It took over a month for me to receive an order shipped to Canada. I ordered a number of small items that only added up to around twenty dollars, yet International Checkout charged me sixty dollars in shipping and they sent it via regular mail! After calling in and dealing with the rudest, most annoyingly aggressive customer service on the planet, I decided to do a little digging into this company, and I found out some shocking things. If youre ever planning on ordering any merchandise through them, here are some things you should know beforehand:
In the past year, two employees at International Checkout committed credit card fraud in excess of thirty-five thousand dollars. At present, the company still employs several convicted felons.
In September 2011, International Checkout discovered its system had been hacked and that every single customer who had used them over the past several years had their credit card numbers stolen. For months, the company continually denied this to hundreds of customers whose credit cards were fraudulently used. They finally came clean in December 2011, but only on a very small scale. Since they were only legally obligated to inform United States customers, a small amount of customers from their home country were the only people to receive this information. Canadian and European customers, who make up the majority of International Checkouts client base, were not informed of this database breach.
Whenever you place an order, there's a very small qualifier that allows them to go back and reassess additional fees before placing your order. The additional fees they charge are calculated and judged by whichever shipping method will be the most expensive. However, they will actually only ship via the cheapest method after charging customers for the most expensive. They tell customers that once the additional fees are paid, they will give a free upgrade to priority shipping. This is a lie. All shipments are shipped exactly the same, regardless of the customer choosing standard or priority. Additionally, their website states 3-5 days for Priority Shipping and 6-10 for Standard. However, once an order is placed, the time frames are changed to 4-10 days and 8-20 days.
Although it is stated nowhere on their website, they claim that their various partner stores do not honor promotions or discounts for International Customers. This is also a lie. International Checkout receives a 20% discount on merchandise as well as free domestic shipping from their stores, but they boost their profits by not letting customers use discount codes, even if the store has given them directly to the customers.
Most bigger retailers (such as Amazon and Ralph Lauren) do not use International Checkout, since they disapprove of their tactics as a price-gouging freight forwarder. However, the company has created a second site called My American Shopper to get around this. Once a customer places an overpriced order through My American Shopper, the company sneakily places order with the retailers as if it was an individual person, effectively lying to the retailers. After this, they assess massive additional fees for shipping.
They do not allow customers to send items as gifts (thus avoiding pricy import fees) and write this off as not allowing anyone to "declare a lower value" on a shipment. However, they regularly declare lower values on their own shipments. They don't have access to package tracking, so once a package is out the door, they wash their hands of it.
The fact is, this shady company is in the business of completely ripping off customers, both with their internal overpricing policies as well as their massive security leaks - that's the reason no larger retailers want to work with them. Stay far away from them.