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Closeout Genius / Bait-and-switch scam

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Closeout Genius
Closeout Genius runs a scam where they advertise prices 10-15% lower on many different Electronics Categories. When you order, they will require a "confirmation telecon" where they try to upsell cases, memory cards, and other accessories at 500% markup (or more). If you don't bite, suddenly the "in-stock" item you ordered is indefinitely "backordered". I ordered a Garmin GPS unit. The web site failed to confirm that the order went through, so next day, I called to find out. Yes, they had my information and said the unit was in-stock and would ship the next day. THEN I get an email requesting that I call to "confirm" my order. After trying for several hours to get through, I got a person who asked that I confirm my ZIP code. Then asked if I needed a case for the GPS, a 4Gb memory card for "only" $99, (10x the price of other sources), then told me that I had to buy a "map update" to have the latest maps in the Garmin GPS unit. When I confirmed with him that I was ordering a new unit, and that Garmin give free map updates for 60 days after first use, he told me this was a "wholesale" unit and the map update did not apply. All of this is BS. So I asked him "It will ship today or tomorrow, right?" and he said "Yes". Next day, my order status was changed to "backorder".

I cancelled the order. No sign of any charges to my VISA card, but I'll have to watch for it. Not clear that they're running a Credit Card fraud shop, but they sure are running a bait-and-switch scam. They can't (won't) deliver product at their advertised prices, and they probably can escape prosecution by saying that when the unit is available, they'll ship it. (ie when the electronics drop in price within a few months, they might actually ship an un-cancelled "backorder").


More Closeout Genius Complaints & Reviews

Plus Closeout Genius - Outrageous attitude [37]
Plus Closeout Genius - BAIT AND SWITCH [4]


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N  21st of Feb, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Are there any other sites to post complain about closeoutgenius? I wish people saw our comments before they place an order on closeoutgenius. Too bad I didn’t read this board before my fatal experience.
I posted another complain at: http://www.resellerratings.com/store/NaviGenius_CloseoutGenius
If you guys know and other sites (well exposed) we can report the seller - I will be happy to do so.
I do not wish anybody to get the high heart rate after speaking to their rude reps.
A  25th of Feb, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I've had the same experience wih aNikon p80 camera. I called and they had it in stock no problem, then asked if it included the battery, charger, etc. They said it came with everything. I them went to the web site and placed the order. They emailed or called within 24 hours, and wanted me to confirm placing the order. Immediately tried to sell me an upgraded lithium battery that would last hours. I told them, the stock lithium battery was fine. They told me it would only last 20 minutes. I told them that was OK, just send the camera. They told me I would get it within 10 days. It never came. I called, and it is on back order, I should get it in a couple of months...never has happened yet.
A  26th of Feb, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I ordered a Garmin 260W from closeoutgenius.com, I asked them to confirm it WAS in fact completely brand new, he assured me it was. He then tried to up sell me with memory cards, I told him I didn't agree with what he was saying and I could use the gps without buying a memory card. He then told me it came with 2005 maps and I had to pay $35 for 2009 with that I also received a free 2010 upgrad. He was convincing enough for me to feel at the time I was getting a great deal so I made the big mistake and ordered it. It arrived yesterday. It looked suspect. I called Garmin who told me my unit was refurbished and that I shouldn't have paid extra money for 2009 maps as they were already loaded on there. False advertising much?!! I have tried to call them to get a full refund but their number is constantly busy. I am also hesitant about returning the item because the chances are, i'll never receive a credit from them and then i'll have no gps at all. I feel like i've been ripped off and lied to, but what can I do about it?!
N  26th of Feb, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Talk to your credit card customer service and dispute the transaction.
N  2nd of Mar, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I'm thankful to see these posts in time. I ordered a Garmin GPS unit on Friday (Feb. 27, 2009) and came across this board yesterday. Sure enough, I also got an email requesting to confirm my order. I tried calling and couldn't get through since the line is constantly busy.

I called my credit card company and checked to see if there is a pending charge. None. I went ahead and told them to give me a new card # and send me a new card, since I'm trying to avoid a potential pending charge. Hopefully, any attempt by them to charge me should be denied. Any other suggestions? I'm just gonna leave it and order my GPS from Amazon.com
A  2nd of Mar, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I absolutely agree with your comments above. closeoutgenius is a big scam and big LIAR. I have ordered camcorder and got email from them to call confirm. the damn phone is always busy and put you on hold. I have to call many times to get it through. the customer services are really suck and rude, they just hang up your phone during your conversation. they said my item is backorder and have notified me but I checked my email and no such email. I hope this stupid scam won't charge my credit card. I will check my credit card statement and thinking to cancel my credit card to get a new one. they got your info. and never what they will do with your info.
A  6th of Mar, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I ordered a Garmin gps from closeoutgenius. I did not order it on the internet, but by phone with a sales rep. He did the same thing about no case coming with it and 2GB card for 65.00. Well, I fell for it and I was fortunate enough to actually get the item with everything. It did come with a case and I then with the one I ordered. About 3 weeks later, I get a call from my credit card company indicating that someone may have committed fraud and charged some things to my credit card. When I called my cc, there was a charge for 69.00 and 29.95 on the same day. I had not used my cc since closeoutgenius order. I had the card canceled and when I called to speak to a cs manager at closeout genius I was always put in que or transferred. After 30 minutes, no cs manager. Bogus company. Luckily I have a great cc company that called me about the fake charges!!
A  7th of Mar, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I wen't through the same bait & switch crap, there a rip off. Stay away!
SGuziar, OK
N  7th of Mar, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
So glad I checked for complaints - looking for a Sony DSLR and found their site offered the body for only $299 about $100 less than anyone else. I had my order all filled out but decided to open another window and look for complaints against the company ( because I wondered if that price seemed too good to be true).

Thanks for all the info everyone.
N  13th of Mar, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I ordered A Canon HV20 camcorder for $299 same scenario when trying to get confirmation. They never tried to sell me any additional products though. However they told me that the item would be shipped next week every week for 8 weeks. Once they even gave me a phony UPS tracking number. Finnally, I cancelled the order. Afte readining LJM comment Im gonna recheck my credit card statement.
A  26th of Mar, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Same story here.. The icing on the cake was the guy got upset with me when I kept asking him if there
was any way I could just get the gps unit an nothing else.
N  3rd of Jun, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Closeout Genius - Order Placed and on Back Order
United States

I found this great deal on a Camera from CloseOutGenius (I thought). I placed the order on April 7th. I had to call to confirm the order. After doing that, then I get an email from them on April 13th saying that the camera is on "Back Order" for 2-3 weeks. I wait 3 weeks and then try to call them to see about my order. I call but it tells me that they are not open but by the internet, I was calling during their business hours. When I finally got a hold of them, they told me that it was still on "Back Order" for another 3 weeks. I waited 3 weeks and then called them again. This time they told me that they did not know when it would be available. DO NOT ORDER FROM THEM...

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