I made the mistake of ordering a set of commemorative coins, at the request of my wife, using my smart phone. It took a month and a half before I was notified by e-mail that the first of the series had been shipped, and another month before I received it.
Only when I read the receipt that came with it did I realize that I had authorized the Bradford Exchange to take payment from my credit card for an unspecified number of items, at unspecified intervals, over an unspecified period of time! I went to the website to check, and sure enough, there was no information as to how many items were in the series.
I had assumed that I would at least be advised when the next item was available and would be given the opportunity to approve payment. I sent a message through the company’s website voicing my concerns and asking how many items the series consisted of and how much it would cost me. I received a reply from somebody who clearly had not read my message and did not reply to my question.
I responded asking her please to reply to the question I had asked, and two days later I got a reply from a second rep (let’s call him “D”) saying, “you have already received a reply from one of our representatives”. I replied, pointing out that the first rep had NOT answered my question, and asking D to read my previous two messages and reply to my questions.
Two days later D e-mailed me again, still did NOT answer my original question, and merely informed me that the next item in the series had been shipped, something I could see for myself by logging on to may account online. I wrote back pointing out that he had still not replied to my question. He had, however, advised me that I could cancel my subscription at any time. Since he had told me that if I had any questions, he would be pleased to answer them, I asked him how I would go about cancelling.
I did NOT ask him to cancel my order, as I was trying to make up my mind whether to continue or to cut my losses. In the meantime, the second item turned up, and the shipment included a display case with space for 15 coins. This at least gave me an indication of just how much I had committed myself to paying. I reluctantly decided that, since I now had two coins from the series, I may as well receive all 15 items, but two days later I received another e-mail from D, finally informing me that the series consisted of 16 coins (I’m not sure why the box only has room for 15), and advising me that he had CANCELLED my subscription, “as requested”!
I had actually decided that I might as well accept that I was going to have to pay something like $1400, but thanks to D’s total inability to read and respond to the customer’s enquiries, I was now left with two coins and a box for 15. I wrote back and told him that all I had NOT asked him to cancel my subscription! All I did was ask him how I would go about this. He did say I could resume my subscription later if I chose to, but as I said to him, I wouldn’t take that chance, as it would probably be misunderstood and I would end up paying for the whole series again from the start.
So, not only did D ensure that I will NEVER again order anything from the Bradford Exchange, but he also lost well over a thousand dollars for his employer!
I have nothing to say about the Bradford Exchange’s products (though a lot of them seem to me to be rather tacky), but frankly, the information given on their website and in their catalogue is inadequate and misleading. Moreover, their customer service is probably about the worst I have ever been subjected to. And believe me, I have experienced a LOT of really bad service!
To be on the safe side, I asked D to confirm that my subscription was, indeed, cancelled and that he would not make any further changes to my account. Not surprisingly, five days later I have received no reply.