I had been thinking of working from home for a long time. I saw the SMC commercial on TV several times before I logged on to their website and requested information by mail. I received it a few days later. The plans were expensive, $414.95 for Gold, $479.40 for Silver, so I put everything aside and stopped thinking about it until October 23rd, 2007. I received a phone call from Chantale Hunter asking me to join SMC's family. We talked for 45 minutes. She was good!!! She made me a one-time offer, a Gold Membership for $214.95, $200 rebate she said. Moreover, she gave me a $300 in coupons instead of the regular $150. She explained how easy it was to make money with SMC. I told her that I wanted to see their merchandise before I made any commitment. I wanted to sell something I believed in. She said that only members can access the inventory. I said I was into birding, that birds were part of my life. She told me that there were lots of items for birds, even describing some of them. I told her that I would like to call my husband and ask him what he thought. She said if we hung up, I could not call her back and neither could she, and the offer would be off. She assured me that if I was not satisfied, I can cancel within 30 days. I would get my money back, guaranteed. OK. I paid with my credit card. October 25th, I started receiving e-mails. One of them was from eMerchantClub to congratulate me on my decision to use the Big Value Website to help grow my business. I did not recall asking for a website but I thought it was a good idea given the fact that I did not want to distribute catalogues, having parties, going to flea markets, etc. The whole website thing was pretty confusing though. There was that Gift Cards Redemption website AND the website I could own. I didn't find anything helpful online. I thought I could write all my questions down and sort things out with my coach. I received my kit November 1st. I watched the video with Kerry Cox. I then looked at the World of Products catalogue. Disappointment. I didn't like the merchandise. My opinion is that everything can be found anywhere at a lower price, even some items at the Dollar Store. I checked the shipping charges chart. Outrageous! Then I looked for my $300 in coupons. There was one for $150. I checked into my SMC's account online. No $300 in coupons there either. That night, I started to feel the pressure, something was wrong. That feeling is not good. The next morning, I checked SMC's website and saw that the regular price for a Gold membership was $299.95 (still is 11/5/07)! What a great deal I got! Then I found Ripoff Report. Some stories I read were heartbreaking.
Here's what I did first: I called my credit card company. They confirmed that SMC charged my card 10/23/07. There was also $29.95 on hold for eMerchantClub. Remember the website I said I've never asked for? I asked to close my account, which they did. They are sending me a new card. If I can't get my money back from SMC, I will have to dispute the charge with my credit card company. I hope it won't be necessary. Then, I called SMC to know exactly how to cancel my membership (1-877-523-9088). If you have a recording device, answering machine or else, I would suggest to record the automated message with Kerry Cox speaking; there's a lot to pay attention to. At one point, he will tell you that you should insure the package for $100 in order to track it. False statement! You don't have to insure to track. Then, I took an inventory of the membership kit for my file. Then, I wrote a letter to SMC. I specified that I contacted my credit card company and that they will no further accept charges from Specialty Merchandise Corporation nor from any related companies (like eMerchantClub, LLC). I also included an excerpt from their Money Making Manual: Getting Started, page 38 stating that : '30-Day Examination Period. If, for any reason, you are not fully satisfied and delighted with SMC's programReturn your Membership Kit within 30 days of joining SMC and you'll receive a full refund of any membership monies you have paid (excluding shipping and handling), and you will owe us nothing.'
I decided to ship Next Day ($30), we never know I made 2 photocopies of the receipt and included the original with the letter. I sent it Certified Mail plus signature required ($2,65). I had also wrote a letter to eMerchantClub which I sent Certified + signature as well. The 2 companies have the same exact address. Weird.
Nobody has to accept an envelope or a package. I hope they will.
If I did everything right AND if I am lucky, I will get my money back. Are you betting on it?
I will keep you posted.
Alden, New York
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Specialty Merchandise Corp. SMC