Shopping Discussion

The Source is an incompetent company that leaks customer data.

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 26th, 2023 11:55 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 19, 2018
180 posts
207 upvotes

The Source is an incompetent company that leaks customer data.

I bought an open box Macbook Air from The Source last week that was only available online. The whole experience has painted their entire company as poorly organized and poorly operated in my eyes.

For reference I moved about two years ago and have updated my address everywhere. I was using a BMO Visa that I used to place 50+ online orders in the last year, including some online stores in the US as well. Never had any issues.

Attempt 1

Tried placing the order with that card, my current billing address and store pickup as a shipping option. Used desktop Chrome. The website rejected the order saying billing address doesn't match. Tried once more, same thing.

I checked my bank statement and there FOUR pending charges, 2 for each attempt. I called my bank and they said there's no problem on their end. They're approving the transactions and there are no holds on my card.

Attempt 2

Tried again with everything the same, but used my previous billing address instead. Transaction went through. That's when I made that post above.

Fast forward a couple of days and The Source sent an email saying they cancelled the order. The email didn't give any reasons so I gave them a call. They said it's a billing address mismatch, so they cancelled it.

The rep couldn't give any more details, nor could he offer any other solutions, such as transferring me to the cancellation department, have me pay at the store or anything else.

Attempt 3

By this time I could no longer log into the website using Chrome. I click log in after entering my credentials, and the website doesn't do anything.

I logged in using Edge. The rep still on the line. This time I was going to use Paypal.

If you read my OP you'll see that the Macbook had a $30 discount for Bell Advantage customers. By this point that discount had disappeared. It's still available on some items, but not on macbooks. I asked the rep if they could honor the discount and they said they can't.

Whatever, $1000 is still not bad, so I placed the order using Paypal. Store pickup as last time. Everything seemed to be fine.

Current situation

Fast forward another couple of days and my Paypal order was also cancelled. Once again citing a billing address and email address mismatch.

I double checked and my Paypal primary address is the same as the billing address I used on the order. The email address is indeed different, as I used the email address associated with my Bell login at the Source which is different than my Paypal email address. Name and address are the same.

I called them again and the rep this time was also unable to help. They couldn't help me troubleshoot the issue, other than telling me to make sure the billing address matches. They couldn't transfer me to the cancellation department.

When I asked if they could escalate the issue to higher ups they said they can't. Then a minute later they said they'll try asking their supervisor and put me on hold. A minute later the line disconnected 🤦‍♂️

The Source is the poster boy of an organization's operation in shambles in the post-covid world. Their website is slow and buggy. Their order processing system is nonsensical and riddled with human error. Their communication emails do not actually contain any useful information. Their CS reps do not have any actual training or ability to do anything beyond troubleshooting simple issues. They're essentially a glorified human FAQ.

But wait, there's more!

By third attempt I couldn't log in with Edge anymore either. Same problem as Chrome. So I tried Firefox.

I tried checking out as a guest to check for something, and then I backed out. Then I discovered it logged me into a guest account, which actually saves addresses of previous customers who tried / checked out as a guest!

That's a privacy breach that I would expect from small ma' and pop stores venturing into the internet in 2004, not a big corporation in 2023.

Here's a screenshot (addresses blurred by me). Get your act together The Source. I wouldn't be surprised if this company goes under this year.

Image
21 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
15885 posts
21655 upvotes
Vancouver
MmmWaffles wrote: I tried checking out as a guest to check for something, and then I backed out. Then I discovered it logged me into a guest account, which actually saves addresses of previous customers who tried / checked out as a guest!
OMG that's crazy. HOW could that happen??
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 19, 2018
180 posts
207 upvotes
Kiraly wrote: OMG that's crazy. HOW could that happen??
Give it a shot, it's very easy to access the guest account.

I considered letting them know of this glitch. But they're so poorly managed and their CS reps have such little access and power that I don't think they'd do anything about it until there's a public outcry.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
15885 posts
21655 upvotes
Vancouver
MmmWaffles wrote: Give it a shot, it's very easy to access the guest account.
I can't figure out the steps to reproduce. I put a random item in my cart, selected guest checkout. Then clicked the back button. I don't see anything like your screen shots. It just takes me back to the page to log in or select the guest account.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 25, 2004
3938 posts
2658 upvotes
London
The Source is own by Bell what do you expect.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 19, 2018
180 posts
207 upvotes
Kiraly wrote: I can't figure out the steps to reproduce. I put a random item in my cart, selected guest checkout. Then clicked the back button. I don't see anything like your screen shots. It just takes me back to the page to log in or select the guest account.
I was able to re-create it just now. Using Edge.

Add this to cart, choose pick up at store, click checkout.

Then at the login screen choose "Checkout as guest". Then when it takes you to the checkout page where you have to enter your name and address, click "Back To Cart" at the top.

Then you will see at the top it says "Hi Salima". You should be able to see all the addresses in the profile page.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
15885 posts
21655 upvotes
Vancouver
MmmWaffles wrote: I was able to re-create it just now. Using Edge.

Add this to cart, choose pick up at store, click checkout.

Then at the login screen choose "Checkout as guest". Then when it takes you to the checkout page where you have to enter your name and address, click "Back To Cart" at the top.

Then you will see at the top it says "Hi Salima". You should be able to see all the addresses in the profile page.
Doesn't work for me, also using Edge. I followed your steps until I was supposed to see "Hi Salima" at the top, but I don't see that. There's just a My Account tab, which if I click takes me to the log in or register page. Same thing in Chrome.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 19, 2018
180 posts
207 upvotes
Kiraly wrote: Doesn't work for me, also using Edge. I followed your steps until I was supposed to see "Hi Salima" at the top, but I don't see that. There's just a My Account tab, which if I click takes me to the log in or register page. Same thing in Chrome.
I just tried this again in an incognito window and it didn't work.

It works in the regular window. I've uploaded a short video with the private information blocked. Sorry I'm not very good at video editing.

If you notice the site recognizes me when I go there but doesn't actually have me logged in.

During checkout the "Hi XXX" message changes to Salima instead of my name. Then it shows me actually logged in under Salima's account.

https://streamable.com/81somj
Member
User avatar
Sep 26, 2011
397 posts
518 upvotes
MmmWaffles wrote: The Source is the poster boy of an organization's operation in shambles in the post-covid world. Their website is slow and buggy. Their order processing system is nonsensical and riddled with human error. Their communication emails do not actually contain any useful information. Their CS reps do not have any actual training or ability to do anything beyond troubleshooting simple issues. They're essentially a glorified human FAQ.
Yep, but their ineptness is not new, and certainly not unique to "post-COVID".
At a former job, I sometimes regretfully had to order parts from The Source. IIRC, I think once, in the pre-Bell days, I needed a replacement stylus for a turntable that had one of the former Radio Shack private label badges. I knew the part number, and placed the order online. Weeks turn into months, and nothing ships. I phone up the warehouse in Barrie, and the person I spoke with had no idea when I could expect to receive the order. Frustrated, I responded "okay, I wouldn't have bothered ordering this if I knew it'd take this long because I know who the OEM is, and I could have ordered directly from them, instead" to which the careless employee literally responded "yayaya" and hung up on me. Keep in mind this was not a personal order, but a business order, with many other line items, for a large volume account, yet they still treated the customer like garbage.
And I remember way back in the mid-1990s, possibly during the ridiculous period when they called themselves "Genexxa" that trying to order a replacement slide potentiometer for a Realistic audio mixer was a lesson in abject incompetence. They sent the wrong part to the store three times over many months.
Sadly, I can't imagine The Source will ever go "bankrupt" while Bell owns it.
Sr. Member
Oct 18, 2017
726 posts
1438 upvotes
New Brunswick
OP is not crazy... I was able to replicate this. Wild. 27 addresses.
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Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
8636 posts
5592 upvotes
Mississauga
Might be time to go to the media about this. I’d suggest Pat Foran on CFTO but since Bell owns CTV as well, he may be reluctant to embarrass his overlords. :)
Deal Addict
Jul 31, 2015
1835 posts
1333 upvotes
Maple leafs
not checking, but this looks pretty insane. Agree this needs to get out to media and others.
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2013
4021 posts
3905 upvotes
Toronto
Should report this to the privacy commissioners office.
Deal Addict
Sep 5, 2005
1694 posts
2436 upvotes
Victoria
I don't think posting steps to obtain names and address is appropriate in a public forum.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29402 posts
14902 upvotes
So I was 50/50 on this story until the end. Billing address mismatches are painful but happen (far too often).
The end of the story was just the icing on the giant turd of a cake.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 19, 2018
180 posts
207 upvotes
tofinoguy wrote: I don't think posting steps to obtain names and address is appropriate in a public forum.
Well the steps are trivial. I am sure many people have stumbled upon this on their own in the past

I've emailed The Source and no response in 10 days. This hasn't been fixed either.

I shouldn't have to care about their customer data more than they do.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
15885 posts
21655 upvotes
Vancouver
I'm still not able to reproduce this. I tried creating an account (didn't have one before) so that the site will recognize me from the cookie. Followed the steps while logged in, and again while logged out. It either recognizes me as me, or as a not-logged-in user that needs to either sign in or create an account. I never see Hi Salima.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 13, 2019
1182 posts
1170 upvotes
Wow, thanks for the PSA, OP.

This sorry saga is almost as bad as my experience with Zwilling's online store except for the customer data leak. This is almost as bad as the Brinks home security online portal where a customer is able to access other customer's full info (home address, system installed, billing info, etc) for many months -- and Brinks knew about this!

Yes, the customer data leak is the icing on the turd cake and dumpster fire that is The Source. The Source has been a low priority for its iteration of owners -- first with Circuit City which went bankrupt in the US and that resulted in The Source being sold to Bell. There's a bit of an overlap with Bell and The Source where The Source is also a Bell mobile service retailer whereas they also carried Bell ExpressVu satellite TV service when it was still available.

Now, The Source is more of a niche player and left to fend for itself with little to no support from Bell. They used to have 5 stores and are now down to 3 stores in my area. And the stores are generally quite dead. Unless they have an item I specifically wanted and have it in stock, I would avoid The Source as much as I can. I only buy low value and cheap items from them that if the deal went sideways, I wouldn't be out too much money while I worked with my bank to recover the funds for my credit card if it is for a bigger size order.

I'm so sorry you had to go through that and I'm sure you wouldn't have considered buying the MacBook Air from them if you didn't have the Bell coupon to sweeten the deal. It's also quite appalling that a national retailer (The Source and Zwilling) have phone reps that are pretty much glorified FAQs that can answer more than just a straight yes or no answer and nothing else. You can't even get escalated to a manager or level 2 support!

What a joke The Source has become. If I buy from The Source, I try to buy things in store as much as I can since I can count on it being there and don't have to wait for shipping.

Hopefully The Source will find a solution to this security problem soon (doubtful). If not, then the media is the next best step. Yes, and contact a Bell media company for it and watch the mental gymnastics fly and how they treat this situation. Also give others a call as well, and I'm sure they'll revel in sticking it to their competitor and the resulting schadenfreude.
Why settle for full retail price when you can wait and get it at a lower price for better value (even better if there's a bundled freebies deal)? 😉
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 19, 2018
180 posts
207 upvotes
LesDeals wrote: It's also quite appalling that a national retailer (The Source and Zwilling) have phone reps that are pretty much glorified FAQs that can answer more than just a straight yes or no answer and nothing else. You can't even get escalated to a manager or level 2 support!
I feel like CS has gone down so much of late. It's hard to get half decent support anywhere.

Thankfully it worked out for me. The Source wouldn't sell me an M1 Macbook Air for $970 but Best Buy sold me an M2 Macbook Air for 900 🕺
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2017
3067 posts
2915 upvotes
Guelph
aaron158 wrote: The Source is own by Bell what do you expect.
I was going to say the same thing. I wish I was surprised by this but knowing Bell I know that things like good IT and proper security, aren't things this company cares about. I mean just look at the mess that is MyBell. That thing has so many bugs and never works correctly.

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