ED Magedson – Founder
NORM THOMPSON REWARDS4501 Forbes Blvd Lanham, Maryland United States of America
I have been ordering from Norm Thompson for years. Up until recently, I have always called or ordered from their catalogue. In December 2008, I ordered from Norm Thompsons website. I made a $90 purchase and submitted my credit card info.
When the transaction was completed, a pop up box appeared offering a Norm Thompson Reward -- $15 off my next purchase of $50 or more when making an internet purchase with my credit card. Now, youd think I would have the option to use the e-coupon or not, but never for a minute did I realize that I was signing up for a MONTHLY RECURRING CHARGE!
However, by clicking yes on the offer, I apparently gave Norm Thompson Rewards the right to bill the same credit card I used to make the purchase. [continued below]....
But Norm Thompson is not the administrator of Norm Thompson Rewards (go figure). The company that runs this neat little scam is Encore Marketing International. My advice to consumers is to call Encore -- at 888-613-7767 -- and tell them (politely) that you know this program is a fraud and that you would like your money back. Be polite but firm and insistent. Let them know that you are aware of the complaints against them, have read all about them on the internet and will not stop calling until you get a refund. Dont yell. It doesnt help -- and you may more easily get a refund if you treat the poor schlep on the other side of the phone with a little kindness -- after all these people probably get outraged calls all day.
The first time I called, after discovering five months of charges on my Discover Card, I was given a single refund of $14.95. But after reading the posts here and elsewhere, I decided to call back and demand a refund for the other four months. I was very polite, but I told the representative that I knew this was a scam and that I wanted a full refund. It is important not to sound ashamed or uncertain when you call. I think thats how Encore gets most of their money. People feel guilty that they didnt look closely enough at their credit card statement, so they will accept Encores offer to refund one or two months of charges. But remember that this company has set up a pretty clever scam and theyre the ones who should be ashamed, not you.
Based on my internet research, Encore has been affiliated with a number of large retail websites. I found complaints relating to Red Envelope, Haband, Spiegel, Oriental Trading, ProFlowers and Solutions.com. According to the Better Business Bureau, Encores programs go under the following names:
Easy Saver - Consumer Affairs
Home & Garden Savings Club
The BBB also provided the following info: The company uses a negative option in many of its promotions. This requires customers to actively intervene in the automatic annual renewal of services in order to stop billing and services. The relationship does not lapse, until stopped by the customer. As always, consumers are advised to review credit cared statements for charges on all statements they receive to verify what they are choosing to authorize.
*** As much as I am angry at Encore for running this scam, I am even angrier at Norm Thompson and other so-called legitimate companies for betraying the trust of their customers. Norm Thompson should take responsibility for its part in this deception. You've given your credit card information to them and they pass it along to Encore. So for Norm Thompson to say they have no responsibility is an easy out. Their name is on the credit card when you're money is taken. You'd think they wouldn't want their reputation tarnished by these shenanigans. But the only thing the customer service representatives at Norm Thompson will do is to provide a phone number for Encore.
Perhaps the Norm Thompson CSRs cannot do anything else, but there was one thing I could do when I spoke to them. I told them I love their products and have been ordering from Norm Thompson for many years -- but NEVER AGAIN. If they lose enough business because of the deceptive practices of Encore Marketing, maybe theyll rethink their affiliation with such a company.
P.S. The refund for the four months of Norm Thompson Rewards just came through! Good luck to everyone.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/01/2009 02:11 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/NORM-THOMPSON-REWARDS/Lanham-Maryland-20706/NORM-THOMPSON-REWARDS-Encore-Marketing-International-Easy-Saver-The-only-one-getting-rew-502784. 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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