WordSmart / Online scam

1 Review updated:

I am a victim of the scam that is being committed by WordSmart corporation . I was rushed into buying this product even though I told the salesperson that my daughter was away at camp and would not be able to use it within their offered time frame of 30 days. He assured me there was not problem that he would give me an extra 30 days for a total of 60 days to see if I like the product.

If I didn't like it simple called them up before this days were up and tell them I wanted to return the product. After 30 days I received another package from them with a dvd and a bill charging me 57.00 for it. I was Shocked because first of all I did not order this new dvd and second I did not authorize them to use my credit card.

When I called their customer service dept. This rude lady answer the phone and when I explained that I never order this additional dvd she said that I had been told from the beginning that I had 30 days to cancel or If I failed to do so I would automatically receive additional dvd's. I told her I was NEVER and I mean NEVER was told about any automatic future shipments and besides the salesperson had given me an additional 30 days because my daughter whom was the person I was buying the WordSmart for in the first place, was away at camp.

She would not accept anything I was saying to her and simply threatened me that if I returned this dvd they would simply return it back. She said the salesperson had recorded my conversation when he sold me the initial product and I said 'great this will serve as proof that he never told me anything about future shipments' She hung up on me.

It is ashame that Mr. Alec Trebek would lend his name and image to such a scam company like this. I bought this product bases on Mr. Trebek's infomercial and I can't believe that he would allow this company to rip off the public in such manner. We become victims to this scam because they lie to our credit card companies saying that we knew about the additional shipments and that we knew that we had to call before our 30 day limit for the money back guarantee but I did not want to send my initial order back because my daughter had not even seen it so why would I call them if I wanted to keep the initial product? But that is where they get you because they don't tell you that if you don't call whether you want the product or not, if you don't call them they will ship the additional dvd's on the 30th day.

Don't be victimize DO NOT BUY WordSmart. They are a Scam.

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  • Wo
      Apr 28, 2009

    Upon calling Word Smart and advising them that I wanted to return the product, I was harrassed by Joe#2334, one of their rude and pushy customer service reps. He did not allow me to speak to a supervisor and he refused to answer most of my questions. Instead, he preceded to insult my intelligence and insist that I should reconsider because I apparantly will not be successful without Word Smart. Word Smart Company has no class! Alex Trebeck should not attach his name to such a shady company.

    0 Votes
  • Dl
      May 18, 2009

    I agree completely, similar experience, salesman calls, states that my daughter's school highly recommends the product. Could not verify with the daughter, until after the pushy salesman brow-beats me into ordering, with 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call customer service they state that I have had the product too long for the return. And I was under contract to purchase "the next session" for $60.00 fee. Attempted to speak to a supervisor, not going to happen. I would not recommend this company to anyone. And Alex Trebeck should be ashamed for being a spokesperson.

    0 Votes
  • Lj
      May 19, 2009

    VERY RUDE CUSTOMER SERVICE REPS - VERY SKILLED SCAM ARTISTS! I was convinced to try the software after being told there there would be no problem with returning for a refund after a trial period that could be easily extended. When I called to return it, Debbie gave me her best sales pitch and refused a return but extended the trial period. When I called again I was told by an extremely rude customer service rep (JB) that I was beyond the trial period and there would be no refund or return. He interrupted every sentence and would not allow me to speak to another rep or supervisor. Eventually I did get in touch with a "supervisor" who was nearly as rude and also refused return of the material. BEWARE! Do not order if you intend to "try it out" the material because there is NO FREE TRIAL as promised.

    0 Votes
  • Pr
      Jun 09, 2009

    I realize some people don't know how to act. Folks you need to relax. Order your products. Don't ask for any favors. You know what you're getting in to. Now the good news. Because I have done this on occasion. I've tried the products beyond the trial period and found they may have not been for me. Simply return all the materials anyways. I've always received my money back without any phone calls.

    -1 Votes
  • Ly
      Jun 09, 2009

    My family purchased Word Smart about 10 months ago for my then 10th grader for the PSATS. We were contacted by a salesman and he explained everything about the return policy. He actually told me prior to the recorded confirmation to call and cancel the extra cds b/c my son was only going into the 10th grade and he would not need them until college. I called when I first got the package and canceled the extra cds right away. The recorded confirmation explains that if you don't call within 30-days you will automatically get an additional cd. Anytime a company does that, it is simply marketing. Just listen to what the sales people say during confirmations and write down the important things to remember. We kept the program and my son actually qualified for a national merit scholarship in MA. We have since ordered additional cds for my younger children and my sister's children. If you actually structure your child's education and make it part of everyday studying it is an incredible tool... - Lynne (Spencer, MA)

    -1 Votes
  • Pe
      Aug 04, 2009

    I just dealt with a customer service rep. named Catherine. I called to get an authorization return number so I could return the unopened product that was just mailed to my mother-in-law a few weeks ago. I explained to Catherine that I needed to cancel the item and return it. Catherine went through her sales pitch trying to get me to take some time to look at the product. I told her that I wasn't interested in the product and I just wanted to return it. My mother-in-law ordered it after she was told not to do so. My father-in-law just died a couple of months ago, she is very sick and now in a position that she cannot afford to spend over $400 for something she will never look at. I told Catherine that we were trying to get life insurance for my mother-in-law and it was more important than Wordsmart. She told me that they didn't like taking the product back until after the customer looked at it first. I told her we would not be looking at it and wanted to return it. She wanted me to utilize it for my kids. I again refused and asked for the code so I could return it. She wanted to know if my mother-in-law was in a respite home/nursing home. I told her that she was to the point that she could go in a nursing home, then I got irritated at the fact that it was really none of Catherine's business to know all of that. I told her again that my mother-in-law was very sick and we really don't know how much longer she has so we are trying to take care of things for her, including paying off debts. She doesn't have any money and I asked Catherine what did she not understand about what I told her. Catherine said she couldn't understand why I didn't want my mother-in-law to improve her learning skills and I had given her a death sentence. If I wasn't at work when I had called this place, that woman would have heard every foul word in the book from me, because at that point I wanted to go through the phone line on top of her. I told her, again, that we did not want the product and it would be returned and I do not want the credit card charged anymore. She made sure to get in one more line on me to say that it was a shame people do not want to learn new things. After that pointless comment, she gave me the code and reminded me twice that the package had to be received by them within 5 working days. I told her it would not be a problem at all.

    I can understand a company trying to sell their product, but they are crossing the morality line when they are insisting on keeping a customer that is elderly, very sick, vulnerable, mourning the recent death of a spouse and now broke with no idea of what her monthly income from the federal government will be. Catherine with Wordsmart wanted $400 for their cds, instead of my telling her that we needed to save the money to take care of medical bills, etc.


    Penny - Baton Rouge

    0 Votes
  • Ge
      Jan 03, 2010

    I bought the set for $250 dollars. I was told it was summer time and they understood people would be busy and I wouldn't have to pay for anything I didn't want to keep. I had no intentions of sending the set back after the trial period as I had no way of measuring its success until after my son took the SAT test. I understood it was a $250 gamble to improve my son's SAT score. The trial period wasn't an issue.

    However, when I received the next disk of the set I immediately contacted them for instructions to return it. I recalled telling the salesman I wasn't interested in PHD level disks for my son (he was only trying to get into college). The salesman reassured me at that time I wouldn't have to pay for some thing I didn't want. They wouldn't accept the disk back despite being contacted immediately upon receiving it. They already charged my credit card and had no intentions of refunding my money even if I paid for the shipping and handling and return postage. Their customer service was a useless person who couldn't do anything without the "CEO's" permission.

    I faxed them as directed and gave phone numbers and an email address, but got no response from them.

    My son hasn't taken the SAT test yet, so I don't know if it has done anything for him so I won't put down the product.

    I will warn anyone who is interested in Wordsmart that on principle alone they shouldn't buy or even try Wordsmart. Don't let them have your credit card number under any circumstance. A company like that doesn't deserve the hard earned money of parents who are trying to help their children.

    I wish I had seen these complaints sooner. I wouldn't have bought Wordsmart and I hope all these complaints will cost them more than the $57 they stole from me. It was a headache trying to deal rationally with a company who wasn't satisified with the $250 I spent. This company wanted more money and given other similar complaints it is obvious they have found a profitable scam to trick customers to purchase more of their product. It doesn't say much about their product when they have to trick people into purchasing it.

    I didn't know Alex Trebeck promoted the product until I saw the box. I'm surprised he hasn't cancelled his endorsement given the sales tactics used by this company.

    +1 Votes
  • Fd
      Apr 07, 2010

    Wordsmart said US Post Office delivered the product and provided a confirmation number. The question I have for them is where is it, who received it, I did not received it and so I was not even able to try it for 30 days. I called them up and the representative said its passed 30 days, so I can't cancel the order and can't refuse a replacement either which they sent and I did not accept so US Post Office returned it to them. Wordsmart placed the account to Allied Collection Services, Inc. This turned out to be another very difficult and frustrating situation for consumer. I had to send this collection agency a dispute letter after its representative badly denigrated me on the phone. After a few weeks I received the collection agency's response and they said that Wordsmart will reship the product for a discounted price of $137.48. They expect me to continue doing business with them is unbelievable.
    I think what we need to do is to file a class action lawsuit against Wordsmart and make them pay for their selling malpractices.

    +1 Votes
  • Tr
      May 04, 2010

    I worked for WordSmart... I'll agree on everything everyone is saying in regards to the Customer Service department. I worked Sales and just know from experience that Customer Service refuses to let anyone get by the whole 30-day thing if you call after.

    I will state that despite the horrible Customer Service - the Software works amazingly. I can personally attest to that. The Progressive Reader is amazing! I think this is why Alex endorsed the program, b/c it actually works.

    A couple tips to anyone reading this and thinking about ordering (probably doubtful that you'd order if you're here - LOL):

    Tell the sales rep that you DO NOT WANT A SUBSCRIPTION SALE when you order. When they read the confirmation if they say anything about additional CD's - REPEAT THAT YOU DO NOT WANT A SUBSCRIPTION SALE. Most good sales people will try to say something like "All you have to do is call once... (or something like that.) Just simply say "NO. I DO NOT WANT A SUBSCRIPTION SALE. I ONLY WANT WHAT I'M ORDERING FOR 169.80 AND NOTHING ELSE.

    The sales person can simply click "NO SUBSCRIPTION"... The sales people lose about $30 dollars of a $50 dollar commission when they have to do that. Most sales reps average 2 sales a day... So if you think about it, that's a big chunk of their check.

    OR ORDER ONLINE... And before you click "agree" on anything - READ IT!

    The CUSTOMER SERVICE IS HORRIBLE AND THERE'S ALWAYS SALES PEOPLE WHO LIE! One of the Supervisors has no soul - But the SOFTWARE TRULY DOES WORK. It's a shame the corporate structure gets in the way of the software.

    -1 Votes
  • Cu
      Jun 22, 2010

    I purchased wordsmart under the information that my child signed up for it. The salesman was kind and gave lots of information. After I received it and gave it to my son to try he did not know anything about signing up for trying the product. He also had no interest in using the product. I tried to return it and was met with RUDE customer service. I forced my kid to try the program, he did, he still did not have any interest in using it so I called back to try again to return it. The same RUDE "Cathy" answered the phone and continued where she left off in arguing with me to not return it but use it and give her more feed back. When she finally understood that my kid was not interested she then tried to get me to use the program. When I finally stopped discussing the matter she became very "matter of factly" and speaking very quickly on how to return it. wordsmart CUSTOMER SERVICE IS HORRIBLE. Their product may be good, I do not know, but CUSTOMER SERVICE BLOWS! I will not endorse this product because of POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. I will lobby against this product at every available chance.

    +1 Votes
  • Tr
      Jul 09, 2010

    DO NOT buy this product. It is scam and I have had better experiences with a Proctologist than this company. They prey on your fear and then pressure you to death on the product. If you end up with a "sales" women named Judy - just say NO!!!. The women does not understand the meaning of customer service. If you try to talk to her she will not even let you talk. She should be selling used cars not software.

    The software is from the 1980's and is a joke. Customer service is so lacking it's sad. It's hard to believe with these economic times that this company is in business. They make money of the S&H.

    +1 Votes
  • Sm
      Jul 28, 2010

    They did the same to my mother in law. She saw this on tv and decided to get it for my 7 year old son. They assured her that a 7 year old can use this. Her father was in hospice at the time and she was watching the tv in the hospital as a distraction. When she tried to return it she was put on hold over and over and all the calls just mysteriously dropped. We returned the product eventually and they sent it right back! 500 Dollars later we still have no use for this program!!! Oh and the cd's they say are free ARE NOT!!!

    0 Votes
  • Je
      Aug 08, 2010

    Write to the California State Attorney general! This office will bring a lawsuit against the Wordsmart company if enough people complain!
    Then write another letter to the Governor's office. I'm composing this letter right now.
    State of California, Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, PO Box 944255, Sacramento, CA [protected]
    I complained to my credit card company about this $500 bill for a product I tried to send back 3 times. The credit card cancelled
    payment to the company. allied collections then destroyed my perfect credit!

    0 Votes
  • Ch
      Aug 13, 2010

    I recieved a call from WORDSMART two days ago. My mom is a field worker that barely got her permanent residency card this week. When they called I was sitting with her and i explained to her what the man on the phone was saying. I was excited about it because I am a hardworking student and have taken the psat and i wanted to improve more by senior year. I should have known better but i wasn't even told how much it costs and they charged my mom's credit card for $199.95. That was rent money. I left her at zero dollars for bein an idiot and not realizing it. Do you have any advice on what i should do?? i'm trying to find a way to pay her back and i just don't know what to do since i'm more than convinced it is a scam.

    0 Votes
  • Ji
      Sep 10, 2010

    Why do you all waste money on buying this when it's uploaded online? Worried about copyright? So what! Everyone reading this has copyrighted with music before... so save the hundreds of dollars and complaints and just Google how to get "Wordsmart" free. Works just like the CD version. Only main difference is that it's free!

    0 Votes
  • Cc
      Oct 24, 2010

    I've also got a complaint with the WordSmart Corporation. Although it was then, and still being perpetrated by sellers on Ebay. Apparently, WordSmart sells their $15 'Trial' wares to third parties that turn around and sell the same item at near full price. Then, after 90 days, the WordSmart people turn you in to a collection agency for non-payment and 'rip' you off again. It's happening to me right now. I have no Idea what to do. After several calls to their Accounts Recovery Department, speaking to Shirley McEachin, I am out my money, but not responsible for the amount due them, since it was a case of fraud...OK, I'll accept I was fooled on Ebay...But... 2 years later (2 days ago) I get a 'pressure call' from a collection agency threatening action. The WordSmart people know this is going on and admitted so on the phone that they have had this problem. And to top it off, the same slime-bag is still selling them on Ebay, and I told them his name...Why didn't they put a stop to him? ...I think the whole thing is a scam! I'm very disappointed that I got ripped-off by a crook, and that WordSmart is still trying to rob me… and others.
    Alex Trebek, you should be ashamed to have your good name associated with this outfit.

    0 Votes
  • Ba
      Nov 01, 2010

    I was very angry to receive A COLLECTION letter dated (Oct 20, 2010). I purchased Wordsmart on August 30, 2009 on a TRIAL basis for $14.95. I promptly returned it and my refund was received on September 30, 2009 obviously the refund verifies the return. I was distressed, angry and annoyed to receive this communication over a year later requesting payment of $339.98. The fact that I have to take this time and effort to try to fix this situation regard a product I did not even buy is particularly maddening.

    I have also made an official complaint to the Attorney General of my state PLUS FAXED A LETTER TO DAVID A. KAY ( on the wordsmart website it states he is THE INDUSTRY PIONEER) and the VP of Marketing. After speaking to the collection agency I found out over 3000 names and non- payment files had been given to Transworld Systems Inc. in Bingham Farms. [protected]. I do not take lightly using my credit score as a means to gain money. IF YOU ARE AN ATTORNEY please email [protected] I am sure over 3000 people would be happy to make a formal complaint including me.

    +1 Votes
  • Am
      Dec 07, 2010

    We were blatantly lied to by a WordSmart sales rep who told us that our son had requested the SAT/ACT prep materials. Being parents that want to give our kids what they need to do well in school and college, we were interested. Turns out that our son never requested it, didn't want it, and had never heard of it. We were told our credit card would be used to reserve the materials. Instead it was charged $199.95. We are still trying to get a refund, and we've complained to the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General of CA about their deceptive marketing practices. This company preys on parents and uses the names of their children to manipulate them. Intolerable. Do NOT do business with them, and warn your friends and family members.

    +1 Votes
  • Je
      Dec 07, 2010
    WordSmart - unauthorized debits from my bank account
    10025 Mesa Rim Rd
    San Diego
    United States

    After returning a purchase to this company unauthorized debits from Easy Share and American Leisure were deducted from my account on a monthly basis.

    0 Votes
  • Jc
      Mar 31, 2011

    march 31, 2011. I currently work for this company in the sales department. I can see where many people are upset because of details that they forgot about. There is a two page recorded verification script that we all have to read word for word after every single sale. Yes it specifically says you have to call within the 30 days in order to not recieve another shipment. This forum doesnt illistrate how many people love the program and actually order the rest of the series. For anyone who appreciates learning this is a good product. Definately worth the trial at least. And sure the program isnt for everyone you can tell by most of the complaints that some kids just wont like it. That is why you can return it. On the upside, if you can get you kids to just sit down and use the program. They will get at least a 200 point increase on the SAT. Simple as that, I would pay 200 for that kind of guarantee. I think most of us would. My advice to everyone... Actually pay attention!!!

    0 Votes
  • Cu
      Apr 01, 2011

    Dear jcowanx,
    I do not doubt the the program has value, for the person who has the where with all to use it. The problem as I see it, is the business practices of the company. Specifically customer service is horrible for the person who asks to return the product. If your company would just accept that if someone calls to return the product, that is what they want to do, and they do not want a hastle from the person on the phone. Please study the words "Customer Service" if your phone representative for returns actually understood that phrase, I bet that there would be far fewer people unhappy with your company. Respectfully, Customer Service is Bad (283 days ago).

    0 Votes
  • Cs
      May 24, 2011

    I too was contacted by WordSmart to purchase their product with a total guarantee if not satisfied. I was lied to by the sales person saying that this product was specifically for preparation for the SAT. I called back to return the product and was pressured to keep it for a little while longer. When I called back they said it was too late and I had missed the deadline. I feel that if you do not like a product you should get the a total refund they are counting on having a person miss the deadline, which I did by 5 days. WordSmart is preying on families of high school students. If they have such a great product they should have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and provide refunds when requested! The "Customer Service" representative that I spoke to, Lisa, was rude and ruthless. She would not let me speak to a supervisor. I FAXED the complaint to the Board of Directors as told and received a call back also stating that I could not get a refund of any kind. I said the product was not the product that was advertise as SAT preparation, she said that product listed on the website is exactly the same it just has different packaging! I have registered a complaint with the BBB and I hope that everyone else will do the same.

    0 Votes
  • Ds
      Jun 22, 2011
    WordSmart - Fraud
    United States

    I was also told that there was no obligation to purchase other disks but when I returned 4 of them I was told that I could not get a refund because I sent them back instead of calling them which she said had been explained in the phone call.

    When I asked for a copy of the sales call she said I would have to fax a request to their board of directors. I seems like these people just pull rules out of their a**. I advised all of my friends to stay away and plan to file a complaint with the BBB.

    0 Votes
  • An
      Aug 10, 2011

    Did you ever get a copy of the auto-recording transaction from WordSmart? The FTC Telemarketing Rules and Regulations, 16 CFR Part 310, Sec. 310.3 on Deceptive telemarketing acts or practices, states that upon request, audio-recorded transaction must be made available to a customer.

    0 Votes
  • Aa
      Sep 12, 2011

    I was also charged $57 and I did not authorize or order it. This company is rip off. PLEASE DOT ORDER IT!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      Nov 16, 2011

    I didn't look up this blog until it happened to me. They're even more sly now. I talked to the original salesperson and when he stated other cds would arrive automatically, I told him "No Way". Well, they did a bait and switch, putting me with another person and recording the conversation. You would figure that all of the information would be put into the computer by the original person right? Not the case and via the bait and switch-- I got it stuck by receiving the other cds which are NON-REFUNDABLE. Of course my credit card company took the sides of these schmucks because of the recording.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
      Aug 25, 2013

    The salesman who called my cell phone was Greg Gines, [protected]. I am including this information so that anyone who googles the phone number can find this review. Mr. Gines called me several times over the course of several days and when I did not answer the phone he did not leave a message. I googled his phone number at the time and could not find any information.

    The one negative thing I have to report is that Mr. Gines LIED to me. Mr. Gines said that my son requested this program. When the program arrived I showed it to my son and he said he had never heard of WordSmart or this product, and that he certainly did not ask these people to contact me.

    I do not have the complaints which seem to be common among the other posts being made to this board. I do remember coming away from the call with the understanding that there are other volumes and that if I did not cancel they would automatically send them to me. I did call and cancel the subscription and to this date have not received any additional volumes.

    My children have not started using the program. My 30 day return window ends tomorrow and we have decided to keep this product and have the kids use it. I too am going to give it a try just for fun and find out what I can learn from it.

    I do not know if this will help anyone however I am posting the information in the event you find it useful. As of the date of this review the following is what you have to do in order to return the volume and receive your refund.

    You must answer three questions.

    Put the Challenge Disk in the computer, there will be multiple choice questions. The first question which you must answer is they want to know what the volume and group number is.

    The second question you must answer involves the Volume D disk.. It lists words with 5 games to play to learn the words. You must tell them which game was your favorite.

    The third question you must answer is on the Progressive Reader disk, which is the speed reading program. Choose a topic paragraph to read. Once you read it you need to write down the words per minute and the percentage of comprehension.

    If you choose to return the program you will return everything in the plastic case except for the Challenge Disk which is yours to keep.

    Above all else REMEMBER TO CALL THEM AND CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION as soon as you receive the SAT/ACT volume if you do not want to receive additional shipments.

    Please call them and ask what their requirements are for your return of the ACT/SAT volume. The three questions I listed above are what the Customer Service Rep told me when I called.

    0 Votes

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