We were contacted by a representative from SVT who wanted to offer us cheap office supplies. She had our CFO's name and said that he had said it was okay to put in an order with her. She also knew my name and had a list of many of our regularly-ordered office supplies.
The prices she quoted for supplies seemed insanely low, so I attempted to clarify the prices for specific quantities. She said that "1.0 Gross" meant a dozen boxes/packs, and quoted us prices like $0.69 for a pack of highlighters. However, there was no official order form, and while I wrote down a few of the specific prices she quoted, she didn't specify exactly what she was going to send us. She said that her company was moving soon, so they had to get rid of their supplies and wanted to pass along the savings to their customers.
We soon recieved two enormous boxes full of office supplies. They sent huge quantities of supplies like 12 boxes of blue sharpies (which included 12 sharpies in each box), and 24 packs of 12 rolls of scotch tape (which equals 288 individual rolls of tape). Inside was a packing list that only mentioned "gross" quanities (for example, "1.00 gross" for the 12 boxes of Sharpies, and "2.00 gross" for the 288 rolls of tape), and no prices.
We made sure not to use any of the products, leaving them in the boxes, and called the company, asking for an invoice. The lady I talked to said that our invoice was currently going through Billing, but she would fax me a temporary invoice. The fax didn't arrive until after business hours, and still didn't include a price total.
We finally got their official invoice in the mail, and the total was $2,298.49 (with $129.85 of the total being S&H). This total reflected the approximate price of everything they quoted us PER ITEM. So, for example, they charged us $1.49 per sharpie (though she said it was $1.49 per box), and with 144 sharpies, the total for the sharpies alone was $214.56.
So, we called them again, trying to sort out the inconsistencies. The lady I spoke to was quite hostile and was lying to me about my initial conversation, saying that they never gave me the original cheap prices. It wasn't until I mentioned that my boss was the legal counsel for our company that the lady said we could return the boxes.
I'm sorry for the long report, but I wanted to make sure that anyone else going through this could see what to expect. We are flabbergasted at how easily this "company" can lie, and are especially concerned with how they had our CFO's name, my name and a list of our regularly-ordered supplies. My reccomendation is that if you get a telephone offer for extremely cheap office supplies that seems too-good-to-be-true...it probably is.