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Any thoughts on AnotherUniverse.com?

Old 03-26-02, 10:42 AM
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Any thoughts on AnotherUniverse.com?

I'm hoping this is the right forum. If not, I mean no offense.

Anyhoo, like many people, I had taken AnotherUniverse up on their pre-order offer for the My So-Called Life box set. As I'm sure many know, the original deal, pay $20 for the pre-order, get special packaging and bonus material. I wasn't amped about having to pay even that much up front, but I figured it wouldn't be too bad.

Well, last night, I got an e-mail telling me that the plans have changed, they can't just do the $20 charge, because they can't hold the credit card authorization for 3 months, and if I still want the set, I'll have to pay, in full, now, and then be mailed proof of purchase over snail-mail. As a business practice, I find this to be extremely suspect. In fact, I didn't think a company could legally charge in full for merchandise they hadn't sent.

In any case, I still do want the set, but I'm extremely hesistant to just fork over $100 for discs I won't be seeing until at least June. Has anyone had any experiences, good or bad, with AU?
Old 03-26-02, 04:31 PM
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Another Universe is a mail order comic book company. It used to be called American Comics, then became American Entertainment around the time the first Batman movie was released. A few years back, it became Another Universe.

I've never ordered anything from them myself, so I can't give you my personal experiences with them.

Here are some usenet posts from a few years back, however.

http://groups.google.com/groups?as_q...axy=1998&hl=en

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=e...edu%26rnum%3D1

AU is an old company, with a very large customer base, so some people are bound to have had bad experiences with them. I just remember these posts from my days of buying comic books from rec.arts.comics.marketplace.
Old 03-26-02, 05:18 PM
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I use to pre-order several hundreds of dollars of product every month. but I would order over the phone. Never had a problem with them in the past but I hadn't ordered from them in years. Can't seem to even get a mail catalog from them anymore.
Old 03-27-02, 11:06 AM
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I used to work for them. I'm familar with both their retail and mail order operations.

The thing about AU is that they gamble that they can pick the next hot thing, before it's hot. When it works, they make out like bandits. (They got into Magic cards early on, ordered heavily on X-Files #1, sold POGs just as all the elementary school kids were going gaga over the stupic caps etc.) When they lose, they take a hit and keep on truckin'. Unfortuantely they sometimes lose several times in a row, nad that can hurt them. They almost went out of business a couple of years ago when they couldn't afford to pay thier comic distributor for their comics. He ended up buying a large portion of the company for the money he owed them. (It was that or go out of business....kind of hard to sell comics if you can't get any, and they had pre-sold a lot.)

So, should you fork over the $100? I dunno. I have not been associated w/ AU for years. I do know that the comic industry is still pretty soft, so AU is probably trying to diversify. I'm not sure what their financial standing is, or what the chances of this DVD coming out as scheduled are. One thing I do know, is that once they have your money, it's very hard to get it back from them. They actively discoraged canceling comic perorders, and, at one time, would only give you credit if you did. I imagine it would be a hassle to cancel this order too. If they charge your card, and three months later issue a statement saying that the DVDs will be 6 months late, you MAY be stuck waiting. (It's after the time that you could dispute the charge on your CC.)

Personally, I would not do it.

-Videophile
Old 03-28-02, 11:00 AM
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I am curious who used their bank debit cards to prepay the $20.00. It came out as a charge on my bank account, so they should technically charge me $80.00. But I don't see the point in me having to pay ANYTHING before the DVDs actually come out, since that $20.00 will never fall off my account like a credit card preauth would. And the email they sent us didn't really cover that, it just really addressed those who used credit cards.
Old 04-02-02, 10:10 AM
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I ended up cancelling my order over a week ago, but I still haven't seen the credit. I too used my check card, and I'm sure that I read that if something like this happened, it would be full refundable. And now that I've tried to e-mail with their feedback form, it says that A) they have technical issues with it (then why have it up at all?) and that I should email their customer service department directly, and B) they guarantee a response within 7-10 business days. I find that absolutely unacceptable, considering they were able to charge my card the same day. First and last time I use them, I think.
Old 04-14-02, 06:57 PM
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The saga continues.

I was still waiting for some official confirmation that my cancellation had been received, when lo and behold, another $80 was taken from my checking account. Now, I'm not sure that there's a techinical term for taking someone's money after they've decided they don't want to give it to you, but the word that comes to my mind is theft.

And, naturally, they still don't seem to be answering e-mails. I guess I'll take the day off of work to call them in person, if nothing happens then, I'm off to the Better Business Bureau or the police or whoever.
Old 04-15-02, 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by starri
The saga continues.

I was still waiting for some official confirmation that my cancellation had been received, when lo and behold, another $80 was taken from my checking account. Now, I'm not sure that there's a techinical term for taking someone's money after they've decided they don't want to give it to you, but the word that comes to my mind is theft.

And, naturally, they still don't seem to be answering e-mails. I guess I'll take the day off of work to call them in person, if nothing happens then, I'm off to the Better Business Bureau or the police or whoever.
It has been years since I last ordered from them but that brings back memories now. Never use a debit card for an order. The way they work is really screwed up. I actually did have a problem with this in the past.

Lets say you pre-ordered 30 comics at $3 a piece, this would bring your total to $90 before shipping. Now lets say that only 20 of the 30 are in stock. Anotheruniverse will but a hold on you card for $60. Now lets move forward in time, say 3 days later. Suppose the 10 that where on order have come into the warehouse but now 5 of the comics that were in stock are now on order. AnotherUniverse will now but another hold on your card for $85. This will go on and on and on again since they like to wait to ship everything at once. So within a three day time span they have effectively managed to put a $145 hold on your account for only a $90 order. Now if other items come back in stock this will happen all over again, thus raising the total amount they have managed to hold on your card. It also depends on your card, some banks will hold a temp charge for 7 days, others up to 30 days.

Back in those days I was placing preorders for several hundred dollars a piece. At one point they managed to lock just about all of my funds in my account, over ten times the amount of the order! You could imagine the mess, I spoke with AnotherUniverse managers as well as the bank. AN could never figure out what was going on, go figure, but I ended up having to wait for the temp auth. to drop off. Of course at that point if they tried again they would come back and say that they couldn't receive an authorization for your order even though they manage to lock all of the funds in your account. Come to think of it I believe that may be the reason why I haven't placed an order since, that and the fact that DVD was released in 1997.

Basically, in the example above they had put a temp charge for $60 worth of product. They should have put another temp. charge for the items that came in stock since the last temp charge (10 items in stock - 5 items back out of stock = 5 items * $3 ea.), in other words for $15. Instead they manage to put a temp charge for the amount of all of items in your order that are currently in stock whether or not a temp charge for some of those products was previous placed. You can probably see how much of a mess this creates in you have a hundred or so items in an order.

Back then I use to have no problem using a debit card. Only after started updating there software/hardware this began to occur. I am still surprised that this may still be happening. Either way it is probably no longer a good idea to use a debit card or checking account for your order. Never had a problem with a CC but then again maybe it wasn't noticable. If you can, use a credit card and then pay it off once you get the bill instead of the above.
Old 04-27-02, 10:37 AM
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I'm sorry to use this forum to vent my spleen, but AU keeps making me mad.

So, I called AU last Friday to straighten out the charge. The guy was perfectly friendly, but he tried to make an excuse that "my cancellation request had crossed the charge for the order." To which I responded "I requested the cancellation in March, you charged me three weeks later. Try again." He promised he'd refund me, and indeed I did get two e-mails several days later confirming a refund of the $80 charge and $20 pre-order cost.

I checked my checking account today. They did, in fact, refund the $20.

But they charged another $80 instead of refunding it. So now I'm out $160.
Old 04-30-02, 02:36 AM
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I really wanted to buy the MSCL set, so I e-mailed them (months ago now) to ask about the shipping prices to Australia. I NEVER heard back from them, so I missed the pre-order price (seems like a good thing too, after reading the other posts in this thread).

Anyway the set now costs $115 and the shipping to Australia is $79.95 (according to this page: Shipping rates).

$79.95 jeez! are they kidding - hopefully (one day) someone like Amazon will get the set and then I can pay the more sane international shipping cost of $6.48.

I can't see how AnotherUniverse can be selling anything to overseas customers.
Old 05-01-02, 11:53 AM
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Anyway the set now costs $115 and the shipping to Australia is $79.95 (according to this page: Shipping rates).
For that price, it should be hand-delivered.
Old 05-06-02, 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by AdrianW
I really wanted to buy the MSCL set, so I e-mailed them (months ago now) to ask about the shipping prices to Australia. I NEVER heard back from them, so I missed the pre-order price (seems like a good thing too, after reading the other posts in this thread).

Anyway the set now costs $115 and the shipping to Australia is $79.95 (according to this page: Shipping rates).

$79.95 jeez! are they kidding - hopefully (one day) someone like Amazon will get the set and then I can pay the more sane international shipping cost of $6.48.

I can't see how AnotherUniverse can be selling anything to overseas customers.
If you go by their chart here: http://www.anotheruniverse.com/mscldvd/shipping.html , the shipping cost to AU are $19.00.
Old 05-08-02, 11:16 AM
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Originally posted by MaNiaC
If you go by their chart here: http://www.anotheruniverse.com/mscldvd/shipping.html , the shipping cost to AU are $19.00.
Well that's is much more reasonable than the price on their regular shipping prices page!

If I'd have known this earlier I would have pre-ordered the set at the cheaper price (without disk 1 as I already have that one). I did e-mail them but got no reply on the shipping costs.

This page details shipping costs for the "Special Edition Box Set" (weighing in at 2.5 pounds) is that what people will get if they order now (May 2002)?
Old 10-04-02, 02:06 AM
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They're crooks. Plain and simple. A lot of people have been double and triple charged by them for this my so-called life DVD set. The forum at www.mscl.com is lit up by people having the same experience. I've called them 3 times and emailed them twice. My last email went as below. I will never order from them again and I'll make sure everyone that thinks about ordering from them hears about this.

The email..

I am owed $79.98 for a double charge which occurred on 8/9/02. I expect this refund to be applied immediately to my credit card. I then expect you to delete my credit card information from your databases as it is clear you cannot be trusted with that information.

The handling of this matter has been entirely unprofessional. While this company may operate on such a scale where a mere $79.98 is insignificant I will make sure everyone I come into contact with understands that business is not interested in its customers and defrauds them at will.

While these may seem like idle threats I'm certain you realize that a significant percentage of your customer base is fairly computer savy and will use the internet to research your company for issues such as this. I know I do so every time I consider doing business with a company.
Old 10-16-02, 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by Lurker1999
They're crooks. Plain and simple. A lot of people have been double and triple charged by them for this my so-called life DVD set. The forum at www.mscl.com is lit up by people having the same experience. I've called them 3 times and emailed them twice. My last email went as below. I will never order from them again and I'll make sure everyone that thinks about ordering from them hears about this.

The email..

I am owed $79.98 for a double charge which occurred on 8/9/02. I expect this refund to be applied immediately to my credit card. I then expect you to delete my credit card information from your databases as it is clear you cannot be trusted with that information.

The handling of this matter has been entirely unprofessional. While this company may operate on such a scale where a mere $79.98 is insignificant I will make sure everyone I come into contact with understands that business is not interested in its customers and defrauds them at will.

While these may seem like idle threats I'm certain you realize that a significant percentage of your customer base is fairly computer savy and will use the internet to research your company for issues such as this. I know I do so every time I consider doing business with a company.
So what did you do with the order itself? Did you try to cancel and order else where? If so, did you get your money back?
Old 10-18-02, 12:34 AM
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Did anybody get their money back?
Old 10-18-02, 11:41 AM
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This has turned into a real fiasco now. If people are still waiting for the credit from the double or triple charges, you're better off disputing the charge with the CC company. These bastards are not going to refund the double charges unless you have the fortitude to call them (literally) every single day .

The real problem is to try to get the origianal money back from AU which was charged nearly 7-8 months ago (depend on when the order was placed.) The charges ocurred way before the time limit provided for dispute by CC companies. So unless you can convince them that what took place consituted Internet fraud (missing 3 deadlines, product non-delivery, etc.), your CC company may not be able to help out either.

I mean, the weasals at Another Universe didn't even pay the vendor for the DVDs (BMG) and the lunchboxes (GWhiz) until the last day (10/17) mandated before the DVDs goes to other distributors. So they probably held the pre-order money hostage for over 7 months now. This whole mess can be viewed at the MSCL website's DVD forum.

PAL
Old 10-26-02, 01:45 AM
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To the poster inquiring about a refund I haven't gotten my money back and most of the people at the mscl.com forum haven't either. I've already started the dispute process for part of the original charge and the double charge. I've sent written documentation in for the $20 deposit to Citibank. Let's hope they work with me on this one.
Old 10-29-02, 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by Lurker1999
To the poster inquiring about a refund I haven't gotten my money back and most of the people at the mscl.com forum haven't either. I've already started the dispute process for part of the original charge and the double charge. I've sent written documentation in for the $20 deposit to Citibank. Let's hope they work with me on this one.
You shouldn't have any problems getting your double charge money back once you disputed it. Those were very cut-and-dry unauthorized charges. What might be difficult is getting your original money back. Most CC companies don't even have access to charges that are over 6 months old, so you'll have to supply most of the documentations. Plus, you'll have to convince them that it's Internet Fraud (never received merchandise).

Sad thing is, there are still hundreds of people out there that got screwed by AU and still don't have their money back yet...

Would you be ordering from somebody else now that you cancelled? Say, for example, Amazon and STL?

PAL
Old 10-30-02, 04:51 PM
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It's sad, as AU used to be a premiere retailer and only a few years ago it was the largest comic seller in the US. But then they were bought by Fandom.com, and when Fandom went under they were purchased by CMI Holdings, where the problems lie today. The store, as we know it now, is a shadow of its former self. AnotherUniverse used to have an incredibly huge booth at comic conventions complete with numerous flat screen monitors, but at last year's WizardWorld they were tucked into a dark corner in the very back of the hall with a few folding tables and no carpeting.

-Brian
Old 11-05-02, 05:01 AM
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Originally posted by khieng
Did anybody get their money back?
I got the money from the double charge and an "extra" order back, but I haven't received a refund on my cancelation. I wonder if I ever will...

K
Old 11-05-02, 04:35 PM
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This is utterly pathetic...

Just read in MSCL.com that the AU site's order system and advance order tracking is totally not up to snuff, becasue Ross Rojak failed to pay the developer to finish the system, so he walked...

Because the order system was total patchwork, all the order processing, including the erroneous double charges, could have been entered manually; quiet possibily even done so intentionally...

I will probably have to talk to my CC company again, these people at AU just DO NOT inspire any confidence that I might have in them...

http://www.mscl.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1524

PAL
Old 11-10-02, 12:47 PM
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AU is reportedly shipping the My So-Called Life sets to some people. However a vast majority of people that preordered months in advance are supposedly in "wave 2" which will begin in the middle (probably later) in November if at all.

Still no word on all the supposed "bonus" items which people are now paying the $60 difference for compared to the cheapest online price out there.
Old 11-11-02, 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by Lurker1999
AU is reportedly shipping the My So-Called Life sets to some people. However a vast majority of people that preordered months in advance are supposedly in "wave 2" which will begin in the middle (probably later) in November if at all.

Still no word on all the supposed "bonus" items which people are now paying the $60 difference for compared to the cheapest online price out there.
I believe the fact that AU began shipping the MSCL sets has been varified. Some people may have received them already. However, it might be quiet a while before anybody sees the lunch box and the bonus disc.

However, since it's gonna be AU's "webmaster" that will be making the bonus disc, I would not be suprised if it turned out to be some unprofessional hack job.

Ya, it's hard to swallow for those who ordered MSCL from AU for $115, when they could've gotten the same set, sans lunchbox and bonus DVD, for nearly $70 less...

PAL
Old 11-12-02, 06:08 PM
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I put my order in with DDD for $45. I already have a temporary credit for all of the amount AU charged me and I'm just waiting on the paperwork to finalize it.

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