Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I got a promotional email from offering FREE business cards.  My first mistake was responding to a junk mail message.  My second mistake was not following my gut and passing on the principle that marketing something as free and then charging their credit card for fees like shipping is misleading.  I had been down this road before and knew to expect the gouge on shipping at the end, but I thought I would do it anyway, thinking I could get some business cards and a card holder for cheap.

I clicked through to their site and found where I could enter my information and see a preview of the card and several different customizations.  I went through the process and found at the end that I was being charged for the cards.  After a moment I figured out that they had put all the customizations out there as bait, but until the end it was not obvious that I had left the free cards behind.

I started the order over and got the free cards and the free card holder into the order.  I enter credit card information and clicked to order.  After that I received a page stating that I could receive free shipping if I added some more cards to the order.  The cards were less than the shipping, so I thought that was great.  I clicked to add them to the order.  They were added to the order, but I was giving no confirmation to review the order before processing.  It added it to the order I had already approved with no way to back it out.  It turned out it gave me free shipping on the non free cards, but left the shipping charge on the rest.  The order was already being "processed" they said and I had no way to remove those items I just added.

I looked around the site for a way to contact someone to remove the item.  I found a link to cancel the order, so I did that.  Afterward the site tells me that it has issues me not a refund, but store credit.  That is not what I wanted, especially since at this point I was likely not doing business with this company that appears to be based on marketing bait  and tricks.  After taking up more of my time searching for a way to either get a refund through the site or interact with a person I found a chat link.

The customer service person resolved the issue quickly by giving me a refund, but why was it necessary to get a person involved?  They had to pay that person to fix my problem and in the end got no money from me, not even the money for shipping that I was going to pay in the first place, since I was so offended by the process and games.  Unless there are some unforeseen circumstances, I will not consider doing business with them again.  If I see there is a promotion of some kind and I see it is, I will likely assume it is a trick and walk away.

I will reiterate that even though getting a customer service person involved should've been unnecessary, they were efficient and resolved the issue.

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