ED Magedson – Founder
SMC Specialty Merchandise Corporationwww.smcorp.com Internet United States of America
SMC was going to be my first internet business and I was pretty excited about starting it. Perhaps they heard the eagerness in my voice when I signed up, and paid for my entire membership upfront. ($399.00). Once I got my membership kit (took about 7 days) I read it thoroughly and felt I had found a business I could definitely do, and grow into something bigger. - Then I called my coach and the SMC downward spiral into deceit and "bait and switch" began.
I made it very clear and was very specific to the coach I was assigned of the features I wanted for my website. I wanted to do sub-wholesaling and fundraising with my website and not having the ability to do that were definite show stoppers. I had reviewed the Emerchant ecommerce offerings and was discussing the features of those sites with my coach. During the conversation, the coach kept re-directing me to the a Gift Card Redemption site - which I had never heard of. Everytime I asked "just what am I getting for this $5000", I wanted to know the specific features of the website. Instead he kept telling me about the "great gift cards and catalogs" I'd be receiving. I should have known then to pull out.
Ultimately I ended up purchasing what I thought was an ecommerce site, but instead a Gift Card Redemption site. An hour our two after making the transaction with my coach, I spoke to the Emerchant people who sent me a link for me to actually see what I'd purchased - and I was hot!! That site in no way was close to what I'd asked for. I immediately called and emailed my coach to tell him this was not what I wanted. After numerous phone calls the entire day, I decided to pack up everything and send it all back. I called SMC to cancel and was sent to a recording. I called Emerchant to cancel the site, and was told I had to go back to my coach since he put the transaction in the system, he could "back it out". I called and emailed my coach letting him know I wanted to cancel my membership and website.
Ultimately, I did get my membership refunded (made sure I had a UPS tracking number and delivery confirmation when I called to demand my refund) and after several phone calls and faxes to the Emerchant folks, they refunded me the $495 for the site. - Who were very apologetic about the entire situation.
SMC still has a balance of $1400 of my money, that since I am no longer a member, I cannot get access to. They call it "SMC credit" but what it amounts to is they sell you a Gift Card Redemption site "bundle". Part of the money actually pays for the website ($595.00) and the balance, goes into an SMC account, to be used as SMC credit. They make it sound like they are "giving" you this credit, when in actuality you've payed for it. Once I cancelled my membership, I no longer have access to my $1400 in credit, nor will they refund it to me. They've essentially charged my credit card and have not given me a product or service for it - Beyond fraud, that's flat out stealing! They are telling me the only way I can have access to my SMC Credit (again, MY MONEY) is to reinstate my membership. You don't have to be David Letterman to know that's just another form of extortion!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - If you are looking to start an internet business, do your homework. There are plenty of drop ship wholesalers out there that don't charge a membership fee. Also, there are plenty of less expensive e-commerce or shopping cart software solutions that even the least computer literate can navigate.
SMC is the poster child for unethical business practices and I would be more than happy to be apart of a class action anything to make them accountable for how they have treated me and from the looks of sites like this, many others. BEWARE!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/06/2009 08:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/SMC-Specialty-Merchandise-Corporation/internet/SMC-Specialty-Merchandise-Corporation-SMC-Defrauded-and-Mislead-SMCs-Deceptive-Business-505492. 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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