Tag Archives: unethical

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.

Colder’s Current Fib, The New Year’s Sale TV Ad…?

Not Real MoneyNowhere in Colder’s latest TV commercial for their recent if not still-ongoing New Year’s Sale do they go out of their way to mention any real exclusions or restrictions about the entire deal other than stating simply, “75% of our stuff qualifies” (paraphrased)… which is surely just referring to a customer’s ability to receive any money-back credit from Colder’s in the first place…?

No real nuts-and-bolts mention of how you can–or, most critically, how you can’t–spend the credit. Just the presented notion that you’re going to get a free dollar for every dollar you spend, to use at Colder’s however you please.

In fact, Colder’s New Year’s Sale ad even goes so far as to visually depict the cash-back credit as actual US currency–with their onscreen character clearly, specifically handing back a dollar bill for every dollar bill it receives.

Deceptive? You decide.

So, Colder’s: Is the ‘Half Back’ or ‘Full Back’ or ‘Quarter Back’ or ‘Spend a Dollar Get a Dollar’ credit the same as cash, or isn’t it? Back in July 2008, when we spent $1200 bucks at your Grifte…err, Grafton location, it sure was supposed to be, according to your salesperson. Even your latest television ads continue to (quite directly) suggest it’s true!

This New Year’s Sale television commercial is Yet Another Colder’s Ad that seemingly says one thing when the reality may actually be something rather different. Imagine your shock if you came back a second time to use your credit and find you were unable to use it on a slew of merchandise, including any and all items with advertised sales pricing, and floor models. The very credit that got you into the store. The credit you were told was the same as cash. The credit may likely never be allowed to leave the store–not entirely intact, anyway.

It doesn’t quite seem kosher to us to offer and advertise something for sale at one price, then look at how you’re planning to pay for it and say “oh yeah, that price on the tag there… you can’t have it.”

Colder’s… where the “Something More!” customers get might otherwise be described as an unwelcome and unfriendly and seemingly unethical–if not also illegal–Gotcha! And really, even if they are now telling customers about this particular restriction as they’re shopping initially, they may still have been lured into the store by a current Colder’s ad and it’s apparently-deceptive premise that they’d be getting dollar-for-dollar credit to put toward additional “Something More!” merchandise of their choosing.

One Milllllion Dollars

We suppose as long as you understand that you may not really be getting a real dollar back for every very-real dollar you spend, you can go right ahead and overspend buying stuff at Colder’s you should easily be able to find–likely at a better price–at nearly any other Milwaukee-area retailer that sells what Colder’s ‘sells’; Colder’s imports products from China just like other similar area retailers.

But honestly, you as a consumer should be smarter than that. We were not, and we’re learning that now. Shop around. Don’t patronize Colder’s unless you really, truly understand what you’re getting–or more specifically, not getting. Don’t get stuck with a half-baked cash-back credit you’ll find hard if not impossible to use. And again, because it’s so very important: GET IT ALL IN WRITING, no matter where you ultimately end up.