In December of 2004, I saw an Invention Channel ad on television that offered two One Sweep brooms for $10 plus shipping. I thought it sounded like a great deal, so I visited OneSweep.com to make the purchase. Unfortunately, the website turned out to be a virtual encyclopedia of consumer fraud violations.
At first, everything seemed fine. There was an invoice at the top of the page, listing the promised price of $10 plus $6.99 shipping. It seemed fair, so I entered my payment information and pressed the "Complete" button. Little did I realize that I was being railroaded into making an unwanted purchase.
Next, I was presented with a series of offers to buy the more expensive Deluxe One Sweep broom, instead of the broom that was advertised on television. This unethical "bait and switch" sales technique was the first hint that something was terribly wrong.
After turning down the "bait and switch" offers, OneSweep.com informed me that I would only get two One Sweep brooms if I paid an additional $6.99 shipping. The total would be $23.98, more than double the amount quoted in the television offer. I had become the victim of a brazen "buy-one-get-one-free" misrepresentation, and I didn't like it.
After turning down the "free" One Sweep, I was shocked to discover that I had just purchased a single One Sweep broom for $16.99. My fate was sealed the moment I clicked the "Complete" button, long before the actual terms of the television offer had been revealed to me. There was no way to back out of the transaction. My blood ran cold.
Suddenly, a chat window popped up in my brower, and a customer service representative asked me if I had any questions. I immediately told them that I wanted to cancel my order because the television offer was so deceptive. The customer service rep assured me that the order was canceled, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
I thought that I had dodged a bullet, until two weeks later, when I received the "canceled" One Sweep in the mail. I checked my credit card statement, and sure enough, the Invention Channel had charged me $16.99. It became clear that the customer service reps were only there to talk down angry consumers who had just been railroaded. They had no intention of canceling any orders.
I returned to OneSweep.com, looking for answers. I found out that I could return the broom for a "full" refund, less the $6.99 shipping charge. Instead of two One Sweep brooms for $10, I would get nothing for $6.99, plus the cost of return shipping. Unacceptable.
Outraged, I emailed firstname.lastname@example.org to complain about their deceptive practices. I demanded a full refund, including the shipping charges. As one might expect, OneSweep.com chose to ignore my complaints.
Incredibly, OneSweep.com has the BBBOnLine seal of approval! How can a business that engages in such blatant consumer fraud be approved by the Better Business Bureau? Madness! I urge all victims of OneSweep.com to report their experiences, not only here, but also at www.bbb.org.