Newport Newsdeceptive marketing practices

D
This review was posted by
a verified customer
Verified customer

My wife made an online purchase of clothing from Newport News about 2 years ago. On checkout, she was asked if she wanted “free shipping” with the order, and if so, to enter her email address. She did so. She was apparently enrolled in a "30 day free trial" to catalogs, discounts and coupons. At the end of the 30 day "free trial period" she was automatically enrolled in a $12.95/month "membership". That was 2 years ago. I finally noticed the recurring charge on my credit card statement today, via something called “Encore Marketing.” I canceled today by telephone with Encore Marketing (on behalf of Newport News). That "free shipping" and "free trial" ended up costing us over $310. This is deceptive marketing.

Responses

  • Kl
    Klf113 Aug 06, 2007

    I just placed my first - and last - order from this company. I bought 3 bathing suits on clearance. I had a "merchandise certificate" code good fro $10 off of my order. I ordered online, it accepted the code & my total was $75, incl. shipping. Well, today I just happened to be checking my bank acct (I paid with my debit card), and they charged me $85! I even have the confirmation email that shows the order as $75. I called & they advised me that they will credit my account, but it really seems deceptive to me. I bet they do this to a lot of people and just hope that they never notice.

    The other reason I feel that this company is not on the up & up is that I just placed my order a few days ago and I have already recvd a telemarketing call from them trying to get me to join the discount club for $25, after a free trial. I interrupted his spiel and told him I am on the National do not call list and to please take my name off of the call list. What a scam! Why cant they just sell the clothing like every other retail company? I don't get it. I haven't recvd the bathing suits yet but now I am worried that they will be substandard quality or something. Newport News gives me the creeps.

    0 Votes
  • Ju
    Juan Guerrero Nov 17, 2007
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    Verified customer

    I know that both Encore Marketing and Easy Saver are one and the same scam companies with the same practices noted on the complaints. They have the same telephone contact numbers which appears on the credit card statements.

    I have similar problems and I am still fighting to get them to stop their monthly $14.95 charges on two of my cards which started appearing this year.

    0 Votes
  • Cw
    CWO Nov 23, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    BUYER BEWARE!!!!!
    Both Newport News and Spiegel will sell your credit /debit card info to Encore Marketing International. I was unknowingly enrolled in their "Privilege Pass" program after making an online purchase. I didn't notice the $14.95/month charges for almost a YEAR! My bank will only dispute charges within 2 months of the initial charge. I have lodged a complaint with the BBB, and attempted to contact EMI, Newport News, and Spiegel with little luck (try being on hold for well over 45 minutes straight). I plan to pursue fraudulent charges, but I have little hope that I will be able to recoup the charges.
    I hope others will read these posts, and warn others about the shady selling practices of online companies.

    0 Votes
  • Li
    Linda Stephenson Dec 19, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Same experience. I ordered online through Spiegel. I found the charges on my second month of credit card bills, they (Privilege Pass, Encore Mkt) have charged me $1.95, and twice for $14.95. On calling Spiegel I was told that they had nothing to do with it can could do nothing to resolve it.

    This is total B.S. In Spiegle's Privacy Policy under How do we use your information?, they clearly say and I quote"
    "Spiegel may participate with certain reputable companies who offer you the ability to establish a membership that would enable you to participate in travel and entertainment programs. If you elect to activate a trial membership in the Spiegel Privilege Pass program we will provide your name, address and credit card information to Encore Marketing International, the Spiegel Privilege Pass service provider. Spiegel is not responsible for the privacy practices of the companies sponsoring these membership programs and we suggest you review the privacy policy of each company with whom you may be considering a membership."

    What a scam, I will never buy anything from Spiegel again and will voice this story to many. What A Rip Off.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    daj Jan 25, 2008
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    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I got hooked by Encore on a purchase of some flowers (that were beyond recognition as flowers on arrival) from proflowers.com. Never knew I was getting pimped till yesterday (1/24/08) till I reviewed my year end summary from AMEX. They had me for 9 months worth at $14.95 per mo.

    I called and cancelled and asked for full credit since I had no idea this was going on. Thet refunded 2 mos. worth on the spot and when I said I wanted all 9 months of charges back, they said they'd have a supervisor call me back.

    Unbelievably, they called back and I couoldn't take the call and asked them top call me back this morning. I missed that call, but they left me a call back number for the supervisor. When I called back, she was busy, but called me back w/in 30 minutes.

    After explaining that I didn't mean to sign up and that proflowers.com (their partner) sent my wife dead flowers for Mother's Day and refunded my purchase, they caved. At first they offered me half of my payments back and when I politely declined, they refunded everything.

    I swear if I hadn't been nicer than ### to these people, they'd have fought me.

    Bottom line, kill 'em with kindness.

    Good luck.

    0 Votes
  • De
    Dee Apr 06, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Newport News or Spiegel do not sell information to other companies, screens will pop up 3 for customers to agree to offers or refuse them, if the offers are accepted then the information is sent through to the third party company by internet, NOT the company which was entered.

    -2 Votes
  • Gs
    G. Sovinsky Aug 26, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I also got stung by Encore Marketing International via a Spiegel online order. I did not notice the credit Card (AMEX) until today.
    I contacted EMI and told them to stop immediately. The rep was very agreeable, probably because what they do may constitute wire fraud. The company also operates as Easy Saver Rewards and Liesure America doing the same scamming. I filed a complaint with the Maryland Attorney General Office and Maryland Better Business Bureau. I encourage anyone else stung by this company to do the same. Just Google maryland Attorney General, there are online forms to file a complaint.
    Thankfully AMEX reversed all the charges...thank God my wife noticed the charge. Just think $14.95 times how many (millions)
    people they are charging! Pretty good scam!

    0 Votes
  • Se
    Sean Aug 27, 2008

    I purchased something on line from the Norm Thompson catalog in Oct of 2007. I did not notice that I was being charged $14.95 per month for a "rewards program" through Norm Thompson. I never accepted membership in any rewards program. I have been charged $164.45 by Encore Marketing over a period of 11 months. I contacted them today, demanded to speak with a "supervisor" who agreed to delete 6 months of charges but has refused to delete all 11. I contacted Norm Thompson and they said they have no control over the charges either. My next step is to contact the attorney general's office and report this fraud.

    0 Votes
  • Ni
    Nianli Oct 13, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just got the same stung! So I search what on earth is Encore Marketing Inc, and found this site. What a wonderful company! always sell something to you before you know it! I will call them tomorrow (their office is closed right now). If they decline to refund, I will fight with them!

    0 Votes
  • Dp
    D Perlstein Oct 30, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I spotted Encore Marketing (Easy Saver Rewards) charge in the amount of $14.95. When I called them they advised me that I had apparently took a 30 day trial for some sort of shopping catalog while allegedly accepting a 10% discount on an order from Pro Flowers in June 08. I do remember the order, but don' t remember any such offer.

    I strongly, but politely urged the person on the phone to credit my account for the entire 4 months (shame on me for not checking my Amex statement better); she claimed she could cxl 2 months, but I would have to speak to a supervisor for the other two credits. I did and she did.

    I will be looking for the credit (4 x $14.95) on my next statement.

    I have also run into this problem with Netflix.com and Stamp.com and ultimately gotten credit. CHECK YOU STATEMENTS MONTHLY.

    DP

    0 Votes
  • Me
    Melissa K Nov 07, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just noticed an odd $14.95 charge on my bank statement. I called and they said that after I ordered flowers back in May, I was offered a $10 reward certificate on my next purchase. Bull. I did not agree to or accept anything since I knew I wouldn't be using the online flower service again (they stunk, too). I spoke to a lady who agreed to take off the current month's charge, but she said I needed to speak to a supervisor to see about taking off the other 5 months of charges. She tried to transfer my call, but the supervisor was apparently busy assisting other callers (no doubt they are being flooded with complaints). We'll see if she calls me back. I will fight this tooth and nail. What a scam!!! When I asked her what the name of the company is, she kept replying "Membership Services." I said, "The name of your company is NOT Membership Services. WHAT is the name?" She finally replied, "Encore Marketing, International."

    0 Votes
  • An
    Ann Twiggs Dec 01, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am currently sitting on hold awith Encore Marketing waiting for someone to answer and have been for 30 minutes. Do they ever answer?

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    marc Dec 02, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    ENCORE MARKETING INC. IS A SCAM. AVOID ALL CONTACT IF POSSIBLE

    I just had to fight with AMEX to get 2 months @14.95 refunded. What a PITA! Never will I buy flowers online again!

    Thank you to this website for confirming what I was already thinking.

    0 Votes
  • Up
    UpsetInFlorida Dec 08, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    A lot of you are saying that you can't get through to anyone when you call the 877 numbers to cancel (877.564.8538/877.844.9554). I did a little research it turns out that they're owned/operated by a company called Encore Marketing International.

    So... let's CALL THEM and tell them how big of ### they are for perpetuating these frauds/scams... below is a list of employees and the main number to Encore; if you call a receptionist will put you through to them... CALL THEM NOW IF YOU'RE FURIOUS ABOUT THEM STEALING FROM YOU:

    http://www.boriskan.com

    4501 Forbes Blvd
    Lanham, MD 20706
    Phone: 301-459-8020***
    Business Development: [email protected]

    Stanley Plotnick — Chief Executive Officer
    Steve Klein — President
    Kimberli Files — Chief Operating Officer
    David Gallimore — Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing
    Michael Dubrow — Executive Vice President, Partnership Development
    Sondra Diggs — Chief Financial OfficerSondra Diggs — Chief Financial Officer

    ---------

    This is the contact information of the CEO of Encore Marketing who's behind American Leisure and EZ Saver Scams... contact him to let him know how you feel about him cheating you and stealing your money:


    Chief Executive Officer
    Stanley Plotnik

    +1.301.459.8020
    [email protected]

    Encore Marketing 4501 Forbes Blvd
    Lanham, MD 20706
    USA

    0 Votes
  • Jw
    JWC Dec 11, 2008

    I also got scammed by using ProFlowers.com. Encore Marketing started charging me for nothing. Anyone associated with these people should be embarrassed.

    0 Votes
  • Rc
    RC Bonay Mar 31, 2009

    I called 800-262-6199 and got right through to a customer service rep at Encore Marketing who was very nice. I asked her to cancel both Easy Saver and American Leisure which she did with little resistance. She did have the audacity to ask me to sign up for some insurance that was somehow associated with AIG. I politely refused.

    I'm amazed that this has been allowed to go on for so long. But then I watch the news and I'm no longer amazed.

    0 Votes
  • Pw
    pwh Apr 17, 2009

    I find funny that all you had no clue you signed up for the memberships that Encore Marketing offer. I did some in investigating on this company and found that IF you read the information provided with the promotional offer you would have know what you where agreeing to. In additional you don't get anything for free in this world. By accepting the promotion that was offered you did agree to try it for 30 days. I found the website verify the email address for confirmanation and when you call a rep at another company they asked me to sign by electronic signature by entering the last 4 digits of my phone in my phone. Another note being rude to the reps they have answer the phone, just shows what kind of person you are because they did not do anything wrong, they are just doing their jobs. The BOTTOM LINE is read what you are agreeing to.

    -1 Votes
  • This is not entirely true thou. I did cancel 3 days before "30 day free trial" and got cansellation confirmation, but still was charged $14.95/month anyway. So no matter you cancel or not, thye'll charge you anyway. I'm calling back the company and see what they say..

    0 Votes
  • Sc
    ScammedbynormT Jul 08, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just realized that I have been scammed since December of '08. I believe it was an order I placed with Norm Thompson and I must have accepted a free shipping offer. AMEX will only refund three months of the scam, telling me to go back to Encore for the rest. I will try tomorrow but I have little hope of seeing my $50 again. I told AMEX to block all Encore charges from now on. What a scam. I will file a BBB and Maryland AG complaint.

    0 Votes
  • Wi
    willie1 Aug 21, 2009

    I had the same experience when I ordered from Haband.
    I contacted Encore marketing today and told them to cancel my membership. I just received an email from them saying that it was canceled today. They sure responded better than Haband did. Haband's customer service is unresponsive.

    0 Votes
  • En
    EndTheFed Oct 12, 2009

    NEWPORT NEWS + ENCORE MARKETING = SCAM

    NewPort News representatives offer "free shipping" on purchase orders, which if accepted, enrolls the purchaser in a discount program managed by Encore Marketing. The initial fee is $1.95. The monthly fee, $14.95.

    Call Encore and demand a refund. I called on behalf of my wife and was promised a full refund of 4 mos. membership fees. The fact that, despite all of these complaints, the numerous governmental consumer protection divisions of MD (Encore Marketing) and NY (Newport News ) have done nothing to stop this obvious and lengthy scam, is proof that our tax dollars are wasted on supporting government agencies. Any refund you receive will be as a result of you and your credit/debit card's efforts to right this injustice.

    0 Votes
  • Pe
    Penhguin Oct 14, 2009

    I just noticed a similar charges on my Amex statement since May 2009. The May amount was rather small, only $1.95 so I ignored it, thinking it had something to do with my authorized online purchases. Then I noticed the monthly charges of $14.95 from June to September 2009 and grew wary. I tried calling the telephone number on my Amex statement but kept getting busy tone. So I ended up calling Amex and dispute the charges. Still awaiting Amex resolution!

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    katyop Nov 17, 2009

    OMG!!! I ordered from Newport News and saw the pop up for free shipping and put in my email. It kept nagging at me and I got an email with fine print telling me I had a free 30-day trial to encore marketing membership! I emailed 2-3 times with a bounce back telling me I would hear from them within 24 hours. I did not. I called again today and got put on HOLD FOREVER! I listened to the same song "Somewhere out there" multiple, multiple times (and it would cut off like someone was going to answer but then start again. It would cut out at the exact same point (to avoid copywrite laws, maybe) Anyway, when I finally got a live person and tried to cancel it, she was relentless about keeping my membership and now she was authorized to give me membership for a full year for $14.95 vs other people paying $14.95/per month. I kept saying "No, thank you." Finally, I told her I had to get back to work but I needed her to cancel it. She tried once more and finally told me she cancelled it. I sure hope so!!!

    0 Votes
  • Sc
    ScammedbynormT Nov 17, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I spent about an hour and a dozen phone calls getting through to Newport. Ultimately, after waiting while a supervisor approved it, I was able to get all of my six months of charges reversed. I still was stuck for the $1.95 and neither my wife nor I remember buying anything from Norm Thompson under a free shipping program. So I may still have been scammed for $2. This is just wrong and these losers need to be put out of business. I have had my AMEX number stolen twice now and I am sure companies like this are the ones selling my information and giving me fits with AMEX.

    0 Votes
  • En
    enoughalready111 Nov 18, 2009

    This has happened to me with Spiegel purchase in March this year. Got the initial $1.95 and $14.95 charges.

    Contacted Maryland BBB and filed claim. Contacted my credit card company and filed claim and asked them to reverse charges and change my credit card number to stop any more charges.

    All charges were reversed after Maryland BBB contacted the Encore. You need to file a report with them.

    What does it take to shut down these unscrupulous companies from scamming consumers. Shame on Speiegel - I will never buy from them again. They keep sending junk in mail - all recycled immediately.

    0 Votes
  • He
    HelvaJean Jan 13, 2010

    My husband ordered from Haband and tonight while checking our AMEX statement, I noticed a $1.95 charge from Encore Mktg. that noted Haband Perks. I don't know what the "Perks" are supposed to be, since he was charged by Haband for shipping. I'm quite sure he'll never order from Haband again, but now I have to get whatever Encore program he's in cancelled.

    0 Votes
  • Sp
    Speigel Sucks Jan 22, 2010

    I whole heartedly agree with the above complaints.

    I really want to share this story with as many people as will take the time to read this!

    I have had just a couple of dealings with Speigel and thier "sister" company Newport News.

    Last summer I had ordered a vest from Newport News...when the vest did not arrive in a timely manner, I called looking for it. I was told that it had been shipped to my previous address, even though when ordering online, I specifically put my current address in as the shipping address. When I asked what Newport News was going to do to get this product to me, I was basically told that it was up to me to get it from my previous address or it would be returned back to them with no attempt at that point to get it to my current address. I told them that when they recieved it back that they could just keep it.

    Then, this past holiday season, I had a wedding to go to on New Years Eve, living in Wisconsin, I did not want to wear a dress while the temperatures were dipping to -15, I wanted to wear slacks, so I thought palazzo pant were dressy enough for such an occasion. I searched all over the internet and Speigel had the nicest ones. In my search, (I did figure out that Newport News and Speigel were sister companies, but because this was the only place that I could find palazzo pants that didn't look like something you would schlep around the house in, I decided to take a chance. After all, in the past Speigel has had a pretty good reputation)...OMG was I wrong!! I ordered 3 pairs of pants (had to make sure I got the right pair and the right fit) and a sweater. When my order arrived, I tried all the pants on and immediately returned the two pair that didn't fit. I tracked the order...the order went out and was recieved by Speigel 7 days later...It has now been 10 days since they have recieved the returned items and they still do not show up as returned so I called customer service. I too received automated recording...this one telling me to allow up to 6 weeks for my refund to process...WHAT, 6 WEEKS?!!!...WHAT POSSIBLY CAN BE THAT TIME CONSUMING?...So, today I sat on hold to wait to talk to a "customer consultant" (anyway!)... who confirmed that the merchandise had been recieved, but that it could take as long as 6 weeks for it to show up on my card statement. Doing my very best impersonation of a pleasant person at this point, I politely ask this poor guy who has had to resort to this job to pay his rent, what could possibly take up to 6 weeks...he very honestly responded that he did not have a legitmate answer for that...hmmmmmm. What frickin' recourse do you have for that???...I guess I have to suck it up!...Now I know you're wondering at this point what does this have to do with Priviledge Pass...Well here ya go...After ending my phone call with this poor guy, I now switch over to review my bank card statement and there sits a pending transaction for ...you guessed it...PRIVILEDGE PASS !...for $14.95!!! The unmitigated BALLS of this company to tell me that it could take up to 6 weeks for my refund to process and not EVEN a month since this order was placed and my hurried inadversion to sign up for this POS...they are taking more $$$$$ from me!

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE FELLOW CONSUMERS...Think twice before ordering so much as a pair of socks from either of these companies. I am normally just a titch more savvy when it comes to signing up for these supposed "Special Offers", but in these times of trying to save where you can, I didn't STOP to think about how much an initial $1.95 could hurt. It can...and clearly will

    0 Votes
  • Es
    eseiman Jan 31, 2011

    My Amex just flagged this "Encore Marketing" purchase. Apparently I too have been being charged 14.95 per month for about the last year. They wouldn't tell me where the charge originated I was told by the operator that it was "some household items or flowers". Really?? My best guess is that it came from Red Envelope or Pro Flowers. Very upsetting that two seemingly legit companies would get ties up in this nonsense. I was refunded the last six months by the company but am still considering disputing all the charges with AMEX. Beware mystery charges!

    0 Votes

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