My mother mentioned in passing today that she was receiving a monthly charge for "Norm Thompson Rewards." I asked her what it was, but she didn't know. Thinking that it might be something like Amazon.com's Prime Shipping, I looked on the Norm Thompson website, but there was no mention anywhere.
I then Googled "Norm Thompson Rewards" and under the first couple of results touting the benefits of the program were a myriad of links to scam reports. I read a lot of them and decided to post my own. I'm not the victim. The victim is my 80 year old mother! That makes it worse to me. Taking advantage of the elderly is about as low as a con artist can go.
On top of my anger, I feel guilt. I'm the one who encouraged my mom to shop online. I'm the one who told her how easy and time-saving it was. Worst of all, I'm the one who told her that because of secure socket layers, shopping online was actually safer than shopping by phone.
I plan on calling Encore Marketing--on Monday of course, since they're closed on the weekend. I also plan to contact Visa and Bank of America to let them know of the scam. As soon as I finish this, I'm going to compose a real snail mail letter to Norm Thompson. I want them to know that in addition to thousands of other people, they've taken advantage of an elderly lady who likes their clothing and that they've done so in a lazy, passive way. In a way, Norm Thompson is a willing victim of this scam. I'm sure they see some revenue from their "Rewards" program, but I'm also sure that it is the smaller cut. On the other hand, they are receiving the majority of the loss of business that their partnership with Encore will cause.