Lighting Universe

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BUYER BEWARE: Fraudulent and Punitive Shipping Charges on Returns
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KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON -- I purchased 6 recessed light trims from Lighting Universe, also known as ATG Stores and Allied Group. Let me explain that these recessed light trim are a very lightweight, like styrofoam material. These recessed light trims were pretty expensive at $35 each, but they seem to be the only online retailer and it's a unique product. Anyhow, I order six of them and qualified for free shipping of the six light trims to me. The six light trims were sent out directly from the manufacturer in ONE box by UPS Ground and it took more than 2 weeks to receive Their idea of packing was separating each light trim with a Fedex padded envelopes. When I received the recessed light trims, one was damaged but all were the wrong size. I immediately notified Lighting Universe and they initiated a return. As of six days later, I have not been given the information needed to return the item but that is another story. In any event, on their website, Lighting Universe states that, upon return, they will deduct any shipping charges from a free shipping promotion from your refund. Okay, I'm fine with that. But here is where it gets really messed.

They wanted to deduct $75.90 from my refund for their shipping charges, supposedly as a refund of the "free shipping" promotion. I thought this had to be a typo. No, I was informed that the manufacturer stated it is $12.65 to ship one, so therefore it is six times that - $75.90 to ship six of them. I informed them of basic shipping charges and that since they were not shipped in six different packages this calculation defies logic. Fortunately, I kept the original packaging with the UPS ground sticker and tracking information. I personally called UPS and was informed that it only cost $9.28 to ship all six of the recessed light trims, yet Lighting Universe and Visualle are trying to charge $66 more - $75.90.

I informed Lighting Universe of this attempt to steal money from me and, after much back and forth, the only resolution that Lighting Universe will offer is to reduce their fraudulent shipping charges to $18.00. So their idea of customer service is to only overcharge me $10.00 for shipping. Isn't that nice? Oh and before that, the customer service representative suggested that I just keep the recessed light trims and try to resell them on eBay, including the damaged one mind you, to avoid the hassle of returning this item. I bet that is exactly what they want...to discourage returns. I've filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and their response totally mischaracterized the situation. Stating the $18.00 is for my return shipping! No, I have to pay return shipping, plus whatever exorbitant and punitive fictional number they came up for their shipping to me.

Of course, I have since found all these complaints about Lighting Universe/ATG Stores/Allied Group essentially using trickery and fraud to attempt to discourage and punish customers from returning items. I am a very busy person and I just don't have enough time to write reviews and/or complaints, but, honestly, what this company is doing is fraud and I felt it was worth my time to publicize my experience with company and warn others. STAY AWAY...FAR AWAY!
     
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saj80 on 2010-01-15:
Who made the mistake regarding the size; you or the company? If the company made the mistake, I would insist on no shipping charge. If you ordered the wrong size, then I agree that you should only be charge the actual shipping charge. Not sure what your options are, other than to keep pressing them on accepting the actual charges.
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Buyer Beware
Posted by on
Echoing the sentiments of another reviewer: SHOP HERE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I recently ordered a set of lights from here but due to a confusing interface ended up getting the right model but the wrong finish. When I tried to rectify the mistake they wanted me to pay to ship back the product and charge me a 15% restocking fee. I finally relented but then my e-mails where ignored.

I called after not receiving a return e-mail after several tries. Turns out they have a 30 day return policy. Even though I had contacted them within a week of receiving the wrong product and made a decision to return the products (with unnecessary penalty) with more than 2 weeks left in the 30 day period they got me one more time. I was told since they had not received my e-mails (which were not bounced so how did they not receive them?) saying I wanted to return the products within 30 days I was now subject to a 50% restocking fee. I complained that I had contacted them and initiated the return within a week of receiving the product. I also stated that I had sent several e-mails in the 30 day period stating my wish to return the lights with the wrong finish (with 10% penalty) and exchange them for the lights with the right finish. They said they never received them (How convenient for them). I told them I had proof in my sent buffer of the sent e-mails and the fact that they had not bounced. To no avail.

I finally registered a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and saw an avalanche of complaints from other customers that were not resolved. They ended up offering me the same 50% restocking fee as a resolution.

I learned of their dishonest practices to late. So I am posting in hopes of warning off some other consumers. There are many places to buy lights. My advice is to avoid this dishonest vendor. Once again shop at Lighting Universe at your own risk.
     
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Horrible Horrible Company
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HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE customer service! Buyer beware! They sent me a duplicate order after I had called to cancel it days before the item shipped out. They shipped it anyway and want me to return it at my cost. I tried e-mailing this customer service department and I never received a response so I then called their customer service department (waited on hold for 23 mins.) to try to remedy this situation and when I asked to speak with a manager I was hung up on! I tried to call back and they refused to let me speak with a manager or give me the name of the person I was speaking to. We just placed 3 orders totaling over $700. I am going to try my hardest to return all items because I want NOTHING to do with this HORRIBLE company. Please save your money, time, and grief and do not ever order from Lighting Universe/ATGstores.com!
     
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Alain on 2011-05-19:
Looks like you're not the only one that's dissatisfied with this company. Aside from the complaints here, I found 4 other websites with complaints about this company.
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Dishonest Company, 110% price Guarantee Bull s hit
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KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON -- LightingUniverse or (ATG) are horrible. Their staff are incompetent. They do not honor their 110% price Guarantee policy and they do not admit their errors. They only put the blame on customers when you reach support. DO NOT BUY THERE.

I don't think there are any managers in LightingUniverse or (ATG), they are bunch of cowards. they hide behind the reps and don't want to give out their names and contact information.

In their website, a ET2 Stellar E22108 lamp sells for $136 after a (supposily) 75% discount. I found the same light for $80 in LighingDirect (it's not even onsale. It's their regular price). When I asked LightingUniverse or (ATG) to honor their 110%, they refused it and gave me a lame excuse that they just couldn't match the price.

LightingUniverse or (ATG), Class Action lawsuit is on its way!
     
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Anonymous on 2009-07-21:
They probably don't have any stock on hand. Like too many online merchants they act as a middleman. Your order is sent to a drop-shipper. The order is shipped and the merchant gets a cut of the sale. You are then forgotten.
anti-lighting universe on 2009-07-21:
they have plenty in stock. I ordered my for the full price ($149) before I noticed the cheaper one ($80) elsewhere. When I confronted them, they just simply said they could not honour the 110% price guarantee because the price was too low. My question is if they cannot honour their own policy, why is it there in the first place?
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Overpriced and Rude
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A few months ago I began searching online for an indoor ceiling fan. I found the perfect fan, the 52-SP-MO-19 Roswell by Savoy House, at LightingUniverse.com for $283.05. (This review in no way reflects on the quality of the Savoy House product which is superb). I ordered the fan, not realizing it did not come as shown in the picture (after receiving the fan motor only, I read the webpage more thoroughly to discover the other parts came separately.) When I went to order the remaining parts I was shocked by the exorbitant prices! The 52-FB4-MA fan blades (5 required) were offered at $45.09 A PIECE! The fitter for the lighting kit was $32 and the glass diffusers (4 required) were $32 A PIECE as well! Add to that the 12" downrod and I was looking at a total of $696.50 for a ceiling fan! On top of it all, different pages on the Lighting Universe site reflected different prices for the above items ($34.04 for a fan blade on one page, then $45.09 for the same blade on another, etc.) as well as the shipping for each item being advertised as free until you began to check out and discovered the free shipping only applied to orders over $49. (The site does advertise the shipping as free over $49 in the top right hand corner of each page yet just says "free" next to the description of the product). I called the customer service line to return my fan motor and was given the run around. In exasperation I asked the associate if he would pay $45 for a single fan blade to which he replied that the products were reasonably priced. There was so much hassle involved in returning the motor (plus numerous fees) that I just ordered the rest of the parts from LightingDirect.com. The motor would have been priced exactly the same but the fan blades were $29.60 for a SET of 5, $14.80 for the fitter, $12.95 for the downrod, and $8.99 for each diffuser ($35.66 for 4) coming to a total of $376.36 for all plus free shipping! A savings of $320.14! (You can save even more by ordering the various parts at different websites). Lighting Universe may advertise its willingness to match competitors' prices but who wants to bother with the trouble when you can get it all significantly cheaper from the get-go at another site?

I advise anyone looking for lighting or fan products to AVOID Lighting Universe like the plague for the sake of both your pocketbook and your sanity.
     
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jktshff1 on 2007-08-13:
good post
heaven17 on 2007-08-13:
The description of this item reads as follows: Roswell Ceiling Fan Motor.
A little further down in RED letters:
Note: Blades, light kits, downrods, and remote controls sold separately.

"I read the webpage more thoroughly to discover the other parts came separately."
This is, of course, after the fact.

So, other than just wanting to admit that you didn't know what you were ordering and trying to blame that on Lighting Universe, what's your point?
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Great Prices and Wonderful Customer Service
Posted by on
KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON -- I have now bought two lighting fixtures from this internet lighting company and am in the process of buying a third. Both times, I had found cheaper prices on another website and this site matched the price, and took more money off. One chandelier, I ended up purchasing for over 60% off retail. The customer service on this site is extraordinary--they responded right away to questions and had links to my low prices so checkout was easy and stress free. I highly recommend using this site and talking to Jon if you need any help.
     
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