• Report: #288689

Complaint Review: Jostens Inc.

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  • Submitted: Mon, December 03, 2007
  • Updated: Tue, March 29, 2011

  • Reported By:San Francisco California
Jostens Inc.
www.jostens.com Nationwide U.S.A.

Jostens Inc. Bait and Switch advertizing Nationwide Nationwide

*Consumer Comment: Stop the Jostens Inc. Monopoly in California

*Consumer Comment: Stop the Jostens Inc. Monopoly in California

*Consumer Suggestion: My Experience

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Jostens sent a printed pamphlet home with high school students advertizing
a 'Package' for cap & gown and a class ring, ("CAP & GOWN UNIT... Official Class Ring...10K White or 10K Yellow... Boys- $185.90").

Jostens rings are made of several metals however only the gold rings are described as "White or Yellow 10K".

Buyers are told to "go to jostens.com to customize your ring." However, when the cost of the ring and cap and gown are totaled it shows as $400+.
An e-mail to Jostens.com received a response that the pamphlet was a "misprint" and that the ring was made of "Lustrium", a non-precious metal alloy.

I informed Jostens that this appeared to be a bait and switch. Jostens responded that "mistakes happen" and that they have "gone out of our way to explain the mistake to all parties showing interest in the package, and the package deal is not available on the website to help avoid further confusion" They admitted that "it was mis-printed as "10K" which might lead one to believe that it is gold."

Going out of their way would have been to publish a corrected pamphlet or at least to include a notice either with the pamphlet or on the web site that "Package A" is mis-printed and then including the correct information.
To wait until someone attempts to purchase the item and then inform them that the item requested is much more expensive or that the item included is of much less quality than advertized is bait and switch.

Jam
San Francisco, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/03/2007 05:15 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Jostens-Inc/nationwide/Jostens-Inc-Bait-and-Switch-advertizing-Nationwide-Nationwide-288689. 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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0Author 3Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Stop the Jostens Inc. Monopoly in California

AUTHOR: Parent Consumer - (United States of America)

Once Jostens locks in a contract with the school - there's no longer anymore competition.

The price of the cap, gown, and tassel at our public  high school was $35.85, then Jostens increased the price by $15 beginning January 21st. Just recently our Jostens Sales Representative raised the price again by $5 bringing the price of the cap, gown, and tassel product up to $55.85 - our Jostens Sales Representative dropped the .85 and rounded the price to $55.

$55 we are being charged by Jostens at our public high school for a cap, gown, and tassel  when other companies are charging below $18 for this same product.

It's a form of price gauging.

California Parent Consumer

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#2 Consumer Comment

Stop the Jostens Inc. Monopoly in California

AUTHOR: Parent Consumer - (United States of America)

As a parent consumer, I am concerned as well over Jostens deceptive advertising, extremely high prices and their excessive 'make-up' fees. Our California public high school contracted out with Jostens  to sell the cap, gown, and tassel product, along with a host of other graduation products that Jostens sells. The price of their cap, gown, and tassel was $35.85, then the Jostens Sales Representative added  a "make-up" fee on January 21st bringing the price of the cap, gown and tassel (which is worn once) up to $50.85.

Concerned that Jostens was overcharging parents, I emailed our school principal and told her I had found a smaller company (Academic Cap and Gown), which was selling the cap, gown, and tassel product for only $14 (for quantities of 150 - 249) with a late-fee of only $2, which was not applied until April 1st. Our school principal responded back, indicating that she knew other companies sold the cap, gown, and tassel for lower prices, but that Jostens had other 'products' and services of interest to our school.

When this issue was brought to the school district, I learned that there is no competitive bidding requirements when schools are contracting out with "parent money."  It's only when school districts use 'public money' that they are required to go through competitive bidding procedures. If California school districts were required to go through a competitive bidding process when contracting out for graduation products - it's not likely that Jostens Inc. would be able to compete with their extremely high prices.

I also learned that the school districts enter into contracts with Jostens Inc. and receive money for allowing Jostens to come onto our public campuses and sell graduation products. I would not be opposed to this business partnership between the school district and Jostens Inc. if Jostens was fair and reasonable about their prices and 'make-up' fees, but when Jostens Inc. is charging $50.85 (tax not included) for a cap, gown, and tassel product when smaller companies are selling this same product for $14 (quantities of 150 - 249, tax not included), then the business partnership between Jostens Inc. and the School District has become solely about "money" with no regard whatsoever for parent consumers.


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#3 Consumer Suggestion

My Experience

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

Been in the jewelry business for 24+ years. In my humble opinion, HIGH SCHOOL class rings are one of the biggest wastes of money there is. Whenever a high schooler comes into my shop, I try and talk them out of buying a high school ring. The day they graduate from HS, almost all of the kids take their rings off and throw them in a drawer someplace. They don't want anyone to think they're IN HS and most kids want folks to believe they're older. Every summer after graduation, I buy class rings for scrap, that these kids just got the year before. Most of them are getting them cause their folks are pushing them to do so. I suggest if they want to get something to remember their graduation, buy them an appropriate dress/dinner ring. Something that they will be able to wear for years to come. Not some HS ring that's gonna be tossed in a drawer the day of or the day after graduation. A HS graduation ring is only good for trading in on a college graduation ring. Most companies will credit you what you paid for it towards the purchase of a college ring. That's assuming the kid finishes college, gets a college ring AND the company is the same that sold the HS ring.
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