I came across Hot Movie Sale in early December when looking for a Christmas present for someone. As I was looking for a bargain, and they offered on their page a one-time discount of $5 for first-time buyers plus free shipping, it seemed like a good deal. My virus software program did not have the site flagged as being 'red', so I guessed the site was safe to use--wrong!
When I began to order, a prompt came on the screen asking if I wanted to join a membership club, and save an additional $5. I chose the optional "no thanks, take me to checkout link". At checkout, I entered the required information, making sure to once again opt out of any e-mail offerings or clubs. Or so I thought.
My first problem occurred was when I received the confirmation order email. It stated that my item was on back-order, and would not ship until Dec. 22nd. Within 24 hours, I found the item elsewhere, and sent an e-mail to customer service to cancel. During this time, I received another email welcoming me to my "Trial Membership" of Best Brand Values, and that if I did not cancel within the 3-day period, the credit # I gave at checkout would be billed $19.95 monthly.
I got a second email the next day stating that the item had shipped. I emailed them again trying to explain that I did not want it, had canceled the order, etc. They said I could choose not to keep the item, mail it back (at my own expense), and would refund the charges.
The item arrived, and I mailed it back the next day at a cost of $7. I kept checking my account daily, but no charge for the item ever appeared. Today when I was looking at my statements, I saw an Overdraft Charge. They finally charged me for the item I had ordered 2 weeks after the order was placed even though I had canceled 24 hours later, emailed them 1 week later upon receipt that I was returning it. Now I have to go on Monday to the bank to dispute the OD charge. I'm still fighting with the company to get my shipping refunded.
I have filed a report with the BBB of Florida, but in their defense HMS claims that their membership rules are clearly displayed on the website and that merely by entering your e-mail and ordering from them, you agree to their terms of service and joining. I went back to the site a second time, and looked over the TOS with a fine-tooth comb, I saw nothing of the sort.
Oddly enough, last night at Christmas dinner, I found out that my aunt and uncle had fallen prey to this company too.
Please, save yourselves the heartache and the headache and order your merchandise from a site with a better reputation. You may have to pay more money, but in the long run you do save-- your sanity.