DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICE.
I recently ordered flowers through ProFlowers.com and the recipient was very happy with the bouquet. This isn't about ProFlowers.com but the company does serve as an enabler/accomplice to EASY SAVER REWARDS' (ESR), at best, deceptive business practices. I will explain the practice below.
The consumer completes an order with ProFlowers.com including credit card information. At some point during the process, the consumer is offered a "$10 off your next purchase" coupon. I can't speak for others, but when I saw this offer, I incorrectly assumed, that ProFlowers.com was making this offer in order to build a relationship / loyal customer.
Fast forward to reviewing my credit card (CC) statement and seeing the ESR transaction on my statement. I immediately googled ESR and all the Google 1st page URL returns were negative in nature including several postings on Ripoff Reports including ESR being referred to as a "weasel". ESR starts with the $1.95 fee the first month, then bills "members" $14.95/month until the consumer realizes that she didn't intentionally sign up for this program. As a disclaimer, according to ESR, "...some individuals do intentionally enroll in the program and are very happy with it."
PRINCIPAL OF THE MATTER
The initiation fee is $1.95. But, but but...this is the "beauty" in ESR's business practice... the consumer is charged $1.95 the first month which is a nominal / inconsequential amount which may even go undetected. Or, even if it is detected, the individual may not take the time because the amount is low relative to the total credit card bill. However, each month thereafter, the consumer is billed $14.95/month. This is a matter of principal that we as consumers must demand that businesses operate with 100% transparency.
(1) I immediately called my CC company and the representative did a one time courtesy reversal on the charge. Great.
(2) I called ESR to cancel my membership effective immediately. The first representative I talked to stated she couldn't access my account to cancel my membership because "the company's servers were down". I asked when she expected for the servers to be working and she estimated Monday (I called on a Friday). Convenient.
I wasn't satisfied and asked to speak to her manager to advocate that ESR use TRANSPARENT business practices when marketing to prospective members. The manager corraberated the "servers are down" story. Conveniently again for ESR, while I was sharing with the manager my experiences with ESR / ProFlowers.com and what I perceived as deceptive business practices, ESR's servers started working again and she was able to cancel my membership effective immediately. Exactly what I wanted for me. Good. Will my efforts result in improved business practices? Most likely no, but that is why I'm posting on this site to forewarn others.
(3) Lastly, I called ProFlowers.com to share with them my experiences and that they should make sure that when dealing with third party vendors / partners, that any marketing affiliated with their website, etc. be transparent. Again, my effort probably won't result in any direct changes by either ProFlowers.com or ESR but it makes me feel better that I've done what I can do as a consumer to bring it to the attention of these companys' representatives as well as to savvy consumers.
So this leads me to my final statement, BEWARE OF DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES & ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT!!! Consumers have to fend for themselves because it seems like in most cases, unfortunately, the law favors businesses not consumers. At least we have websites like ripoffreport.com to help warn one another so we can learn from others' bad experiences as to not repeat them!!!
Chapel Hill, North Carolina