Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nothing is Free: That's the Reason They Ask for Your Credit Card Number

Angry young woman with a phone via Shutterstock

“Nothing is Free,” a employee in a message on my Facebook page after I complained on their Facebook page when I couldn’t get any satisfaction via the phone. I didn’t need her snarly comments on my Facebook page after they did a number on my daughter. Allow me to explain, while my husband and I were away on business, my daughter sends me an excited email about this company that was giving away free nail polish by saying it was better than OPI. I was at one of those hotels were they use dampeners to make you pay $20 for Internet service, which made our connections infrequent.

About all I got out of the message was that it felt like a sham. Been there, was ripped off and had nothing to show for it. She assured me it was the real deal and she could get a sample box for postage and handling only. After getting the sample, she could decide if she wanted to continue to receive monthly boxes. Well, I am sure you all can guess what happened.

She got her sample box quickly with relatively small bottles of polish. They might be as good as OPI, but half the size. Imagine my surprise to have an angry daughter inform me a week later that the company charged her 19.95 for nothing. She didn’t order anything else.  

Once we reached customer service, they denied all responsibility and relied on a small card inside the box to inform future customers that their account would automatically be billed 19.95 every month no matter what they checked on their initial order. My daughter’s box did not come with such a card.

I asked Mary the customer service representative what would happen if we returned the not requested box as refused according to postal guidelines when it did arrive. She informed me that nothing would happen and they would continue to bill her bank account 19.95 per month for returned, unopened merchandise. I see postal regulations do not apply to Julep.

I went online and found hundreds of complains against the company. Many former customers had cancelled their membership according to company guidelines and were still billed $19.95 a month.

I never received the follow-up call from the manager as promised. I imagine that is how most irate customers are treated. Tell the upset person that the appropriate person to handle the situation is gone and they will call back later. The call never comes.

Whenever any company wants your credit card number for something free, be suspicious. What they want is to charge you for future merchandise. Another complaint against Julep alleges that once people called to cancel their membership the company immediately charges them that day for another shipment immediately saying they could do nothing about it.

Hogwash, when someone tells you he or she can do nothing about it. I worked in customer service and I could charge back items or give people credit.  I could also give free shipping and rush items. I also worked retail where I could accept returns, make refunds or even discount items. When someone tells you that he can do nothing about it, he means is he isn't going to.

Julep gets my 2013 award of Worst Customer Service and they had to go some to beat the Atlanta Marquis Marriott. If not being helped, ignored and lied to wasn't enough of a disservice. There is also online heckling with Julep. Really, is this the face of customer service?

There are places my family repeatedly visits because of great customer service. I think it is only fair to recognize these companies when I spend so much time pointing out bad service.They are not in any particular order.
1.       Panera’s
2.       Massage Envy
3.       The Melting Pot
4.       Krogers
5.       Kohls
6.       Mike’s Car Wash
7.       Miyagi’s Japanese Restaurant (This is a local restaurant.)

I have never engaged in an argument with the employees at any of these places. They provide courteous service and an excellent product. By doing this, they get more of my money, they get shout-outs. I’ll even buy gift certificates to give to friends and families from these companies. This is the result of good service.

I will also admit that these companies never offered me something free to get my credit card number. They occasionally have sales, but nothing is free in the memorable words of the Julep employee.

No comments:

Post a Comment