Susan Tompor: Beware of those gifts you see on social media ads. They may never arrive

By Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Business News

Shopper Sandra Stephenson has a story to share, actually three of them, that should make anyone stop, step back and think three times before rushing to buy the next cute thing they spot on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms.

She ordered a "Mama Bear" T-shirt for herself. Supercute with sunflowers, she says. She spent $36 and change. She faced long delays but ultimately a package did arrive. Unfortunately, it included a flimsy shirt that looked absolutely nothing like the "Mama Bear" on that Facebook ad.

"What I got was some see-through funky bear," the Davison woman said.

She ordered another item from another vendor, what looked like a really cool outdoor rocking chair for camping. Never showed up. "That one got me to the tune of $39.98," she told me.

Stephenson, 45, tried to complain; of course she did. "The only person I could get on the phone was this angry man from India," she said.

He initially tried to upsell her into buying more items, even when the first thing she ordered never arrived.


Things got worse after that. He escalated to throwing around language that you'd hear if you stole somebody's parking space on Black Friday. "The F-word was the nicest thing he said," she said.

And she ordered a third item, what she thought was a pretty necklace and earrings set for her mother for the holidays. A real deal at $14.98. By now, you get the picture, the gift never, ever showed up.

She's out roughly $100 after three online shopping mishaps and she's got nothing, absolutely nothing, to show for it.

Facebook ads aren't always the real deal


swipe to next page
(c)2020 Detroit Free Press Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC