and distributing facilities in Canada – where I am – as well the US & Australia. 

So I think to myself, I think, well, it seems safe enough. 

I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

 Facebook message, this time about santascrape, from another unsuspecting customer.


Against the better judgement I would usually exercise, I bought the santatool... but only because it wasn’t like I was making a major purchase about which I would be a lot more sceptical of sending large amounts of money to... after which a message popped up to inform me I'd unlocked a special deal for another tool–a santascrape used to de-ice your vehicle’s windscreen. Yay, score! The video, and again, the comments, look great, so I also decided to purchase this neat little thing as a stocking stuffer for another friend. 


Altogether they cost just shy of Cad$30.00. Not bad for a couple of little stocking stuffers, I thought, very pleased with myself that I wouldn’t have to go out any more than I needed to in a Covid infected world.

Duly, I received an email confirming both orders with a link to track them–but not through DHL as one might expect, and which is always suspect. No, this 'tracking' was only on Santatools own website. They said it would arrive between 16th and 20th December.

Cool, I thought. Very efficient. True to what they assured customers about on their Facebook posts.


Again, I couldn’t have been more wrong. 


I checked the tracking every day; a page stating the items were out for delivery–until it didn’t, and that message was replaced by the most ridiculously specific excuse I have ever seen from any company. A message, I feel, is purely intended to give people all the feels to make them not complain when products bought for Christmas didn’t show up anywhere near the promised delivery times

"Oh that poor driver, puts it all into perspective doesn't it?" One can just hear the most gullible say.

(I wonder how many times they’ve used this over the years?)

Needless to say, I found it laughable that, even if it were true (and you can make your own mind up about that message) regardless, I mean... what professional company would actually write such a thing on their so-called tracking? 


In my mind, and not because I can (normally) detect suspicious behaviour a mile away, I don’t believe a word of it. What I personally believe is that Santatool's promise to deliver before Christmas is a ruse to get people to buy. And people throughout the Facebook ad comments asked, “will this be delivered in time for Christmas?” to which they are told not to worry, it will be there on time. Delivery 2 – 5 days.

Yaaay. . .  Not!

(Update:) So, now it is the last week in January, and the Shopify page that took me to 'tracking' (above) and the chat box that appeared on that page no longer exists (screenshots of the chats I had below) but rest assured, I will be keeping an eye on whatever site(s) appears Christmas 2021. This is what the link they sent me leads to now (I thought about buying the domain myself to throw... well... a spanner... in their works (see what I did there?). We'll see....


Now, these items are no good to me after Christmas. They are intended as stocking stuffers after all. I bought them in good faith based on the assurance they would arrive before Christmas. I ordered in very good time on 13th December. Even if they were to be a little late, it wouldn’t matter. Sh!t happens. I get it.


But it begs the obvious question; why these items are now taking up to an entire month to get here even if that poor driver was killed? Why don’t they just send replacements in another 2–5 days? Isn't there a driver who wasn't killed? The reason of course, in my opinion, is that they were always intended to take a month–if they would even ever arrive at all. 


Their listed ‘head office, of course, is in China. No surprise there, really. And I rather suspect there is no facility in any of the countries they mention. I suspect because if people knew these items were being shipped from China, cheapo novelties like these couldn’t possibly be expedited across the world in a matter of days. It just wouldn’t make financial sense. The 'slow boat to China' saying suddenly makes sense – or in this case, from China.


But anyway, still working on the fake 2–5 days delivery premise. If they’re going to take a month, then I can simply cancel and get a refund. Right? They obviously haven’t sent them yet. Right?  But of course, that is much too logical when dealing with a cowboy outfit like this one appears to be. 


So, employ the use of their chatbot which states I would normally receive a reply in a matter of hours. I thinkcool, they’re busy, maybe at the driver’s funeral or something? I can wait. But then the entire day goes by. I send more messagesI send emails. No reply. Zilch. I then decide to comment on their Facebook post to warn others that everything they are being told there by Santatool may not be as promised. Dunno why... just a feeling really.

That’s when I notice that those perfect email questions all sound oddly similar... you know... just the right kind of questions... albeit to my suspicious mind seeming a little manufactured. Many comments have the same slight misuse of English grammar that Santatool & Santascrape use in their various responses to people on their Facebook ads.

(Now, I can’t quite work out how they can have so many different Facebook users commenting if that were the case, as when I look in-depth into some, they do seem to be older accounts with what appear to be genuine posts–unless of course I was just really unlucky and chose genuine comments to look into from people who’ve received these items in the past or there is some way to make it look genuine, like people on Twitter do to appear to have more followers). Nonetheless, that's beside the point.


There are absolutely incredible reviews on that Facebook post, though. Even one person drowning in a car who didn’t need any strength at all to use this small santatool to easily smash the window and escape. (Have you ever seen videos of people trying to do that? Like, for real? Apparently, it's quite impossible). But hey, this kind commenter on Facebook just tapped the glass, no less. Wow! Good for them. Thank you santatool! Well worth the $20.00 they spent. We should all keep one of these things in the car in case Google maps goes a little psycho, drives us into a lake, over the ocean or a windy cliff.

Others have ordered multiple tools, can you believe? I couldn't. 5 & 6 of them even. That’s how fantastic these things must be. Some people say they want even more to keep handy all over the house because you'll never know when you'll need one. To boot, the people who received them as gifts are, apparently, positively orgasmic over them. It really is the best Christmas ever, and it's all due to these tiny little novelty tools. Why spend money on anything else ever again?Maybe Santa himself enchanted these gadgets at the North Pole? Who knows for sure? Magic is real, after all... well, according to my 10yr old nephew.

But you know what… my less than complimentary comments were deleted within a minute. (If only theyd been that quick to respond on their chatbot, or to one of my many emails. But still, they were probably grieving the driver’s untimely demise and the loss of all the products they said got smashed on his truck). 


I thought it strange, though, reading through all these amazing comments, that while there were some angry face emoticons, there was no negative comments to accompany them. Emoticons can’t be deleted, which sucks for Santatool, but it also made me realise that I have wondered about this before with other sponsored ads on Facebook. Why so many angry emoticons, but only positive comments? Now I know... and so do you. They're simply deleted. 

The moderator, 'Santatool' and undoubtedly simultaneously 'Santascrape', obviously gets rid of any comment that exposes what are most likely lies in my opinion, as are any poor reviews–such as the usually congenial santa/tool/scrape moderator apparently did with my own comments, and even that of one lady who was also asking if they’d be delivered for Christmas who thanked me for letting her know because she actually got to see my message before it vanished from all existence. (Glad I helped at least one person from being scammed with regard to delivery times). 

Typical of the question asked about delivery, and the response.

But then... two can play at the deletion game....

In terms of actual delivery, I can’t speak to that as of course I never received these items. Regardless, like I said, they are cancelled as far as I'm concerned. I wanted my money back, but also wanted to express my dissatisfaction as a matter of principal and not just with santatool/scrapeWhy do Facebook and other sites allow these sites to advertise? (I was in touch with Facebook about Santatool, and while they thanked me for reporting them, and said I was entirely right to, we all know Facebook don’t really care). Still, it wasn’t enough. I hated the appalling lack of customer service from santatool/scrape, and I needed to have it out with them. I just hate stuff like that and my OCD disposition just won't do an Elsa and 'let it go'. (I never watched that movie incidentally, so hopefully the reference is accurate enough).


I spent another day sending messages through the chatbot as well sending emails, but still received no response whatsoever. I assured santatool/scrape I was not going away, and I started sending any message at all to get their attention until finally someone did respond. Nice as pie: (although I think it might have been the mention of Trump that did it). 


Hi, how are you doing today?” (or something to that effect).

The nicety, despite the fact someone calling themselves 'John Louis' can see all my many previous messages demanding a refund as well my messages about Taisha, the Bachelorette. And if you're so inclined, or bored, you can read all the screenshot messages of how I decided to bug this company into answering me at the bottom of this page). (Right now I don't have the time to format these into some neat little orderly pile... but I will, eventually. I published this given that the company actually had the gall to email me to ask if I have done yet what I threatened five days ago when I told them my next move would be to flood social media, starting with a blog post).

Long story short, though, I then explained in civil terms I wanted a refund for their failure to hold up their end of our agreement. They gave no excuse; simply stating I had agreed to their policies by using their company and that refunds are only given after the customer receives the product.

Wtf? I mean, like... wt actual F?

I informed them that terms and conditions like theirs do not form a legal contract(Companies can state they demand your first born or your soul in exchange for a bar of soap all they like if they wanna, but it’s not legally binding).

Santatool did not live up to their end of the agreement–in that they promised Christmas themed items delivered to me prior to Christmas and therefore anything they think they may have legally underwritten on their website to counteract any kind of claim would be null and void – even if it were a legal contract–which, again I stress it is not–and which my credit card company entirely agreed with so as to promptly refund me, they failed to live up to their end. 

It is clear to me personally that this company simply take advantage of us at Christmas, and, I suspect, throughout the year with whatever other products they hock. As far as I can see, they spew lies and mislead unsuspecting consumers with false information that this 'company' if indeed that's what we are dealing with here, knows they want to hear, but with no intention of following through. 


I warned Santatool I will do everything in my power to inform possible future consumers of my experience with their practises, not only for this year, but for perpetuity, with the help of modern technology – social media and the use of tools like metatags which would easily be picked up by Google from anyone doing a search for their products in the future (such as how you might have found this page?)But I guess they didn’t believe me.

However, can you believe "John Louis" (if indeed that is his real name, and incidentally, differing only from the John Lewis department store in London by the removal of a vowel and the insertion on a consonant? ) even emailed me after five days of silence for my part enjoying my time off for Christmas knowing I have my refund already, but not actually forgetting my promise, to ask if I actually followed through?

Wow! I guess they felt a little smug that I had made just an empty threat? Nah... I don't make them. They don't know me, even though I told them at the time they don't know me, but if they did... well then....  I'm one of those people who can hold a grudge for eternity. (Not to say I always do, just that I can, but I will in this case).

How not to interact with a dissatisfied customer


Ahem... anyhoo....


How professional is that? (Re: their comment, not mine!) Judge for yourself if this is a company you want to send your money to. 


Of course, I was always going to post this blog, and perhaps this completely unprofessional cowboy outfit underestimate the damage a little post like this can do, but trust me, while I don’t use this blog much at all, having removed the many posts I wrote over the years,  I do nonetheless see the thousands of visitors that viewed the page I wrote for the last company that 'done me wrong'. I guess blogging is still useful for some things.

'Metatags' and 'labels' are wonderful little tools – even more useful than the santatool I would wager - and what is even more wonderful is that as they crawl the labyrinths of the Internet, infusing themselves into the nooks and crannies of the ones and zeroes like little mini viruses gaining findability momentum throughout the search engines.  How great is that?

Just in time for next Christmas, and the one after that, and the one after that….

So whether you read blogs or not, this post, in the future, will surface like a corpse in the Dead Sea for anyone searching either for santatool or santascrape. It will rise right to the top.


Incidentally, here’s a site (I don’t believe is part of the same company) that sells the exact same thing. What I like about them is that they're actually honest about the amount of time they take to send these items. How refreshing is that? Also, not that I overly encourage buying from Amazon, but you can purchase these items on there as well, and you can (mostly) trust their delivery time.

Interesting though, that the reviews on Amazon, as opposed to Santatool's Facebook ad, are not quite as glowing; many saying there that the tool is mostly useless for anything other than serving as a keyring; the dimensions are off. I also saw many, many sites where this novelty item is offered for much, much cheaper than santatool's site. You might wanna check out your options, because the price you pay through Santatool, is, apparently, costed into this much cheaper than they advertise gadget.

Ain't no such thing as free shipping.


Finally, if you dig deep and look into https://snowflake-tools.com/ – which appears to be the 'parent company' for Santatool/scrape and look at their general shipping info not advertised on their offshoot sites, you will see the table below, where nothing is promised with a 2–5 delivery, not even with the excess shipping charges - in fact, it takes up to 3 days to prepare items for delivery! Be warned.


Begs the question then... why is the congenial host, Santatool and Santscrape on Facebook, promising people 2–5 days?


(P.S. If these items somehow get delivered when I am not present to refuse them, Santatool need not think I will to do a single thing about helping to have them sent them back. As far as I'm concerned, they can arrange the return themselves – right down to writing the return address on the frikkin' package. I will NOT be lifting a finger to help... not even the little one that doesn't do much else these days - not since I stopped partying a number of years ago anyway.)
Thank you, and safe shopping.

(Update: These items never did show up at my door - which just proves they were never sent, either that or the second delivery driver also met with an untimely demise!)

Do your research before responding to a sponsored ad on social media.