Colder’s Furniture “Fan” Calls US Extortionists

We felt the need to respond more directly to the following comment, submitted by Brett on 08 March 2009 in response to our post “Colder’s ‘Half Back’ Promotion Might Be A Scam” (added emphasis is ours):

the half back credit can save you money in the long run. the promotion should be used all at once. if you walk out of the store with a credit for a future date, then why didnt you purchase the item at the lower price in the first place? the way the promotion was explained to me is that it can save you money on a “package price”. that means that buying multiple items and issueing/redeeming all at once can save money. it saved more money on the multiple t.v.s we bought than anyone else would try to save us. plain and simple, if you want to use the credit to extort a sale item, then dont be surprised when they dont like losing money so you can save a dollar.

just my $.02

We’d like to reiterate that we truly appreciate every legitimate comment we receive, regardless of its position or opinion.

That said, we’re not going to let stuff slide like calling us extortionists. Re-read what we’ve written here; we’re not the swindlers.

We sat on the above comment for a while. We’re still not sure if this was from a Colder’s employee feeling the need to ‘reach out’ on the defensive as Unpaid Company Cheerleader, but it certainly has that kind of feel. There’s simply too much about the comment that doesn’t ring true for us based on our own Colder’s experiences and comments we’ve received or seen/heard elsewhere.

Of course, we may be wrong, and we’re willing to admit as much if it’s actually true. And we do realize, of course, that the possibility may truly exist that:

  • We have a comment from a legitimately-happy customer of Colder’s who had a positive experience with their Half-Back promotion, and
  • He enjoyed that experience so much he had to share it with us, and
  • He also enjoyed it so much he ALSO believes our bad experience can’t possibly be true, and
  • The only logical, possible explanation for all of our Colder’s posts here is because we’re trying to extort money or merchandise from Colder’s.

Imagine. You can draw your own conclusions.

There’s really very little else to say here. We’re not at all shocked that Colder’s “dont like losing money so [we] can save a dollar.” Clearly, from Colder’s completely arrogant and indifferent dismissal of our concerns, particularly by Colder’s corporate Customer Service manager Sue Lewicki, that’s all this is about: the money.

For us, it really boils down to one thing: a principle. Something that’s one of the most basic tenets of good business. Something that anyone not only versed in basic customer service should know, but as a professional in charge of same at the corporate level, should completely understand–live and breathe–and want to aspire to, as much as possible: keeping promises. Telling the truth. Honoring commitments.

Colder's Which Side?We’re not here saying “the customer is always right”, because the customer isn’t always right. We’re here saying “if a customer gives you money, and you say you’re giving them X in return, you damn well better give them X like you said you would.”

It’s that simple. Honesty. Integrity. Pick either one; Colder’s seems to lack it. But, according to Brett, we’re the extortionists. You and me. All of us, dirty thieving consumers. For trying to get companies like Colder’s to give us what we paid for. Riiight.

Colder’s Furniture Tries Hooking Yet Another Victim?

Hook Line and SinkerWe received the following comment last night, left in response to our post “Colder’s ‘Half Back’ Promotion Might Be A Scam”, from a kind but apparently unfortunate reader, Lisandra, currently caught up her own Colder’s Mess.

Here’s the full text of that comment, reposted here so it hits our RSS feed and gets as much online reach as possible:

hi alex,

boy, i sure wish i had come across your blog before i went shopping at colders! jeez, where do i start?

on 3/5 i went in to take advantage of their serta ‘full back’ offer. i bought a matteress set for about $1750 (reg price). so then i was able to pick out $1750 in ‘free’ stuff…at reg price. i bought a bed frame (850) a blue-ray (409) and a ‘19 tv (400) . not too bad of a ‘deal’. i had to pay less than $50 difference., no big deal. i priced the serta set (online and on sale) for about $1200-1300. so i feel i got a good deal. BUT…..(hear comes the problem) ………..

……that night i also purchased a floor model tv for $1150. (reg price was around 1600?) i didn’t receive any cash back because it was clearenced and a floor model. ok, no problem. i took home the tv that night and the next morning when i hooked everything up and turned it on, a blue vertical line from top to bottom, a quarter of the way in from the left, appears on the screen. wtf? i played around with the remote and all the settings to see if that might have fixed it…nope. i called colders and they told me i is probably the cable reception. so i called time warner and set up a time for them to come out and ‘fix’ it. that was on 3/10. just as i though, it wasn’t any problem with the signal. so i called colders for the 2nd about the issue and was told to talk to the salesperson who sold me the tv. of course, he was not there at that time. so i called the next day and was able to speak with him and he said i needed to speak with someone in service, so i was transferred. the person in sales told me i needed to speak with, yet another person, jim who has already left for the day! and won’t be back until monday!! ugh!!!!

so now, over a week goes by, and its the 6th time i call about this situation with no results. i finally was able to get ahold of ‘jim’ on 3/16 and told him what is going on and basically told him i want to just return the tv. he then has me transferred to another guy, whose higher up, and when he gets on the phone he basically tells me i can’t return it and its per manufacturers policy and that the tv needs to come in to be serviced. they would be able to come to my house to pick it up on the27th or 4/2…lol you have to be kidding!? i told him that i’ll be in that night to bring it in. so, i take it back to colders and told them i’m returning it. the poor girl in customer service/pick-up location didn’t know what to do. she was calling to 3-4 people to get an answer about taking a return and all each and every one of the people she talked to seemed like they didn’t want to ‘help’ or get involved…….

so, i left the tv there to be repaired, but was told to call the next day (which was today) and talk to the cust. serv. mgr. was told she works from 9-4:30. i called around 1pm and aked for her and was told she ‘left for the day’. boy, if i’m not getting the run around, wtf gives!!!!!??????? now i feel foolish because they have my money AND my tv!

Colder’s, shame on you–again and again and again.

We’d call this unbelievable, but unfortunately, stories like this are apparently entirely common. So sorry, Lisandra. :(  Which Colder’s location? Do you have any more details regarding the names and exact positions/titles of people with whom you’ve spoken? We’d be happy to out them all.

As we mentioned in our comment reply to Lisandra, there may be other options available to you, if you feel you’ve been swindled by Colder’s (or anyone else). You may have recourse if you paid with a credit card (including many debit cards, Visa/Mastercard-logo’ed or not). You can dispute charges with your bank/credit card provider and possibly get the item(s) charged back and off your account. Your bank/card provider may offer other buyer-protection options as well. Call them and ask; it’s good information to know anyway.

Additionally, you can always contact your state’s Attorney General’s office and file a consumer complaint. Here’s the Wisconsin Attorney General’s site for filing:

http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/cp/consumerinfo/cp/complaint-form/file_complaint.jsp

Please, good readers, help us help the rest of you. Get the word out. We hate reading these stories (this one was definitely not the first). We hate that Colder’s business model seems to predicate heavily upon an ability to play hard-working Milwaukee-area consumers for suckers. Talk to other people. Share your experiences here. Milwaukee, southeastern Wisconsin, northern Illinois… they all need to know about this bad-apple retailer.

Time Warner, Stuck In Reverse. Again.

Time Warner, stuck in reverse. Again.

If Time Warner designed pistols...This is sad, troubling news indeed. No specific mention of where it’s happening yet, but if it comes to the Milwaukee area–or wherever you’re located–do yourself a favor and run away from it as fast as you can. There’s no sane reason to support this money grab. And that’s really all it is. It’s a huge step backwards; you simply don’t go from unlimited to metered service like that, limiting access, moving people to a cellphone-variety plan with early termination fees, etc.

The following snippets are from a DSLReports.com article; please visit their site for the full article and follow their discussion there as well:

[…] Time Warner Cable was conducting a trial in their Beaumont, Texas market that imposed caps ranging from 5GB to 40GB on the company’s existing tiers of service. […] trial participants would be charged $1 per every additional gigabyte consumed, a huge markup for Time Warner Cable over cost, and a first for a major US ISP.

[…] Time Warner Cable is perfecting its marketing of the unpopular metered billing idea to consumers. Carriers love the idea, as it gives them a way to monetize and/or control Internet video, which poses a very serious long term threat to their cable television revenues. Selling consumers on the idea requires some finagling.

New customers in Beaumont are put on metered plans automatically, while existing Beaumont customers are lured into the metered fold via some fine print trickery. Customers are promised twelve month price-lock guarantees, provided they sign a new contract. But the contract fine print holds some surprises: customers previously on unlimited plans are promised “guaranteed savings,” only to find out they’re now facing a $150 ETF, low caps, and $1/GB overage penalties.

[…] Time Warner Cable COO Landel Hobbs said that the cable operator would be expanding their metered billing experiment into additional cities this year. Hobbs didn’t say which cities would get the honor. A spokesman suggests […] there will be four of them […] The carrier has yet to upgrade its network to the latest technology (DOCSIS 3.0), but has taken the industry lead on metered billing. Uncompetitive markets will feel the brunt of this “innovation.”

[…]

Beware the fine print, folks.

In other news, I still think Time-Warner should have offered a general rate reduction for the removal of Usenet newsgroups in the last year or so, but I’m guessing there are more than a few people out there reading this that have no idea what I’m even talking about. I suppose it’s offset by the ‘free’ upgrades in speed over the years, though…so just pretend I didn’t mention it…

Time Warner really needs to start giving more love to their customers, not less. Contracts? Caps? Overage Penalties? Early-termination fees? Seriously? But in markets dominated by Time Warner, they clearly have little incentive to be nice. People want broadband, and Time Warner’s the only game in many towns… and they know it.

In and around Milwaukee, though, you do have options. Not a lot, but some. No guarantees those options aren’t just as evil as Time Warner, though, ultimately…

It’s unfortunate that Time Warner’s even allowed to do this at all in markets where they’re the only real broadband option available. It would be even more unfortunate if this sets a trend for other ISPs to follow and do the same.

(via Time Warner Cable To Expand Metered Billing – Will move outside of Beaumont, but company offers no specifics… – dslreports.com)