Report: #592921

Complaint Review: vinesse wine club

  • Submitted: Tue, April 13, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, August 05, 2011
  • Reported By: david T. — Ellenwood Georgia United States of America
  • vinesse wine club
    830 DenBeste Ct
    Windsor, California
    United States of America

vinesse wine club adler fels winery direct this so-called "wine club" uses bait-and-switch tactics to get people to join, promising higher end wines than what they actually send you Windsor, California

*Author of original report: Vinesse wine club is a bait & switch fraudulent wine club

*Consumer Comment: Wine Club Service

*UPDATE Employee: A misunderstanding has occurred

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I received an email in early March 2010 stating that I had been selected to join the "Columbia House Wine Club".  Being a member of Columbia House dvd club, I opened the email and found that the wine club in question was through a company called Vinesse in California.  I called someone about two weeks later to inquire about joining andmentioned that I thought the six wines on the list they were going to send me were reasonably priced, fairly good quality wines from Napa, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Mendicino, etc.  Having worked in the wine industry in Napa, CA from 2000-2007 before moving to Georgia, and knowing quite a bit about California wines, I agreed to sign up, being told by a woman named Angela that my six wines would be arriving in about a week and I would be charged $41.94 with NO shipping and handling. Plus, I would be receiving a welcoming gift of a two-bottle wine carrier.

My wines arrived April 12, 2010, and upon opening the box I was greeted by six LOW QUALITY wines, NONE of which were on the list of the wines I was promised.  I called the 800 number (talked with Lindsay) and was told that all six of the promised wines were no longer available. I told her I did not want inferior wines, and wanted to return the six bottles.  Lindsey told me that I would have to pay shipping and handling to UPS to return them.

I called back a few minutes later, asked to speak with a supervisor, was told that would not be possible because of the lateness of the hour (it was 5:25 P.M. on the east coast) and I mentioned that it was only 2:25 PM in CA.  The representative informed me that she was on the east coast, and she would take my name and number and a supervisor would call me back.  That never happened.

Having seen other ripoff reports stating that the wine club (Vinesse) was sponsored by airline companies, banks, etc, I believe that this FAKE wine club scam gets email addresses from member lists from such companies as Columbia House, Delta Air Lines, etc, and promotes their scam, hoping respondents think they are actually being part of a wine club sponsored by the group to which a member belongs (i.e. Columbia House).

I sincerely believe this "wine club scam" is doing a total disservice to legitimate wines clubs from specific wineries throughout the United States, and I implore anyone thinking of joining Vinesse Wine Club to be very, very careful, becuase what you think you will be getting for your money is NOT what you will actually receive! 

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/13/2010 03:51 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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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 Author of original report

Vinesse wine club is a bait & switch fraudulent wine club

AUTHOR: david T. - (United States of America)

Responding to your rebuttal in April 2011, I am standing by the statements made in my original letter regarding the deceptive practices of your "so-called" wine club.

I worked as a VIP/Trade tour liaison at a prestigious Napa Valley winery for five years (2000-2005) and believe I have more than a beginner's knowledge of wine quality, wine growing, and wine making techniques. I was also a tasting room manager and wine club coordinator at a small boutique winery in CA from 2005-2007. Consequently, when I was "invited" to join the Vinesse wine club it was with some understanding that the wines I was being offered would be of the quality that was represented by you.

When my first - and ONLY - shipment arrived, I opened it and found that NOT EVEN ONE of the wines proffered by you was in the shipment.  I opened the wines I received (which, by the way, were from wineries that I had never heard of and could find no information about online)  I was so disappointed at their quality that I could not stand by and not make a formal complaint.

Unfortunately, that complaint has not seemed to resonate with many of the "victims" still receiving your low quality wines.  For that I am sadly sorry and I hope that this rebuttal letter may open the eyes of more of the people who still might consider joining your wine club.

David T.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Wine Club Service

AUTHOR: jackio46 - (United States of America)

While I, too, had some intial problems (free gift did not arrive for months) the wine selection was good and varied. My only complaint would be the frequency of shipments is too soon for my cellar's needs. I have been delighted and have had friends over simply for wine tastings when a new shipment arrives.

And my "invite" to the club came via mail along with my Columbia House mailing and not via a spam email and since I have trusted Columbia House for many years I felt comfortable accepting offer that they had included within their mailing.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

A misunderstanding has occurred

AUTHOR: Vinesse - (United States of America)

Dear David,
While we make an effort to communicate the fact that the wines in our clubs are in limited supply and subject to availability, it appears we may have fallen short and we sincerely apologize for that.  Our goal is to please our customers, and clearly we did not do a good job of that in your case.
The wines that we offer are not grocery store wines that are mass produced and in abundant, unlimited supply. Sometimes shortages do occur for one or more wines. When they are sold out we may occassionally substitute for comparable wines since once certain wines are gone, they simply no longer exist.  We have heard your frustration, and will make an effort to be more clear about that in the future. We understand that tastes in wine are subjective, and we do maintain a guarantee that if for any reason you don't like a wine that you receive, we will replace or refund your purchase.  We stand by that.
Per your request, your membership has been cancelled. We have shipped the wine tote free gift to you regardless, which will be yours to keep for your trouble.
While your experience is clearly not indicative, we have thousands of long-standing satisfied wine club customers and have been in business for many years. We assure you that we would not condone or engage in unscrupulous tactics such as intentional bait and switch. We are certainly not a scam in any way shape or form, and we do in fact have partnerships with a variety of major brands.
We are a real company, with living and breathing people earning an honest living, who try to do the right thing -- but occassionally we make errors or oversights and mess things up.
Once again, please accept our sincere apologies for your disappoinment and inconvenience.  

The Vinesse Customer Care Team
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