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America's Test Kitchen, Vermont Complaints & Reviews - Unethical business practices

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America's Test Kitchen

Posted: 2011-01-24 by    Dr. Hayden

Unethical business practices

Complaint Rating:  100 % with 13 votes
Contact information:
America's Test Kitchen
United States
For years I have received America's Test Kitchen cookbooks. This past year, I started receiving overdue notices for books I either never ordered or had yet to receive. This happened most recently with their 2010 Annual recipes. My "2nd notice" overdue came before the book (which actually arrived a full week later). I sent my payment with what I freely admit was a nasty note asking them to remove me from their mailing list and complaining that this was not the first time this had happened. Last year, according to their customer service rep, everyone who ordered one of their books received the "2nd overdue notice" when nothing had been mailed. The evidently have too few people to deal with all these complaints--wait time to get through averages 5-10 minutes, regardless of the day or time you call. This is a company to avoid.
Comments United States Books
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 15th of Mar, 2011 by   ricksilverfox +1 Votes
The exact same thing has been happening to me. Twice this year they just took the money out of my bank account using my debit card. I did order one book a long time ago and since then they keep taking my money. Luckily the last time (a couple of weks ago) my bank flagged their charge as possible fraud and confirmed it with me therefore stopping the charge from going through. Today I receive an "URGENT INVOICE" stating it is a second notice, trying to collect for yet another book I did not order, receive, or want. I have written them three times and each time the letter comes back stamped "Unable To Process Payment." Tomorrow I am meeting the the U.S. Postal Inspectors office to file a mail fraud complaint.
 4th of Oct, 2011 by   gwhaia +1 Votes
I received a book from ATK that I did not order and immediately returned it by writing "Return To Sender" on the cardboard packaging and handing it back to the mailman. A few months later notices started coming indicating that payment was expected. I spoke and wrote to them indicating that I had returned the book unopened and I owed them nothing. Notices kept coming. I wrote more emails and called customer service all of whom said they would take care of it. Last week I received a notice from a collection agency threatening my credit if I did not pay immediately. I went to the ATK bookstore website and checked any outstanding balance on my account and it indicates $0.00 amount due yet I cannot get anyone to formally write me an email stating that I do not owe them this money for a bood I did not order! Absolutely horrible customer service!
 19th of Apr, 2012 by   AntiTestKitchen +2 Votes
Same story here. I ordered a book for a friend who was getting married and had it sent to her address. A few months later, I received a package- foolishly I opened it. A cookbook I never ordered! After receiving multiple "urgent invoices" I took time off of work to go to the post office and pay to send it back. Complete with a nasty note and a request never to be sent anything ever again. And what do you know? Another cookbook arrived last week. I am going to "Return to Sender", but after hearing gwhaia's story I'm even more furious. If they so much as send me one bill I'm going to lose it!
 19th of Apr, 2012 by   gwhaia +1 Votes
Somebody ought to tell Chris Kimball, who seems like a decent enough guy, that these book/merchandising people are ruining his reputation. I like the show but I am starting to develop a really bad feeling about the brand.
 29th of Aug, 2012 by   arubino99 +1 Votes
I'm quite angry that the show airs on PBS (a PUBLIC station) yet constantly directs to the website for "recipes, tips, and tricks". The website FORCES a paid sign-up (yes, there is a 14-day trial) to access any content! I had a friend that signed up for the free trial, and was billing and sent to collection after cancelling on day 13! The bill read $0.00 from ATK, but she was still harassed by collection agencies for delinquency! After doing research online about their cookbook scam, and what my friend experienced, I will not give them my credit card under any circumstances even for a free trial!

I would suggest to avoid! Lobby PBS to do something about this as well!
 10th of Feb, 2013 by   Unfair Advertising 0 Votes
I am very disappointed with their advertising on the television show. If you happen to sign up for the ATK website, you do not get access to all the recipes on the show. You have to purchase access to the Cooks Country also. Otherwise, you get very few recipes. They have a very deceitful way of advertising. I am cancelling my web subscription as it is virtually useless.
 18th of Dec, 2013 by   dadcarter 0 Votes
I ordered two copies of the Cooking School Cookbook and received one. I have sent four messages, received four BOT replies that someone would "contact me soon" with no response. It has been since Nov 10 that I sent the first message. In my opinion, the business ethics of the company are a direct reflection of the business ethics of Mr. Kimball. What a phony.

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