This is not so much a ripoff, just very poor way of doing business.
On 30 November 2006, I placed an order through their online store. Transaction went smoothly and I received a confirmation of the order via email.
On 12 December 2006, I received an email stating that the item was out of stock. TWELVE days to realize an item is out of stock and to notify the consumer. So I followed the instructions in the email the read, this is a cut and paste: "Questions? Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get right on it. In order to help you as quickly as possible, please be sure to include your order number in the subject line of your email." I followed these simple instructions and asked them to cancel my order. I refuse to do business with a company that takes so long to do notifications. Never heard anything back.
On 20 December 2006, I received another email stating the order is still out of stock and to be patient. Following the same simple instructions, I emailed back canceling the order again.
On 21 December 2006, I called the company to cancel my order. I was number 15 in the hold queue. 45 minutes later, I am number 1 in the queue. The next thing I know a recorded message comes on asking me to leave a message. Seems like they closed while I was hold. I left a message on the voice mail system.
On 22 December 2006, I tried to call the company again during the middle of the day so as not to get close to the end of business hours. Received a recorded message stating that they are closed. Funny, nothing stated on the website about holiday hours.
So here it is, no return phone call, no returned email. Nothing but silence from them.
This order was supposed to be a Christmas gift and thought I had ordered it with sufficient lead-time. If the item had been out of stock at the time of order, fine. I would have had to find another company with the item in stock, but not after waiting 12 days to make a notification.
Now, this company did NOT charge my account. So I'm not trying to say that they ripped me off. Just very poor customer relations, although their hold music/message says they are "Customer Fanatics". Talk about false advertising.
Collin County, Texas