Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Aluma Wallet Scam... and Avoiding Telebrands...

I don't usually get sucked in by infomercials, but occasionally it happens and when it does, it almost always ends badly.  I should learn.  There was already the debacle when I ordered one of those "lose three size" shapewear sets after Mae was born (I've found shapewear can really help after a c-section at holding the scar in place while it's healing), only to find that the thing was about as effective as a plain piece of cotton, and 10x less comfortable.  But today I saw the Aluma Wallet and Paul and I both turned to look at each other, because we're both pretty hard on our wallets.  Paul's credit and debit cards are always getting destroyed in his wallet, and my wallet is pretty tattered.  And it was a buy one get on free deal with free shipping according to the infomercial for the grand old price of $10.99.

$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.

Suddenly a screen came up that thanked me for my order and told me I'd just spent $67.90 on five new wallets.  Um.  No.

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.


  1. They stock the alluma wallet and other items on tv at walmart usually near the front of the store.

  2. Yikes! I'm glad I decided that if the product was that great it would show up in walmart or target eventually!

    Hope the card freezing cancelled the order but even there you will need to keep checking.

    And thank you for the warning!

  3. I have a fear of something of this sort happening to me and therefore refuse to order anything that asks for my CC info upfront.

    I am so sorry for you hassle!

  4. Hi there,

    I found your blog through CAF earlier tonight, and have been reading for hours. I am currently in RCIA, and find myself falling in love with the Catholic faith more and more each day. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your everyday life and faith with everyone throughout the world.


  5. By chance I saw one at Office Depot yesterday, $10.99.

  6. omg that was really sad.. sorry about that i was going to order that wallet but not going to do anymore since I've red your article..

  7. card even when it is in your pocket so they are shilling something called the Alumawallet that protects credit cards from random scan scams
    Ebates Scam

  8. I'm curious to know what happened here? Did your credit card company take care of it for you? We had some suspicious activity from Aluma Wallet too, but we didn't even order any!

  9. I ended up having to cancel the card and get a new one. They did keep trying to charge it and then sent me a notice telling me it had been denied, after I specifically asked them to cancel the order.


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