I've been dealing with Peel, Inc. (dba Seattle Coffee Direct and many other names) for about two and a half weeks regarding unauthorized charges. I signed up for a trial offer. The terms were clear. I was signing up to receive coffee twice a month. "Semi", according to the dictionary, means "twice." Imagine my surprise when I receive an overdraft notice for a $38.95 charge although I had yet to receive the trial offer. I contacted the company. Jason, the customer service representative, snidely asked, "You knew you were signing up for a coffee club, didn't you?" I replied I most certainly understood but that did not mean a charge before the initial trial offer was received. Jason said the company would do nothing until product was returned. I did not like his attitude and asked to speak to a supervisor. After argument, he connected me to Rebecca Ramirez' voicemail. I left a scathing message. The next day ANOTHER $38.95 charge appeared. I contacted the company, this time speaking to Yolanda. She informed she would credit one charge since nothing had been shipped but would do nothing until product was returned. I still had not received product. The following day the trial offer arrived. I refused the shipment. I found email addresses for the vice president of customer relations and the company president. My email to the company president bounced back. Ms. Ramirez had not returned my call, replied to my email and neither had the customer relations VP. The next day I received a coffee shipment. I refused the package again. I received two more packages -- one after the other. Four $38.95 charges (pluse the initial $25) posted to my account and $165 in overdraft charges. I paid for the coffee using an account I use solely for online shopping. I do not keep a lot of money in that account -- hence the overdraft charges. On July 1, Ms. Ramirez left a voicemail that monies charged had been refunded. On July 6, no refund posted to my account. I contiued to forward my initial emails each day. I filed a Better Business Bureau complaint and complaints with the attorney general in Illinois and California. I contacted the bank to dispute the charges. I closed the debit card. My bank advised me to contact the chamber of commerce in Evanston and applicable business licensing agency. On July 9, the promised refund posted to my account. I informed the company via email that reimbursement of overdraft charges was required. I have not yet received a reply. I've belonged to clubs of various sorts over the years and NEVER had issues with unauthorized charges. I am furious and will take this company to court if necessary. This is fraud and misrepresentation. I'm searching court records because I suspect there is a lot of dirty business at work. The main company Peel, Inc. has many DBAs. The Better Business Bureau rates the company "F" with more than 800 complaints filed. I did receive a reply from the Better Business Bureau with the company's reply on July 6. The company claimed refunds were processed. I replied to the Better Business Bureau that refunds had not been processed and the company owed me reimbursement of overdraft charges. I have not yet received a reply. Small claims is relatively inexpensive and a judgment can be docketed in every state. The only way to stop companies like this from defrauding consumers is people taking a stand against unethical business practices like Peel, Inc. and its many DBAs.
Aliso Viejo, California
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