Telebrands and Invention Channel Ordering Sucks

A Bad Online Experience

I had several issues with my experience ordering from Telebrands (their shopping card redirects to Invention Channel) and would not recommend purchasing from them.

On a gadget website recently they featured a "Pen Fishing Rod", an actual metal fishing rod that collapsed down into something roughly the size of a large pen, with a working reel to boot. Since my dad is an avid fisherman my first thought was "hey, one of those for Christmas would be awesome!" Since the site that was featured showed their prices in British Pounds, I figured I should find a US supplier, so I turned to Google.

Unfortunately Google turned me onto the Telebrands "FishPen" site. The deal originally looked good, two rods plus accessories and a case for $40. Shipping was a bit steep at $9, but getting the second rod for only the cost of shipping (an additional $9) was worth it as my girlfriend could give her father one as well.

I clicked the Order Now button and thus began my dis-satisfaction. First you enter all of your details, including your credit card number. The next screen is an "upsell" screen where you get the opportunity to buy a second pen for only the cost of shipping (an additional $8.99). I said yes to this as I wanted the two-pack deal.

Fish Pen Screen 1

The second "upsell screen" informs you that you can get the deluxe upgrade for only $14.99 EACH, but with FREE SHIPPING. Damn good thing, since that kit looks like it's the exact same size, so if they asked for additional shipping I would have balked. I said no to this upgrade as I felt it wasn't necessary.

Fish Pen Screen 2

ANOTHER "upsell screen" comes up trying to get you to upgrade to the deluxe kit, apparently the standard kit is a piece of crap you have no business buying. I said no to this and really started to get annoyed.

Fish Pen Screen 3

This was the straw that broke the camel's back. Here I am, ordering this thing in the beginning of November and their standard shipping (for which I am paying almost $18 by the way!) is 4-6 weeks. Considering my father lives out of state it'd now be a crapshoot if I actually got the item with enough time to ship it to him (and my girlfriend's dad lives in Canada, she needs even more lead time for that package.) But wait, for an extra $6.99 I can be bumped to the top of the queue! So if I pay more in shipping than one of the fishing rods is actually worth I can get them to ship within 2-3 days!

Fish Pen Screen 4 - Ordering

At this point I said to hell with Telebrands and turned to Ebay. I ended up ordering from a seller (BeyondStore) who turned the order around the very next day, within 4 days of ordering I had my two fishing poles in my hands. On top of it all the total shipping costs for two of these fishing rods was $13.90, already better than Telebrands.

But wait, there's MORE!

All of my ordeal with Telebrands happened on a Saturday afternoon. Monday morning I got a piece of email delivered, it was a "Telebrands Email Confirmation" explaining that my order had been received and was being processed! This is the order I did not want and abandoned the shopping cart on and even better it had reverted to a single fishing pole, not even the double-deal. So I went to their website, which has a "Contact Us" link. The link results in a 404 Page Not Found. Fortunately for me, the confirmation email had a phone number. After sitting in their voice hell queue for about 15 minutes, where every 10 seconds a perky voice chimed out "We appreciate your call, someone will be right with you!" (seriously, every 10 damn seconds for 15 minutes) I finally reached a live person. The first two questions out of her mouth were "what is your name and what is your credit card number". When I informed her I wasn't comfortable giving her my credit card number the response was "well at least I won't ask for your expiration date, I have to have the number since it is the only way to track your order". After finally giving up the details I was informed that "no such order exists in our system" (except they did send me an email saying it was being processed...) So now I have to keep checking the credit card to see if I'm going to get charged for an order I never wanted completed and couldn't email them about since their contact form is broken...


Comments

edmond says: and if that's not enough, here's a link to a pdf document copy of a complaint filed by the FTC agains Telebrand. Everyone should read it... www.ftc.gov/os/2003/10/telebrandcomp.pdf

cj says: I ordered PediPaws and within 2 weeks someone charged 3 airline tickets to my credit card. It was the same card information I had provided to Telebrands.

fosgood says: I ORDERED A CHEF'S KNIFW FROM TELEBRANDS AND IT NEVER CAME. I HAVE DECIDED NOT TO ORDER ANYTHING ELSE ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE I HAVE ORDERED SEVERAL THINGS AND HAVE HAD TROUBLE WITH MOST OF THEM. THIS TELEBRANDS IS THE WORST. MAYBE SOMEDAY SOMEONE WITH AUTHORITY WILL STEP IN AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE CROOKED COMPANIES BUT UNTIL THAT TIME I WILL BUY EVERYTHING I NEED FROM LOCAL STORES.

rick says: Ya I went to the same site in november. Thought what the heck and got all the accessories. Well in the beginning of January I got a postcard saying it was delayed. In Feburary, I got another postcard, saying they would be unable to fill my order and cancelled the whole thing. All I can say is telebrands is a complete crap company, and they are still selling the fish pen too.

lisa says: i ordered a ped egg 6 wks ago and still havent received it. i looked at the paper they advised me to print for my records and it has absolutely no helpful information for tracking my order. just shows how much money they suckered me out of. they charged me on my card immediately but never shipped my order.

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