Tag Archives: scam

Colder’s Math: “Voodoo Economics”

The holiday shopping season is upon us. Colder’s has at least one “new” promotion–or, rather, a new twist on their old trick–called

“Full Back ~PLUS~ $50 for Every $500 You Spend!”

In a nutshell, it’s the same full-back promotion they’ve always had… with some extra sizzle thrown on top, in case the old full-back/half-back parlor tricks just weren’t pulling you in.

Don’t fall for it.

“Sparky” left a great comment on another Colder’s post we thought we would share with you, if you’re still confused or otherwise considering shopping at Colder’s:

I question previous individuals stating that Colder’s is lowering their margins in a time of need or that this is the ultimate good deal. I will admit that at the end of the day this is a ‘good deal’ but only if you enjoy giving Colder’s increased profit margins way above what they should be receiving.

Our story is that we say a dining room set we loved at $1,200. That qualified us for the “full back” promotion and we would get an additional $1,200 as a store credit. They are also currently having an additional 5% bonus so my credit was $1,300. We wanted to buy a dishwasher with the credit and found a nice Professional Frigidaire we liked that also had great reviews.

So, the normal price on the Frigidaire was $750 but the “full back credit” price was $1,060 so basically I was giving Colder’s $360 of my credit back as pure profit to them and nothing to show for it. This is in addition to paying a $400 premium price for the dining room set above their normal price.

Bottom line is that to get my dining room set and a dishwasher, I would be giving Colder’s $710 of my $1,300 credit as pure profit to line their pockets. This is above and beyond the normal profit they receive on the items at the regular prices.

What’s even better is that Best Buy had the exact same dishwasher on sale for $595 with an instant $20 coupon and they also told me about $100 in rebates Frigidaire was offering so I got the dishwasher for $475. Something our salesman at Colder’s neglected to tell us about…..

It was smoke and mirrors from the moment we walked in the door. I spent 20 minutes with him on Saturday and another 30 minutes with him on Sunday. I have his scribble card right here in front of me and none of it makes sense. Voodoo Economics. For the record I have an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Masters in Finance and I’ve worked in the Financial Services industry for 20 years. If I can’t make heads or tails out of this, I’m sure non-numbers people would be baffled by it (or just overwhelmed by the slick sales pitch and just buy everything out of blind faith that they are getting a good deal).

Could I have bought the table at the normal price and bypassed the “full back” promotion? Yes, and the price was $870. However, that was still a normal everyday price with no discounts for the holiday or any sales pricing. Based on my experience this weekend and the smoke and mirrors games, I refuse to give them anything going forward (and I’ve spent probably $5,000 over the years at Colder’s before these types of sales evolved – they used to be a great place to shop).

All they are doing is marking everything up 25 to 30% above the “normal” prices to create the cushion for the “full or half back” promotions. What they fail to tell you is that you are giving them back the 25 to 30% of your rebate in addition to the profit margins they already have built into the normal pricing. [emphasis is ours –alexfalkenberg.com] Nothing illegal about it and if they get people to buy from them, good for them – it’s a free market society. However, it won’t be from me anymore. There are way too many other options out there from stores that don’t play games.

Read it. Twice. Then read it again. You’ll hopefully now find yourself considering and favoring furniture and appliance destinations that are not Colder’s.

Be safe and smart this holiday season, folks. Thanks again to “Sparky” for sharing his experience with all of us.

There’s Something About “Mary” (and Colder’s)…

“Mary” takes time–on Easter Day, of all days–to give us her apparent best: a curt yet carefully constructed point of view regarding our post Colder’s of Grafton – Beware The Sales Stalker:

Classy.“Mary”, you certainly do make a valid point about us being losers! In a retail sense, as consumers who’ve spent money at Colder’s expecting to be treated honestly, fairly, and with respect, we are indeed huge losers so far! And so are many other people who have given Colder’s their hard-earned money at one time or another. We’re all big losers because we shopped at Colder’s!

As for getting a life, “Mary”, that really got us pondering! Who might have less of a life and more urgently need to “get” one: people raising awareness of a company ripping off consumers, detailing shoddy customer service and their experiences so others don’t make the same mistakes, or employees who willingly take 100%-commission jobs and then reduce and demean themselves chasing down shoppers like the filthiest of lawyers chase down ambulances? We prefer to remain in the non-stalking, pro-consumer, down-with-crap-companies camp, thank-you-oh-so-very-much.

We then wondered: could someone be considered a big loser lacking a life if they spent part of their Easter Sunday leaving comments like yours, above? Any insight there, “Mary”?

At least you didn’t call us extortionists!

“Mary”, it’s perfectly OK to disagree with us. Really! However, a tip, if you don’t mind one: if you really want to have an impact, some actual substance to accompany the grade-school-variety name calling might help you establish your position and even ‘win’ the discussion.

For example: what about our observations and opinions lead you to believe we have no lives? What is it that you feel really, truly makes us big losers? If you work for Colder’s, or have some other less-direct affiliation with them, that alone is OK; we definitely don’t hate you or anyone else for just that, at all. There’s really no need to take any of this personally, either, “Mary”. What parts of our very real observations, opinions and feelings about our Colder’s experiences bother you so much, and why?

As it stands, “Mary”, you’re apparently calling us names like some kind of self-indulgent, insolent child for pointing out–truthfully and honestly, by the way–that we don’t like to be treated badly. Do we want to be literally hunted like so much prey in the case of the Grafton Sales Stalker when we visit a Colder’s store–or any retail store? No, thank you, we do not. Do you?

We previously wrote:

[…] we have absolutely no interest in buying from someone that doesn’t respect us, our space, or our time to shop at our own leisure. We can’t check out items in the store when we’re feeling eyes burning into our backs as we’re standing there. We feel like meat.

Reading that, your get-a-life/big-loser comment really doesn’t make any sense–to us, anyway–unless you’re the stalker or are otherwise just trying (and failing) to defend the stalker, Colder’s itself, or both.

Do you believe being treated like that as a customer is acceptable? Would you honestly appreciate that as a consumer? Is such behavior appropriate for any salesperson? Would such a technique get you to spend a lot of money with that salesperson and their store/company? Did you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, “Mary”?

So please, do feel free to try again, “Mary”. Really. We’re listening and want to hear what you have to say, assuming you actually have more to say. While we have stated many times that we value every comment we receive, some are ultimately more–or less–valuable than others. Try to make your next one really count. OK, “Mary”?

And again, reiterating: We absolutely recognize commission sales jobs can be hard. We know a lot of good people work them. Many because they have no choice. Others because they’re good at it. And some people even like it. We do indeed recognize and respect the work and people out there doing it. But in the case of the Grafton Sales Stalker, we’re confused about how throwing all dignity and self-esteem out the window is even remotely worth whatever money she might make from it. We’re not laughing at this person. We feel sorry for her. Such extreme behavior is embarrassing to watch. It seems so…desperate. Unnecessary. Rude. It’s very uncomfortable for us as shoppers. It does not make us want to visit Colder’s Northshore in Grafton or any other retail establishment that has employees behaving like that. We have avoided the Grafton Colder’s many times because we just don’t want to be accosted by that woman yet again. We’re convinced she drives away more sales than she makes, stalking people like that.

By the way, “Mary”, before we forget: we were completely unable to reach you at the “biteme@msn.com” email address you provided. Maybe just leave us your @colders.com email address next time? Thanks again for your comment, “Mary”!

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.