Sunday, January 15, 2012
The Aluma Wallet Scam... and Avoiding Telebrands...
$5 for a metal wallet that supposedly has lots of space? That's metal and shouldn't fall apart? I could use that! I mean, I could count this as our Christmas presents to each other? Right?
So... I went online and began the order process. I'll admit I was a little suspicious when they immediately asked for my credit card number, before even giving product info.
I just wanted two wallets. They asked if I wanted to add the additional wallet. I checked yes. They asked if I'd like the additional wallet to be a different color. I said yes again (because Paul was hoping for a black wallet). They asked if I'd like to upgrade the wallets for $4.99 to save $6 on free shipping. I said yes.
I looked for "cancelation" information. Nothing. I went back to the original website and found a phone number to call, that led me to another phone number, which I was instructed to call on Monday. I gave it a try and maybe because it's almost Monday in India, I got through. I explained the problem. The very nice man, who I reminded myself was not at fault here, told me he would put a note that my order needed to be modified before it was sent out, but that he couldn't cancel it because apparently "due to the high volume of calls and demand for this product" my order wasn't "in the system" yet. I could call back on Wednesday to "modify" my order. I clarified that I didn't want to modify it. I wanted to cancel it.
He noted that I wanted to cancel it, but said I'd still have to call back on Wednesday to tell them again that I wanted to cancel it. This made me a bit uneasy. Are they just hoping that I'm not going to call back? Or are they going to charge my card and ship the things out because I hadn't called in time, and then charge a shipping and re-stocking fee? I will be calling back. But I wanted a little more insurance to make sure I wouldn't be paying seventy bucks for a handful of $5 wallets that we don't need.
I called my credit card and told them what had happened. There was one thing they could do... freeze the card. And so my card is frozen for the time being.
My guess is that these companies rely on people being unwilling to make the multiple calls to cancel the order. They hope that we'll just let the extra $50 go, and they make big money that way. So I would strongly, strongly, encourage people to shop elsewhere. I definitely will be avoiding Telebrands, the company that sells Aluma Wallet, in the future. And I'd say they definitely deserve a Sadie (and Mae Bae) frown.
The dishonesty in this transaction was just a little much for me. And if they're swindling people in this way, it makes me think that they probably don't have a great product whose performance speaks for itself.