A month ago I needed to purchase a simple all in one printer. Tiger Direct was my first choice. I am able to pay with Bitcoin and used them for years with no problems. I have very little Bitcoin, so I am very price conscious when I do spend any. I do not store very much Bitcoin online so after browsing and finding the printer I wanted I went through the checkout process. Everything progressed as normal until it was time to pay. That is when Coinbase not only let me down with a well known bug they refused to fix but then have created a month long hassle with my Bitcoin in limbo. Tiger Direct uses BitPay to accept Bitcoin payments. When the Bitcoin payment window popped up I grabbed my phone, opened the Coinbase app, logged in and hit the send key to scan the QR code. The code scanned amount verified, and the send button hit in under two minutes. Another smooth transaction I thought like all of my Coinbase, Tiger Direct and BitPay transactions before this one. I received my email confirmation from Tiger Direct and thought everything was normal. The next morning I wake up to see that Coinbase took over two hrs to place my transaction. No TXID# in a couple minutes, no TXID# in 10 minutes. It was fully two hours after the transaction placement that it received a TXID# and then the first confirmation shortly thereafter.
Everything broke down from there. No notification from Tiger Direct that transaction had an error my order just disappeared. There were no emails about the issue, and the payment did not bounce back to my Coinbase account as refused. Simple nothing. I contacted Tiger Direct to find out what to do and was assured they could promptly refund the BTC, and I could redo my order. I was emailed a BitPay refund link and thought I would be all set. Nope, yet again a mess. The refund amount was for $14.99 not the $167.21 in BTC I had paid I did not use the link instead emailed the TXID# and amount paid along with a copy of the confirmation email with all the specifics on it. I was assured by the rep she would escalate this and I would have my BTC back in 1 to two days. This went back and forth for a month now. With the last few times being told the original BitPay, link was the correct one for a refund and to use it. I resent my TXID# and specifics several times showing the difference. Each time I was told it was being escalated and would be resolved soon, or there would be a delay as my rep had her days off coming up. I understand that yes I should have watched that timer window like a hawk after I made my payment but in this case it would not have mattered. Once the payment was started in Coinbase it there was no way to stop it after the BitPay timer was up. Coinbase had no mechanism other than to contact the vendor to get a refund or have the transaction manually put through on their end. I have not put the details here to protect my privacy and that of the Tiger Direct Rep.
In researching the problem, I have found numerous threads dedicated to having these slow transaction issues. I have found them even going way back into 2013. So why would Coinbase which I considered my go to company for purchasing Bitcoin not fix a problem they have known about for well over a year possibly even longer? They wash their hands of the situation once the payment is initialized. The online chat I had with a rep there when this problem happened made it clear it was out of their hands even though the cause of the problem was Coinbase itself. Coinbase has failed terribly at making what is for the most part a useful service. Not being able to spend any Bitcoin reliably purchased or moved to Coinbase takes away a large chunk of its usefulness. Coinbase I call upon you to fix this issue. There is no reason it should take over 2 hrs for a TXID# much less to be added to get a confirmation. I understand that you have numerous safety measures and actual cold wallets to protect our funds, but there is no excuse for this lack. As for Tiger Direct, you need a proper protocol in place to help your customer service reps and better dialogue with BitPay to make sure this kind of delay does not happen. 1-month has gone by, and I still do not have a refund of more than $14.99 and never ending email string of nothing done and false promises. I am jumping for joy that NewEgg is now accepting Bitcoin because Tiger Direct I will never buy from you again. I have purchased well in excess of $750k dollars from the other part of your company PC Connection as a business customer in the course of 4 years. I will not purchase through there again either. The customer service in this case is too abysmal to forgive. This was supposed to be a quick and simple purchase instead it is a never-ending hell of we have your money and will keep stringing you along because there is nothing you can do about it. [divider]CCN[/divider]
Customer protection has always been a big negative in the Bitcoin realm as PJ Delaney wrote about not too long ago It is time that the community comes together to make a solution. If I had paid by credit card, debit card or even the dreaded PayPal I could have had a refund and made my purchase. We in the Bitcoin and Crypto Currency community need to stand up and not take this any longer. I have given up on Tiger Direct, all the while Coinbase won’t touch it as they consider it not their problem. BitPay has sent me the screenshot showing the proper amount paid and I forwarded it on to Tiger Direct. This kind of thing should not happen.