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Get back your handling fees...

Old 03-11-03, 10:55 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: South Central PA
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Get back your handling fees...

As posted on FW, discontinued the handling fees 2/27 (even though they recently started charging them), and they will refund any if you let them know about it. They got bad feedback, and now they're calling it an "error." Whatever.

(Does this cost $10 to do if you call them? I have no idea.)

Anyway, here's an article at USA Today about it.
jiggyblau is offline  
Old 03-12-03, 07:21 PM
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Yea, I seen this on FW as well. They discountined it the day after I placed my last order with them. I just sent an email off to them requesting a refund for the charge.

If anyone is interested, here's the article...
Shipping may be free, but watch out for other fees
By Matt Krantz, USA TODAY

Internet shoppers thinking they're getting free shipping may be paying hidden fees instead, a sign the trend in online shopping is for more fees, not less.

For weeks, socked many consumers with a $2.95 "handling" fee despite promising free shipping with no minimum purchase. The privately held online retailer, which claims to be No. 2 behind, didn't disclose the fee until checkout.

When USA TODAY contacted on Feb. 27, Brent Rusick, chief operating officer, said the handling fee was an error and that no handling charge should be added to any order that qualifies for free shipping. The company is refunding the handling fee to anyone who paid it when they shouldn't have. "Free is free," Rusick said. Later that day, the company modified its Web site so the charge is no longer collected.'s charge may not have lasted, but industry experts say it may portend how online retailers, forced to offer free shipping to remain competitive, will charge new fees to help defray the costs.

The potential effect on Internet shoppers is big. At last count, 182 online retailers offered free shipping, says Chuck Davis, CEO of industry tracker, vs. 160 during the 2002 holiday season. "Now the consumer is expecting a great deal on shipping," he says.

The costs are high for retailers. Free shipping cost $30 million in the fourth quarter meaning the company earned a penny less on every dollar of sales. That's why industry watchers expect online retailers to try imposing new fees to defray their costs. Experts warn to watch out for:

Handling fees. Although Bass Home Electronics' Web site promises free shipping, consumers are hit with a $5 "handling" fee if the order doesn't exceed $125.
After being contacted by USA TODAY, the Sarasota, Fla.-based seller of home security changed its Web site to provide a larger warning of the charge. "I can see how someone might be confused by it," said Robert Bass, president. Still, Bass has no intention of removing the handling charge, which he has collected for six years.

Restocking fees., a seller of computer parts, charges customers who return some products a "restocking fee" of up to 30% of the purchase price. The charge applies mostly to items that have been opened. There's still a 10% restocking fee for returned monitors, printers and scanners, even if they haven't been used.
Paul Larkin, head of customer service, says Directron was forced to start charging restocking fees to discourage customers from buying items, using them a few days and returning them. He says most restocking fees are 15% or less.

Expect more companies to follow, says Carrie Johnson, senior analyst at Forrester Research. "If free shipping stays a standard, retailers will look for ways to charge fees here and there."
Spy021 is offline  
Old 03-13-03, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: lancaster, pa.
Posts: 53
What a bunch of sneaks.

The chief operating officer at BUY.COM said charging a handling fee was an error. How stupid do these people think consumers are. Everyone with half of a brain realized it was a scam to get money back from what they lose on the free shipping. Then when they realized they couldn't get away with it they make up a bunch of lies. I personally ordered something from them and took notice to the handling charge. Deleted the sale immediately and haven't been back to their site since. You have to hit them where it hurts. Don't buy from them. That's the only language they understand.
nittanylions is offline  
Old 03-14-03, 12:03 PM
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I haven't bought a thing from for a long while. The last purchase I made was for a cd player, which just sat on 'back order' for like a month before i canceled it.

Now they offer 'free shipping', but they just jacked up the normal prices to offset the free shipping so it's really no deal at all.
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