Report: #477869

Complaint Review: Specialty Merchandise Corporation SMC

  • Submitted: Sun, August 09, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, August 10, 2009
  • Reported By: Brandon Mississippi
  • Specialty Merchandise Corporation SMC
    996 Flower Glen Street
    Simi Valley, California

Specialty Merchandise Corporation SMC This company keeps taking money out of my checking account when I have already canceled my membership. Simi Valley California

*Consumer Suggestion: Talk to your bank

* : I signed up for SMC too, agree they're unethical and a rip-off!

* : dispute charges

*Consumer Suggestion: HOW

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

SMC sent me a information packet by FedEx. They advertize that the information packet is free. I canceled my membership back in May but, they keep taking $39.95 out of my checking account. I am disabled and in a wheelchair. I get a SSI check every month from the federal government. I cant afford to pay $39.95 every month for something I canceled.

I called Specialty Merchandise Corporation and told them that I canceled my membership back in May. I was told that I had to return the free information packet to Specialty Merchandise Corporation before I could cancel my membership or even get a refund for $39.95 for the month of july, that they took out of my checking account. I cant even find the information packet. I must have threw it away by accident.

Now I cant cancel my membership with Specialty Merchandise Corporation and they will continue to take $39.95 out of my checking account every month. I think this company is operating a major scam and is a big rip-off. I am in a nursing home right now. I cant believe a company like this would prey on the elderly and the disabled and scam them.

Brandon, Mississippi
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/09/2009 12:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Talk to your bank

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

Tell your bank that you tried to cancel and cannot. Show them the charges to your account. Someone in customer service should be able to help you. You may have to change your account number. Don't give your account numbers, bank or credit card numbers to anyone.

Also,don't order anymore "free samples" from the internet or tv. There is ALWAYS a catch and you will end up back where you are right now. Ripoff report is full of stories like this for everything!!!

Hope this helps.
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I signed up for SMC too, agree they're unethical and a rip-off!


I just watched another infomercial for SMC tonight, because I wanted to verify what I already remembered.  Namely, they never tell you on their commercial that you're signing up for a FOUR YEAR membership, and that they're going to take almost $40 out of your account every month whether you order from them or not during those four years!!!

I, too, saw the infomercial, and happened to already have a web site that does well due to some good articles I've written.  I get tens of thousands of visitors per month, but don't make any money on the site.  So I was looking for products to sell there, something that would be easier than programming a shopping cart on my own, or setting up credit card arrangements with a secure sever other than using a service like Paypal, etc.

Well, late one night I saw the SMC infomercial, and thought that I could try to sell their stuff.  The whole infomercial was how their stuff was so good that it sold itself, that people were making hundreds of thousands in their first year, etc.  So I called and ordered their starter packet. 

Now, I'm experienced with a little bit of web design, and I have no idea how anyone could make hundreds of thousands on the stuff SMC is selling because it's just a few catalogs they send you -- nothing to help you set up a catalog web site that I could find!  So I have no idea how those people on TV were making hundreds of thousands on the internet unless they were skilled web designers, with high traffic going to their site already.  It would take loads of skill and time.  I don't know how to set up a secure server on my own to protect credit card customers from having their info stolen when they buy stuff from me, so I let the packet sit there for probably a half year or longer, all the while with SMC deducting $40 from my account. 

So finally when I had time to look at it, I decided that SMC just wasn't something I could do -- I'd need to quit my job for a few months and work on programming a catalog site full-time just to get to the point where it might have a chance of making money.  So I called SMC and tried to cancel, but guess what?  They said that the membership lasts FOUR YEARS, and that I'd have to let them take my money for four years, or they'd settle if I paid them some amount like $200 or such.  I've never heard of a company treating its customers so badly -- I hadn't even placed one order from them, they had no investment in me other than sending out a few catalogs at the outset, so they'd already made hundreds of dollars on me for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Honorable companies would have refunded at least a part of my past fees, maybe keeping the first one for the time it took to send the packet.  But not SMC!  They wanted maximum profit, and that's after they deliberately misled me about how easy it was and how much money I'd make.

So I just changed my credit card number, and so far I haven't heard back from them.  I'd be interested if there are any class action lawsuits against them to join.  And by the way, I don't EVER remember them telling me that I was signing up for a 4-year contract.  I do remember that they weren't going to refund my original fee if I didn't return the packet right away, but never, ever did they say it was a 4-year contract.  If I'd known that, I NEVER would have signed up for it.  On the phone with their rep, she said that they could get the tape recording of my order to them.  Well, there's no chain of custody on their tape -- they could splice anything together at their end  and make the claim that it was the original phone call. 

Long story short, I'd consider this company to be a scam and a rip-off in that it uses deceptive advertising practices (leading people to believe they can make hundreds of thousands in their first year), and makes fictitious claims about contractual obligations.  They may technically send out orders to customers for those who are lucky enough to get any orders, but it's unlikely that most people drawn into their company will ever get more than a handful of orders, if any at all.  Oh, and by the way -- those great products that "sell themselves"?  I've seen products that looked just their stuff at the DOLLAR STORE!

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dispute charges

AUTHOR: doghunter - (USA)

In any trail program (30,60,and 90 day) if you decide to cancel you have to send back what you received. My recommendation if doing so have proof of delivery to justify your action becuase it will help if you need to dispute charges with bank.

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#4 Consumer Suggestion


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

If you are disabled AND in a nursing home, HOW do you expect to even sell the SMC crap? And by the way, SSI is NOT federal it is state. SSD, is federal.
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