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Pillar Of The Community
United States
950 Posts
Posted 05/19/2017   09:54 am  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
Buy a new album from some dealers and I guess they just expect you will be happy to be billed for annual supplements. Here is the text of an email I just sent to Nordfrim:

'I bought three Lighthouse albums late last year. Yesterday I received a shipment of 2016 supplements. I do not remember being told at any time that I was contracting to receive supplements for these. My collecting interests go up to about 2010 and not much past that. I am now being billed for over $100 US for items I perhaps will never use. Being in the US, it will be very expensive for me to return these.

Please update my account to eliminate automatic shipments of supplements on these albums. Is there any way I can ship these back to you without having to pay a high mailing fee?'

I think I am stuck here. I sort of understand why firms do this stuff but at the same time it is an imposition. Sort of feels like they are pushing these off on customers. If this is their sales policy they need to make it clear. I don't think they do.

Just seems pushy.
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Valued Member
United States
159 Posts
Posted 05/19/2017   11:33 am  Show Profile Check adcaplan's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add adcaplan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Can't you just mark the envelope refused and take send it back? Also, if you didn't sign up for the supplements, wouldn't it be considered an unsolicited merchandise? The rules on that are clear: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/...edFraud.aspx
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
4172 Posts
Posted 05/19/2017   12:25 pm  Show Profile Check Petert4522's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Marking the envelope refused does not work for foreign mail. It will not be returned so you still have to pay the bill.
And he might unknowingly have signed up for the supplements - sometimes hard to tell from a foreign supplier.
He did the right thing by contacting the source.

Peter
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Valued Member
Canada
290 Posts
Posted 05/19/2017   1:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dutchman1948 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have sent them emails before with questions but have yet to receive a reply.

I will correct that they did answer one and took 12 days.

It was a simple question whether their reference to mint meant hinged or not hinged and was told "By mint stamps means both mint hinged or mint never hinged"

Personally that would eliminate me as a buyer as there can be a huge difference in price and I would like to know which it is prior to buying.
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Edited by dutchman1948 - 05/19/2017 1:48 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
950 Posts
Posted 05/19/2017   1:33 pm  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I saw nothing at all when making the original purchase that would have alerted me that I was entering some long term contract to receive supplements for these albums.

I had something similar happen years ago with a now defunct stamp supply outfit in NY. I'd purchased a Minkus single country album (I told you it was a long time ago!) about a year earlier and suddenly received a supplement for it, in that case they just ran the charge through on my credit card. I'd already bought the supplement from another source. I sent it back and it took months before I got the charge taken off.

This on the face of it looks like a full-service sort of thing to do. In practice it can be annoying, inconvenient and presumptuous. No reply yet, we'll see.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
6590 Posts
Posted 05/19/2017   2:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am going to give THEM the benefit of the doubt and assume it was just a book-keeping error. I think your email to them was overly generous, but that's good on your part.

Unless they can produce some sort of documentation showing that you signed up for the supplements, then if they want the supplements back then they should pay for the return shipping.

If they are unwilling/unable to produce proof that you signed up for the supplements and are unwilling/unable to agree to refund the charge in a timely matter, then contact your credit card company and challenge the charge as soon as possible.

That being said, the practice of some companies to include "automatically signing up for (and automatic renewing) additional services" in the fine print of purchases has been challenged in court many times. One large law firm in my state recently lost a case brought by the government on this, even though it was clearly stated as part of their promotion. I was not part of the suit, since I actually did see the fine print and did want the service renewed each year. Of the court cases I've seen (I'm not a lawyer), the ruling time and time again is that the renewal or additional subscription of services clause must be disambiguous, not unusual practice, and/or clearly stated as part of any sales presentation -- in other words, they can't simply try to sneak in a purchase commitment in there (just like Walmart can't simply sneak in some items and ring them up in the check-out line). Numerous other examples, such as car dealers sneaking in "prep fees", "coupon fees"... -- the dealerships who did that here settled out of court with the DA. The idea that "it's in the contract" is not legally binding if there is deception designed into the contract, just like if the contract is with a minor without adult consent.

I will note that in the case I mentioned above, the law firm now has a separate signing contract for renewal of services. How broad the ruling is, I don't know since I'm not a lawyer, but the bottom line is that a seller cannot "sneak in" an item/service, regardless of whether you signed a contract or not.

Sorry about the aside. Bottom line, get the amount credited back, and make them pay for return shipping. Even if you did accidentally subscribe to supplements, they should have emailed you a reminder (even my law firm send me a reminder of automatic renewal, and that was before they got sued by the DA).
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Edited by khj - 05/19/2017 2:06 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
950 Posts
Posted 05/21/2017   10:56 am  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I got a catalog from Nordfirm over the weekend and noted they are still selling Lighthouse albums at a good discount. I also this time noticed small print at the bottom of the listing to the effect that anyone buying these would receive annual supplements 'until you ask us not to'.

This wasn't in tiny print, but the disclaimer was not made real noticeable. Sort of sneaky IMO. Still there it is.

I may be on the hook here for over $100 or at least for mailing fees of perhaps half that to get them back to them.
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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
1681 Posts
Posted 05/21/2017   4:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add area66 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
We have some Lighthouse sellers who offer to enroll you in the supplement list, but they send you and email to inform you the supplement is coming , and it will cost this if you pre order. They don't send unless you pay.

You have one guy, who sell Unitrade stuff, if you inquire for a price he send you an email the next day, "are you ready to order it". The next day, " I can send it today if you pay before 12" . After few warning shot that I dislike to be push to purchase something, I slam him the door

In your case if the seller sells at low price, maybe it's the cost price, expecting you will purchase thing later. It's probably what Mystic do with their $ 39.95 Album.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
869 Posts
Posted 05/21/2017   4:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You are not "on the hook" for anything. There is probably no state court in the US that would enforce this type of gimmick. It's an "unconscionable" sales practice that would surprise any consumer.

You have no obligation to return the merchandise or pay any bill they sent. If they persist, report it to your state's consumer protection agency or the Federal Trade Commission, and tell Nordfrim that you did; that will end it.

Your e-mail was generous and kind. I would have simply ordered them not to send anything more, and told them I had discarded the shipment and refused to pay the bill.

Chris
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
950 Posts
Posted 05/21/2017   5:04 pm  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The email has not been replied to. It was sent close to the weekend and maybe I will hear next week. I want to resolve this amiably because they are a good source for supplies. I suspect they will tell me to send them back then reimburse my shipping charges.

I bought three country albums last year from them and got five supplements Two of them are for what looks to be ATM stamps for the respective countries. I did not even buy pages for those in my original order. How do you spell 'pushy'?
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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
1681 Posts
Posted 05/21/2017   5:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add area66 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Is this what you call "small print at the bottom of the listing"

It's the description of the item you want to purchase......

You need to at least read the description of what you purchase before add something to a basket....







here the actual location on the page





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Edited by area66 - 05/21/2017 5:55 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
950 Posts
Posted 05/21/2017   7:20 pm  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I ordered these early last Fall. I do always read carefully the description of anything I buy on line, that includes eBay and dealer websites. It is of course possible that I overlooked that but I do not see how. In the link you posted it stands out and not only due to your highlighting it. Note the 'small print' referenced was in a catalog/flyer from them I received this past week. This information is indeed placed in smaller print. The offering does not seem to be accompanied by any option to not receive this. Maybe this explains their very low prices on these products. They make it back on supplements.

So no, what you pasted is not what I would call small print. It also does not to my recollection look like what I viewed when placing the order. Not sure what you were suggesting about me, but thanks anyway.
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Edited by Stamps1962 - 05/21/2017 7:22 pm
Pillar Of The Community
Canada
1681 Posts
Posted 05/21/2017   8:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add area66 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't means anything, I just go check this company after you post to see what they have and I found the inf.

As I said in the previous post, they always try to sell you supplements and often approval stuff. At $ 100 a year , Lighthouse and the sellers don't loose money .

Now, to add something, I use to go purchase my Album in Montreal, they was giving 40% of the retail price, now they barely pay the rent because of eBay and Internet purchases , so they are on order basis only at full price. You can't even find a Scott binder in Montreal stores, I have to order them at abusive shipping charge from iHobb, $ 40 US . for shipping a binder in Canada , it's same with Subway and Amos. If you add another binder it's $ 60

We leave in days that peoples just care about the price, so no service anymore.





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Edited by area66 - 05/21/2017 8:58 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
950 Posts
Posted 05/21/2017   10:17 pm  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
OK, Area, sorry if I got testy. :)

It is of course conceivable that I totally overlooked this caveat when making my purchase. Apparently I did but it is hard for me to think it was as clear from the site I ordered as it is in the site linked to. Maybe they got other complaints?

I will just need to wait for a reply. I will hold the shipment intact until I know what they want to do. My guess is that I will not hear from them anytime soon. They will send me a bill for the 'past due' amount and I can take from there. I was worried about protecting my good standing with the for future orders. Maybe that is not such a concern now.
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Edited by Stamps1962 - 05/21/2017 10:20 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
6590 Posts
Posted 05/21/2017   11:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If signing up for automatic supplements is a part of the sale package, an obvious additional financial commitment, it should be in the item title/header. Otherwise, it is a financial commitment that they are sneaking in. What's worse is there are no details regarding the cost of these supplements nor instructions on opting out. What's to keep them from charging $125 instead of $100, or turning this into a perpetual commitment?

And, in my opinion, I do consider it "in the fine print" -- as this not only refers to the font size but also being buried in the details. After all, it is in the smallest font in that section, and at the very end of the details. Seriously?!? It should have been at least in a separate paragraph so that it would be both conspicuous and also recognizable as a separate chargeable item.

I find it self-defeating for a good company that offers good products to operate in such a "slide it under the door" manner.

As I stated before, and Chris pointed out, a business can't simply sneak in extra clauses/sentences into the fine print and claim you agreed to it contractually.

They should have contacted you 30 days prior to shipping to invoice you, instead of shipping it to you directly without warning.

I certainly hope Nordfrim replies to your satisfaction and so that you feel comfortable purchasing from them in the future. No company is perfect, but a company that owns up to its confusing business practice and recognizes customer satisfaction is top priority, is a company worth returning to.
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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
1681 Posts
Posted 05/22/2017   09:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add area66 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To automatically enroll you on the mailing list to send you an email about the new supplements with a form to order it is one thing, to send you something you have not been quote with a price ir's another thing.... Don't spend anything to return it.

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