Groupe JCL / Poor quality service - misleading info - no refunds
This is a company publishing local newspapers in the area of North Shore in Greater Montreal. I paid close to $300 in Mat 2015 to advertise the language school I own and manage. Their graphic design department accepted my picture (ad) and printed on such a bad quality paper that it was illegible in print. When I called to complain, they offered me to reprint it in the next issue at half price. I found it unacceptable to pay twice for their poor judgment and service. My resolution at that time was to never ever do business with them.
Last month a sales rep from the same company walked into my office with a "great" promotional offer. I told her (Nathalie Damien) that I don't trust Groupe JCL anymore, but she was the sweetest see talker and begged to give her a chance to show me how much she can do for my business. In front of my secretary/receptionist she briefly explained how we could give a discount on our courses at 10-20-50% in her section "rabais chocs", and "All your expense is the 56$ you pay to participate". It didn't look like the greatest deal - but in this recession, I thought, even at a discount it would bring some new customers, so I generously gave her the payment plus 10 vouchers at 50% discount, where the customer would pay $50 and use a $100 voucher at my company, Centre de langues Horizons. A bit later, I got a list of people who have purchased 3 and 7 vouchers each, and I asked for the half-price payments. The shock came then: they responded that THEY got the $500 in payments! I looked for the contract because I didn't remember signing a clause where I give $500 to the newspaper, $500 to the customers and get to do all the work for free (or pay another teacher to teach the new students); that was not the deal. Turns out, the sales rep who pushed and pushed and has only hours until the deadline - never even left us a copy of the contract! I have a folder with brochures and her business card, but no contract copy. When we talked to her supervisor, we were told that we didn't understand the concept. I still don't see how giving away free services without a limit would be difficult to do, but I asked for cancellation on the grounds of false pretenses, pressure to decide and pay in 10 minutes, instead of leaving me the papers to read thoroughly. They said they'd cancel and reimburse the 2 buyers but I OWE THEM THE $500! I understand that I am guilty of signing something in questionable circumstances, pressured by a sales rep (will never happen again!) but there is no way I am going to donate $500 to a newspaper that has deceived me twice within a few months. Not advertising with them is not enough: they need to stop misleading small business owners and shrugging it off when they waste our money. I'm prepared to go to court with them.