Poe’s Point > In Defense of CornerStoreComics

It’s no secret that CornerStoreComics has suffered through a bad credit card theft incident recently. It’s no secret because Thomas Gaul, CSC’s owner, has been as honest and direct with his customers as he’s been legally allowed to.

And yet, there seems to be a campaign–particularly via parties on a particular forum that allows people to remain anonymous, and therefore not expose themselves to a defamation lawsuit–to destroy CSC’s reputation and business. Most of this has been limited to snarky comments, but today I read a post that claimed CSC deliberately sold credit card numbers in order to correct a budget deficit, and called them “no-good scammers.” This is flat-out childish and petty.

If you believe CSC or any other online retailer is guilty of illegal practices, you should collect whatever evidence you can and present it–without the editorializing–to the online community and, to put your money with your mouth is, the Better Business Bureau. Anonymously posting unverified claims like this is cowardly and vile.

I can’t tamp down my suspicion that whoever is posting these anti-CSC rants is someone with a personal axe to grind with the company or an unscrupulous competing vendor. To that person/people I say: grow the **** up.

It seems to me that Thomas has been on top of this since the moment it was revealed, has been as forthcoming as legally allowed by the involved credit card companies, and has improved security on the site above and beyond current CC standards. Yes, we’re going to continue to get stories of people whose credit cards are defrauded because they didn’t close their cards after receiving the warning email from CSC, but that doesn’t mean the incident is “ongoing” in that if you order something now with a card you’ve never used at CSC before, you’ll be in danger. You won’t be.

You might be inclined to be wary of CSC after this incident, and that’s fair, but take this story into consideration. I had a friend whose father worked for the FAA. I’ve always been a nervous flyer, and I had just found out that AirTran, the airline I was about to fly on, had once been Valujet, who had the disastrous Florida crash of Flight 592 in 1996. But my friend’s father said AirTran was now one of the safest airlines because they’d become especially attentive to safety procedures following the crash.

Of course, calling people out on the Internet for crap like this is just pushing that boulder up the hill one more time, but I’ve got this soapbox and occasionally I’m gonna use it.

Comments now closed (16)

  • I agree completely. While concern and worry were not undue over this situation, it does seem that there is a desire to vilify CSC, particularly by certain groups.

    I was hit by the issue, had to cancel my CC as well. But once I received a new one, I went back to ordering from CSC, and have not had an issue since. The unfortunate reality of plastic is that you need to keep track of the charges against it on a regular basis. But I also lock my doors and pay for an alarm system, and realize that if someone really wants to break in my house, they still will.

    I believe CSC has done all they could in this situation. It will certainly affect their business, and I can understand people not going back to them if they are worried. But making wild ass claims and crucifying the store is just ridiculous.

  • I couldn't agree more.

    I suppose one could go off on stereotypes about certain personality types that are frequently encountered in this particular hobby (lonely, paranoid, feverishly typing away at conspiracy theories in their parents' basement, etc.) — but the sad truth is there is no shortage of jerks in this world. (I wonder if, say- Hummel collectors have to deal with such lunatics? Maybe they have their own brand of even scarier nutjobs.)

    I feel pretty confident that any rational person watching what happened would have to come to the same conclusion: Thomas and CSC handled the situation remarkably well. It seems to me that they were more open and honest than they needed to be.

    Along the lines of your Airtran anecdote, I trust them more now because of how they responded, and I will surely continue to order from them.

    It's a shame that there are unscrupulous morons out there who enjoy lighting these metaphorical fires.

  • Just recently started hearing of this. I haven't placed an order with CSC in a long time and my CCs just recently got changed, but it does make me a bit leery to go to them in the future. As I understand it though they have a Paypal option? So I'd probably just use that.

    I hope the increased security doesn't translate to increased prices. CSC always had pretty good deals.

  • Is there any indication at all that CSC didn't exercize due diligence in their security beforehand? Because it doesn't seem the case that that's so to me, and it's incredibly dismaying to see this all too predictable and all too uncalled for attack on CSC.

  • Well, I wasn't part of this and have no axe to grind either way, but I know on the other Forum I frequent that a couple of the "In-crowd" took their displeasure out on CSC long and loud – and irrational or not I haven't ordered future DCUC from CSC because of what I've read. It may be a shame for us both – because CSC seems to have good prices and gets the stuff in a timely manner, but I'll be sticking to slower and more costly BBTS simply to keep my current level of peace of mind.

    And while I fully expect to be corrected if I'm talking from a point of ignorance here, but this idea that CSC couldn't actually issue a generalised warning to it's Customers doesn't sit right with me. I have to assume/presume that they have a Newsletter mailing list similar to most other eTailers so what Legal Clause with the Processing Company would have prevented them from simply stating that due to a security issue they recommend that everyone checks their Card statement right then and there for possible unauthorised billing? That doesn't seem to implicate any other business and is the least they should do. And that seemed to be the main irritant to many that have been sounding off since this broke.

    Flinging what would certainly be liabelous statments about CSC being directly criminally involved in what went on is I agree though totally unecessary and just plain stupid.

  • As far as I can tell, Thomas sent out an email to everyone even potentially affected as soon as they realized it was their server that got hacked. What complicated the matter is that the credit card processing company that they used was apparently also hacked around the same time. For a while it was not clear exactly where the breach (or breaches) happened. Again, it appears that Thomas did issue a warning as soon as he found out what exactly happened.

  • @Nerdbot: That was my understanding of the situation as well. When it was still unclear whether CSC or the CC processing company got hacked, CSC was legally not allowed to discuss the matter unless they were prepared to deal with a lawsuit from one of the most powerful corporate entities in existence.

  • csc is cool. I just spoke to Jake. They are not scam artists. They're the saftest bet to buy online! It probably was someone trying to fuck with csc. Why would u just charge stuff to the person's acct and have it sent to that person't address. It was prob just to make csc look bad.

    Whatever…I say CSC is near me and I always get stuff in bulk from them. They're cool in my book! 🙂

  • Although I'm feeling as doubtful as the next guy, I just placed a preorder with CSC today. I think past positive experiences outweigh a possible mistake in this case, and I'm willing to take that risk with my dollars in exchange for good service and reasonable prices.

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  • "I can’t tamp down my suspicion that whoever is posting these anti-CSC rants is someone with a personal axe to grind with the company or an unscrupulous competing vendor. To that person/people I say: grow the **** up."

    I haven't read the rants at RTM. I've seen that stuff posted at other places and I agree with you that those trollish posts are related to a notorious scammer/con-artist.

  • Not much to add, but I agree with everything Poe said and I think it's time people stop making smart/snarking comments and then running back off into the internet. The old saying about them "only being harmless words" is not true when you are talking about someone's character.

  • amen! i'm not exactly a bulk buyer from CSC, but the times i've ordered from them or won their ebay store auctions, i've always gotten my stuff promptly w/o issue and was one of those lucky cats who got an email from them. Identity theft happens people, and it can come from anywhere. Asteroids happen too, but i'm not cowered in a bunker somewhere awaiting the arrival of the amrageddon comet. bashing CSC over this is like kicking a bag of kittens down a tall flight of concrete steps, sure, it feels good the first couple times you do it, but eventually, it just reveals you as a cruel and cold hearted a$$hole.

  • You know how it is, one mistake and its bring out the pitch forks and torches!

  • Cornerstorecomics has been a place where I usually buy stuff on the net and as a result, have received a warning that my card info was taking. Several weeks later, my card was used without my permission.

    My debit card info was actually used by the person(s) who hacked into the CSC computer. I have received a call by my bank about some purchases that were made. Sure enough, 3 ouf of the 4?(they said five in the recording but when I talked to a banker, they listed four) purchases were not by me.

    Most of the unauthorized purchases were minor though one was a bit large. The orders One was from some company for 45 dollars, another was from itunes for one dollar, and another was from yahoo wallet, which is also a dollar. The only order I actually made was a PSN DLC.

    The purchases I didn't made were done on the same day I got the phone call I got from my bank. The order I have made (PSN DLC) was made a day prior, so I am happy that I got a call right after my account was used.

    For the orders I didn't make, I received a refund. My atm card is now inactive and a new one is being shipped to me. I never bothered to contact my bank before this happened because the debit card was going to expire on May.

    I am thankful my bank phoned me to ask for the purchases since I would probably be in debt for something I didn't buy.

    I would still buy from CSC in the future, but it does suck that my account was used, hence me having to wait for a new debit card to start using it again. Hopefully, their security gets updated. It was also swell of CSC to warn people that their cards were stolen since what else can CSC do? I mean, websites get hacked all the time where stolen cards are used all daily. It is a bit shallow to view CSC as the villain simply because their computers are hacked. It isn't as if they asked to be hacked, so why are they being painted in such a negative light?

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