I originally contacted TFS to buy some Duracoat. I was told by the salesman that they were a running a special and had it on sale for 99.95 a gallon that day. Where the product is guaranteed for 15 years, I decided to take a gamble on the product and agreed to purchase two gallons. Two days after I placed the order, I received a phone call at 7:15 a.m., waking me up, with the salesman stating that they had another really great deal only available that day. He said that I if I bought 4 gallons, they would give me a 5th gallon for free. Knowing that people are more likely to make illinformed decisions when awoken, I thought about it and declined. I received the two gallons without incident.
About two months later I received a phone call from a female representing the company. She said that every year the company's owner buys some gifts for customers and said that I had won their grand prize. I asked her what the catch was and what it cost. She said that there was no catch. I asked for more details. She explained that if I bought more product that they would include the prize, which she said was a nice home entertainment system, and the company would pay the shipping and taxes on the item. I told her that what she said initially was untrue as she said that I had to buy something to get the prize. She agreed. I told her I wasn't interested, and she apolagized for not being upfront about there being a cost.
About 3 or 4 days later, a salesman called and identified himself as Jim Burns. He told me that I was one of ten grand prize winners, and that I had won a really nice stereo system with surround sound. I asked him the retail value, which he said he didn't know, but he said that the owner had bought really nice barbecue grills last year for people, and we both know that those aren't cheap. He said the value would be comparable to that. He gave me a claim number, consisting of my initials, and series of numbers which ended in RCA. The implication was that I would be receiving a top-of- the-line system. I agreed to buy $120 worth of citrus cleaner in order to receive the grand prize. When I received the cleaner, the charge on the invoice for shipping 6 lbs worth of product was listed as $37.40.
When the grand prize arrived it was a cheap little combination mini cd/stereo system with separate speakers. I priced the item on Amazon.com and it sold for $38.95 and had less-than-stellar reviews. A few days after receiving the stereo, I again received an early morning phone call from the same salesman. Although this time, I swear he identified himslef as Greg. He said that they had neglected to send out the other speakers to complete the surround sound system and that they would get them right out to me. He then said that he would complete my order and send me out two more gallons of the Duracoat. I told him he would not do so. He told me that for me to get the special price that I had to have agreed to buy at least four gallons. I told him I agreed to buy two. He basically said that I had no choice but to buy two more as no one on the sales staff would sell two gallons for that price. I told him that someone made a mistake then. He said that they don't make mistakes. I told him that if he tried to force the issue and send me unordered product, that I would contact and involve the State Attorney General. He told me I would have to do that then, as I was obligated to buy more. He abruptly changed his tune however, when I told him that I still had the original invoice. It listed that I had bought two gallons, and that nowhere on the invoice did it indicate that I was obligated to buy any more product from them. He apolagized and abruptly hung up the phone.
When I tried to call him back to give him the invoice number and to make sure that no product would be sent, I dialed the number off of my caller id and got a fax machine. I then called customer service and complained about Mr. Burn's behavior. I also complained about the exhorbitant shipping fee for the citrus cleaner. When I did so, the customer service rep said that the high fee was to cover the cost of shipping the entertainment system. I told her that the sales representatives had told me that the company would cover the shipping as part of the product add on. I also made it clear that I did not want to receive any more of their product. She assured me that I would not receive any more. I haven't so far.
It's too bad that these sales representatives use these types of tactics. I like their products, but because of all of the hassle and unwillingness to be forthright about their dealings, I don't know if I'll ever purchase anything from them again. The experience was very unpleasant.