• Report: #1022746

Complaint Review: Family Roots

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  • Submitted: Sat, March 02, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, March 02, 2013

  • Reported By: Internet United States of America
Family Roots
Internet United States of America

Family Roots www.familyroots.com Awful deceptive merchants with terrible customer support Internet

*Author of original report: Ridiculous and Utter Terrible Explaination

*Author of original report: Absolutely ridiculous reply back

*UPDATE Employee: Terms of Agreement

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I couldn't find any proper category to put this under. But this business specializes in finding yourfamily's last name and family history. They also create a sword and/or other products like a crest with your family's crest after they investigate your family's roots. 

This company gains most of their clients from military members. It's very obvious the salesmen are paid on commission or by how many people they are able to sign up. These unscrupulous sellers will generally set up a booth at military bases where there are new recruits who have just finished basic training and are attending their school for their trade.

The salesmen I am talking about in particular were the ones set up at Sheppard Air Force Base. They will entice recruits to sign up for their services. Stating that they will put you on a payment plans. What makes it so awful is, the place they set up shop at, has restaurants in it which sale alcohol. Many recruits on the weekend will go and drink alcohol (legally) having a good time. As they walk out these salesmen will target these people and get them to try to sign up for ordering a very expensive sword and their services. Let me explain my situation.

I was in Sheppard Air Force Base and I was drinking during the weekend. I was stopped by one of their salesmen. He had some swords and other trinkets and told me that I could sign up and there would be flexible payments (Like $50/bi-weekly). He told me I could cancel all the way until the final payment has been made. Since the company doesn't even begin to create your product until 6-8 weeks AFTER you've completed paying for the product. So, essentially, you don't have the product in your hand until the finalized payment. There aren't very many products I can think of where you don't have the product in your hands yet you are paying for it and you don't have the product. I asked the salesman could I cancel and he told me that I could if I did prior to paying fully for the item. I'm thinking with only $50/month bi-weekly drafts that shouldn't be an issue since that would take me well over several months to pay off $700.

Anyhow, after I signed up I began to think how silly it was that it was not possible for me to get the product until I finished paying for it and only then would it ship and they BEGIN to work on it I decided to call and cancel thinking they haven't even done anything so what is the problem with this. WRONG, they won't let you cancel after 14 days of signing the contract. Meaning, after 14 days you are stuck paying unless you cancel your credit card. They will continually charge, and charge, and charge you till you have finished paying for the product. And then, only then, do they create the product and sent it to you.

So ask yourself this question? WHY wouldn't they be able to cancel your order and issue a refund if you haven't completed paying for the product? Does that make any sense at all? I called their customer support line and was told I was unable to cancel and receive any money back. After this I called and said I wanted them to stop drafting my account. They then stated they could cancel what they had charge thus far but I had to get someone from their saves department to call me back. They never did call me back. Finally, called again and got a hold of someone. They then canceled the drafts from continuing to ding my credit card but the balance they had drafted $400 some odd dollars they said I could not get back. Basically, they said that either I finish paying the $700 dollar item I was being bi-weekly drafted on, OR I could take the money and buy something cheaper. So wait. . . . you can hold my $400 you've drafted towards a product that's not been created yet and wouldn't be till I fully paid $700 for the item I was buying BUT I could cancel and purchase something else with what you've drafted thus far? So essentially you hold my money hostage without even have given me any service what so ever, no product, no anything?

So as it stands, I didn't want the product any longer, they have my $400 some odd dollars in limbo and unless I either cringe and purchase the $700 item I was originally bi-weekly paying on I am out $400? How does that seem fair considering they never even made me a product and wouldn't till I completed paying for the product. It'd be one thing if I had the product or some form of it within my hands. I have product in any shape or form in my hands at ALL. Yet they have $400 some odd dollars my money. I've never seen ANY company charge you monthly for a product they aren't fronting to you while you pay. It is absolutely ridiculous and this is such  a JOKE of a company. Do not support them and do not listen to what their salesmen say. And lastly, I was pretty intoxicated when he approached me to sign up for this. I was definitely over the limit to drive but I could still function. That is not legal to have anyone sign a contract under those circumstances either but I'm not even going to argue with that one. What an awful company DO NOT BUY from them.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/02/2013 10:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Family-Roots/internet/Family-Roots-wwwfamilyrootscom-Awful-deceptive-merchants-with-terrible-customer-support-1022746. 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:
2Author 1Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Ridiculous and Utter Terrible Explaination

AUTHOR: Magnicious - ()

That's so silly what you wrote. I know you're trying to save face. Once again I STILL do not recall ANY business custom or whatever that drafts you for a product and makes you pay for it in full without receiving anything. If what you say about the "research" of the surname is true why don't I receive some type of results from the "research" done so at least I have something in my hands that I can say that I have? That's the point I am getting across here. The person being drafted has NOTHING to show for it until he/she completes paying for the product.

I notice you say this is "industry standard" I'd really love to find places that do this? What's the point of a payment plan if you don't even get the full product? Why not do NO research until the full payment is made? It takes 6 to 8 weeks to the product as you stated AFTER the full payment plan is completed. So how are you "stuck with a product" that hasn't even began production? You might as well just begin all the research and everything AFTER everything is paid for.

It's be one thing if as soon at the payment(s) are done the product goes out immediately. Lastly, what would be the difference if I just paid the FULL $700 up front? You'd still have to do the "research" you claim anyway? So why begin it while I am in my payment plan? The answer is very obvious, so that you can keep the product(s) that the person has order.

Lastly, since essentially you're charging me for this "service" why can't I merely get the "service" of my family roots investigated and then the rest of my money refunded? Why is it I have to purchase the product with the service? How does that make any sense at all? You claim you're losing money by doing a "service" for me investigating my last name. You see how your logic is completely flawed?

At the very least a payment plan would make sense if you intended to create the product and have it ready to send out at the end of the payment. One could even question if you all don't begin the process until after the full payment has been made. So sorry, that's not a good excuse and your policies are horrendous. I am SO HAPPY this page that shows how silly your business practices are appears on the first page of a Google search of your company. I hope you not working with me and refunding my money back was worth your reputation.

That $400 I can make back. This report against you will stay on this site and on Google forever. And it will stop some people from buying. Even if this report stops five people from buying your $700 product you trying to save $400 and not refunding me has now cost you $2800. Sound like a good business decision right? Good luck with your product and thank God for ripoff report allowing us to report shady businesses like yours.
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#2 Author of original report

Absolutely ridiculous reply back

AUTHOR: Magnicious - ()

That's so silly what you wrote. I know you're trying to save face. Once again I STILL do not recall ANY business custom or whatever that drafts you for a product and makes you pay for it in full without receiving anything. If what you say about the "research" of the surname is true why don't I receive some type of results from the "research" done so at least I have something in my hands that I can say that I have? That's the point I am getting across here. The person being drafted has NOTHING to show for it until he/she completes paying for the product.

I notice you say this is "industry standard" I'd really love to find places that do this? What's the point of a payment plan if you don't even get the full product? Why not do NO research until the full payment is made? It takes 6 to 8 weeks to the product as you stated AFTER the full payment plan is completed. So how are you "stuck with a product" that hasn't even began production? You might as well just begin all the research and everything AFTER everything is paid for.

It's be one thing if as soon at the payment(s) are done the product goes out immediately. Lastly, what would be the difference if I just paid the FULL $700 up front? You'd still have to do the "research" you claim anyway? So why begin it while I am in my payment plan? The answer is very obvious, so that you can keep the product(s) that the person has order.

Lastly, since essentially you're charging me for this "service" why can't I merely get the "service" of my family roots investigated and then the rest of my money refunded? Why is it I have to purchase the product with the service? How does that make any sense at all? You claim you're losing money by doing a "service" for me investigating my last name. You see how your logic is completely flawed?

At the very least a payment plan would make sense if you intended to create the product and have it ready to send out at the end of the payment. One could even question if you all don't begin the process until after the full payment has been made. So sorry, that's not a good excuse and your policies are horrendous. I am SO HAPPY this page that shows how silly your business practices are appears on the first page of a Google search of your company. I hope you not working with me and refunding my money back was worth your reputation.

That $400 I can make back. This report against you will stay on this site and on Google forever. And it will stop some people from buying. Even if this report stops five people from buying your $700 product you trying to save $400 and not refunding me has now cost you $2800. Sound like a good business decision right? Good luck with your product and thank God for ripoff report allowing us to report shady businesses like yours.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Terms of Agreement

AUTHOR: Military Achievements - ()

Dear Valued Customer,

We're sorry to hear you've had a negative experience. I would like to address each of the items you mention as I feel there has been a miscommunication. 

First, I would like to address the comment that products are not made until 6-8 weeks after the payment plan is completed.  That is simply untrue. We guarantee deliver within 6-8 weeks of completion of the payment plan.

The research of your surname begins the moment the order reaches our headquarters. Some rare surnames can take up to six months to fully research.  This is why we have the 14 day cancellation policy. The policy is clearly stated in bright red ink on the order form.  The cancelation policy is located right next to where you would have signed your name stating you have read and agree to our terms.  We've placed it there so there is not confusion for the customer.

We will refund any payments right away if a customer cancels within the 14days. We cancel drafts immediately upon request.  If the customer waits beyond 14  days we have already begun the research and gathering all the details to manufacture your product. The labor can be quite extensive. Once the 14 days has past and the research is under way we do allow customers to downgrade their order should they decide not to spend the amount they first agreed to pay. We can do this because the research process is the same for all products.

Our second reason for the 14 day policy is for customers that pay in full at the point of sale.  If a customer pays in full when they order we must begin production right way in order to make our 6-8 week delivery deadline. If a customer that pays in full cancels after 14 days, again we are stuck with a product we cannot resale. We wouldn't have the 20 year relationship we have with the military because we would be out of business.

It is not unusual for companies that create custom products to require payment in full before delivery. In fact it's an industry standard for most. If we fully complete the product before you pay for it and then you never finish paying then we're stuck with a product we can't use again. 

I'm sorry you were unable to contact us within the two week period to which you agreed.  I hope you will reconsider one of our other products. 

Kind Regards,
Family Roots
Customer Care 
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