Elliptical Machine — Illegal Business Practices
I am writing this letter to protest the illegal and unethical business practices of Smooth Fitness, Inc.
On March 17, 2008 I placed a phone order for an elliptical machine from Doug. I was told that the product was in stock and I would receive it in seven to ten days.
On March 26th, I called to inquire about the order. I talked to Nicole and I was told that it was on back order and they would receive units on March 29th and would start shipping immediately.
I called again on April 2nd to inquire again about the order. Nicole informed me they were still on back order and I informed her that I was upset with the delays and lies. At this time, I requested to cancel the order but Nicole refused. After insisting on canceling the order again, I was transferred to her supervisor, Mimi. Mimi also refused to cancel the order and stated that she had dealt with “people like me” before and if I refused shipment whenever it finally ships, she would force me to pay shipping both ways plus restocking fees. I asked to speak to her supervisor and she refused my request. I informed her of my right to cancel since it was on back order and receive a full refund. Mimi stated I could not cancel.
On April 14th I called again and spoke to Mimi about not crediting my Visa account in full for the cancelled order on April 2nd. Mimi was very nasty to deal with and very unprofessional in her conduct. I again requested to talk to her supervisor she refused stating that “upper management” does not concern themselves with day to day business affairs.
On April 15th Shannon called and asked me to reconsider the cancellation. She stated that she would expedite the delivery of the product. I feel that with her making this call to me that at some point, someone at Smooth Fitness had acknowledged my cancellation. I informed Shannon that if it was at my doorstep on April 18, 2008, that I would reconsider, otherwise it is still cancelled. It was not delivered.
On April 21st Home Direct attempted to set up a delivery date. This was thirty-five (35) days from the order date.
In summary, State and Federal Consumer Protections Laws prohibit taking an order for an item that is on back order without the consumer agreeing to it at the time of sale. I was told that the product was in stock and would ship immediately just to obtain my Visa number. This is fraud and this transaction was illegal from day one. State and Federal Consumer Protection Laws require immediate notification of a back order. Back order notice must state that the item is on back order, the revised delivery date and the right of cancellation with full immediate refund (if the consumer doesn’t agree to the delay).
From March 17, 2008 through April 21, 2008 a total of thirty-five (35) days, I never received a back order notice. The law also requires the merchant to automatically cancel the order in thirty (30) days if the merchant cannot deliver and the customer does not agree to delay through the back order notice procedure. There was no back order notice.
When Mimi threatened me with bogus shipping and restocking fees for merchandise on back order, this was classified as extortion through intimidation. It is pathetic when a company resorts to illegal and unethical business practices just to make an illegal profit. It appears that Smooth Fitness has total disregard for State and Federal Consumer Protection laws. Smooth Fitness would rather victimize the consumer than abide by laws that other merchants must abide by. It is disgraceful when Smooth Fitness’s customer service is based on deceit, fraud, lies and incompetence and the only response the consumer gets when they get fed up and try to cancel an order is to be victimized & my Visa card was fraudulently charged $647.00 for bogus shipping and restocking fees.
On February 4, 2009 I wrote a letter to Smooth Fitness CEO, Joe Alter and now 10 weeks later there is still no response. I must "assume" the CEO supports the illegal and unethical business practices of it's employees.
TOTALLY DISGUSTED ABOUT BEING RIPPED OFF,