BUYER BEWARE: Fraudulent and Punitive Shipping Charges on Returns
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!