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COLUMBIA HOUSE DVD SCAM / Ridiculous!

1 United States

So I heard about one of those free iPod touchs/iPod nano sites that actually give away iPods, IF you sign up for 7 offers they provide, sign up meaning give you credit card number. Columbia house had an ad stating 5 DVD's for 49 cents each. I assumed that'd be the cheapest route to go, versus 70 dollars for some strange language dvd or NetFlix, which I saw as potentially costing me a lot of money.

The registration was simple, I entered my credit card and the five DVDs I wanted. However, upon further reflection I decided to cancel my account, literally 5 minutes later. I tried to click around on their site to get some help with this, and was astonished when I discovered that this webpage that sells thousands of DVDs had only one page! the page you enter your credit card number on. I googled "Columbia House" and a bigger website popped up, with 3 pages, a login page, a registration page, and a help page, with no contact information besides an address and an email addressed that bounced back at me when I tried to write them. Finally, I googled "columbia house cancel account" and a few phone numbers came back to me on complaint pages like this one. No where on the website is there a phone number to call. I called the number, [protected] for the publics information, and tried to fight my way through the automated responses to eventually reach a person, even MORE difficult then it sounds. I just want to cancel my account! I canceled all of the other stupid offers I signed up for in a matter of seconds, but Columbia House has no contact information other than an address that's probably out-dated and a sketchy website that I should of known was a scam ahead of time. Throughout the telephone battle, I sent them a question in their question box, which by the way has no way of contacting them independently of their website. It has two or three dropboxes that ask what kind of question you're asking and what the question is about, and finally a space for your email address. I selected "cancel my account from the menu, and a window popped up with a telephone number! it's about time! No where else on the site is there a phone number. I submitted about 25 "questions" in capitol letters sharing my feelings about how difficult it has been dealing with Columbia House. I asked them to cancel my account. Battle of the robots on the phone finally succeeded, by pressing 1 for "english", 5 for "more options" and 5 again for "cancel my account". I listened to horrible violins play for about 15 minutes, while thinking that there's probably a whole lot of other people calling to cancel their accounts, too. A woman answered. I explained the situation in a calm rational voice, explaining that I'd like to cancel my account, like i had done for several of the other offers. She than tells me that I can't cancel my account until AFTER I pay for the 5 DVDs!! I don't receive an account number or an invoice for the movies until after they get to my house, so I can't provide an account number. I have to wait 3-4 weeks for the movies to arrive, request a return postage from Columbia house (based on how difficult everything else has been, how can I expect a return postage to come in any reasonable amount of time), mail the movies back, than call the number back, and THEN cancel my account. I have never dealt with such a crazy scam in my life. And it's obvious it's a scam, let's call it what it is. It's not even that great of a deal! Buying movies at BestBuy or Costco or renting with BB or Netflix makes so much more sense that I'm so surprised a company like this is even around to scam anybody! She said "obviously you didn't read the terms and conditions, I cannot cancel you're APPLICATION until after you've received the movies" Oh my god. My request to buy movies from this sub-par fake "deal" site is now an application, and being as such, cannot be canceled!

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