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Report: #42098

Complaint Review: Tristar Products - Waterford Connecticut

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  • Reported By: Longmont Colorado
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  • Tristar Products 26 Barnes Ind. Road Waterford, Connecticut U.S.A.

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Ordered SteamBuggy and Mini Blow Dryer, from TV Informercial on Lifetime, Ch. 108, Dish Network, on 10/03/02. My Bank Account charged $194.94 the next day, on 10/04/02. I was promised delivery within 3 weeks, by 10/25 no delivery, so I called again.

Customer service had 2 numbers, 1-800-373-5098 (which usually answered and put me on "permanant hold and 1-800-558-0420 (which was always busy). Telephone Customer Service just gave me the run-around that the product was on "backorder" and always put me off with this for 3 weeks, then 6 weeks, then 8 weeks, then sent me a card promising Dec. 1, then another card promising Dec. 22. I called on Dec. 7, and was told that no delivery date known by even Dec. 22, maybe 4 weeks more, but delivery date was really "undetermined" at that time.

I asked for refund on Dec. 7, was promised a "prompt refund", which never arrived. Customer Service kept giving excuses like, "sorry the previous Customer Service Rep did it wrong and just cancelled your Account, and didn't issue the refund"..."you haven't received your refund yet, we'll send a note to Corporate to rush your refund", and that's the way it went week after week.

5 Letters to Customer Service Box 5018, and to Tristar on Barnes Road have gone unanswered. It is now 01/18/03 and still no refund (and no Product). I have written Formal Complaints to the Waterford BBB, the Hartford Office of Consumer Protection, the Federal Trade Commission,, Comsumer, and am preparing letters to the District Attorney of their area, and to their State Attorney General (and anyone else I can think of).

I have found many Compaints against Tristar on the Internet, as to problems such as mine, and the quality of their Products and Customer Service. In my opinion Tristar is running an Infomecial Ripoff, Scam, which looks like it also involves Fraud.

Longmont, Colorado

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/19/2003 10:59 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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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Targeting a rep who has nothing to do with the businesses' model is plain wrong

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

POSTED: Sunday, March 12, 2006

My name is Dazjae.

I used to work for a customer service company that handled many clients (we would take calls for various companies and log the information into our database). Tristar was one of these companies. The only info we ever had as contracted reps about this company was through our computer screen.

I was in this position for at least 6 months.
Tristar only allowed our contracted company to send them major complaints from customers through a fax# that had to go through our supervisors. Responses took weeks. Many times we had to re-fax them.

I personally busted my behind bending over backwards for customers (which I was even 'spoken to' about from superiors, who advised me it was not okay to go overboard and I was to follow protocol---God as my witness)

So imagine my suprise, horror, and feeling of violation, when I log onto a site and type my name in search before registering to be sure it wasn't taken and I find my name here, in this report.

I am not a 'scumbag' and don't prey on anyone.
I don't appreciate the slander, and find it completely unfair.
We were paid to take calls, log complaints, and could only resolve issues within a certain parameter.

Irate customers were politely warned not to scream in our ears or use profanity.
Perhaps you were one of these customers. Frankly I don't know.

As for Tristar, yes they were slow-moving, and sold alot of items that are no longer on the market.
I can sympathize and have bought similiar items with similiar dysfunctions and customer service in my own history.

But to target the reps for the failings of Tristar is just wrong.
Do you honestly think we recieve any percentage of the sales? These aren't our companies.
I have never even been employed by tristar. I was paid an hourly rate from a customer service agency that had a contract with TriStar.

You better hope that when your karma hits for this one (what goes around comes around) someone isn't defaming or slandering you in a vicious way.
Karma usually comes back worse.

This was just horrible to see.
Nonetheless. May God bless you and grant you peace.
You obviously know not, the damage you do, customer in Colorado. I am an honest person, who was working to support myself and my child. Period. I was not in on any scam. Neither were any of the others.
As for Tristar... You have every right to complain.

But you stepped over the line here with me.
It's like calling the cashier at A Fast Food restaurant 'flaming liar' because she is telling you that there are 250 calories in your sandwhich, but you have read different elsewhere...
Where do you think this 'trained' cashier who is trying to earn a living got the information?
Do you really think she's sitting at some board table amongst the Restaurant's CEO's compiling plans to decieve the masses?
Customer service agents are not management and are usually considered expendable.

Be realistic, if you are able to see logically and fairly beyond your anger. Some people just need someone to lay their anger on when they are in that stage. I hope this isn't the case with you, because what you have done to me is violating.


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#5 Author of original report

Refund finally Received on 01/31/03

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

POSTED: Saturday, February 01, 2003

A refund of the full amount, of $195.94, received on 01/31/03. In fact, I received two checks in that amount. One check will be deposited in my Bank, and the extra check I have marked VOID, and am returning it to Tristar, at their New Jersey address via Priority Mail, with tracking, and signature requested.

What it took was Months of:
1. Bugging Customer Service, on their 1-800 phone numbers, which rarely answer.

2. Writing to their Wellington, CT. address (Bos 5018 and Barnes Road), with never replied.

3. Finding that their Connecticut addresses are not listed in any Wellington Business or Telephone Directory that I could find.

4. Finally finding out their REAL Corporate address in New Jersey, as well as Corporate Phone Numbers (not 1-800), Website, Email, that Customer Service refused to give out, and emailing it, as well as posting it, on every Consumer Website that I could find that carried Complaints against Tristar (such as , Et al.

5. Sending Complaints (which I copied to Tristar) to:
1. Wallingford and New Jersey BBBs.
2. Federal Trade Commission.
3. Office of Consumer Protection.
4. TV Station, Radio Station that carried Steam Buggy infomarcials.

I learned from this experience, to never purchase anything from a TV Infomercial, or to at least check around for any Complaints against the Company first. However, when they hide behind 3rd party Websites, Bogus Addresses, 1-800 numbers that rarely answer, and a Customer Service Department who won't tell a Customer who they are really dealing with, it cam still be difficult. So the bottom line, just don't order anything from TV Infomercials - period.

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#4 Author of original report

Received Email Reply from Tristar - but still no Refund

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

POSTED: Thursday, January 30, 2003

Once I found out the REAL Address, Websire, and Email of Tristar (listed in "Response" section, of "Rebuttal" above), I sent an Email to

Within 30 minutes I received a reply from Gwen James .

Tristar's Email reply claimed that the refund was sent out on 01/21/03 (of course they have previously claimed the refund was sent out on 12/09/02, 12/20/02, and 12/27/02).

The Wallingford BBB (who I have complained to) also got a reply from Tristar, and sent me a copy of it (the BBB's letter only took 3 days to get from Wallingford to me in Colorado. Tristar (located in the SAME area) claimed the refund was sent out on 01/18/03.

As of today, 01/30/03 - still no refund has arrived.

I have now sent complaints to the New Jersey BBB, and the FTC.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Tristar Products - Some Addrsses, Phone Numbers, and Websites

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

POSTED: Monday, January 27, 2003

Update - for what its worth as some of this info may already be posted here in bits and pieces..

Still no refund as of Monday 01/27/03, trying again to contact Customer Service at 1-800-373-5098 gives just Music, and at 1-800-558-0420 gives Busy Signals, the same with their other 1-800 numbers. I have yet to write their Corporate Address, or call their Corporate Numbers, but I have sent an Email to their Email Address.

I have written at least 10 letters, since 10/02, to their Customer Service address of
Box 5018, and their so called Postal Address of 26 Barnes Industrial Road South, both in Wallingford, Ct. 06494, with absolutely no replies whatsoever. The letters never come back as addressee unknown, but the Letters seem to go down some Postal Black Hole. I think they are being redirected to some Postal Dead End Address, and I am trying to contact the Postal Department Mail Fraud Division to find out (since Tristar also does some Advertising of Products by Mail).

I believe these Wallingford addresses to be Bogus, because of the non replies, and because I can find no such Company as Tristar Products, at that address in either the Wallingford Business Directories, or the Wallingford Telephone Directories (Yellow or White pages), or by calling (411) Directory Assistance for Wallingford.

I do find that their Website, , is wholly owned by TriStar Products, which has a Corporate Website at , (however when you click on Products it will refer you back to . Their email addresses is: . Their Corporate Address is: Tristar Products, 4 Century Drive, Parsippany, New Jersey, 07054. Tel: 973-683-1000, Fax: 973-683-1001. I got that address from the FTC Lawsuit against Tristar, and the Tel and FAX numbers from their Website. It turns out that Tristar advertises many rip-off Products, and there are many Complaints against them.

There is also an FTC Lawsuit against Tristar and two other Companies, for false and misleading advertising, concerning the Fast Abs scam, in which it was pulled from the Market. Information on the FTC Lawsuit can be found at:

the Adobe Acrobat formats of the Suit can also be downloaded there. I am writing an Official Complaint to the FTC, in the hopes that others do the same, and someday the FTC will Investigate and file a Lawsuit against Tristar for some of its other Scams, like the Steam Buggy.

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#2 Author of original report

Ripoff Report is one of the most useful, if not THE most useful Consumer Website I have yet found

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

POSTED: Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Thank you very much for your Comments. The Ripoff Report is one of the most useful, if not THE most useful Consumer Website I have yet found.

This will demonstrate how totally out of it the Tristar people are. I called their Customer Service again today (01/20/03) and spoke this time to Madeline. First she told me to check my Bank Account for the refund, even though I had been previously told by them that they are not refunding back to my Bank, but are sending me a refund check. When I reminded her of that, then she told me that the refund had been sent on 12/09/02.

That is interesting, since I had called them on 12/20/02, and spoke to Gene, and he had told me that the previous Customer Service Rep. (Sheila) had made a mistake and had really not issued a refund, but had just cancelled out the account without issuing a refund, and that HE would then issue the refund.

Uh...12/20/02, when I was told by Gene that they haden't yet issued the refund, is well past 12/09/02 when I was just told by Madeline they had issued a refund. I have also been given other conflicting dates, and run around like this all along. At that point I just told her that I believe Tristar to be Rip Off Con Artists running a Scam, and I would now deal with them thru the District Attorney, and the Authorities, and I hung up.

I'll update once more a final time, when and if, something positive finally occurs.

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#1 Author of original report

NO Reply from Tristar or the BBB

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

POSTED: Tuesday, January 21, 2003

So far Tristar Customer Service, and Tristar itself, have ignored my Letters to them, and so has "Customer Service" as to my telephone calls, and as to the inquiries from the Wallingford BBB. There has been no refund to my Bank Account, of the near $200, that they have ripped off...and that is FRAUD.

I now believe that these Ripoff, Scam and Con Artists, do not even have a real address that can be easily found, and that my Letters to their Addresses are going to a bogus "Drop Box" that no one at Tristar ever sees, and doesn't reply. I expect that their Scumbag, so called, "Customer Service" Representatives, like Sheila, Gene (especially Gene), Linda, and Dazjae, really work out of a "Boiler Room" with a "Screw the Customer" prompt book in front of them, giving them the necessary "Lines" to hand the Customer,when he or she calls in.

Hey people, GOOD LUCK with your dealings with Tristar, they are REAL Scumbags, and I will personally haunt them to the ends of the Earth.

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