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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.

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.