• Report: #77549
Complaint Review:

SMC (Specialty Merchandise Corporation)

  • Submitted: Tue, January 20, 2004
  • Updated: Tue, September 05, 2006

  • Reported By:Morgan City Louisiana
SMC (Specialty Merchandise Corporation)
9447 De Soto Avenue Chatsworth, California U.S.A.

SMC - Specialty Merchandise Corporation ripoff lying deceptive overpriced oversaturated market Chatsworth California

*Consumer Comment: Try to get help against SMC

*Consumer Comment: Scam, Ripoff, or just plain Unethical Business, SMC is all of the above

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: SMC is not so bad

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I have been meaning to file a complaint on this website. I finally got the fire under my butt to do so.

Firstly I would like to contact about the contact information for SMC. Upon the regular website, there is none listed except a toll free number. I attempted to get some information from the BBB, but their site is not putting up the "SMC" file now. Odd, isn't it?

I resorted to doing a who is on the domain of smcorp.com. This was hysterical. The administrative contact is:

WU, JOE (JW17195) jwu@SMCORP.COM
CHATSWORTH, CA 91311-4920
818.998.3300 fax: 818.998.2635

The technical contact is:

Technical Contact:
chang, paul (PCK107) paul@SMCORP.COM
9401 DeSoto Ave
Chatsworth, CA 91311
(818) 998-3300 fax: 123 123 1234

What I find strange is the fact they put a fax number for the first contact, but a stupid 123 series for their fax number? Why is it that you cannot find any of this contact information on their website? Heck, I don't even recall an email address. Nothing more than a form to fill out to order your package.

On to my complaint about SMC.

I signed up for SMC about a year ago. As most, I saw the commercial at the wee hours of the morning. I requested the free information. After I received the free information, I eventually signed up for the $25.00 offer.

Through talks, I was coaxed in to signing up for the lifetime membership. Supposedly a one time fee of $400.00 and something dollars. I had checked with the BBB and they seemed to have a good record. Another factor was how long they had been in business. I found this out from the corporate database search at the State of California website. That site confirmed how long they had been in business.

Problems started to arise when I requested my "free" website. They had put my personal name and address on the site. I had told them to not do anything because I had planned on getting a business license and a P.O. box just for my business. Well, when I called to get the information changed, I was told they could do so for only $25.00. I told them that was a rip-off. I didn't need their stupid free site. I was already in the process of setting up my own site (no reason to pay something to do I am well capable of doing myself).

My next issue was the fact that I was told I had "FTP" access. NOT! I'm sorry, but I don't consider connecting to FTP via http (or https) to be a real FTP connection. This was a problem because I wanted to download the images. Having DSL at the time, it would be quicker to simply download the image folders and sort stuff out myself than having to click on image, then click save, then wait for it to download, and over and over.

Another issue was tech support. Their online tech support is the worst. The ONLY use for online tech support is IF you have a website through them. 9/10, if your question does not pertain to such, you are told to call customer support.

As for the pricing of the merchant system and website, it is outrageous. I could see paying somewhere near that amount (but below the amount they request) if my site would be "custom" designed. Once again, I have a difference in terms as to what they call things. I do NOT consider a template-based website where the only thing that is edited is basic text (my name/company info, etc) to be a "custom designed" website. I was also told that anytime I needed changes (change in company info and such), I had to pay $25.00 per incident. That is a rip-off. I can do such changes in Notepad in less than two minutes and have it uploaded in no time. Why would I want to pay for a site I don't even have full control over?

I was not happy with the fact that items were frequently "discontinued." How can you give someone a catalog and have numerous items discontinued not even months after the catalog has been issued? Speaking of that matter, I think that it's a rip-off that you had to manually search for "discontinued" items. They tried to make that some sort of incentive to get their overpriced web host/design package.

Finally, they contacted me for non-payment. I told them I was unsatisfied with their service (all and even more of what was mentioned above). I sent them a letter requesting to have my account canceled. I never did hear from them (personally) again. My next contact was a collection agency contacting me. If that was not unprofessional, then I don't know what is.

The collection agency said I could pay out my contract. I then asked "When I pay out this contract for the lesser amount, will my account be reactivated?" I was told "no." I then asked, "Why would I pay for something I could not use?"

They tried the old "breach of contract" game. Fortunately I remember reading on the SMC website that they were going to charge an annual fee to those with "lifetime" memberships. The fee would be much smaller, but nonetheless, a fee. Technically, that is a breach of contract. I was told originally that with the lifetime membership, I would have to pay no more membership fees.

I did file a complaint with the BBB. I am in the process of filing a complaint with the FTC and Attorney General of California. The Attorney General of California sure will be hearing from me a lot soon.

My advice is for people to stay away from this company. If you read other reports about SMC, you will see people mention the market being over saturated with their products. This is true. Check E-bay out. You will find SMC products all over the place.

If you want your own home business selling such items and are thinking of using SMC, please check out other wholesalers online FIRST. There are tons of wholesalers out there whom will sell to you with NO "membership" fees. The only catch is you usually have to show them a copy of your business license and you tax/reseller license.

In Louisiana, such paperwork is not hard at all to get. You pay for your business license ($15.00 last time I checked). Filing for state and local tax license, there is no fee. Check with your local city hall for this information. The small amount of time it takes for this is well worth it if you are serious about opening a business.

Morgan City, Louisiana

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/20/2004 03:58 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/smc-specialty-merchandise-corporation/chatsworth-california-91311-4920/smc-specialty-merchandise-corporation-ripoff-lying-deceptive-overpriced-oversaturated-ma-77549. 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 Consumer Comment

Try to get help against SMC

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

You may want to contact the Better Business Bureau in the state of California for Specialty Merchandise Corporation and in the state of Arizona at 602-264-1721 or phoenix.bb.org for SMC Promotions to complete a complaint form online against them. I don't think most people know that they dba as SMC Promotions in Arizona. You also may try consumer affairs division in your state or put in consumer affairs in a search engine and download a complaint form, they will need SMC's address at 13230 San Bernardino, CA 92335 and SMC Promotions at 4041 North Central Avenue Ste B100, Phoenix, AZ 85012 and EMerchant Club at 996 Flower Glen Street, Simi Valley, CA 93065. They advised me to cancel my credit card and any other accounts that I had given them information. Also, dispute the charges if you were not given what you ordered with the credit card company.

Wish me luck. I feel very taken advantage of because these guys sale you a website and then promise all these goodies that come with it and they never came. Good Luck to you.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Scam, Ripoff, or just plain Unethical Business, SMC is all of the above

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

Thank you for all your comments regarding SMC, Specialty Merchandise Corporation or also its sister company E-Merchant Club. I really wish I had been a person to read these comments prior to getting involved.

Normally I am not so gullable, but with a guy like Tom Bosley behind them who played in Father Dowling Mysteries and Murder She Wrote, not to mention Happy Days, I thought for sure I had a winner.

I too paid the $300+ fee for a lifetime membership and thought well, I have 30 days to look over everything. By the way the thirty days starts the day you order your kit, so depending upon mail time holidays and such, your time is narrowed.

I went into it whole heartedly. Started with my "business coach" (hindsight being 20/20 he should be called a slime ball salesman) I thought that if I was successful, than he would be successful so he would advise me appropriately.

My advise is: Do not do business with these people. But, if you have or think you have to....Insist on everything they promise you is in writing prior to you paying them a penny. This man promised me one thing and when I finally received what I thought I ordered it was something entirely different... they promise you these Gift Cards with your website... first order $500 short in retail value... second upgrade, which was done the next day... $5700 short in Gift Cards.

I spent over $7500 with them, ordering catalogs, a website, lists of names, business license, stamps with my business name. Calling the company was to no avail. Leaving messages with Customer Service and with Supervisors, with no response.

I was lied to and scammed by Specialty Merchandise Corporation. It has been over one month and I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and I have requested a dispute on my credit card. I also recommend that you close out any credit cards or accounts that you have given SMC or EMerchant Club your accounts.

It seems to me that anyone that is satisfied has not gotten in over their heads as of yet. The products do not seem of high quality, but they are reasonable to what is on the market these days. Most of the products are Made in China and it seems difficult to find quality US products these days anyhow.

So, in closing my main complaint is to the unethical and dishonest practices of the SMC employees that I dealt with. If you have any other suggestions or would like to start a complaint with SMC with me please contact me at (((email ROR redacted))) Thank you

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

SMC is not so bad

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

I too saw the late night infomercials and tried out the company. I signed up for 199.00 and I did think that there would be no other fees as well. But I did make money on my first day after receiving the catalogs. I made quite a bit of money as a matter of fact. The only reason that I am no longer using them, for right now anyway... is because I didn't like the monthly fee payment. Plus I hadn't sold anything in about 3 or 4 months since I had my baby I just am not as into that right now. Anyway, tech support has always been good for me. Mainly everyone That I show the products to say that they are priced really well, plus you know that you have the option of setting you own sales, or just giving whatever discount if you think the products are marked really high. I mean the product may be marked for retail at $40.00 and you're only paying $6.99, you can stand to knock off a dollar here and there. The biggest complaint that I had was that people thought the items would be bigger. How do you solve this?...either order samples or make sure you tell your people the dimensions. But overall I give SMC a 8 out of 10 for a great money making oppurtunity. Plus you can hire subs under to you to boost your profits. Maybe you just needed to get a little boost to help with your sales. Now they do have a lot of discontinued items, which seem to be alot of the good ones, but if you keep up with your newsletters, they have all of that listed. ANYWAY... I'd say try it! The money back guarantee is good and you can easily tell in those 30 days if SMC is for you.
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