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Home Shopping Network Complaint - False Advertising And Poor Customer Service

Review by smoochie on 2007-08-19
CALIFORNIA -- I wish I would have found this site earlier because you can add me to the long list of suckers that HSN has ripped off. Here's my sad tale: Ordered two rings (one gold, one silver, same style) and had to return both because several stones fell out during the first week of wear. I did not use their UPS return label but paid $12.95 to ship via FedEx because I wanted to ensure that it got back to them within the 30 days. Asked for refund on the silver (which was given) and an exchange on the gold. Gold arrived and, again, stones fell out within the first week of wear (and we're talking missing stones after just a hand-washing!) Returned the gold for a second time and called Customer Service and told them that I did not want to be charged for returning defective merchandise. Was put on hold and told "okay, that's fine" by a "Customer Service Rep" whose attitude was so nasty I felt like I had been slapped. I really loved this ring, so I tried one more time to exchange it and was told that they don't do more than two exchanges and I would have to reorder the ring from scratch. The only problem with this was that I had purchased it as their "Today's Special" and now it was $40.00 more expensive. I was told to go ahead and place the order and, once I had an order number, call Customer Service back and they would honor the original price and make the adjustment.

I placed the order, got the number and was back on the phone within two minutes of my initial call. This time I was told that they couldn't do anything yet because the charge had not yet billed to my card and that I should call back the next morning. (It should be obvious by now that I'm either a) someone with a lot of patience, b) someone with a lot of time on her hands, or c) a glutton for punishment.) Well, next morning when I checked with the bank and found the charge had gone through overnight I called HSN Customer Service with the order number and was now told that "I should have talked to someone before I placed the order" and now all they could do was issue me the $40.00 in the form of "Spendable Ka$h" which is only good with, yeah you guessed it, THEM! By now I had the third gold ring on its way to me and I would have been satisfied if said "Spendable Ka$h" could have been applied to this ring order, however, I'll never know because during both subsequent phone calls to rectify the situation I've been mysteriously disconnected when being transferred to a supervisor.

The fourth and final call I made, the rep completely negated the previous rep's assurances, said she didn't even have the authority to issue such a large amount of Ka$h and she would have to, are you ready?, transfer me to a supervisor, wherein I was promptly disconnected. (By the way, the point on this became moot; gold ring three arrived and was on its way back to them within five minutes of receipt. I turned it over and tapped it on the ring box and three stones fell right out.) I called Customer Service again and told them I was returning the ring (#4 if you're keeping score, sportsfans) and told them that I did not want to be charged for returning defective merchandise AGAIN and was grudgingly told "okay". I believe that they have to do this by law but they sure don't go out of their way to let their customers know that this recourse is available to them.
The preceding is only backstory.

The real reason I'm fuming is that I have posted a negative review on their website, giving this item one star out of five (because zero is not an option). It wasn't rude, just informed people that I had had this reoccurring problem with losing the stones. My review was posted and I kept revisiting these reviews to see if anyone else had experienced the same problem with lost stones that I had, with what was, at this point, three rings. I was shocked to find my negative review deleted after two days! I feel that this is deceptive "advertising" because they are calling this a "Customer Pick" and making a big display about how many "5-Star Reviews" it has. (And it's funny because most of the reviews say about the same thing..."I just got my ring and it's so beautiful" and I'm thinking "yeah, get back to us after you've worn it a week like I did", but you can't because once you've posted a review they won't let you post another.) I, like many others I'm sure, use these reviews to make a purchasing decision and it would be great if they were accurate. HSN tells you that this designer's jewelry is seen on Rodeo Drive and other high end stores but they do not tell you that this particular product is Made in China and the product picture is very careful not to show the CHINA stamped on the inside. I'm not naive, I know most stuff is from overseas, but I think it's criminal that HSN is USING its customers to advertise for them (IF these entries are truly from customers) and editing the entries as it sees fit. To double check my theory (and in case they had found something objectionable in my review) my husband created an account using his own information and posted a very carefully worded review about our experience (repeated stone loss with multiple rings )with this particular piece of jewelry and his review never even made it onto the site (although we know it went through; we got the little "thank you for your review" page.

I am absolutely disgusted with this company's deceptive practices and nasty customer "service". This is obviously the pitfall to television/online shopping. In a store you can hand pick your merchandise for quality control but with this method you are at the mercy of whoever is pulling your product off the warehouse shelf and then to add insult to injury, Customer Service acts like you're putting a crimp in their day to have to exchange their shoddy product. Isn't this illegal to imply that these product reviews are "of the people" and not clearly state that they are hand-picked by HSN? Doesn't this fall under false advertising practices? This is bad. Very bad. And I really liked that ring, too.
Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-08-19
Posted by firengine103 on 2007-08-19:
Posted by firengine103 on 2007-08-19:
Hi Smoochy. Well now, this is the first rant I have given a "very helpful" rating to! (Hmm, Kinda feels good). Your right, this merchandise is not the best stuff but I know that's secondary to your post. Being held hostage by a room full of telemarketers stinks. So Smoochie, spread your experiences wide and far to protect lost and easily preyed upon souls from this experience. (and don't forget to tune in for the 101 piece knife set).
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-19:
smoochie, I have to agree with you and firengine103 on this one.

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