• Report: #176026

Complaint Review: Belisi Fashions

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  • Submitted: Mon, February 13, 2006
  • Updated: Wed, February 13, 2008

  • Reported By:New Hope Pennsylvania
Belisi Fashions
Www.belisi.com Jupiter, Florida United States of America

Belisi Fashions advertising in a manner that is not clear or concise leading you into a monthly Tie club, nasty customer service reps ripoff Jupiter Florida

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: We are an honest company.

*UPDATE Employee: Confusion Caused By Not Reading Membership Terms of Enrollment Offer

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The Belisi Tie offer comes via another e-mail offer for a "you have won a free Plasma TV". This begins as a simple "all you have to do to claim your TV is answer our advertising survey", which progresses in normal fashion and explains that the advertisers all pay for the free TV in exchange for marketing data. After 10 minutes it becomes apparent that you have to select and "PURCHASE" 4 products to qualify. It progressively gets worse as after purchasing 4 products you find out that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I finally figured out the game and that I would really be paying dearly for the so called "free plasma TV". I suggest you never, ever answer any e-mail offering anything free because it is all cleverly disguised deceptive advertising.

I selected the Belisi Tie offer as one of the product purchases. The 3 ties showed up and represent a very good product and deal at $ 3.95 each + shipping. Unfortunately, a month later another Tie shows up with an invoice for $39.95 stating "As you authorized, $ 39.95 has been charged to your American Express" (the account used to purchase the intro offer). They provide your club membership ID and talk about your next monthly scheduled order delivery and their website and their policy on returns and or exchange.

This is all news to me as the initial order page from the above described survey offer, of which Belisi is a paid advertiser, does not state or is ambiguous with respect to your "automatic" acceptance into their tie of the month club. Who on earth needs to purchase one new tie each month at a cost of $ 480 per year anyway? pretty stupid in my opinion but I am sure Belisi Fashions is laughing all the way to the bank.

I am quite sure that somewhere in the delivery of the initial three ties, a full disclosure of what you have been sucked into is available. Don't know about you but when I order something on-line (never again), it shows up, I open it and put it away or use it. This is where this type of business gets you. The small print within the delivery invoice probably spells out the automatic rebilling and monthly club delivery and that you only have so many days to return, blah,blah,blah. If you miss this wording added to the invoice, which i am sure 99% of the receiving customers do, they feel you are now legally obligated.

Technically they would be correct and that is the basis for the defensive, argumentative attitude found when speaking to their very smart-alic customer services reps. They have that attitude because they are dealing with customer calls complaining about how they were misled or "conned" and billed for something they did not want and were not made aware of, all day long.

We as consumers need to write to the Federal Trade Commission and sites like this to prohibit advertising that is misleading and presented in a deceptive or HIDDEN manner. The customer service reps statement of " can't you read" clearly indicates that they purposely present the finer details of the club obligation at a time when you are least likely to pay attention to the fine print. Again, you are normally expecting just an invoice reflecting payment with delivery and not a contractual arrangement into a club incorporating automatic billing, membership and cancellation instructions tied to a time limit "if you don't respond or cancel within that timeframe".

All of these types of advertisers should be required to place a statement next to a box that can be checked during the initial order process. That box, if checked by the consumer, should state the following consumer disclosure in large, bold print located next to the payment detail box:

" By checking this box, you hereby understand and accept, that this initial tie offer is subject to your further participation in Belisi Fashions Club Membership, which will obligate you to purchase (___# of ties) each month at a price of $34.95 plus shipping and handling and will be autobilled to your credit card account."

The deception is in the fact that they do not make this caveat clear and concise up front in a transparent manner. I would say to Belisi Fashions, what kind of customer base and reputation do you think you will build under these circumstances and practices"?

So, I have sent an e-mail to their customer service requesting a refund and return authorization of all ties and that I was not aware of the conditionality of their initial offer. I will report back on how this is handled.

Ronald New Hope, Pennsylvania
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/13/2006 09:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Belisi-Fashions/Jupiter-Florida-33458/Belisi-Fashions-advertising-in-a-manner-that-is-not-clear-or-concise-leading-you-into-a-mo-176026. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 1Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

We are an honest company.

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

I'm proud of our Company and our employees. I'm sorry this customer isn't happy.



That said, I would like to set the record straight on a few things:



We are an honest family run business.



Evidence: As a private company, we do not disclose the size of our customer base, but I will say that fewer than 1 in 5000 of our customers have chosen to post negative comments in this forum. That means 99.9% have not chosen to post negative comments.



We are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.



We issue refunds quickly and go outside of our stated policies to make customers happy. If this customer call our customer service department at 1-800-434-1962, we would be happy to give her money back if she doesn't like our products.



We give a significant amount of money to charity.



Our phone number is printed at the bottom of every page of our website. It is 1-800-434-1962. If you happen not to see it at the bottom, the word 'help' is at the top of every page. If you click help you will go to this page: belisi.com/customerService.aspx and you will see the phone number again.



We don't use an automated voice attendant to answer our phone. We don't farm out our customer service overseas. There is no menu. If you call us during business hours, and someone is available, we will answer your call immediately without any hold time or menus to figure out. I invite anyone to try it out. If you call outside of our business hours, or you get our voicemail for any reason, we will call you back the next business day, at the latest, usually the same day.



If you'd rather use email, our email form is easy to find and you don't have to fill out a bunch of hard to find information. You will get a personal response by the next business day at the latest, usually the same day.



Furthermore, the VAST majority of Internet companies will not allow you to respond to email messages generated from their servers. For example, the email telling you that your order has been shipped. Try is sometime - more often than not your message will bounce, forcing you to go to their website and search for ways to contact them. We, however do allow you to respond to an email we send as a convenient service to our customers.



Bottom line - we make it very easy to contact us. Our 800 number is found on our packing slips and all pages of our website. There is no phone menu and no hold time, you will get right through to a person. If no one is available, leave a message and we will call you right back. If you'd rather use email, we make that easy too and go well beyond what other companies do. I challenge anyone to compare our policies to other companies and see who is easier to deal with.



We, like all companies, have stated policies, but unlike a lot of companies, we give our customer service representatives a mandate to make the customer happy. If the customer isn't happy with the policy, within reason, we make an exception so that the customer will be happy.



We provide a great health plan, through Blue Cross and 401(k) for our employees and we pay a fair wage at all levels of our company.



I am saddened that someone would attack me personally. I have worked very hard to build this business to support my family and the families of our employees. We started it with no financing - a small savings only. I'm proud of our company, especially our employees. We are still a small family run business and Lord willing, we'll grow through the years. It's particularly hurtful that comments like these have driven rip off report listings to the first page of google for brand name searches of our company. In spite of the fact that 99.9% of our customers have not felt the need to post negative comments here, the listings create a negative perception, because let's face it - most people don't take the time to investigate whether there's merit to these reports. Most people will probably never see this response. Comments like these are very hurtful and do not help consumers as should be the intention of this forum.



~Peter



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#2 UPDATE Employee

Confusion Caused By Not Reading Membership Terms of Enrollment Offer

AUTHOR: Director Of Customer Service - (U.S.A.)

Belisi Fashions advertisements are placed on many websites on the internet. Sometimes, the websites that advertise Belisi products offer their visitors free gifts and other rewards in exchange for signing up for various advertisements, including the Belisi Necktie Club.



In these types of advertising programs, Belisi handles the fulfillment of only those products shown in your shopping cart at Belisi.com. We send these products from our distribution center in Jupiter, FL.



Belisi does not carry in stock or distribute any free gifts/incentives that are offered on any website other than www.Belisi.com. Any free gifts/incentives that were not specifically shown in the shopping cart at www.Belisi.com are stocked and fulfilled by the website which the consumer visited prior to clicking through to the Belisi Necktie Club.



Belisi Fashions does not send ANY direct solicitation or marketing emails unless it is a direct email offering the club membership package. The emails that these customers are receiving are from a large internet based marketing company primarily Consumer Incentive Reward Center, this company affiliates with not only Belisi Fashions but additionally with Columbia House, BMG Music, Video Professor, Discover, Citibank etc. These emails are sent directly off mailing lists generated by the affiliate not just Belisi Fashions. The offers advertised off the affiliates website, include but are not limited to Plasma TV's , Ipods, Xbox's, Gift Cards , etc ; they are simply offers that are sponsored by the various companies as explained above. The affiliate has additional terms and conditions that the consumer agrees to and joins prior to clicking through to any of the sponsors to participate in the offers as explained above.



In regards to the Belisi Necktie Club; The Introductory package is a discounted enrollment offer and is no different than the offers advertised by Columbia House and other continuity club agreements. The Introductory Offer (discounted club enrollment package) requires additional purchases to meet the club obligations on an auto ship schedule. Once the introductory shipment is received, the customer has 10 days to review it. If they are not satisfied or simply just do not want to be a part of the club, they can simply return the introductory shipment (plus any free gifts), they will be given a full refund and their membership will be cancelled. By keeping the introductory shipment, the customer indicates to us that they are satisfied with our products and that they accept the terms of the Belisi Necktie Club. Our terms and conditions are clearly disclosed on our website and the consumer MUST agree to the terms and conditions prior to submitting their order. The consumer additionally receives 3 notifications of their additional shipments which also notifies them that they have joined a club membership.



Order process:



1) Customer agrees to an E-contract on our website prior to entering their billing and credit card information. [] I have read and agree to the terms of membership. This E-contract is also in compliance with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.



2) Customer receives a Welcome Email confirming their order, welcoming them to the club and the following information is included in their email: their membership ID Number, important links to access account, email includes following statement:



HOW OUR CLUB WORKS: Should you choose to keep the introductory shipment, you agree to make just four additional purchases in the next year. The email also advises the customer that the club is an auto ship program.



EXCITING NEW STYLES:

Each month you'll be scheduled to receive a Designer's Selection, a

necktie hand-picked by our professional fashion designers. You can review

your Designer's Selection for the month by logging into your account at

Belisi.com. If you want us to ship it to you, just sit back and relax we'll

send it to you automatically. If you'd rather receive a different pattern

or receive no pattern for the month, you can make those choices with a

couple of clicks in your account. The Designer's Selections start at just

$24.50 and you'll always have 30 days to review the offer.





3) Shipment Notification Emailour shipping department sends a shipment notification to the customer notifying them their shipment has been shipped and indicates when the next shipment will process.



4) Club Membership Guidea full printout of terms and conditions as disclosed on the website is sent with ALL of our Introductory Packages.



In concluding the above, the customer has been advised 4 times upon receipt of the Introductory shipment of the membership commitment involved in the enrollment offer. So unless the customer just didn't read any of the material disclosed to them, there really is no excuse to not know about the commitment. Failing to read disclosures is an error on the customers end and not Belisi Fashions. Also within a customers account there is a feature that allows the customer to select the frequencies of their shipments, anywhere from 30, 60, 90 days with a simple click in their account.



The price ranges of our ties range from $24.50 and up. Therefore, a customer can take advantage of the club in the following manner if they access their account to choose their ties:





Minimum Commitment: $24.50 x 4 (ties required to fulfill commitment) = $98.00 + $9.00 (3 ties in intro) = $107.00 (plus shipping charges)









7 ties for $107.00 = $15.28 average cost per tie. This is NOT a $480 per year commitment.



In closing my response, as the Operations Director of Belisi Fashions, feedback is very important. However, all of our representatives are trained and are familiar with the policies. Our representatives simply advise the customers where the disclosures were located and attempt to correct the current issue. In rare cases if this customer did experience unwarranted rudeness from our representatives, I apologize on the department's behalf.



This customer claims they sent an email request to return the merchandise and cancel their account. Our management team would address and resolve the issue.



In regards to the contractual agreement, the disclosure was on our website, and was disclosed several times. Belisi Fashions is additionally a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, whom also has a copy of the membership terms and has included the membership agreement and return policy directly on the contact page as displayed on their website.
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