By Judi Curry
In the past few years, I have found that I do a lot of purchasing from online companies. Lured by free shipping and no tax, I figure I have saved a bundle of money during these purchasing frenzies.
In the past year or so, I have stepped away from Amazon.com and started buying items that are specifically designed to be used in San Diego. And have I been burned – at least initially.
Several months ago I purchased from “Deals For The Cure” some bottles of Raspberry Ketone. This was highly touted on “Dr. Oz” and I had tried it for 3 months. I didn’t notice any loss of “belly fat” as was advertised but I felt a little more energy when taking it. I am down to the last few capsules and that is why I made the purchase.
BUT….when I went to redeem my coupon I had a hell of a hard time doing so.
Every time I put the information in the URL to redeem the coupon it came up as “Lowes”. Now I know that Lowes sells a lot of merchandise, but I do not think that they sell fat-burning supplements.
I wrote many letters to “Deal for the Cure” and know that people responding to me, at first, never read my letters. I notified my credit card company that I was trying to get a refund. After several letters of correspondence, I did receive a credit for the amount I charged to my credit card. But not until there was a lot of aggravation and cursing!
Back in September of 2012, I purchased 4 vouchers for “Organic Carpet Cleaning for Any Room” from “Get 1 Free.” I had one year to redeem them. Three weeks ago I decided it was time.
Buddy, my Golden Retriever, swims in the pool every day. I try to keep him out of the house until I dry him off, but I think he waits until I leave the premises for that one swim that I am unaware of. He then loves to come in the house and dry off in the dining room, the living room, and in my bedroom.
I sometimes wonder why my carpet feels so damp, until I look at the curly-haired 115 pound dog that is still damp and has a smile on his face. And, since he is swimming more than once a day now that it is warmer, the house frequently smells like a gym.
I went to redeem my 4 vouchers, only to find that there was no phone number to call for the service. There was an admonition in a section called “Merchants” and the bottom line said “ . . .Customers please do not call the number as it may invalidate your voucher.”
At the bottom of the voucher was a statement – “Have a Question” and gave me a Customer Support Hotline. But every time I called it I got a message that there was no one to take my call and telling me to go to their email.
Which I did. And never got a response either. When I finally did receive a response it was in answer to a nasty voice message I left and I was told that they would help me redeem my vouchers. I received another letter from the company telling me that if I had read the email sent to me earlier the phone number was at the bottom of the message.
I may have been a blond, but I am not dumb – of course I saw the phone number – I just didn’t want the service anymore. After a few more emails back and forth, a credit was issued.
I have ordered vouchers from Groupon without any problem. I have never had difficulty in redeeming any of them, and have never had to ask for my money back. However, as Groupon becomes more popular and there are more “copy-cat” companies sprouting up, I can’t help but wonder if the integrity of these companies will lessen as more and more people avail themselves to “online” purchasing.
Will I purchase again from the two companies I mentioned above? No. I don’t think so.
There is nothing that I NEED to have so badly that I have to put myself though the aggravation I experienced just last week. And the only reason I have even written this article is to again say “buyers beware.”