This post is very difficult for me to write.
Well, basically, because this post came about because of a humbling experience.
Sometimes, humbling experiences are hard...and embarrassing.
This one was both.
In this recent post, I explained that the thing I wanted most in my kitchen was a French Door Refrigerator.
These fridges are not cheap and I wasn't sure we would be able to afford one.
So, I did my homework. I surfed the web...near and far. Ever seen that commercial where the guy reaches the end of the internet? Well, that was me. Everyday, I was checking Lowes, Home Depot, Best Buy...in hopes of finding a great deal.
Then one day, I decided to look at one of those sites, like Bing Shopping or Nextag, you know...where they list lots of places that have the item and show the prices.
I honestly dont remember which one I used, but whichever it was, the lowest priced fridge was at Home Everything. The user ratings were 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5. I thought that wasn't bad. So, off to the Home Everything site I surfed.
When I got to that site, it seemed like every other site. It is nicely organized, it is VeriSign Secured, it has a customer service line and the site indicates there is a store front and a warehouse.
I watched pricing for a few weeks and finally convinced my husband it would be alright if we ordered our refrigerator online. Shoot, they offer free delivery and no sales tax, too!
So, we ordered this guy:
It was to ship in 7-10 days. They have a tracking system for their customers and I checked it one day and it said no information available please contact Home Everything. So I called them.
My order had been placed on hold because the address on my card and the delivery address were different. They stated that sometimes credit card companies get concerned in those cases. That was fine with me, but I did kind of wonder why it mattered since the charge was immediately placed and processed the day I purchased the fridge a week or so before. Plus, I found it odd that they did not contact me to let me know there was a problem.
But, on we went. We waited another week, still no email stating our fridge had shipped. But this was cool with me too, because at this point we had decided that we could afford stainless steel appliances. I called and asked if it was too late to change my order to the stainless steel option.
I was told that no, it was not too late. They charged my card another $65 that exact day and I waited...and waited...and waited...no email stating my fridge had shipped.
I emailed them and was told the hurricane that affected the whole East coast this summer had delayed delivery. I felt like a heel and was patient when they told me it would ship the next week.
The next week came around...no fridge.
You know that sick feeling you get when you realize something is wrong?
Yeah, that nagging, "I cant think about anything else" feeling.
I was at the doctors office with my mom and thought I would just search "Home Everything reviews" on my android. Sick feeling times 2.
I read several reviews of which most were not good.
Of those I read, most described a situation similar to the one we had experienced. Some said that they would call to check on their purchase and were told week after week that their item would ship the next week.
A few reviewers went on to say that when they finally gave up on their order being shipped and asked to have their money returned they were told it would take a few days to show in their accounts. Some that had written reviews were weeks into the process and said they still had not received their money back. Some said they filed complaints.
Now, I highlight and bold the word said, because that is where we are at a disadvantage, "they said".
Just because someone says it, doesn't make it true. There are times customers get angry at a company for whatever reason and report things that did not happen or exaggerate what happened. I have no idea if that is the case in the reviews I read, but there were enough of the same type of reviews to spook the be-jeebers out of me.
I was sick. I wanted to cry.
Once we left the doctor's office and I got home, I did cry. My husband is retired, I am not working. I am ashamed to say that if either or both of us had a job, it may not have bothered me so much. But in this instance, this was my husband's hard earned money that may have been lost...forever...with nothing to show for it. I cried.
After I read the reviews I called Ronnie and asked him to cancel the order and ask for our money back. The guy told him it would ship the next week. Ronnie said no, we want a refund. When I got home and cried Ronnie wondered what all the tears were about, I told him about the reviews and that I did not believe we would get our money back. My sweet natured husband, on the other hand, felt certain that we would get it back.
It was a horrible weekend.
The feeling of being duped overshadowed everything.
How could they do that, though, and still be in business??? I did not understand.
I am HAPPY to report that Home Everything PROMPTLY returned our money.
It showed up after the second business day.
I cannot say that Home Everything is a bad company with which to do business. They refunded our money and for that I am grateful. But it did feel as if we were getting the run around.
What I can say:
NEVER EVER get comfortable with internet purchasing - Just because you have never had a bad online purchase experience never cease with your diligence in checking reviews, the Better Business Bureau, finding out anything and everything you can about the company/website with which you are about to do business.
Sometimes a good deal is not worth the trouble - The worry this caused certainly was not worth it! Even if we had received our item, the fight to get it delivered would not have been worth it, in our opinion.
My father's advice rings true, again - He always told me, "99% of what you worry about never happens."
I still feel violated. I am suspicious of everything internet related. It is an unhealthy suspicion. We should definately be aware and cautious of all we do on the internet, never becoming complacent.
As I said before, it is difficult to write about this experience, but I do so to keep others from going through the same thing.
Ultimately, you will have to be the one to decide whether or not you will give Home Everything the chance to prove themselves as friend or foe,
but I write this just to say,
INTERNET BUYER BEWARE.
Wishing happy and safe internet purchasing for you all!!
Note: Please be aware that I am neither for or against Home Everything. I neither encourage OR discourage shopping at HE. My only goal is to share my experience and remind others to be careful when purchasing items online. I wish to re-emphasize that HE did refund our money in a very prompt manner and for that I am grateful.