• Report: #149240
Complaint Review:

Invention Channel Aka OneSweep.com

  • Submitted: Mon, July 11, 2005
  • Updated: Tue, July 12, 2005

  • Reported By:Tulsa Oklahoma
Invention Channel Aka OneSweep.com
79 Two Bridges Road Fairfield, New Jersey U.S.A.

Invention Channel Aka OneSweep.com Deceptive Practices, Bait and Switch, "Buy-One-Get-One-Free" Misrepresentation, Railroading Consumers, Unfair Return Policy Fairfield New Jersey

*Author of original report: Deceptive and Unethical Practices are not a Misunderstanding

*Consumer Comment: Terms are right on the home page

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In December of 2004, I saw an Invention Channel ad on television that offered two One Sweep brooms for $10 plus shipping. I thought it sounded like a great deal, so I visited OneSweep.com to make the purchase. Unfortunately, the website turned out to be a virtual encyclopedia of consumer fraud violations.

At first, everything seemed fine. There was an invoice at the top of the page, listing the promised price of $10 plus $6.99 shipping. It seemed fair, so I entered my payment information and pressed the "Complete" button. Little did I realize that I was being railroaded into making an unwanted purchase.

Next, I was presented with a series of offers to buy the more expensive Deluxe One Sweep broom, instead of the broom that was advertised on television. This unethical "bait and switch" sales technique was the first hint that something was terribly wrong.

After turning down the "bait and switch" offers, OneSweep.com informed me that I would only get two One Sweep brooms if I paid an additional $6.99 shipping. The total would be $23.98, more than double the amount quoted in the television offer. I had become the victim of a brazen "buy-one-get-one-free" misrepresentation, and I didn't like it.

After turning down the "free" One Sweep, I was shocked to discover that I had just purchased a single One Sweep broom for $16.99. My fate was sealed the moment I clicked the "Complete" button, long before the actual terms of the television offer had been revealed to me. There was no way to back out of the transaction. My blood ran cold.

Suddenly, a chat window popped up in my brower, and a customer service representative asked me if I had any questions. I immediately told them that I wanted to cancel my order because the television offer was so deceptive. The customer service rep assured me that the order was canceled, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

I thought that I had dodged a bullet, until two weeks later, when I received the "canceled" One Sweep in the mail. I checked my credit card statement, and sure enough, the Invention Channel had charged me $16.99. It became clear that the customer service reps were only there to talk down angry consumers who had just been railroaded. They had no intention of canceling any orders.

I returned to OneSweep.com, looking for answers. I found out that I could return the broom for a "full" refund, less the $6.99 shipping charge. Instead of two One Sweep brooms for $10, I would get nothing for $6.99, plus the cost of return shipping. Unacceptable.

Outraged, I emailed support@inventionchannel.com to complain about their deceptive practices. I demanded a full refund, including the shipping charges. As one might expect, OneSweep.com chose to ignore my complaints.

Incredibly, OneSweep.com has the BBBOnLine seal of approval! How can a business that engages in such blatant consumer fraud be approved by the Better Business Bureau? Madness! I urge all victims of OneSweep.com to report their experiences, not only here, but also at www.bbb.org.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/11/2005 06:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/invention-channel-aka-onesweepcom/fairfield-new-jersey-07004/invention-channel-aka-onesweepcom-deceptive-practices-bait-and-switch-buy-one-get-one-149240. 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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#1 Author of original report

Deceptive and Unethical Practices are not a Misunderstanding

AUTHOR: Jason - (U.S.A.)

While I appreciate Lori's "buyer beware" philosophy, it does not excuse OneSweep.com's unethical sales practices. If there was a misunderstanding, it is only because OneSweep.com doesn't WANT consumers to fully understand the Buy-One-Get-One-Free terms until AFTER they enter their payment information.

Unlike most reputable online stores, OneSweep.com does NOT show you the grand total BEFORE you decide whether or not you want to place the order. At OneSweep.com, once your payment information is entered, there is NO turning back. You CANNOT bail out of the transaction. You are railroaded into making a purchase, whether you like it or not. This IS consumer fraud.

This railroading is what makes the return policy so unfair. OneSweep.com's return policy may be "standard", but if you are swindled into buying something that you didn't want, then why shouldn't you receive a FULL refund, including shipping? After all, the return wasn't YOUR fault. OneSweep.com's policy is specifically designed to make returns too costly to be worthwhile. They expect consumers to simply take their lumps and let OneSweep.com keep their money.

With all due respect to Lori, the Buy-One-Get-One-Free terms on the homepage are deceptive. OneSweep.com does NOT specify the amount of the additional shipping and handling. They just keep saying "TWO One Sweeps for only $10, that's just $5 each." They never reveal the total cost of two brooms, which is actually $23.98, about $12 each. You can buy One Sweep brooms at Wal-Mart for just $9.95 each. The consumer gets NOTHING "free". The excessive shipping charges ensure that the consumer pays FULL price for BOTH brooms. The Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer IS a misrepresentation. This IS consumer fraud.

Lori's "misunderstanding" theory does NOT explain why OneSweep.com uses "bait and switch" sales techniques. They advertise a cheap product, but when you go to their site, they try to sell you a more expensive one. Bait and switch IS consumer fraud. Lori's theory also does NOT explain why the customer service representative would assure me that my order was canceled, when in fact it was not. Could it be that they just wanted to make sure that the sale went through, knowing that the return process is so costly that most consumers won't bother?

Yes, buyers should beware, but why should I have to keep my guard up when I'm dealing with a "reputable" company that is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau? A company that brazenly engages in deceptive and unethical practices should NOT be in good standing with the BBB. OneSweep.com should NOT be considered a reputable company, and should NOT be in good standing with the BBB.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Terms are right on the home page

AUTHOR: Lori - (U.S.A.)

I just went in and checked the onesweep website. The terms for the BOGO are listed right at the bottom of the page, stating that you get 2 of the one sweeps for $10...all you have to pay is the additional s/h. The advertisement on the TV states this as well. It's also standard practice for a company to refund the purchase price of the item purchased, but you're responsible for the s/h charges. This sounds like a misunderstanding to me........next time, read through the complete ad before hitting that 'ORDER NOW' button.
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