Monday, November 7, 2011

PSA: dirty pool at JustFabulous

You guys might remember these fabulous skull shoes by Iron Fist-- scroll down to drool.

I love them. I love almost everything Iron Fist produces. And that's why I joined a boutique deal site called JustFabulous. They had Iron Fist shoes for about 50% off.

Of course, the first round sold out by the time I got there. Yet, oddly, all of those Iron Fist shoes are still listed on the site, despite being totally gone. Frustrating, right?

When a new selection popped up, I bought the sugar skull heels immediately. Shipping was quick, I had a first-timer discount, and I was super happy with my shoes.

That should be the end of a happy story, a satisfying online purchasing experience.

But it's not.

Today I received an email saying that I had a credit for $39.95.

My initial thought was, "Yay! Maybe a friend signed up or something. I earned a credit!"

Further investigation revealed that they had simply charged my credit card as if I had purchased something. Now, one frustrating Facebook conversation and a few lame Twitter messages later, and their sneaky tactic is revealed.

If you don't go to their website in the first five days of the month and click a mysterious little box that says "Skip This Month," they automatically charge your card.

Granted, you have an entire year to spend that "credit". And it's frightfully easy to show up and click that button, once you've found it and provided you remember to do so during the first five--and arguably most busy-- days of the month.

But up until the email, I had NO FREAKING IDEA that in purchasing one pair of shoes, I had signed up for this "credit" service.


There was never a chance to opt out. I never read any message about it. And of course, as they keep telling me, it's there in the FAQ. But honestly, should I have to go read a FAQ to purchase a single pair of shoes? Did I give them permission to retain my credit card number, something I *never* do when online shopping? The answer, in my mind, is an unequivocal no. There was no box to check or uncheck; me giving them my credit card number became my unwilling compliance.

And that is not cool.

JustFab, you can tell me again and again to read your FAQ, but the point isn't that you're right and I'm wrong. It's that you use a sneaky trick against your customers, and now I don't want to do business with you.

Intead, I want to tell all 1500+ of my Twitter friends and 380+ of my Facebook friends about my bad experience.

Much like the BMG music scam that made my life hellish for three months in college, I became a victim because I didn't read the fine print and just assumed I was buying shoes. Fool me once, shame on you. You won't fool me twice.

And that's why I'm going to quit being furious about being taken advantage of and go write my book about what would happen if the fine print you sign for credit cards gave the bank the right to kill you.

They make fine print impossibly small and hard to decipher for a reason, folks.


Update: They called to apologize, further explain the FAQ, and offer a refund. I accepted the refund. I still do not agree with the business tactic, but I appreciate their attempt to make things better.


Virginia Valerie said...

Grumble!! Can you "un-sign-up" for this "service" as it were? Can't wait to read this book you're writing!

delilah, the unruly helpmeet said...

Oh, sure. You can cancel your subscription. But they won't refund your $39.95 "credit". So your best bet is to find a pair of shoes to spend the credit on and immediately cancel. Of course, I don't like any of their current shoes.


Bethany said...

Ick! Thanks for the warning! Guess I know where I WON'T be buying shoes from!

Chris Sanders-Ring said...

Whoa. Cancelled. Thanks for the heads-up.

Pinafores & Pinwheels said...

evil people preying on shoe loving women! So wrong!