When my office phone rang late in the day last month, I answered it and was greeted on the other end by Doris, calling from Knoxville, Tennessee. However, this was not a courtesy call. Doris got right to the point.

“You have to give me my money back,” she said. “All of it.”

It seems Doris had posted a question about how to list items for sale on eBay, paid her money, and then received no helpful answers. But there was just one problem, here: Ask.com is 100% free for consumers to use, and we don’t take money from people for posting questions.

I explained this to Doris, and we figured out which other site she had actually visited. Then, I was able to answer her eBay question as well.

“Now I just need to figure out how much all this stuff is worth,” she said, referring to her soon-to-be-listed items.

Those are great questions to ask our community, I told her. We have over a million registered users, and some of them are bound to know what kind of value to attach to the Motley Crue leather jacket (signed by the band), and a vintage, first-edition Cabbage Patch Kids doll signed by Xavier Roberts.

Doris signed up a free account with Ask.com that evening, and has been posting questions ever since. She also knows the answers to a lot of things, too; she owned a bar in Knoxville for ten years, and before that she once won a fishing derby off the Florida Keys. “I caught the biggest fish of the men’s and women’s competitions,” she proudly told me.

If you run into her around our community, be sure and ask her how the auctions are going.


Who Are the People In Your Neighborhood is a monthly feature by Eric McKirdy, Ask.com’s Customer Support Guru, spotlighting members of the Ask.com Q&A Community. Have you run into someone other people should meet? If so, tell Eric about it by sending a note to cs (at) ask.com.