Monday, September 30, 2013

Never. Again. (Pampered Chef Review)

Have I talked about home parties on here before? If no, just know that I'm not a fan generally. I've been to a few good ones, but for the most part it's overpriced stuff in a catalog that you pay overpriced shipping on and end up selling at a yard sale for $1 a few years after you realize you never even used it. I think the concept is okay, and I know there are some brands that do really well (Mary Kay for one) with this sales tactic but the market is beyond saturated at this point in my opinion.

But, I do really really like Pampered Chef stuff. (Funny thing though: several of my Pampered Chef things I actually HAVE gotten at a yard sale for $1, so obviously the sentiment is not shared by everyone.) Anyways, remember when I wrote this post last September? From it I received a free Pampered Chef can opener, and this is where it all started.

The girl that sent it to me went to high school with me. I had met up with her a couple of times to let Charley play with her son. We weren't close friends, but she was nice and was a Pampered Chef consultant that had just given me something for free, so I told her whenever we finally were settled in our house I'd have a Pampered Chef party. I even shared some of our texts here when we were trying to pick a date.

The date finally came and it was August 17. I had a small party of just about 9 guests and we all placed orders with her then. Today's date is September 30, and not one of us has received anything from the party. But it's not that I had forgotten about it. Because I have six weeks of text messages to back me up. I have been lied to again and again, and today, myself and a couple guests have realized that we have also had our credit card information used fraudulently. Which brings me back to my point: I had never had a home party of my own before this, and I will absolutely never have one again. If you can't trust a consultant that you know, who can you trust? I'm not 100% opposed to going to a party at someone else's house, but I just can't be responsible for something like this again.

I think the easiest way to do this is to show you all of the text messages. It's a lot. But I feel like I have been more than accommodating for this long.

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Blurred part included her kid's name and was about Charley's birthday party.


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She contacted my guest Stephanie herself and wanted Stephanie to meet her somewhere so she could give her her order. Stephanie, along with the rest of us, paid for shipping so I wasn't cool with her having to do that so I told Stephanie I'd take care of it.

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Surprise, surprise. I never received an email OR any tracking information.

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Okay. Since then, John has gotten involved and called her himself, and he's even going to pick up the stuff that she DOES claim to have so we don't have to go through with refunds and all that mess. I guess I'm never going to get my steak knives and that makes me sad. Yes, I'm sad over some darn steak knives. But it was a great deal and I was really looking forward to having 4 less empty slots in my knife block. And my colanders. Darn it I was looking forward to those too....

Anyways, I'm sure all of it doesn't make sense to an outsider. But I'm sure from what you were able to read you can tell that 1) I'm way too nice and 2) I was lied to quite a few times. I mean, how many times was it "shipped" and yet I never even saw a delivery notification at my house.

When I called corporate today they told me there was never a party submitted for me and that each person that was charged (those guests whose things were "accidentally" shipped to her house instead) each have to contact Pampered Chef themselves to request refunds. Talk about me feeling guilty! My first ever home party and I put all my guests through a lot of unnecessary headache.

Then, I started thinking how I wasn't comfortable with her just collecting all of our credit card numbers and never receiving anything from them and went to check my credit card statement to make sure all the charges were legit. And I was reminded that last month sometime John and I noticed a bogus Paypal charge that neither of us made with our personal Paypal accounts and we had the credit card company refund us that charge. Which is when I put two and two together. The amount was similar to the amount I was told was my total for my Pampered Chef items (P.S. None of us ever received receipts either), but I did not authorize a Paypal transaction, so of course I disputed it. I was expecting a charge from Pampered Chef! So I asked my other guests if they too got a similar charge and what do you know - they did too. Apparently she transferred money to herself from our cards so she could pay the total on her credit card which makes absolutely zero sense to me. She probably had her reasons and I am hoping they weren't fraudulent, but WHY wouldn't you tell someone that's the kind of charge we'd see on our credit card statements? And if she did do all of that and put the order on her card, WHERE IS MY STUFF? It just doesn't add up.

Anyways, if you made it through all of that I'll give you a cookie. I once got the Pampered Chef cookie press at a yard sale for $3 and have yet to use it. Imagine that.

I'm not typically one to put a bad customer service experience out there for the world to see. But you know what? I feel really responsible for wasting a lot of people's time today and over the last 6 weeks. And if it IS fraudulent, I don't want to just sweep it under the rug. What do you think? Am I extra grumpy because of everything else I'm going through or did I show a whole lotta patience for these 6 weeks?

ETA:

Here's a couple of follow-up posts regarding this situation which Pampered Chef failed on making good with me - first follow-up post here, and then the conclusion here.

8 comments:

Mama Bub said...

"Anyways, if you made it through all of that I'll give you a cookie. I once got the Pampered Chef cookie press at a yard sale for $3 and have yet to use it. Imagine that."

Haaaaa. This is seriously awful. I'm so sorry.

Jeff said...

I made it through it all. I win a cookie.

I don't think you're being extra grumpy at all. Something is definitely fishy. Whether this girl is stealing from you, or Pampered Chef is just really incompetent, it's hard to say, but something is definitely not right.

Jessica said...

This is so so terrible! My guess is she took your full-price-item payments, then placed an order for "herself" using her employee discount and pocketed the difference. You should definitely pursue it, because I bet this is the kind of thing that would get her suspended as a consultant. Even if she didn't get a discount, I bet she placed it as one order instead of multiples and kept the savings on shipping. (Both options would explain why it was shipped to her.)

I can't believe she thought she'd get away with it! At least someone was bound to notice they were charged through PaylPal and NOT be okay with it.

Heather said...

Oh, wow. This is crazy. Luckily, I don't think it's the norm, but sorry you had to deal with this anyway. I hope PC realizes what a bad representation of their company this girl is giving customers. Maybe they can pull her right to sell or something.

I do love Pampered Chef stuff, but that's about the only kind of "party" I buy from. I hope you end up getting your knives after all.

Laura Diniwilk said...

Um, that is literally insane. As a former PartyLite consultant (gag), I agree with Jessica's take. SHADY LADY.

Steven Galles said...

Disclaimer, I am an independent Pampered Chef consultant. We are all independent contractors. I strive my best to close out parties ASAP, and I have been on the other end of this with multiple texts, phone call etc to get a host to finish their order so we could end show.

The good news is that Pampered Chef is moving to a "direct ship" model, so that eventually as soon as you order, your products will ship out. They are slowly rolling it out, but soon it will be the norm and I think everyone will be happier, customers, hosts and consultants :)

But is just like any other business, there are good folks and bad folks. But there are plenty of us out there so just find one that is good :)

Jai Jukebox said...

That's definitely crazy. I just started this mid February with PC and haven't made any sales yet because I'm watching for things to do and not to do, in order to avoid trouble such as this. I would really like for my future customers to not have this issue because as a independent consultant I plan to be honest and true to my customers. I'm sorry you and your guests had to go through this. I've been through the fraudulent issues before and it is definitely not fun so I sort of understand that headaches and pain in the butts that everyone experienced. But I just hope you don't look at every consultant the same because of that woman. But customers just have to be cautious from now on so that doesn't ever happen again.

Unknown said...

Going through something similar. Friend had a Pampered Chef Facebook party. I always try to order something to support the host. The consultant contacted me when she was closing the party and said she needed payment. Told her I entered my cc info when I ordered. She said it must not have saved. I told her just to cancel the order then and she told me she couldn't because the party had been closed. Reluctantly I gave her my cc info. I have received my product but never been charged for it. She just sent me a message telling me the show she wanted to use my card in hasn't closed yet. I have no idea what she is doing but I am really sorry I gave her my info.