This is a web based company in NY. I placed an order online on February 14, 2012, for a Garmin Nuvi 1490LMT with a 2 year extended warranty. Due to this companys deceptive advertising techniques, I was shocked to see that the aforementioned GPS arrived in a box stamped Refurbished. I immediately took screen shots of the ad for this product and have them saved for evidence.
When I contacted this company the following day, I spent almost an hour on the phone (waiting on hold most of the time) to find out that they will charge a 15% restocking fee to return the item (along with the cost of shipping). At this time I filed the first Better Business Bureau complaint. The BBB dispute was settled on May 18, 2012, when I agreed to return the GPS for 7.5% restocking fee and your company would split the cost of shipping. I never heard from this company, so I called again on May 22, 2012, to find out how to ship the GPS so that they would pay for half of the shipping and where to send it. I was e-mailed a form that I filled out and mailed with the GPS on June 6, 2012 via Priority Mail/Delivery Confirmation.
I called on June 26, 2012, to follow-up on my reimbursement of $166.65 ($176.90 7.5% = $163.63 + half of shipping $3.02) since it should have only taken 2-5 business days to process. I spoke with Beth, who put me on hold for about ten minutes to check the status of my return. She returned to the line and advised me that they received my GPS and it would be another 2-5 days to process the return to my American Express card.
August 1, 2012, I called again and was transferred to Arlene, Customer Relations Manager. At this time she claimed the warehouse allegedly never received the package, even after I advised her of my June 26th telephone conference with Beth where she checked with the warehouse and confirmed that they had it and were processing my refund at that time. Arlene stated that because I didnt have a signature required upon delivery that she can not reimburse me as agreed with the BBB. She said they are one of a few businesses in a large warehouse. I advised her that I followed the instructions on the sheet your company provided, which does not say signature required (nor was I instructed to send it that way when I called after the agreement was made on May 18, 2012). I had not way of knowing I was sending the GPS to a warehouse. This company's customer service has always been horrible as I sat on hold many times 20-30 minutes for someone to pick-up the phone and hang up, or to be transferred to someone else that could not help me. Not one person I spoke with the 20-30 times I have called since February 14, 2012, cared about customer satisfaction. There is no way I would know a signature was needed unless advised by your company in the return instructions. Priority Mail and Delivery Confirmation tracks the package to their address as delivered the next day, 6/7/12.
On August 2, 2012, I filed the second Better Business Bureau complaint and began to do more in-depth research on this company. There have been 345 complaints filed against factoryoutletstore.com in the past 36 months, 271 of which are all relating to advertising/sales issues and problems with products or service. Further investigation revealed many different websites with similar complaints regarding your deceptive advertising techniques, which is the subject of my complaint from 2/14/2012. They use high restocking fees (15%), and the cost of shipping to prevent returns. This company took it's horrible customer service and fraudulent tactics to another level now that they claim they don't have my returned GPS (after advising me they did), hoping they will exhaust me after 6 months of trying to take my money. Unfortunately, they are wrong, I will do everything I can to get the word out (and file a lawsuit if need be) to stop this horrible company from ripping people off. There are so many website with complaints just like mine, but most people don't want to invest the countless hours I have to fight them. I won't stop until I get this issue resolved and make sure the FTC and every other organization I can contact knows what this business is doing!