• Report: #187660

Complaint Review: TechnoScout DBA First Street

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  • Submitted: Thu, April 20, 2006
  • Updated: Fri, April 21, 2006

  • Reported By:Scottsdale Arizona
TechnoScout DBA First Street
1998 Ruffin Mill Road Colonia Heights, Virginia U.S.A.

TechnoScout DBA First Street Charges $100 for cordless telephone available elsewhere for $34 Colonia Heights Virginia

*Consumer Comment: It just doesn't seem right...she didn't window shop, she was duped!

*Author of original report: Reply from consumer to rebuttals

*Consumer Comment: Different prices at different places

*Consumer Comment: Different prices at different places

*Consumer Comment: Different prices at different places

*Consumer Comment: Bait and switch?

*Consumer Comment: Not a ripoff, just bad business

*Consumer Comment: Not a ripoff, just bad business

*Consumer Comment: Not a ripoff, just bad business

*Consumer Comment: Not a ripoff, just bad business

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Based on a full page ad in a national magazine, I ordered two of their AmpliPhones (a cordless telephone for hard of hearing people)one for me; one for a friend. The price on each phone was $99.95 plus $8 S&H.

When the telephones arrived, there was a note enclosed that said that while these were not the Ampliphones in the ad, they were identical in every way. The telephones did appear to be identical to the picture in the ad. They were manufactured by Northwestern Bell, and were Excursion model 36070-1.

I did a Google immediately, and found this exact same Northwestern Bell telephone selling for between $34 to $39 from several vendors, including Ambient Weather, eBay members, HertzCenter, 3Gorillas, and a few more.

I contacted First Street/TechnoScout and asked if they do price matching. I told them that the same phone was available for just over one third of the price they were charging. They would not match my price. I returned the telephones, having to pay my own shipping costs. They eventually credited back my money, but not the S&H of $8 they had charged, nor the amount it cost me to return the telephones.

Selling the same telephone for three times as much as everyone else is totally unethical and a complete ripoff!

Susan
Scottsdale, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/20/2006 09:45 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/TechnoScout-DBA-First-Street/Colonia-Heights-Virginia-23834/TechnoScout-DBA-First-Street-Charges-100-for-cordless-telephone-available-elsewhere-for--187660. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

It just doesn't seem right...she didn't window shop, she was duped!

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

It should never, in any circles, be a legitimate business practice to take an existing item and re-name/re-market it under false pretenses. The item was a regular Northwestern Bell cordless telephone, probably with some kind of volume control for the handset (like my V-Tech phone has), and they gave it a different name and marketed it as something made for those hard of hearing. When the customer bought it, they said "Ooops...this is not the item we advertised, but it's the exact same thing." Bait and switch.

If this is a legitimate way to do business, I can't wait to start on my own marketing ventures...

"NutriDrink! The incredible weight-loss enhancing, all natural, incredibly healthy liquid refreshment!" (bottled water)

"RichWare! Revolutionary computer software that will help you get rich by facilitating your ability to make intelligent choices in banking and investment" (Quicken)

"BigFont! A great computer monitor that allows those with visual impairment to see the items on the screen." (a standard computer monitor set to 800x600 resolution).

...I'm sure I could go on.

...and if I had time, I am sure I could come up with many others.
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#2 Author of original report

Reply from consumer to rebuttals

AUTHOR: Susan - (U.S.A.)

The reason I filed this report is as a service and warning to others -- why would anyone pay three times the amount for this item when they can buy it for a third of the price?

The phone they call "Ampliphone" probably doesn't exist. If you Google Ampliphone, you only get First Street (TechnoScout/TechnoBrands -- they keep changing their name, but it's the same company), you'll see that they are the only ones selling the so-called "Ampliphone." I did Google this before I bought, convinced that this was a unique product. There is a photo of it in the full-page ad. But if you use a magnifying lens, you can actually see that it's a Northwestern Bell phone. Who knew?

Yes, they refunded my money, but I'm still out over $20 for shipping and then returning the product. I've purchased many products from online companies, and they always include a prepaid return mailing label.

Long story short -- people should avoid this company in order to get an enhanced volume telephone called an "Ampliphone" -- it doesn't really exist! The Northwestern Bell phone is a third of the price, and that's what they're selling (and yes, it does amplify).
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#3 Consumer Comment

Different prices at different places

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

It looks like you went "window shopping" after making the purchase.

There is no such thing as universal pricing. If there was, there wouldn't be a million different retailers. In a free enterprise system, each retailer has a right to charge what they want for any particular item.

They were gracious enough to refund your purchase after the return, so where did you get ripped off?

Most places do not refund S&H because those are costs that were paid to a shipping service.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Different prices at different places

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

It looks like you went "window shopping" after making the purchase.

There is no such thing as universal pricing. If there was, there wouldn't be a million different retailers. In a free enterprise system, each retailer has a right to charge what they want for any particular item.

They were gracious enough to refund your purchase after the return, so where did you get ripped off?

Most places do not refund S&H because those are costs that were paid to a shipping service.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Different prices at different places

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

It looks like you went "window shopping" after making the purchase.

There is no such thing as universal pricing. If there was, there wouldn't be a million different retailers. In a free enterprise system, each retailer has a right to charge what they want for any particular item.

They were gracious enough to refund your purchase after the return, so where did you get ripped off?

Most places do not refund S&H because those are costs that were paid to a shipping service.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Bait and switch?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I don't know...sounds like a rip-off to me. The company specifically advertised a telephone especially designed for those who are hard of hearing. It turns out that the phone they substituted (while apparently the same as the one they advertised) was NOT designed especially for those hard of hearing, rather was a model that is available 'off the shelf' from any number of retail outlets. While it may (or may not, we really don't know) be a quality product, it certainly was not an "AmpliPhone". Now, I could be wrong, but that sounds like bait and switch. It's unfortunate, but individuals with specific disabilities are used to paying a premium for certain services and items. I think in the case of this individual, she was willing to pay $100.00 for a cordless phone, because she thought it was designed with specialized technology to make it easier for someone hard of hearing to utilize. In reality, she got a regular cordless phone. My computer keyboard has a little raised edge on the "f" key and the "j" key. Theoretically someone who is blind could use those keys to help him find home row in order to type. You don't see Dell, however, advertising it as a special keyboard and charging a premium for it...



She got her money back because she was diligent and persistent. Many folks are not that way
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#7 Consumer Comment

Not a ripoff, just bad business

AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

You should've been a more informed consumer and checked this out before you bought. From what you say, it didn't take you very long to figure out you were being overcharged, that simple diligence would've saved you about 25.00 in costs if performed before the fact.

I don't agree with you that this company has ripped you off. True, they may charge 3 times the going rate, but that's their purogative. It's just a bad business decision, not a rip off. After all, they did refund your money, right?
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#8 Consumer Comment

Not a ripoff, just bad business

AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

You should've been a more informed consumer and checked this out before you bought. From what you say, it didn't take you very long to figure out you were being overcharged, that simple diligence would've saved you about 25.00 in costs if performed before the fact.

I don't agree with you that this company has ripped you off. True, they may charge 3 times the going rate, but that's their purogative. It's just a bad business decision, not a rip off. After all, they did refund your money, right?
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#9 Consumer Comment

Not a ripoff, just bad business

AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

You should've been a more informed consumer and checked this out before you bought. From what you say, it didn't take you very long to figure out you were being overcharged, that simple diligence would've saved you about 25.00 in costs if performed before the fact.

I don't agree with you that this company has ripped you off. True, they may charge 3 times the going rate, but that's their purogative. It's just a bad business decision, not a rip off. After all, they did refund your money, right?
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#10 Consumer Comment

Not a ripoff, just bad business

AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

You should've been a more informed consumer and checked this out before you bought. From what you say, it didn't take you very long to figure out you were being overcharged, that simple diligence would've saved you about 25.00 in costs if performed before the fact.

I don't agree with you that this company has ripped you off. True, they may charge 3 times the going rate, but that's their purogative. It's just a bad business decision, not a rip off. After all, they did refund your money, right?
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