The payment and name on the credit card bill did not seem congruent to any purchases. Simply "HDI Simple Escapes" So I called the number on the bill, and was informed that I was a (unknowing and unwitting) member of this organization, with its many outstanding (secret) services, and was in good standing since the previous year (2005), and that my credit card had been billed for the current year (2006). It turns out that I hadn't noticed the somewhat smaller credit card charge (apprx $90) the year before. Regardless, Simple Escapes never contacted me regarding my "membership" or their "services". Absolute and utter silence, except the annual credit card charges.
HDI Simple Escapes informed me that the Company Store had provided my credit card information to them. I had purchased a down comforter, but nothing more. So I called my Credit Card Company. They informed me that this was likely credit card fraud, and agreed to block the current (apprx $150.00) charge, but said that I should follow up with the company store in order to have the earlier charges reversed.
My calls to the company store were not fun. I was stonewalled at every opportunity, calls were transferred laterally to various low level workers and management, then mysteriously, dropped. But I persisted. Eventually, I spoke with a Company Store representative who was slick, calming, suave and helpful, yes, a specialist of sorts. He promised to look into the "situation", and review the archived audio tapes of my telephone "purchase", and call me back within the week. Of course, he didn't call back, his personal number (call me any time) wan't any good, and the switchboard couldn't locate this phantom worker....
Two weeks later I called the Company Store, and was told that my Credit Card would be credited the remaining cash. The Store would provide no other information.
After this peiod of weeks, the Store did credit the remaining cash, but what a distaseful process. The Company Store customer service was horrible. (Though they are very pleasant if you're buying something). I also asked a woman at Simple Escapes how she felt about working for a company actively involved in defrauding people (me at that moment!). "I can't stand it", she replied, "this is my last week".
Anyway, I didn't post this report at the time of occurrence, and I'm sure there are many thousands of others like me..... But, after looking at other recent reports on this site, it appears that the Company Store, HDI Simple Escapes, and others of their ilk continue to do business as usual, unfettered by the contraints of honesty or law.
So I thought I'd add my voice to the other 654 of you who have had written about the pleasure, privilege, and prestige of your "Simple Escapes" or "Today's Escapes" memberships! Thanks!