Sunday, December 21, 2008

Beware of Snuggies!

Have you seen these advertised on television? Those “blankets with arms” to keep you warm on your sofa? Well, I know somebody (besides me!) who would love to have something like that. You can have two, plus two clip-on reading lights, for $20, which they call $19.99, a practice I always think shady. I’ve learned the hard way: I’m going to knit some of these things, not order them by phone!

At first, the automated order-taking process seems straightforward and efficient and easy. The only unpleasant part is learning that the shipping and handling cost will be $8. Or as they put it, $7.99. Okay, you knew there would be some charge for that, so you swallow it. Still, that adds almost 50% to the price, which doesn’t seem right.

Next thing is, before the system confirms the deal, the recorded voice informs you that you can buy two more Snuggies for 20% less than you’ve just paid for the first two. That’s rather annoying. You now feel a bit cheated; why didn’t they offer you the first two at the better price? You say no, and the automated voice tries to change your mind, in effect, begins arguing with you! At the end of this rather long spiel, you patiently say no again.

Now you are informed that for $10 more, you can upgrade to Snuggies that are 50% thicker than the ones you just ordered. Okay, thicker is warmer is better. You say yes.

Next, the voice offers you two Buxton Organizer bags. Oh, I’ve been wanting those anyway; I say yes. Up goes my charge.

The next offer is a booklet of two-for-one dining coupons. I said no to this one, and again got a long argument from the recorded voice! I said no again.

I can’t remember what the next offer was, because I just hung up.

Now I had no idea whether my order had been completed. They had my credit card number, though.

Mutter a not-very-nice word, grab the phone, re-dial. Try to get an agent. The recorded voice gives you a different number for checking the status of your order.

Dial the next number. The machine looks you up by your phone number. It doesn’t know anything about any order from you, but if you need customer service, you can call yet another number.

Dial the customer service number. We appreciate your call, we are experiencing unusually heavy volume… Yeah, yeah, that’s okay, because I can put my phone on speakerphone and get some housework done while waiting for the next available customer service representative. This works for about 5 minutes, after which time, the recording again says something about unusually heavy volume, followed by, “Please hang up and try later.”

I hung up. I didn’t try later. I think I've just been scammed.


Rosko said...

Is it just me or do they look like backless medieval monk's robes (such as the one that Benedict Grochel wear)?

I think making your own is a great idea, and look forward to watching the progress.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yup, those are the ones.

I'm having fun planning a decorative stitch for knitting my own.

JTKlopcic said...

As a computer programmer, I know the sheer amount of manpower that must go into designing, creating, and testing such an elaborate system. You would think that people with this much time and talent would come up with a more constructive way to make a buck.

Anonymous said...

go to ebay and find one that's Brand New, Never Been Opened and get it cheaper, without the other hassle!

Grace said...

Contact your credit card company right away; it's easier to have them deny the charge than to get it reversed later (although they ought to no matter what).

Can't wait to see your version!