They Shouldn’t Leave Their Windows Open

, , , , , | Right | August 8, 2019

I work as the assistant manager at a popular Canadian electronics store. We sell, among other things, laptop computers and subscriptions to antivirus programs. All of our laptops and desktops come with a free 30-day trial of a certain antivirus software. 

My store manager calls me to the cash to assist with a French-speaking couple who are clearly angry. My manager does not speak French, so I have to explain what happened after they left. 

It turns out the couple bought a laptop last night along with a subscription to an antivirus program and a few other odds and ends. As they were setting it up, they received a scam call from “Microsoft Support,” who then charged them well over $200 to remove the existing 30-day free subscription and install the new one they had purchased. It seems this individual led the couple to believe that we scammed them into buying the subscription since the laptop already came with it, apparently not telling them they would have had to buy it anyway after 30 days and telling them we were just trying to take advantage of them to increase our sales commission.

I try to explain that they were scammed but not by us. They insist they spoke to Microsoft, and no matter how I explain that Microsoft would never call them or ask for money they aren’t having it.

The couple is now demanding a full refund on their used subscription which I cannot do, and as they leave, they give me a big smile and inform me that their son and grandson work at [local French radio station] and that we will be out of business within the week.

We never hear anything and never see the couple again. We do hear that the radio station has begun making announcements warning people of these phone scams and providing a number where they can be reported. I feel bad for that couple and I’m sure they are embarrassed to realize they have been had.

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