Category Archives: Wisconsin

Colder’s New Year’s Sale – Same Scam, Different Name?

If you’re thinking about shopping at any of Colder’s store locations and participating in their Colder’s New Year’s Sale today, or any Colder’s sale anytime in the foreseeable future, realize that you may in fact NOT be getting “Something More!” but instead an eventual jerk-around related to the promised credit. It does not seem to matter if it’s a New Year’s Sale or Colder’s Half Back, Full Back, Quarter Back, or other promotions/deals/offers they advertise. A Colder’s ad might seem enticing on television or radio or in the newspaper, but beware: the reality may be quite different.

“Something More!”? More like “Something A Lot Less”.

Not True At Colder'sIn the end, you will most likely find Colder’s “Spend a Dollar Get a Dollar Back!” is only sort-of true. Not only is the offer limited to certain items at initial purchase, but it’s also limited at redemption time, and you’ll almost certainly find–as we and many others have, the hard way–that you can’t take advantage of ANY sale pricing, meaning you’re out the difference. The credit you thought was worth several hundred real dollars at Colder’s…ends up being practically worthless, as you’re almost always better off taking the sale price and not using your credit. Colder’s leaves you with money they’re apparently expecting you to never redeem. And indeed, Colder’s promotions seem set up specifically to make full-value redemption of your Quarter Back/Half Back/Full Back/Spend a Dollar Get a Dollar/etc credit as difficult as possible. The only thing, of course, is that you probably were not/will not be told this at the time of your initial purchase. Why would they, right?

Classic bait-and-switch, anyone?

You can read about our still-ongoing issue with Colder’s (which is still–now months later–entirely unresolved) and their scam. Be sure to check out the comments left there with that post, too, where others have written in to share the same or similar issues and stories of their own Colder’s shopping experiences.

If you’re reading this too late and have already participated in Colder’s New Year’s Sale, take close look at the terms and conditions of the sale–the restrictions in particular–and make SURE you got a great deal. Most people doing the math and understanding all the restrictions will probably find they did NOT get the great deal they thought they were getting.

Wait, you did get the terms/conditions/restrictions of the offer in writing, right?

Actually, you probably did not receive anything in writing from Colder’s detailing the terms and conditions of the promotion you participated in, leaving the interpretation and rules up to Colder’s to determine later when you go to use your credit. We have yet to see anything in writing from Colder’s detailing all the terms/conditions/restrictions of any of their promotions. They do list some details on their otherwise-useless website, but only for the current offer…and they’re incomplete and confusing. Also, as the page changes with each new deal/offer, it’s not only useless for people that don’t use the Internet, but for anyone that expects to find the terms for the deal they took weeks or months earlier when a new deal’s details have replaced that page’s contents entirely.

Run Away As Fast As You CanIf you didn’t get anything in writing detailing all the terms and conditions–and restrictions in particular–of the promotion, we urge you to press for this, or face the very real and likely possibility of getting screwed over even more later. Realize, too, that for each Colder’s employee you talk to, you may get a different set of rules and stories about the terms, conditions and restrictions. This past summer, we didn’t get anything in writing, trusting the sales staff, and we’re still having trouble with Colder’s taking responsibility for the lies we were told–and the other details we weren’t told, despite our asking–at our initial purchase.

Colder’s, on average, seems to be more expensive than a lot of other retailers selling the same variety of furniture, kitchen appliances, washers and dryers, bedding, living room and bedroom stuff, electronics, etc. You may well want to take your item(s) back for a refund and instead buy from a more reputable and likely less-expensive retailer that isn’t solely interested in getting you in the door to rip you off…not once, but twice!

Consider yourself warned. There are plenty of other places to shop for everything Colder’s sells. We strongly recommend you do not shop at Colder’s… unless you like wasting money, taking advantage of promotions that end up not being anywhere as attractive as they’re advertised when you finally go to redeem whatever credit, or simply getting burned, over and over again.

It’s a shame a local Milwaukee-area business chooses to operate this way.

Colder’s “Half Back” Promotion Might Be A Scam

Last night we experienced, first-hand, a denial by a local Colder’s store manager, flat-out refusing to honor advertised sale pricing on merchandise because part of the payment would be made using a “half-back” store credit from a purchase we made at their location earlier this summer.


We were shopping in this particular Colder’s store location last night and overheard several salespeople telling other customers they would have to pay the “redemption price” (the regular, non-sale price) for any item so marked if they wanted to apply any half-back credit they might have to redeem, and that they could not take advantage of the advertised sale price of the item at ALL if they planned on using that credit.

What it means is if you’re trying to pay for an item using a store credit from a previous half-back promotion, they are going to insist you start at the FULL NON-SALE PRICE instead of any advertised sale price for the item, and apply your credit from there.

So, an example… You see a $1200 item on sale for $900. You have a store credit worth, say, $500. Instead of getting that item for $900 – $500 = $400+tax, you’re instead charged $1200 – $500 = $700+tax. Your store credit just lost the amount equal to the sales-pricing discount, and suddenly you’re paying a lot more for the item than you’d (rightfully) expect!

From our perspective, this is stealing or some sort of retail-variety long con.

I have a $500 store credit. You’re a store advertising an item at a sale price of $900. I redeem my $500 credit toward that item, paying the $400 difference, plus any taxes/fees/etc. This is how these things work, Colder’s. Simple.

None of this was making any sense–so we got curious about the details and went to the customer service counter to ask for any actual written information about the promotion.

We were told by both the customer service desk and the summoned sales manager on duty whose name I don’t have in front of me (though we do have his business card; we’ll post names and other details later as necessary) that they don’t have anything in writing detailing the terms and conditions of the half-back promotion.

No written terms or conditions exist for the promotion at all, we were told. How is any customer able to agree to unwritten, unspecified terms like this, exactly? How is this even remotely enforceable? Or legal? There is nothing written anywhere–not on our receipt, nor on any signs or other customer-facing brochures or literature–regarding this credit having any sorts of limitations, exclusions, terms or conditions regarding future purchases, etc, in any fashion.

As mentioned, we have an existing half-back credit from a few months ago and no such conditions were ever presented to us. We were certainly not informed of any such restrictions at the time of our original mattress/box-spring purchase earlier this summer. My wife and I were there, with her parents–so we had plenty of people witnessing the entire transaction.  No language to that effect exists anywhere on our receipt. No written information to that effect was included with our purchase. No store signage indicated this anywhere. Nothing regarding this limitation was presented to us verbally at the time, either. Had we known about any such restrictions, we would likely have not made the purchase we did.

Two of the conditions we were told about at the time were apparently lies anyway: we were told we could only use the credit at THAT particular Colder’s location, and additionally, that if we lost the receipt, we’d lose our credit, period. We still have the business card/name of that original salesperson.

The sales manager we spoke with last night confirmed our salesperson’s original statements to us were incorrect. Apparently–according to this sales manager, anyway–half-back store credits can be used at any Colder’s store, and any transaction/receipt can be looked up as necessary, so while the original receipt is handy, it’s not essential to receive the credit.

If those conditions weren’t true, how do we know these other conditions are true, lacking anything at all in writing, anywhere?

Several times during our conversation last night, this sales manager kept mentioning “our lawyers”. We don’t know if he was attempting to threaten or otherwise intimidate us, but it won’t work. What did happen, though, is we lost out on a chance to take advantage of a pretty big Columbus Day sale. And Colder’s has lost both a sale–so far–and some customer loyalty. Neither come cheap anymore…

We’ve not spoken with anyone higher up than the store sales manager so far regarding this…thievery. We’ll attempt to reach a district or regional representative in the next day or so at the West Allis location.

More on this as we work through it.  In the meantime, buyer beware… Colder’s may be ripping you off.