’tis the season to buy Christmasy stuff and, of course, Facebook is cashing in on the season as well through advertisements. (Note: If you didn’t read my previous post “Facebook “Community Standards” and do not by crap off Facebook ads (bonus!)” please do so now then come back… I’ll wait. LOL)
Back in October, while scrolling through Facebook, I saw an ad by “The Bradford Exchange”. I’ve heard of them, I think, but never shopped with them. They were advertising a “Thomas Kinkade Crystal Snowman with Village (etc)”. Looked cute and it would make a nice gift for a Thomas Kinkade fan. “Available in monthly installments”. What? SOLD! With a few clicks, the item went from just a shopping cart to a future present on its way soon. Or so I thought. Well the purchase receipt showed “Expected: Dec” – I wrongly thought “Dec” meant December. Stupid me. This purchase was made on October 26 – remember that date as it is important. Equally important, I received an Email confirmation stating the item would arrive between November 30 and December 3. This is acceptable! The app (see image) showed “Expected by: Mon, Dec 6”. Which is more than enough time to wrap it up.
On November 8th, my bank was changing over to a new card system and the new card could be activated until that date, which I did. My old credit card would become null and void, which it is. HOWEVER, from October 26 through November 8, the old credit card was still valid. Following me so far?
After not receiving any tracking information, I decided to reach out to The Bradford Exchange. That is when the b*llsh*t began and it was starting to get deep. According to The Bradford Exchange, they couldn’t ship the order because my card was declined – see paragraph above. As a result, they sent me a invoice on November 9th (just magically one day after the new card was enabled). They stated that I should receive this invoice soon. “Soon”? How long does it take to Email a new receipt?? Well, as I soon found out, it wasn’t sent via Email. Do you have your boots on, because it is getting even deeper now. On NOVEMBER 16, by US Mail – surprised it wasn’t the pony express – I received the invoice to make the payment for the purchase I made on October 26 which they apparently didn’t try to charge to my credit card until almost 2-weeks later.
I then explained the credit card issue to “Diane” on The Bradford Exchange page and asked “will the product arrive before Christmas?”. Before they answered, I went to their website to try an enter my credit card information – rather than delay the order by MAILING back my card information. In this day an age, things seem to move quicker online, including transactions, right? Apparently, not at The Bradford Exchange. According to the website now, the product showed it was “High Demand” and “Resumes Shipping March 01, 2022”. WTF? That is not what the Facebook ad said back on October 26 when I originally ordered this!
“Taylor” from The Bradford Exchange now joins the message thread. “This sculpture was out of stock when you ordered it on 10/26….please let me know how you would like to proceed with your order.” (sniff sniff?) is that bullsh*t or hog sh*t I’m smelling? So, back on October 26, I was able to place an order for a product, receive an Email (the only one) stating my order was complete and will arrive “between November 30 and December 3” but you are telling me, now, some 3-weeks later that, oopsie! it wasn’t even in stock on October 26? What kind of business are you running, The Bradford Exchange? This smelled, among other things like animal feces, like a scam. After this news from “Taylor”, I explained the shipping date now showing on the website, March 01, 2022, and said to cancel my order.
The Bradford Exchange is not just a .com, it is also in Canada and has a .ca website address. During my investigation into this, I visited the Canadian version of the company’s website on November 17 and found the same product for sale “Resumes shipping November 18” Wait, what? So, they ran out of the item, per their own lie, on October 26 and on the US version of the website it would not ship until March, 2022, but in Canada, it would be in stock and shipping November 18??? Not only is the sh*t getting deeper still, it is now hitting the fan!
Are these companies treating us like idiots on purpose? Do they plan to screw people or make false claims and lie to (potential) customers? Is The Bradford Exchange a respectable and responsible company?
I almost purchased the Canadian version of this product just to see if it would work, but it wasn’t worth my time or hassle. Actually, after writing all of the above and reliving the moments leading up to this post, I don’t foresee any reason to do business with, or shop at, The Bradford Exchange. Remember, if something looks like sh*t and smells like sh*t…it is probably sh*t.
So where does The Hamilton Collection play into this post? Well, during my browsing and getting “evidence” for this post, I was scrolling through Facebook (again) and noticed an ad that looked almost identical to The Bradford Exchange – but this was for The Hamilton Collection. Same sales pitch and attention “grab”, but for a different product. Since it looked fishy, I went to their desktop website. Every bit of it was identical to The Bradford Exchange, except for the company logos and company names. The menu colors, graphics, etc., were identical. Seeing this type of connection threw up red flags for The Hamilton Collection as well and, as with The Bradford Exchange, I will stay away from them.
On The Hamilton Collection’s Facebook page, I decided to comment – “Another FB ad scam. Same product and video under a different company name. If you have ad money, you too can scam people on FB. Take advantage of people before the holiday season.” While my words were, in my opinion, accurate, the Nazi’s at Facebook’s delicate “Community Standards” division flagged the comment because it “goes against our Community Standards on spam”. SPAM? What I wrote was true, in my opinion. And, for Facebook to classify my comment as “spam”, coming from a social network that earns millions of dollars off of spamming people with bogus ads, invading user’s privacy (targeting ads based on what users searched for, talked about, “thought”) … really?
There’s an idiom that comes to mind when I think of Facebook and their “Community Standards” – the pot calling the kettle black. Of course, Facebook never does anything wrong and neither do their paying advertisers. They continue doing what they do without any control or concern. As long as advertisers pay for ad space, they are allowed to do as they please.