I ordered 1400 promotional-type silicone wristbands from this company on 08/22/12 at a cost of almost $600 (that was WITH a 5% discount code). I ordered the "printed" style, which had the website info, etc. we were trying to get information out about screen printed onto silicone (1200 of them were 2 color segmented bracelets; 200 were glow in the dark. The segmented had white writing; the glow in the dark had black writing). On their website, under the tab for "custom printed wristbands," they state:
"Printed wristbands are the vital promotional means. The stuff that is used is 100% silicone. These are inexpensive and have a long lasting existence. These are less pricey as compare to debossed and embossed wristbands. Printed wristbands are accessible in diverse colors.
In printed bracelets you can craft your very own message, text and badge. Any logo and / or message can be printed on the outer side of the wristband. The paint used in our Printed wristband is specifically formulated to elongate with the silicone and does not wear off with use.
Printed wristbands are a style statement among teenagers. The demand fro Printed wristbands does not depend upon the size of the company, no matter if it's a small company or a big corporate, the demand is used in concerts, parties, Admission, political rallies, Age verification, Crowd control, Promotions, Marketing, security, Night clubs, charity organizations etc.
Our gracious sales personnel will do whatever it takes to hep you with your order and be sure you get the product you desire, even if it means staying late or working on weekends.
We offer wristbands in a wide variety of types, styles, colors, patterns and with customization options."
As I said above, I ordered 1400 total wristbands: 1000 "segmented" (2 color/ hot pink and royal blue with white writing), that entitled us under their promotions to an additional 100 of the same kind; and 100 glow in the dark green ones with black writing, with 100 free of the same ones of those. I paid an additional $44.99 for 5 day production time, and an additional $69.99 for 2 day shipping for the segmented ones, and had to separately order the glow ones at 7 day production time (free) and 7 day shipping (the cheapest option at $19.99 extra). All total, the cost was $589.92. NOT a small amount! We were ordering these because we are trying to adopt again, and we wanted to use these as promotional/marketing items at upcoming walks and events we were attending (rather than just handing out the standard "cards" with website information on them).
Though I had to call once to check on the shipping because the tracking number I was given didn't work, the bracelets DID arrive in time for our first walk. We distributed several hundred the following day to random people attending, and businesses attending, to hand them out to people who might be interested in our adoption journey. From there, in the next week or so, I sent another 100 or so out via the mail to everyone who asked for them, and to a few more businesses, and in the next 1.5 weeks, we attended 3 more charitable events where we put several hundred more bracelets out for people to take and use/pass along to others to help us get the word out... In the meantime, my husband and I were wearing one each of the segmented bracelets, and I also was wearing a glow in the dark bracelet.
After less than 3 weeks, I noticed that the writing (our website information) was almost entirely worn off the face of the bracelets, and asked a few people who we knew of who we had sent a few to, and they confirmed theirs were the same way. I compared a new one of each bracelet (from those not yet distributed) with an old one of each and the differences were striking in just a matter of days' wear. In other words, after 2-3 weeks, these bracelets were of absolutely no value for networking because the wearer/user would not be able to see the critical information on them - our website address. Additionally, we paid extra to have our email address embossed on the inside of the segmented bracelets and, though there, it is barely raised lettering and absolutely no one I asked to look at the bracelets even noticed it without being told it was there (waste of money).
I emailed email@example.com on 10/01/12 with the problem, and offered to send a photograph showing the problem, and asking that they remedy it. I got no response. I emailed again on 10/09/12, and also attempted emailing to the other 2 email addresses listed on their website for "accounting" (firstname.lastname@example.org) and their "supervisor, Mike" (email@example.com), and both emails were "kicked back" as invalid. I then called the 24 hr telephone number listed (877-536-8500) and was connected with an Indian woman who spoke, at best, disjointed English. She repeated the same things over and over and, before I even gave her my order number, she said, "Is this Stephanie?" and confirmed they had received my emails. She then told me that their "terms and conditions" and "FAQ's" "clearly state that the printed wristbands will only last about 2 weeks."
When I asked for her supervisor, she told me there was none available at night and she was the highest there was. When I asked her name, she hung up on me. I called back, and I got another Indian woman; this one spoke a little better English, but not much. I had to repeat the entire scenario to her. She told me there was nothing a customer service representative could do, and that any decisions would have to be made by a manager, and that was Jason Burke, and he was available the next day. She told me that they normally have customers order via their telephone number, and they are taught to tell the customers that the text on printed wrist-bands will wear off in 1-2 weeks, and they must just assume that I was told that (even though my order was placed electronically via their website and the only time I spoke with someone live was to check the status of my shipping).
I was never told the writing on these bracelets would not last, or I would not have ordered them (it would have cost approximately 1 cent per bracelet - or $11 total - to get debossed wrist-bands, rather than printed ones...OBVIOUSLY, something I would have done had someone told me these would not last). The woman I spoke with told me that customers should know these will not last because they are cheaper than the other ones. She could point me to nothing that they sent to me which indicated I'd ever been told this. While on the phone with her, I received an email from "WB Promotion" asking me to rear to the terms and conditions page (with a link), and that it "clearly states that printed bands do not last longer than few weeks." In actuality, what that page says, buried in the middle of the lengthy document, under a "Production/Shipping" heading is this:
"Production time varies from 1 business day to 7 business days depending on the product, service, and quantity selected. If you have a deadline, simply give us a call and we'll do everything within our power to meet it.Any order less 100 QTY for debossed style wristbands will be laser engraved.The printing of printed wristbands is expected to be visible for 1-2 weeks."
I retraced my steps on ordering because I knew I had never seen this before (not to mention that the language is ambiguous and does not clearly state that THIS type of wrist-band's text will wear off after 1-2 (or 3) weeks and is intended to be temporary.....). What I found is that, on the order completion page, between the section where you put your shipping information, and the section where you put your credit card/payment details, there is a small sentence indicating that you have read the terms and conditions page, with the words "terms and conditions" hyperlinked, and the tick box for agreement with the statement PRE-checked for you (meaning, it's (1) not obvious and (2) you don't have to affirmatively see or agree to the statement that you have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions). Even had I seen the T&C, I would not have believed, from any language contained therein (especially "buried" language) that the bracelets I was ordering were not intending to be long-lasting, especially given the entire PAGE listed prominently on their website (written, verbatim, above) which says these are intended to last a long time and that the paint used is intended to stretch with the silicone and not wear off.... How much clearer could it be?
So, I did some research.... and, not surprisingly, found similar complaints from people who had ordered these bracelets and run into the same issue.
I waited until the next day and called back. The Indian woman who answered THIS time would simply NOT let me talk to the manager, and insisted that she had to help me. It should be noted that, all along, I could hear an American-sounding man in the background SCREAMING at someone (presumably on the phone). It was incredibly unprofessional and non-businesslike. I asked her if that was her manager, and she didn't respond, and there was an awkward silence (I later verified it WAS when, after 30 minutes, and finally telling her to tell him that she had an attorney on the phone and he'd do best to answer the phone NOW rather than get served with a lawsuit later... he got on the phone, and it was the same person who had so rudely been yelling in the background). Back to the discussion with the woman: she first told me they never received my emails, and then when I told her that was BS, she acquiesced and admitted they had received them.
She then said I had to send pictures before she could do anything. I indicated I had offered to do that previously and they refused to respond (and simultaneously took a picture with my cell phone and emailed it to firstname.lastname@example.org). I then told her that I had sent the picture, at which point she offered (after no less than 20 minutes of arguing back and forth with her and spelling out the entire address which set forth the language above regarding the printed wristband's life) to give me a "full refund......" ON WHAT I HAD LEFT... So, I would have to pay the shipping (back to CHINA) on the remaining bracelets, and they would refund based on the number of bracelets I returned. I could get a "full" refund on the product if I somehow retrieved all those I had given out at events to unknown strangers & businesses, and returned those too (impossible, and they know it).
She then offered me a 10% discount on a future order instead (HA! That one was funny!) I insisted repeatedly that I wanted to talk to her manager, and she told me he was "too busy" to talk to me (yeah - he was still screaming in the background). She also tried to tell me that the language on their page about the printed wrist-bands referred "clearly" to the paint used IN the silicone, itself, and not the text on the wrist-bands. Eventually, after telling her both myself and my husband are attorneys (true story), and that she probably should tell "Jason" to get on the phone and deal with this, or face a lawsuit, he miraculously appeared....
He was nothing but rude from the moment he got on the phone. I tried (calmly) re-explaining what was going on, and he cut me off and told me he knew what the problem was, and basically that he wasn't going to do anything more about it. My options were to keep the bracelets and get a 15% discount on the product (when reducing the overly expensive $134.97 I paid in production and shipping fees from the total, leaving $454.95 for the actual wrist-bands, 15% would equate to $68.24 (leaving me paying $521.68 for bracelets that after 3 weeks do us absolutely NO good whatsoever). Or, I could return the product and he would give a full refund ON THE PRODUCT (not the production/shipping) that I returned.
I explained to him that several hundred of them had been distributed already at events and in mailings, and I had no way to get them back (if they weren't already in the trash given that the information on them became readily unreadable). He told me that I must be "out of (my) mind" that I would request a refund on products I wasn't returning and that someone else was "enjoying" (meaning, the junked bracelets that no longer showed our networking information/website on them). He equated it to going to Best Buy and buying a computer, and then trying to return just the keyboard for a full refund. Um, not so: when you buy a computer at Best Buy, it is ONE item, and Best Buy has no reason to believe you'd not be using that ONE item yourself and/or that you'd be distributing individual "keys" of the keyboard, etc.
Conversely, THIS company KNOWS that what they are selling are promotional products (that's what the even describe them as, above), and that the entire purpose of people buying them is to distribute them to others, en mass.... and that a return of all of the products is impossible because, by their very nature, they are piece meal and given out to others. The company ALSO knows that the writing doesn't wear off until a few weeks after you give them out (as promotional pieces, almost without fail, to mostly strangers....) so, by the time the product "fails," there is no way to get it back to return it. Instead, the buyer has a "broken" and unusable promotional piece that they paid full price for with an expectation of it lasting forever... or at least a lot longer than 21 days. The entire set-up is a fraud and a scheme to dupe people out of money with no return-recourse.
"Jason" went on to offer me his "personal" telephone number and acted as if the information he gave me was somehow special (it was the same telephone number - the direct line - offered on their website - 281-286-9500.) When called out on this, he yelled more.... I then asked the name of their registered agent, and he had no idea what I was talking about (a registered agent is required by law if you are doing business in a state to accept service of lawsuits). I then asked him if he'd been sued before, to which he responded "many times" and that they always win against customers. He said "our lawyer is so good" that if we send papers to them, his lawyer will "send papers back and (I'll) end up working in Alaska."
(Not really even sure what he meant by this, but apparently he thinks Alaska is the worst place on Earth....) When I asked where he resided, he said he was a "U.S. Citizen" and when pushed, said he has lived in Houston, TX for 28 years. Needless to say, we didn't get any further in our conversation. He was completely unwilling to resolve the problem, and when I asked for them to replace the defective "printed" wrist-bands with ones that had writing that would not wear off (i.e. embossed or debossed), he said "absolutely not." His only solution was to refund (after I paid an arm and a leg to RESHIP the remaining bracelets back to China) the portion that represented those remaining bracelets, only, and to suck up any loss on the ones I had used to date for networking purposes, or to take a loss of still over $500 with a small condolence credit (which might or might not actually ever get applied).
At this point, I think I'm going to dispute the charge with my credit card as being fraudulent based upon the consumer fraud/deceptive practices that this company is engaging in. If I can get nowhere with that, I'm going to file a lawsuit. Enough is enough. DON'T do business with this company. Their product is not what it is put forth as, and they will NOT stand behind it.... You'll be out a LOT of money and a lot more frustration!