ED Magedson – Founder
High Desert Vapes511 San Mateo Blvd NE Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
High Desert Vapes - Product not as advertised - Refuse to refund Bait and switch; terrible service ethic; alienating customers Albuquerque New Mexico
High Desert Vapes does not advertise their merchandise as it actually is, and they will not fully refund you (or give you full store credit) once you realize you've received something different than their advertised product. Basically, you order thinking you'll be receiving what's in the website photo, receive something else, and get stuck with it.
I was trying to buy a collection of glass drip tips to go with aqua green, blue and purple vaping gear. On the High Desert Vapes website, I carefully picked out drip tips with blue and aqua green themes, and paid by credit card. When the package arrived, I was dismayed to see that although the tips were of decent quality, they were yellow!
I wrote to John Ruiz, who I believe is the owner of High Desert Vapes, and told him what had happened. I was super polite and respectful. He requested photos, so that evening I took careful pictures and even took the time to paste them next to the website photos for the same item, so the color difference was patently clear. [continued below]....
This is the sad part; after seeing the photos, which clearly showed that what was shipped was not what was advertised, Ruiz refused to let me return the items unless I was willing to eat 25% of the cost! He insisted that he had filled the order correctly, and wouldn't even take them back for store credit.
Now it could also be that Ruiz is color blind. Not kidding - that might be the issue. Some people actually can't see the difference between yellow and green, yellow and blue, or blue and green. Maybe when he looked at the photos, he saw the same tips on each side! But the bottom line is High Desert Vapes simply does bad business and don't take care of their customers. Rather than make it right, they chose to alienate me - over a few drip tips! A shame, because they do make pretty things and I would have purshased many things from them over the years. In the end, it's no good making pretty things if customers can't receive what they order and aren't treated right when there is a problem.
Ruiz was not without reasons for his actions. He claimed that people often say they will be loyal customers and then turn out not to be (I wonder why!). He also claimed that the lighting made the difference in the color of the glass. I can accept that the photos on the High Desert Vapes web site are shot in a unique light against a black background; it could be that this makes the glass appear to be a color it is not... But if that's the case, they should realize that the drip tips are never going to look like that in real life under normal lighting conditions.
Edit: after examining the tips against a black background as Ruiz suggested, I find that they are still yellow. In fact, there is no light under which they look blue or green - they are simply not the items that were advertised.
Ruiz also said that because glass items are hand made, differences are to be expected (no two alike). I don't mind variation in an item like this and even expect it... but a totally different color is not acceptable. Basic color is something that can be controled for in glass blowing.
All that aside, even if Ruiz is color blind - even if he doesn't care that one drip tip is blue and another yellow; he should still stand behind his product, offer a full refund or store credit, and win customers over rather than choosing to alienate them and lose future sales.
I'm not sure why, but some people just don't get that when you take care of your customers, they come back and buy much, much more, and they tell all their friends as well. There is no greater advertising opportunity than great customer service. It's how you invest in the future of your company.
Sadly, High Desert Vapes will not take responsibility for the fact that their site photos are a totally different product than what they ship out.
I received word from several other disgruntled customers of High Desert Vapes after posting my experience on a popular e-cig website. They all reported similar experiences - ordering one item, receiving something not as good or not as advertised, and then not being allowed to return the item. It is no surprise that I am not the only one getting burned by this company; the owner clearly has a confused business ethic.
Getting the word out is the only way to fight back against unprincipled salesmen. So that is what I am doing here. Hopefully this will prevent someone else from being taken.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/01/2013 07:14 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/high-desert-vapes/albuquerque-new-mexico-87108/high-desert-vapes-product-not-as-advertised-refuse-to-refund-bait-and-switch-terr-1080976. 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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