Thursday, January 20, 2011

Buyer Beware

I've had some pretty awful customer service experiences lately.  If it was one or two I think I'd just brush it aside, but I actually have a crazy list of things that has taken me quite a bit of time to follow up on.  I'm going to try not to be completely negative, but you tell me if you've had similar experiences, please?  I want to think I'm not crazy (let me live in my delusions, okay?).  And yes, be warned, this post will be extremely long so if you don't care?  Feel free to move on!


It dates from October starting with my medical insurance.  My policy was up for renewal with a huge increase in premium so I had to switch to another plan with less coverage.  Unfortunately they charged me for the old policy... on an automatic withdrawal program.  I caught it the first month and asked for a refund of the difference.  Since the check "would take 45 days (!!!) to clear" I just said, well, apply it to next month.  I thought that would do it, but no, the next month I was once again charged the full old premium amount!  This time I said no, I'm sorry, I will need a full refund of all the money you have overcharged me and not in 45 days!  They said it would be mailed the following week.  Two weeks later I still hadn't received it.  3 or 4 phone calls and many hours later I got my money back.

The very last person I spoke with actually seemed to be able to solve the problem and she has since called me (!!) to make sure that everything was straight with the billing and just generally let me know where we are in the process.  Apparently it takes months for them to switch people from one plan to another?  Crazy!  But I'm thankful that someone is helping me keep track of it!

I'm also curious as to know if I would have ever received a refund on that money since it was never applied to my new policy until I called... in December!  I wonder how much money people pay extra that they don't realize if they're not on top of their money accounts?


Next up, some discount membership sites.  I joined these because it looked like they might have things I was interested in anyway... and at good discounts why not?  Christmas was coming...

Totsy is "the private sale site for Moms" and having two small boys I was interested to see if they might have anything I needed.  I placed an order on October 31st for some Green Toys Inc. BPA-free and made-of-recycled-materials feeding stuff for Noah.  I also ordered a couple of cool wooden puzzles made by ImagiPlay.  My order did not arrive at my door until December 14th.  Granted, I did get a couple of emails along the way stating that they knew it was taking a long time and eventually they gave me (and I presume others) a $5 credit towards another order.  A long time for shipping, but I suppose I could understand.

However.  The wooden puzzles were so poorly made that they wouldn't stay together and one of them had a piece broken when I took it out of it's shrink wrap.  Perhaps this is why they were selling so cheaply on this site?  Because they have a no returns policy.  Not for defective merchandise, not for things broken, presumably in shipping.  Lame.  The only thing they will take back is shirts and pants.  NO accessories or anything that isn't clothing.  Buyer Beware for sure on this site.  Make sure you know exactly what you are buying or have the money to throw away.


The second discount site I signed up for was The Foundary (no, I'm not linking to these sites because I've had such poor experiences with them I wouldn't recommend them to anyone).  I found out later it's a subsidiary or partner of The Hayneedle.  Within a few days of signing up they had a sale on Kitchen Aid accessories, which almost never go on sale.  I hemmed and hawed and finally decided that since we had a balance in our paypal account that would cover it I would go ahead and order the ice cream maker attachment that I'd been wanting for awhile.

Well.  That was November 8th and I got I can't remember how many delay notices.  Finally a week before Christmas I emailed them to complain and ask about a possible credit and to see just how long it would take since they had already taken the money out of my paypal account... sort of.  The response I got was basically they had no idea what was going on and here was a $5 credit to my account.  This was only because I'd asked and this was a significantly larger purchase than the one I made at Totsy.

Funny thing, the attachment actually arrived on Christmas Eve (maybe since I'd mentioned it was a good thing this wasn't supposed to be a Christmas present?), but they've continued to access my paypal account placing and removing balance payments every week, up until the 12th of January.  I have to make a call to paypal to see about blocking their access to my account since the money is already deducted.

I actually received another delay notice from them after Christmas stating my item would be shipping on January 16th... so perhaps we'll see if I get another one here in the next few days!  What would I do with it?

I think I'm done typing for tonight... but tell me, would you ever buy from either of these sites again???


  1. Nope, I sure wouldn't buy from those sites again! Sorry you had such poor experiences with them!

  2. Anonymous10:34 AM

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  3. Anonymous10:40 AM

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  4. Anonymous12:35 PM

    I ordered a toy for Che (for Christmas) on Totsy in early November and didn't receive it until either the last week of Dec or the first week of Jan. It broke today. It also didn't come with the tractor that was in the description. Not happy. Probably won't order from them again. I'll stick with Zulily.


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