When I called the toll-free number listed on the T.V. add to order the Lazer Storm on 9/18/05, my order was taken by an automated attendant, no real person ever spoke with me.
I ordered the "buy one get one free" deal which was if I paid in full with one payment instead of signing up for their monthly payment plan, I would receive a second vacuum free if I agreed to pay for the shipping charges associated with shipping the 2 vacuums. The price was $119.85 for the vacuums (2 for 1) and $37.00 for shipping ($18.50 per vacuum) plus sales tax. I made this purchase with my Visa check card. Never once during the ordering process was I given a running total of my purchase or a grand total of the amount of my purchase. I was never given a order number, confirmation number, tracking number. Nothing.
On Tuesday, 9/21/05 I discovered I had a point of sale transaction from SINGER posted to my checking account in the amount of $394.58. I immediately called the phone number listed on my bank statement under the transaction (800-711-8357). I was on hold for approximately 25 minutes before a live person took my call. During the hold period, I was told by a recording that someone would be with me soon, they were currently experiencing a high call volume and was also directed to send an email to their customer care department in order to expedite my request and the email address was provided.
When a customer service representative finally came on the line I explained my problem about being charged far more than I was expecting (I figured approximately $160.00) and asked for an itemization of my charges. I was told that I had ordered TWO buy one get one free vacuum deals at $119.85 each (that means FOUR VACUUMS total); 4 vacuum shipping charges of $18.50 each; 1 Lazer Storm Steamer at no charge (free gift); 1 shipping charge for the steamer of $19.95; 1 steamer acessories package of $20.00; Replacement vacuum filters at $17.97 (no shipping fee on filters) and sales tax of $22.91.
I told the woman I did not order 2 buy one get one free vacuum deals. I only ordered one. I agreed that I did know I was paying for shipping charges for 2 vacuums and that was it. She tried to argue with me and said I ordered 4 vacuums, as well as all the other items I mentioned previously, which I again told her I did not do. I immediately asked that my account be credited back for the things I did not order.
She said that my order had already been shipped so they could not credit my account at this time. I would have to wait until I received my merchandise and return the unwanted items to them before they could make any adjustments.
I then obtained the tracking number of my shipment from the woman, (by FedEx ground) and I called them to see when the package would be delivered. I told the Customer Service representative at FedEx what had happened and she told me that I should just refuse the shipment completely and it would be returned to the sender. This would avoid me incuring any charges to return the items to the sender. I also asked her for the name and address of the shipper because it was not showing up on the tracking information on the FedEx website. She said it was listed on their records as Brass Logistics LLC, 4540 Worth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90063. I left a note on my door the following day for the FedEx delivery person. Since I had been told by them what day it would be delivered. I wrote that I was refusing to accept the shipment due to FRAUD and that they should return it to the sender. FedEx took the note from my door and did not leave the package. The tracking log on the FedEx website for my package states it was refused by addressee as of 1:10 pm 9/23/05 and was being returned to sender.
I then called the Lazer Storm people again was on hold for almost 40 minutes. I told them the shipment had been refused and was being returned to them. I again asked to have my money refunded. She stated they could not do anything like that until the merchandise has been received and placed back into their warehouse. After that, it would take approximately 15 business days for me to receive my credit to my account. I told her that was not acceptable and asked to speak to a supervisor. I was transferred after being placed on hold for almost 5 additional minutes. The phone rang and a message came on that said the person I have called was not available at this time and that I should try my call again later and then my call was disconnected completely from their system.
I went online and found the Better Business Bureau website and found that this company has a rating of "F" and that complaints against them are very numerous and are very similar in nature to mine and others on the RipOff Report website. I also found this website and found all this additioal information as well. I took a print out of the BBB report and printed out 8 reports off this website that had similar complaints to mine.
I took the printouts to my Credit Union and spoke to the Branch Manager. They have filed a Notice of Transaction Dispute/Error on my account for this transaction and have credited my account the money that was paid to SINGER. They also cancelled my Visa check card which they suggested I do in order to keep this company from making any further unauthorized charges to my account and issued me a new card, on the spot, with a different number. The Credit Union's Fraud department will do an investigation on this and the manager told me that the printouts I brought in really helped them to see that the complaint was valid and that is why they immediately put the money back into my account. Most cases, they don't do that until the investigation is complete, which can take weeks.
I am not going to give up until my fraudulent charges are refunded. I am going to pursue all avenues available and file as many complaints as I can against this company. FYI - it is not Singer that is the real problem here, it is Brass Logistics LLC, who is only a distributor of the Singer Lazer Storm products.