• Report: #849715

Complaint Review: International Checkout

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  • Submitted: Tue, March 06, 2012
  • Updated: Sat, October 19, 2013

  • Reported By: Jamor — Vancouver British Columbia United States of America
International Checkout
7950 Woodley Ave. Suite C Van Nuys, California United States of America

International Checkout My American Shopper, My American Shipper - Overcharging, Fraud, Hacked Credit Card Database, Pathetic Customer Service - Van Nuys, California

*Consumer Comment: Some of this is not right

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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.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/06/2012 05:25 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/International-Checkout/Van-Nuys-California-91406/International-Checkout-My-American-Shopper-My-American-Shipper-Overcharging-Fraud-Ha-849715. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Some of this is not right

AUTHOR: Tammy - ()

 I do not work for this company but I have used them for my small business. This is a fair unbiased reply.

the reason this company exsists is for SMALL businesses to be able to sell overseas safely without getting stuck with  stolen credit cards. There is NO WAY to tell if a credit card or paypal account is stolen or fraudulent for us little guys. International checkout takes that risk for us. you have to be a huge company in order to afford the banking security for global sales.

I know this for a fact:

1--IT IS ILLIGAL FOR YOU TO CLAIM A LOWER CUSTOMS PRICE AND INSURE THE PACKAGE FOR THE FULL AMOUNT.

They have to look at the invoice so they know what you paid for your items. You are complaining because they wont let you commit a fraudulent act. That is really sleazy of you to do! sending as a gift means you cant insure it for full cost and if it gets lost they are out the money not you. think about someone else besides yourself for a change.

Any business who lies on these government forms  risks losing their shipping ability plus gets fined alot, which means they go out of business.

 

2-- all companies have the OPTION to offer a 20% discount to them. I refused to do it. Because I didn't trust they would pass it along to the customer. In fact I did at 1st but later changed.

 

3- They make their money by adding on fees to the shipping costs. They should not have to work for free. what do you expect? somthing for nothing? we pay for shipping and some smaller fees also but they do add on alot of money to the shipping. I think they calculate it by cost of the order not weight of the box. it is expensive to some people. Japan doesnt think so I sell alot to them.

4- I have used a sale code before and they pass it onto my customers. BUT you have to TELL THEM TO DO IT. and tell the store owner you want them to take the sale price off. otherwise they will not do it on their own.

 

5- shipping times depend on how long it takes the store owner to ship it to their warehouse. it took me 3 to 4 days to get it to them somtimes, then they rebox it up and ship it out to you. I did ship it at my expense to them.

6- for you to speak on the behalf of amazon and Ralph lauren is a JOKE!! the reason they dont use them is because they are a HUGE conglomerant who have their OWN service in house that does the same thing for them. International checkout and BONGOUS ONLY work for SMALL businesses. we small biz people cant afford to verify if a foreign credit card is stolen so we have to use int. checkout. sadly there are only 2 companies out there for this right now. bongo and IC. we dont have much choice.

 

THIS IS TRUE:

they are expensive, a few times I caught their employees buying my products for the discount and shipping them to a USA address( this is why I stopped the discount),  they do make it hard but not impossible to find the names and addresses of my customers, I have suspected that they discourage my customers from returning products but no one has ever emailed me to complain so I dont know for sure. Once I was told that int. checkout told a customer NOT to email me but only deal with them. That really pissed me off. They are my customers and I want to make sure they get handled with the best care. If they dont email me I have no idea if they are happy. they are a huge well known company, they have WAY less complaints than bongo, 3 times they did a terrible job boxing up my delicate items but they have gotten much better.

if you are a customer make sure you always email or call the store you shopped from not just international checkout. Give them feedback so they know if IC is doing a good job. Dont blame them for IC mistakes unless they wont help you of course.

In the past 8 years they NEVER told us about any hacking issue. this is a 1st I have ever heard of it.

I am sure they want it kept quiet if it is true.

 

I also know this, when people are mad they go on the internet and make up lies or exaggerate a lesser mistake. Or the worst is to ruin a biz reputation because they would not let you save $50.00 by committing fraud! Shame on you for that.

I don't think they are perfect by any means but they are the best for what is out there rightnow. They are a huge company and keep growing. You need to watch your order and make sure you get the best deal. maybe tell them you are using bongo and see if they give you a better deal? Just a thought.

 

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