Developed in part with a grant from
the National Science Foundation

Member since January 2019

  • Reviews 32
  • First to Review 5
  • Thank Yous 0
  • Fans 1
  • Profile Views 754

Review Distribution

5 stars
7
4 stars
3
3 stars
3
2 stars
3
1 star
17

32 Reviews by Patricia

Sort by: Most recent

Zazzle

Zazzle

7/8/19
• Updated review

I made the mistake of taking the dangled bait of free shipping on an order, and inadvertently and unknowingly signed up (says Zazzle) for "Zazzle Black" membership. On auto-renew no less. Found out about this only when the charge went through on my payment service...a year later! Zazzle will not reverse the charge, which is pretty shocking. I do not recommend this business for anything!

“What the heck?”
3/31/19
• Previous review

I have no idea what has happened to The Zazzle website, but the programming needs some tweaking. I have ordered custom postcards from Zazzle many times over the years. Up until my last attempt to design cards, it has always easy to enter and orient the text on the image side of the postcard. I could get the thing done in less than 10 minutes, and the quality of the product was fair (not exceptional, but okay) for the price. Today, though, I spent 30 minutes trying to get their system to accept my simple text design. Every time I used the grid lines to orient and center my text block, the system went wonky. My text repeatedly blew up (the font increasing on its own accord), and the grid would not accept my attempts at changing the orientation. Even when I shrank the font to mice type, it still confused the programming and the lines ran to the sides of the automatic margins. When I tried to backtrack or undo, my text block repeatedly disappeared and had to be entered again. I gave up and will find a new printer for my cards.

Over the years I have ordered many things from Zazzle. The postcards were the only things I ever ordered twice. Their printing quality of the posters and pillows I've ordered has been variable, and mostly very poor. They have refunded me on a few things that were unacceptable, so I'd say their customer service is okay. But their quality standards are not reliable. They enlarge images beyond reasonable resolution quality, and their fabric inks (on printed pillows) are so low-saturation that the images look faded.

Guideboat.com

Guideboat

6/14/19
• Updated review

Phoned them on a Thursday to ask why I had not been credited for my return by the previous Friday, as I was promised. The customer service rep said she was looking at my file and saw that my return was processed and that I had indeed been credited a week prior. I asked her for a transaction code because I knew that this was not true. She said she could request that a transaction record be sent to my email. I have received that transaction record. Date of transaction? Today! The day after my last phone call asking why I had not been credited. They just can't stop lying! It's almost funny...but, not.

“Customer Service lied to me!”
6/11/19
• Previous review

I had delivery confirmation that my returned items had arrived at "Guideboat" (actually J.Peterman Co.), so I phoned to check on my return credit. I was told that it would be two to three weeks before the return was processed! I pointed out, to the customer service rep, that J.Peterman was selling by deception, by sending out their constant promotional emails as Guideboat Co. She said that J. Peterman "acquired Guideboat Co. last year." That is a lie, and I told her so. The truth is that Guideboat went bankrupt, and J. Peterman is acting as liquidator for Guideboat's remaining stock. They are required to divulge that to customers. I told her all of this, and she backed off and said that my return credit would be processed by the end of the week. Well...surprise. It wasn't processed. She lied. I have little hope that I will see my money. They owe me about $200.

“Worst customer service!”
5/20/19
• Previous review

After this company had the nerve to send me used, dirty merchandise, I am the one who has to waste my time chasing them down. I have sent them an email, phoned twice, waited on endless hold, and then been bounced out of the phone queue only to be instructed by the automated system to leave a message...so they might get back to be in 24 hours. Ridiculous. Update: I have since found out that Guideboat Co. is technically out of business, and J. Peterman seems to be selling off Guideboat's stock. Yet they are sill sending out email offers for "Guideboat Co.". Deceptive business practices! Thieves.

“They sent me used shoes and a dirty shirt”
5/19/19
• Previous review

I've made many purchases from Guideboat Co. (Guideboat.com), but they have lost me forever after what they did to me on my last order. They emailed me about an online promotion for Mother's Day, for which a limited number of items were available at deep discount. I purchased two knit shirts and a pair of handmade leather moccasins by Quoddy. When I opened my package and reached into the shoebox to pull out my new shoes, I was disgusted to see that what I held in my hand were used, dirty, heavily scuffed and worn, used shoes. Not just a little shopworn from being tried on in the store, but actually used. One of the knit shirts was also used, and arrived rumpled and covered with bits of dirt and pet hair. Only one of my items was new, clean and in unopened packaging. I don't know what they were thinking at Guideboat. Were they clearing out their bins of returned merchandise at the warehouse? They sent me items that should have been donated to a charity (although I never donate anything that is not clean and in good condition). I am furious that they would do this to a customer. It's fraud. It's downright unsanitary.

Chewy.com

Chewy.com

6/11/19
• Updated review

My vet dispensed a daily medication for my dog (Galliprant) that was more than $4 a pill. I checked Chewy.com and found it for about half that price. They handle contacting the vet's office for approval, and they get a new approval for every refill (they notify me of progress by email). I don't have to do anything because it's all automatic. Easy peasy. The medication they dispense is authentic, which is not necessarily true for some online pet pharmacies. I think it's outrageous that veterinarians in the US are allowed to dispense their own medications (usually at a hefty mark-up because it is a profit point for them), so I am happy to bypass that racket and buy direct from a reliable source. Great service! (BTW, Heartguard is also about half the price that my vet charges.)

“They work to earn your loyalty”
2/28/19
• Previous review

I began using Chewy simply because I couldn't obtain my dogs' kibble anywhere near my home. I became a fan, though, when they refunded without being asked items for which I posted less than stellar reviews. The first was a seat cover for my car, which was a fine product but didn't work for me. They give me my money back and told me to donate it to an animal shelter. Next, they refunded a couple dog toys that didn't work out for my boys. An acquaintance told me that when her dog died soon after she's purchased some expensive senior dog supplies, Chewy refunded her and sent her a sympathy card. They are a great company. Their prices are good and delivery is free over a minimum charge. Perfect!

RestorationHardware

RestorationHardware

6/10/19
• Updated review

I ordered more than $1k worth of merchandise, including a multi-item set of sheets. Although all items showed as in-stock when I placed the order, five items in the sheet set were noted as backordered ("will be delivered on or before X date") by about a month in my shipping notice. Given that this was a set of sheets (not useful if the entire set is not available), I called to confirm that they would indeed be restocked. I was assured that they would be. The day before the stated "on or before" delivery date for the backorder, I still had not received any shipping notice. So I phoned RH and got a remarkably dim service rep. I stated (clearly) what I was calling (backordered items, delivery "on or before" due date tomorrow, no notice of shipping, etc.), and she pulls up my account, hems and haws, puts me on a long hold, comes back and continues to say "hmm, huh," as if it's the biggest puzzle in the world. Really? I ask her, point blank, why she is so puzzled. She says, "Because you ordered multiple items and some of them were not delivered." Oh...my...god. I ask for a supervisor, wait on more seemingly endless hold, only to be told that "the items are being pulled from the shelves right now." Right, so RH dropped my backorder, obviously. She says the items will ship within 24 hours. She goes out of her way to avoid admitting that RH screwed up. Even though they should have sent me a notification that the backorder was delayed (of course, the real reason they did not notify me is that they dropped my order, but she does not admit this). I push her on the matter annoyed at further delays and she says that it takes 24 hours for the items to ship and then 7-10 business days to arrive. Excuse me? I am supposed to wait another two weeks? I suggest that she might expedite the shipping. She say she will look into that but probably can't do it because the items have already been entered into the shipping process. Really? She already told me the "items were being pulled from the shelves right now." It's all a bunch of BS to cover up the fact that they lost my backorder and I will have been sitting on a partial order for more than two months before I receive the rest of my items. How do these folks stay in business? I certainly wouldn't order furniture from them.

“The membership card is a trick! Do not buy!”
3/12/19
• Previous review

I *purposely* put together an order with RH that was large enough that the 25% savings negated the cost of the (annual) $100 RH discount card. So I put that membership card in my basket. All items in my order were listed as in stock and ready to ship. I even changed a couple selections because my first choices were backordered. Two days after I placed my $500 order, I got an email from RH telling me that one item was canceled because it was out of stock. This was a $108 item, so there goes my balanced order! I explained the situation to the customer service drone, and requested a partial refund of the RH card fee, since RH screwed up on this. I was refused, and was given a cookie cutter spiel about backordered stock, and how RH cannot guarantee delivery dates, etc. But that had nothing to do with an order that was all in-stock merchandise! So what was the suggestion for remedy that RH offered? The guy told me to buy another item that was in the same category but was made of a different material and had as little to do with what I ordered as apples have to do with oranges. Really? I would cancel my entire order if I could. I certainly will not renew my RH card next year. I'll probably wait for a sale and buy enough goods to cover the cost of the card, and then will have nothing to do with RH again. Is that a good way to run your business, alienating customers?

Gardener's Supply Company

Gardener's Supply Company

6/8/19
• Updated review

After waiting weeks for the missing parts needed to assemble my expensive purchase, I received a shipment that was again missing parts! I should have been sent twenty pieces and received 15. So I have a pile of useless parts siting here and am out of pocket for more than $425. Idiots! I do not recommend this company for anything.

“Never again...they have lost me”
6/2/19
• Previous review

After thirty years of doing business with this company, I am now an ex-customer. I have a $425 (plus shipping in excess of $60) pile of useless parts, and am still waiting for the replacement parts needed to put the item together. The company has offered no accommodation. No refund of shipping. Nothing but insincere, meaningless lip service. They even killed the product review I submitted, so they cherry pick their customer reviews. Do not recommend...for anything.

“Effusive but insincere, ineffective customer service representative”
5/24/19
• Previous review

I've purchased many things from GS over the years, and even though I sometimes had problems with the odd purchase they have always made good on the order (although I sometimes had to stomp my feet and demand that they adhere to their customer guarantee promises...the customer service reps could be annoyingly argumentative). This reliability is why I continued buying from them. But something has changed at the company, and I don't like it. Yesterday I received a damaged shipment of a large, very heavy (70 pounds) item. It had been shipped in an inadequate box, which had broken open. I phoned to ask what I should do with this partially torn-open shipping carton. Should I open it and inspect the contents, or tape it up and return to sender? The customer service rep (so effusive, brittle and fake-friendly that I found myself missing the old-style, grumpy reps I was used to) talked over me and said the item was shipped directly from the vendor, and that I should inspect it and do an inventory of parts, and then they will "work with" the vendor to replace anything missing or damaged. I pointed out that once it's opened up I was not going to be able to pack it up again. She said, vaguely, that if it needs to be returned the vender would "help with" the return costs, but first they need me to do an inventory. Translation: I am stuck with this thing whether I want it or not. They aren't going to take it back. So my advice, if you order from GS, is to avoid ordering any large, heavy item that is drop shipped from a vendor. Stick with the items they have in stock, in their warehouse, or smaller items that are easy to ship. The big, heavy items that come directly from the vendors seem to fall into a gray area where no one takes full responsibility.

Ruby Lane

Ruby Lane

5/25/19

I am torn about giving RL even three stars because I think their web platform can be misleading (the way the automatic counteroffers work can be wonky), and because when I have complained to RL about problems I've experienced, their customer service department has been rude and dismissive. However, I have purchased several high-quality pieces of jewelry from one long-term seller on RL, and I am quite pleased with them. The seller is easy to work with, the jewelry is as described and shown, and the seller even adjusted the price of something down when I had second thoughts about the purchase. I think that RL suffers from not being choosy enough about who sells on the site. I agree with the other reviewer who says it can look like a junky garage sale. But there is at least one really great jewelry seller on there, who gets repeat business from me and (if you trust the transaction reviews) other buyers. Just be careful who you deal with.

Rag & Bone

Rag & Bone

4/12/19

I am a fan of R&B clothing, particularly their jeans. I usually buy their goods from Nordstrom, but have recently made a few purchases directly from the R&B website. On one order, the shoes I received were made of a very different finish of leather than was shown or described online, and I thought they were ghastly. I'd purchased them as final sale because they were at deep discount. I contacted R&B and they did take the shoes back, even paying for return shipping. On the next order, my jeans arrived in a beautiful gift box, but I was charged for that gift box and had not ordered it! They did refund my money for the box, but didn't apologize, which is annoying and a bit insulting. I mean...it was their mistake. I might stick with ordering their stuff from Nordstrom instead.

FashionNova

FashionNova

4/12/19

I don't know what to think of a company that floods this site with fake five-star reviews every day. The reviews post in groups of a dozen or more, all with strange phrasing and too-specific details. It's a huge red flag. (I see that since I posted this FashionNova has now started loading up obviously fake FOUR-star reviews. Amazing.)

Spring Hill Nurseries

Spring Hill Nurseries

4/2/19
• Updated review

I had to cancel most of one order (seven plants canceled) because the shipping date was delayed so long that it was too late to plant bare root specimens here. The bare root roses I did receive were shipped with no moist material around the roots (packing the roots with moist newspaper, moss or something similar is standard practice for growers), and they were slipped into in a loose, unsealed plastic bag, inside a shipping carton with no padding. The plants had advanced sprouting that was blanched from lack of sunlight, so they must have been held in a warehouse for some time prior to shipping. One plant had several roughly broken major roots that were clearly old wounds not from shipping. One of the broken roots was rotting. That plant never should have shipped out.

BTW, the only reason to not pack the roots with something to keep them moist is to save on shipping cost. Water adds weight. So the company would rather risk shipping compromised plant stock than pay a bit more to pack it properly.

Not happy. Not buying plants from this company again.

“Misleading listings”
3/9/19
• Previous review

I have gotten some remarkably poor quality plant stock from Spring Hill over the years, but they always make the situation right when a customer complains. They will either ship out a better plant, or refund your money if the plant is diseased or not going to survive for some reason. So they get points to for that. But this year I succumbed to a SH email offer that, I believe, purposely misled buyers. In their promotional email they claimed they had a limited number of premium size bare root plants available. They were almost twice the price of standard stock, but the photos were promising. I ordered several, and they gave me an expected ship date. A few weeks after that date had come and gone, and I had not heard from Spring Hill, I look up my order in their website and see that all of my "limited availability" plants are backordered, by several weeks. So this was not stock they had on hand, and it was not stock that was limited availability. It's just normal bare root plants that they are ordering from the usual sources. The entire ad pitch was BS. I'll be interested to see what they finally send out, and whether it is in any way premium plant stock. I don't have high expectations at this point.

PayPal

PayPal

3/31/19

Package theft is a huge problem in the US. It's so bad that Amazon has worked with the police in some cities to run sting operations using bait packages. Yet PayPal offers no protection for buyers when a package is reported as delivered but is subsequently stolen. I had a merchant (SkinStore) refuse to reship a $600 package that went missing from my front gate. Fed Ex did an investigation and determined that the package was lost or stolen. The vendor kept putting me off when I requested that it be reshipped, saying they were doing their own "investigation." I had paid with PayPal, so I filed a dispute with the merchant. The merchant, knowing that PayPal will ignore and then decline any dispute or claim when a merchant has proof of delivery, ignored me. I escalated to a claim, which was denied. So I am now stuck. If I had paid with a credit card the matter would have been found in my favor, and the merchant would have been forced to either replace my goods or face the negation of my payment. Dodgy merchants know that PayPal provides no consumer protection against package theft, so they play this delay game. I have requested a new shipment innumerable times, and was at first repeatedly put off. Now they just ignore me. I will never see my shipment. An outrageously rude PayPal customer service rep essentially told me to get lost when I complained about this catch 22 in the system. They don't care what I've been using PayPal since the early days of its existence. Loyalty and consistent, documented honesty count for nothing with PayPal.

MyTheresa.com

MyTheresa.com

4/1/19

I've ordered from this company just once, but the transaction went smoothly and I am pleased with my purchase. My Isabel Marant coat was shipped from Germany to the US. It shipped quickly and arrived promptly, and was beautifully presented in a pretty yellow box nice enough to keep for storing clothing. The DHL courier did something truly stupid when my box was delivered, but that is a problem with DHL, not this company. I will order from them again.

SkinStore

SkinStore

3/16/19
• Updated review

PayPal screwed me over and ignored my Claim against SkinStore. So I am left high and dry. SkinStore never intended to reship my order. They just played the game until my dispute and claim expired. Do NOT buy from this company! If you make the mistake of ignoring that advice and your shipment goes missing, do NOT fill out the bogus legal document they will demand of you. Decline that form, document your attempt at resolving the issue, and then directly with your credit card bank. You did pay with a credit card, right? Because PayPal offers zero protection for lost or stolen shipments. Zero.

I have reported SkinStore to the FTC.

“Watch out, these folks are game players! I have now escalated dispute to a claim.”
3/2/19
• Previous review

(Correction: I cannot access the bottom of this update post to insert this addendum, but note that FCC should be FTC. The address for filing consumer complains is FTC.GOV. Note, too, that Skinstore was, in their correspondence, trying to get me to close my dispute on PayPal, which would leave me with no leverage against the company. It's a chess game move: we will do nothing to help you until you close the dispute, and when you do that you will have no way to force us to h3lp you. Checkmate.)

This is so ridiculous it's almost funny. After Fed Ex determined that my shipment was lost, Skinstore continued to say they needed to do an "investigation" and "look into this further." Red flags everywhere! This is clearly a game for them.

I had filed a dispute earlier with PayPal, just to protect my rights, but all that means is that the merchant is put on notice and the charge is flagged. It's not a formal claim until the matter is escalated by the customer, and the customer can not escalate the dispute unless the merchant is unwilling to settle it without PayPal's intervention. I repeat: a dispute is not a claim until it is escalated. PayPal does not even review correspondence between a merchant and a customer unless the dispute is escalated. So, after being repeatedly put off by Skinstore in my off-PayPal exchanges (through email and Chat), I contacted them on PayPal, voicing my concerns. This is an excerpt from their reply:

"We are so sorry about this! Unfortunately since we have received a PayPal claim we are unable to do anything regarding this order. Once the PayPal claim is cleared we will be able to provide a solution."

That is a bald faced lie! Nothing but another delaying tactic. I had not escalated the case at that point, so there was no "claim." Merchants cannot correspond with customers, on PayPal, after a dispute has been escalated. PayPal encourages merchants to work out disputes before that point. There is never any restriction on resolutions.

Needless to say, I have now escalated my PayPal dispute. I will be filing a consumer complaint with the FCC as well.

“Customer service is a circus”
2/26/19
• Previous review

Latest in the missing shipment saga: my Fed Ex delivery guy phoned me and was wondering what the heck was up because Skinstore/The Hut Group customer service reported to Fed Ex that THREE shipped packages were missing rather than the one, single, small, shipped package that has vanished. No wonder the guy was confused. Sheesh.

“Website form out of date”
2/24/19
• Previous review

I did an online Chat with "Chelsea" at Skinstore customer service. She told me that the Nonreceipt form on their website is out of date, so she sent me another to fill out and submit. It has almost the same (concerning) wording, which makes me think that it is just an internally created, nonlegit contract. I wonder whether I should have even signed it. When I asked how long it would be before they send my replacement shipment, she said that an "investigation" takes 7-10 days. This is their loss, not mine, especially since they sent the package with no request for signature. Surely they have insured the contents of the lost package? Unfortunately, I paid for this with PayPal, which offers less protection than my credit card bank does. Lesson learned. Fingers crossed I get my shipment eventually.

“Very concerning business practices”
2/22/19
• Previous review

My $600-plus shipment from Skinstore has gone missing (Fed Ex online tracking shows it as delivered, two days past the five-day delivery window), so I have submitted a "missing item" notice to Skinstore customer service. They require customers to upload a signed "Nonreceipt of Goods Disclaimer Form, " which they generate. The wording in that form includes the following statements:

"I agree to cooperate with the carrier's security and/or the police in the event of any investigation into the missing items.

It is our policy to replace any item that is lost in post (sic) and a replacement item will be sent out in due course."

That tells me, first, that I am going to be the one dealing with the Fed Ex claim, even though they are the shipper and I never took possession of the missing goods. Second, it tells me that they are going to take their own sweet time replacing my merchandise. I will update here when I find out how this is going to go, but after reading lots of reviews telling similar stories I am not hopeful for a good outcome.

Patagonia

Patagonia

3/13/19

I have many Patagonia fleece and knit jackets, and very few other items of their women's clothing. This is because their sizing can be a bit crazy. Their fit model must have the hips and chest of an adolescent boy, so if you have a womanly or muscular body you may have to order a couple sizes up from your usual especially for things like trousers and then you may experience other fit problems. I gave up on trying to get a good fit on their shorts and trousers, but I do okay on jackets (I am a very tall size 8, and a medium in Patagonia S/M/L clothing). Even then, sometimes a medium Patagonia jacket can be a little snug. Men's clothing seems to fit the same as other clothing lines: my husband takes the same sizes in Patagonia as he does elsewhere. So I dock Patagonia a star for expecting women to be built like teenage boys. But the clothing lasts for years and years, so they get a thumbs up for quality.

Order fulfillment can be iffy, especially when you're ordering sale items. However, if you place an order and they find they are out of stock in an item, they will send you an apology and a good discount code for future purchases. They don't fight customers on returns, either. Overall, I'd say they stand behind their products, even if they have an unrealistic image of an adult woman's body.

Everlane

Everlane

3/13/19

I have purchased jeans, tees, sweaters, jackets and shoes from Everlane.com. My thoughts on these transactions have ranged from satisfied to furious. To their credit, they have never refused me a return, and they have paid for return postage when I have demanded that (for returning defective merchandise, or an item that was not as described). But I have had to send a lot of stuff back.

So why two just stars for company I still buy from? They lose points because they have, too often, demanded multiple photos of defects before they will authorize a postage-free return, which always makes me angry (try trusting the customer, Everlane!). Then there is the fact that their quality control is terrible. They once sent me a white cotton blouse that was dirty and crumpled, as if it had been worn and tossed in the laundry hamper, then folded and slipped into a plastic sleeve. How did the warehouse employee not see that before packing it up to ship out? Their lightweight tee shirts shrink up to nothing and get holes in the wash. Sizes are inconsistent, too. Their jeans can be great, if you get the right pair. I have repurchased jean styles that I like, only to find that the size varies widely from pair to pair, and even more so if you get the same style in a different color way. They are absolute sticklers about taking jeans back, too, so if you wash your purchase and then have a problem with it you are stuck.

The (made in Italy) shoes I have bought from them have all ended up at the charity shop because they were so uncomfortable. I don't know why that is, since they look like they should be good quality, but they are stiff and do not fit well.

Along with their better jean styles, I have been happy with their leather totes, a couple lightweight rain jackets, and with most of their sweaters (their cashmere is just okay quality, not worth full price but acceptable if on sale). I think their "pay what you want" sale gimmick is an insult to the intelligence of their customers. I mean...who would want to pay more than the bottom price?

Ebates

Ebates

3/13/19

(This portal website is is now Rakutan.com.) I've shopped through this portal for years. I was so disappointed when Nordstrom stopped their association with Ebates (criminals were abusing the system, so it's understandable, but still), but there are enough businesses that I use included on Ebates that I still get nice Big Fat Checks. Just not as fat as they used to be, alas. They have improved the website so that it is now really easy to track your "shopping trips" and your cash pending or cash back records. Once in a while a cash back has not been noted, and I have notified Ebates of this. A few years ago this notification would require some time emailing back and forth, but now it is all very quick. And I always get my money! In fact, Ebates has gone ahead and credited my account for cash back that the business has not yet credited to Ebates. This is a great business. Yes, by going through a portal you are selling your information for marketing purposes, but you are sharing all that already by galloping through the Internet. So get some cash for it.

DermStore

DermStore

3/13/19

There are a lot of fake reviews on Sitejabber, and one of the ways to spot them is that they are posted by someone with no other reviews, and they post at the same time as a slew of similar one-star or five-star reviews. So I look at the run of one-star reviews here and I wonder whether the competition (in particular the company with a very similar name to DermStore's) is submitting fake, negative reviews. Just something to keep in mind.

I've been ordering from DermStore since 2013 (back when they sold on Amazon!) and although I did have a few order issues with them years ago (I just checked my archived emails to confirm this), they always made things right without fighting me on anything. In the last few years I had been alternating between this company and the similarly named SkinStore, depending on which had special offers on my products. But since that other (awful) company has morphed into the business from hell, all of my orders will now go to Dermstore.They are a fully owned subsidiary of Target, so you know you have a solid, reliable corporation behind the name. This is not, unlike that other (awful) business, some dodgy overseas warehouse operating on a collective web platform, with no real corporate offices. Dermstore's very real corporate headquarters is in Los Angeles, California. They are an authorized retailer for some of the brands sold by med spas and dermatologists' offices (like SkinCeuticals, for instance), but unlike the med spa I frequent DermStore occasionally runs specials on my product lines. Even better, I get money back by going through the Ebates portal. I consider this a safe and reliable place to buy my cosmetic supplies.

Yelp

Yelp

3/12/19

For an interesting read on Yelp's dodgy practices go here:

https://blogs.findlaw.com/strategist/2013/08/yelp-shakedown-complaints-lawsuits-over-review-sites-practices.html

I've suspected for a long time that Yelp was a shakedown operation, and I have been told as much by business owners, but now I have proof that it is true. This is based on what happened with two low-star reviews I wrote, a few years apart.

The first review (a one-star, with a long, detail,explanation as to why) was killed by the business owner (Yelp said it was "managed") because he claimed it did not speak to the personal experience of the reviewer. That business had all full-star reviews on its page at that time. A couple years later, my one-star review was reinstated on that page, and not at my request. It just suddenly appeared in my account, so I clicked over and looked at the business page. I noticed that the page now showed several one-star and low-star reviews, with various dates! The only explanation that makes sense is that the business owner stopped paying the monthly "page management" fee to Yelp, so the archived negative reviews were posted again. Kind of funny, but really unethical. Devious.

The second instance was infuriating because it endangered me, and it was so blatantly in violation of Yelp's rules. I wrote a low-star review of a business that I had used for years and no longer supported. My review was detailed and honest. The business owner harassed me (violating Yelp's rules). She then posted a long reply revealing my personal information (sick and twisted, and also in violation of Yelp's rules). I flagged the reply and was ignored by Yelp. I deleted that detailed review and wrote a short, terse review with a low rating. The business owner pasted in the same, long, vindictive, identity-revealing reply. Again Yelp ignored my flag. I contacted a Yelp through another channel and was told that they deemed that hateful, vindictive reply not to be in violation of the Yelp rules (no mention of the harassment, of course, because they cannot explain that away). And here is where things become absolutely clear, when it comes to Yelp's shakedown business model. The business in question used to have several negative reviews on their Yelp page, along with some positives. They now have 100 percent positives, and the business owner managed to "manage" two negative reviews away, by breaking Yelp rules.

So what is Yelp if not a blackmail operation? If a business owner gets a negative review and contacts Yelp for advice on what to do about it, Yelp will tell said owner that they can pay a monthly fee to have their page "managed." I know a business owner who got this sales pitch. This is about as dirty as advertising gets!

Artfulhome.com

Artfulhome

3/12/19

Artful Home is a middleman business. It's sort of online gallery, for the most part, although they do carry some mainstream retail items that are (I assume) drop shipped from the manufacturers. So when you buy something it is shipped by the maker, artist or manufacturer, not from a warehouse. I have made a few good purchases from the site, but only for items that are on hand and ready to ship.

The business falls apart when something is made to order or backordered, because AH takes no responsibility for the transaction. I purchased a $600 article of clothing made from a hand-dyed textile, and was told it would ship "on or before X date." The item was paid for, in full, up front. The maximum fulfillment date was six weeks out. I heard nothing from AH for six and a half weeks, and when I contacted them I was told that the textile artist had been "inundated" with orders and was trying to catch up. The customer service agent said that AH considers orders to be "commissions" and that's why customers are always charged up front for all items. So? I was not complaining about the way they take orders, but about not being informed about the delay in fulfillment. This woman made a lot of excuses, but pointed;y avoided the fact that AH had not bothered to inform this customer there was no way in hell the $600 item was going to get to me within the fulfillment deadline, and that AH had no idea when it would be shipped. I repeat:she said that they could not commit to a shipping date!

The truly obnoxious part of this is that she was placing the blame entirely on the artist, not on AH. It's a dishonest take on how these galleries work, too. They take the full payment and do not pay the maker or artist for their portion (minus a hefty commission for AH, of course) until after the "commissioned" items ship and are accepted by the buyer. That's a long ride they take on a customer's funds. I would love to hear what the makers and artists think of AH. I don't think AH is doing their producers any favors. I canceled my order and requested a refund of my money. Why would I let AH sit on my $600 indefinitely, with no firm fulfillment date? That's nuts.

Johnny Was

Johnny Was

3/9/19

Update: Super slow return processing! I contacted the company to ask about my return, which tracking showed had been delivered five days before. The response was this: "Please allow 2-3 weeks from the return shipped date for your account to be credited. Depending on your bank, it may take 1-2 billing cycles for the credit to appear on your statement." Two to three weeks to process a return? Never buying from these people again!

Johnny Was is one of those companies that makes you pay for return postage.They sent me an item of clothing that was defective a quilted piece with broken threads in a prominent place. So I emailed them and asked for a return label. Usually when a customer receives a damaged or defective item, a business will send out a prepaid return label when that is requested. But what does JohnnyWas.com do? They demand photos to prove that the customer isn't lying:

"Please attach photos of the damaged item to this email. Once we receive your photos of the damaged item, a prepaid shipping label will be sent to the email address we have on file."

Really? I understand when companies do that for things damaged or broken in shipping, since they may have a claim they need to document and they need to instruct their warehouse employees on how to pack shipments. But for defective clothing, which was packed and shipped in that condition? It's insulting. It doesn't matter whether this request for photos is based in mistrust (I assume it is) or whether they want a record of the flaws for their quality control department (they can take their own photos when the item is returned, so I'm not buying that excuse). I won't be shopping here again.

Last Call

Last Call

3/13/19
• Updated review

(Addendum: I just had two more items canceled, and that was on an order for which I had used a $25 off coupon. So that coupon is negated, and I have no merchandise to show for it. Oh...and the cancellation email included another "look for a 10 percent off coupon" promise. Amazing.)

This is a story about how frustrating and inept LC can be. When they canceled my last order (the in-stock, teaser item was item not in stock), they sent me an automated email apology telling me to "look for" a 10 percent off coupon code in my email within 24 hours. I never got the code. I did a Chat on the LC website with "Roberto" to ask for the code I was promised. Roberto denied that such codes were sent out by email. He then asked for the date of the order (I had given him the order number, so...yep). Then he tried asking what order I wanted to apply the code to (I had a couple items in my cart because I guess I never learn). He tried everything he could come up with to avoid giving me the code, or even directly addressing the questions I asked. Finally, he looks up my cart and tells me that the code (which I do not have, remember) can't be used on the items in my cart because they are already discounted. Really? If you are familiar with LC, you know that everything is sold as X percent off. But remember that I never told him I was trying to apply the code (which I did not have) to an order. I simply wanted what I was promised.

Adding insult to injury, I have gotten several LC emails today reminding me that I have "left something in (my) cart." What are the items? The out-of-stock items that LC canceled more than a week ago.

I hate this company.

“So sick of canceled orders!”
3/5/19
• Previous review

I'm lowering LC's rating because I have had it with the constant order cancellations! I just had another today. They list items on their website that they don't actually have in stock. And because their website can be a bit clunky, I can spend way too much time trying to complete a transaction, only to have it canceled the next day. Waste of my precious time! And this happens frequently enough that it smells like a cynical scam. It's illegal to bait customers with deals you cannot fulfill. That's why car dealerships will always have at least one car available at that "unbelievably low price." So is LC listing those "almost gone" items at "40 percent off sale price" to draw in the customers, knowing that the items will not be available? It's possible. After all, many times I add on another item or two to the order, so LC gets a sale even though part of the order (the part that was never available) is canceled.

“Just be choosy about why you buy”
2/26/19
• Previous review

As with all outlet stores, you need to know your merchandise to shop effectively on LastCall.com. I have been buying from them for many years, and have had mixed experiences, but I keep going back to them even when they mess up. If you know a brand and know the real retail price, you can often snag a good deal on previous-season pieces. Just be aware that the site is clogged with odd-duck stuff that may or may not be actual NM store stock. Outlets like this do get stock from their flagship stores, but they also carry stock made expressly for sale in outlets.

The most annoying thing about LastCall is that they have poor inventory tracking, so you can complete a transaction and find out days later that the order is canceled because they are out of stock. The website also has scanty information on many items, and often they'll have just one photo of a piece. However, they have paid for returned shipping when I complained that an item was not as described, so they do listen to customers.This is where knowing your brand comes in handy: I always cross-check items on other websites and image searches before I buy.

Be sure to look up coupon and promo codes, and use their free shipping code. They give cash back through The Ebates portal, too.

Patricia Has Earned 83 Votes

Patricia M.'s review of Everlane earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of SerenaAndLily earned 5 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of SkinStore earned 3 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of artfulhome.com earned 6 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of Chairish earned 10 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of RestorationHardware earned a Very Helpful vote
Patricia M.'s review of BallardDesigns earned 4 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of Gardener's Supply Company earned a Very Helpful vote
Patricia M.'s review of MyTheresa.com earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of Nordstrom earned a Very Helpful vote
Patricia M.'s review of DermStore earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of One Kings Lane earned 3 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of PayPal earned a Funny vote
Patricia M.'s review of Design Within Reach earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of Farfetch earned 4 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of FashionNova earned 3 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of Last Call earned a Very Helpful vote
Patricia M.'s review of PayPal earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of HauteLook earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Patricia M.'s review of Bluefly earned 2 Very Helpful votes
See more items

Patricia hasn’t received any thanks yous.

Patricia Has 1 Fan

joseh117
2
0
Jose H.

Patricia isn’t following anybody yet.

Similar Reviewers on Sitejabber

chrisn255
Chris N. reviewed Zazzle
7/9/19

I ordered a mat that in its photo looked black and white. Upon receipt it had some digital multi...

geraldineh33
7/8/19

I purchased six (6) printed napkins and I have been trying to return them. They do not answer...