Here is my report on Union Workers Credit Services.
This company likes to send out letters offering, usually $10,000.00 "credit" with a $37.00 sign up fee for their membership kit.
I know that many people have wrote about this company and the way they operate. I don't disagree with what others have written, which is:
1) the UWCS card is not a Visa or Mastercard
2) the UWCS card is not a multi-use credit card
But I don't understand the complaint about that portion of this offer, for it doesn't take even reading the small print to realize this isn't a Visa or Mastercard, UWCS tells you right up front that this is not a major credit card and that it is used for catalog purchases from their catalog.
All this tells me is that they are a direct buy catalog seller offering you a credit line on their items. This in itself isn't bad, but the following details my problems with this organization.
1) They are NOT Union related in any way, yet I am sure they get many members who belong to Unions to sign on thinking they are doing something good for their union perhaps. A phone rep (whom took quite some doing to get ahold of) today told me that they are NOT union affiliated. They love to have those pictures of Firmen, Doctors, Nurses and other Union type people on the top of their website despite this. (This to me is a warning sign of a deceiptful company).
2) One might think (especially if you were under the impression that you got this offer as a result of being a Union member) that UWCS would be giving you deals on the merchandise in their catalog. They are NOT. You can find pretty much anything in their catalog for sale elsewhere online for prices that are extremely low compared to the ridiculously inflated prices in the UWCS catalog.
3) There is a incredibly convoluted shipping paradigm at play with this organization. Somewhere on the website if you log in as a guest, you will find a shipping chart outlining how much you will pay for shipping. The shipping from UWCS has no connection to how much USPS, UPS, FedEx or any other carrier would actually charge for shipping. UWCS provides this generalized system which really can screw you.
(The following is merely an example I have created to explain how this works) Say you are buying a $300.00 digital camera from UWCS. UWCS charges some crazy shipping price based on the $300.00 cost of the item. So if you buy an item that has a decent sized price tag attached to it, you're getting nailed beyond belief in the shipping. YES, this is the truth. You do not pay normal shipping rates for UWCS items, you pay for shipping based on the cost of the item...and those charges are insane. Does this make sense to anyone?? A $300.00 digital camera, new in the box might weigh 3 pounds....the shipping you might pay for it based on its cost could be as much as $40.00. It would cost you about $9.00 to have it shipped if you bought it anywhere else.
When I spoke to the rep on the phone today, I asked her about this shipping system, and she confirmed what I had read. Then I asked her if I could speak with someone else that could clarify it a little better for me. She put me on hold and I sat there for 5 minutes on hold before I finally realized she wasn't coming back.
Ladies and gentlemen. UWCS is not doing anything illegal, but if you don't watch what it is they are doing then you will end up paying tons of dough for items that wouldn't cost that much if you bought them at a local convenience store.
Do NOT buy into this program. The $37.00 charge is ridiculous, the fact that they are not Union related is ridiculous, their prices are ridiculous, their shipping charge system is ridiculous...and lastly, the way they charge you or make you pay for the items is ridiculous....yes, there's more.
4) The method of payment. You can browse all of the items online (in a very unfriendly, uneasy layout), but you can't purchase anything online eventhough you have signed in as a member. In order to actually buy items, you have to type up a little sheet and then send it to UWCS via standard mail with a check or money order or approved credit number to cover the cost of items you are ordering + the inflated shipping costs. As other people have said, you may wait a long time for your initial membership to be approved and frankly you don't get your items much quicker. If you were Christmas shopping from UWCS at the beginning of November, you MIGHT get your items in time for Christmas.