The Bradford Exchange - Beyond terrible...nothing but a huge SCAM Hands down worst retail business EVER!
I can honestly say, this company is hands down, THE WORST retail merchandise company EVER. At 35 years old, I've obviously ordered things from catalogs, online, tv, etc.
So obviously I've made some purchases over the years that were unsatisfactory, incorrect, delivered late, were not as described, etc. Most of the time I find reviews on the company I'm buying from, and on occasion have decided not buy from a few companies because of bad ratings. This company, I ended up not checking out reviews and/or complaints about them, for whatever reason...and it was a HUGE mistake! And the only reason they are still in business, is because most of the time, people are too busy to make formal complaints, and/or the financial loss isn't enough to make some people care enough to complain, are able to just write it off, don't feel like taking the time to go through some long drawn-out process, so they just don't bother, but meanwhile, they are allowing this terrible scam company to stay in business, by staying silent.
I ended up on the Bradford Exchange's website while searching for something else. But while I was browsing what they had, I found a few things that I liked, and ended up purchasing two items. They totaled $278, but had installment plans available to me, for my purchase. They offered 4 month payment plans for both items, and were NOT payment plans associated with their credit system, "buy now, pay later".
During the checkout process, after I filled out my payment information (which was via Paypal). I was still not 100% about whether I was going to make the purchase or not, I wanted to see the total including tax, shipping and handling, and what the initial first payment was going to be. The page I was on, clearly read that hitting the "next" button would give me my total, and that I could review my purchase before committing to it. So I clicked on it, and it said; "Thank you for your order!
We will send you a confirmation and transaction number via e-mail. So right off the bast I was irritated since I was led to believe that I would not officially be placing my order UNTIL they gave me my total, shipping dates, etc., on the next page. But no, that obviously wasn't the case, and it was too late to back out, as the purchase had been finalized. But, it wasn't as though I didn't want what I purchased, I just wanted to make sure it was going to fit into my tight budget for the next several months.
But again, at least I was getting the two items I really loved, one being for myself, and one was going to be a birthday gift for someone. About 60 seconds after I unwittingly placed the order, (and that's not hyperbole, it really was less than 60 seconds, because I always have my e-mail up on one of my tabs on my internet browser, and it alerts me every time I get an e-mail, the second I get it). So just seconds after I make the purchase, they email me, and I clicked on the e-mail, and it said; "We are sorry, but we were unable to processes your order. If you have any questions, please contact customer service.
There was no explanation why they couldn't process it, they weren't out of stock, my payment method had more than enough money available for it, and it wasn't some $40,000 order that so high that they couldn't complete the order due to being leery of sending out some hugely expensive order. So I was confused, but accepted it and figured I shop elsewhere for similar items. So I got on my Paypal account just to make sure they didn't take any money out of the account, and sure enough, they had. They took $40, and when I clicked on the information about it on Paypal, it said that this company puts a temporary hold on the money, to make sure that I had enough to cover it.
So I called Paypal, and they looked into it and said that the hold would be taken off within 10 days if they were not going to send the item, and would be released to The Bradford Exchange when it was ready to ship. But, since I got a notice just seconds after placing the order, that they could not process my order and that "no charges were going to be made from my account"...I told Paypal that I assumed that BE (Bradford Exchange), had already cancelled the order, I could expect the hold to be taken off my account, and that not more charges would be made taken from my account, and guy from Paypal that took my call, assured that I was correct in that assumption. So I waited. After 10 days I was pissed that the hold had not been removed, tying up funds that I needed to purchase a new birthday gift for my friend.
I wen to their website to contact them, but they did not give a number, just an e-mail form to fill out, and then they'd get back to me. They make it very, very hard to get their customer service number on their website. So I filled out the form/e-mail asking when my money would be released, why they could not process my order, and then have no explanation why, and made it clear that I at this point, did not want the items regardless. But since they cancelled it themselves mere seconds after I placed the order and they charged my paypal account, I no longer wanted the items because of the hassle.
And told them that they were NOT to take any more money from my account. I never received an e-mail or call back from them at all. And still no refund/release of my funds. And when I go on their website to check the status of my order (which should have said cancelled), they say they have no record of my info or purchase history...nothing.
And that sent off a red flag. Then, this evening, 18 days after I placed the order, and they cancelled it, and took my money and still had not released it...I get on my Paypal account to check and see if it had been released, to my astonishment, I see that have taken ANOTHER payment from my account, this time for $48!! I was so livid!! And when I went to call, their website says it's open until 6pm (6 pm their time), and I saw that they would still be open for another half hour, yet no one took my call, I just got the automated prompt saying they were closed for the day.
I checked again today to see if there is any record of my order, and it still says invalid transaction number, and the same for each time I tried looking it up under other things they give you an option to look up your order under, including name, address, payment info,etc. So the bottom line is that right off the bat they place your order after saying they would not be placing it until I got to the next page and could review it before clicking "place order",, then they tell me they won't fill the order, no money will be taken/put on hold, but then they take/put a hold on after ordering, after saying they wouldn't, then did not release it after 10 days, does not respond to my e-mails, did not send me either thing from my order, I've never gotten an e-mail from them saying that my order is ready to ship, ***, never gotten a single e-mail from them since the one and only one they sent saying they cancelled the order. That's almost $90 they've taken, AFTER cancelling the order for no apparent reason, not having sent me anything from my order, refused to *** the first hold of $40 after ten days, AND takes another chuck of change $48, 18 days after taking the first payment, and sending nothing. And to top it all off, they magically have nothing about me or my order in their system.
I just started looking for and reading reviews/complaints of this awful company and see that there are HUNDREDS of unhappy customers (and those are just the ones mad enough to tell the world how bad the company is, imagine how many more people out there got gipped, lied to, taken too much money from, never got their stuffed, got poor quality stuff, etc., etc.). I have read a ton of people who complain of either not receiving their item/s until MONTHS AND MONTHS later, and in many cases, never got them at all. Complaints of terrible customer service, complaints of incorrect orders, complaints of returns or cancelled orders having to wait months to get their refund, if at all, and complaints of them taking money without permission, taking more money after their order has been cancelled or returned, taking out more than the amount they agreed to take out each month, I even read one review/complaint that said they ordered a product, finally received it, made all 4 months payments (or however many months they offer you to pay for your item), owned it free and clear, but the company CONTINUED to take out monthly payments for MONTHS after the item they ordered was paid for. Had I read reviews like I usually do before buying online from a company I've never bought from...I would most certainly have NOT ordered from them, not in million years.
The one time I don't check them out first, and I get scammed. Though that's not an excuse for this companies wretched customer service, cheap products (that cost 50 times more than they should cost), shady dealings, outright lies, crappy employees, bad policies, inept business manner, and outright THIEVING SCAMMERS! Trust me, look around. Don't just take my word/ my bad experience for it...don't just look here (which all by itself proves all on it's own how bad the company is), look at the reviews/complaints on TONS of other websites, especially the websites that are for the sole purpose of rating companies, and the ones that are created to expose scams, ripoffs, shady dealings, etc.
It's astounding. Bottom line, the Bradford Exchange is by far and wide the WORST company in this country and then some.
NEVER EVER BUY FROM THEM! If you see something you like on their website/in their catalog, go straight to ebay, Amazon, and other sites that sell the same item, or is being sold by someone who bought it, but are now looking to sell it.
Review about: The Bradford Exchange Account.
Reason of review: Nearly ALL of the above/choices!.
Monetary Loss: $270.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like: Being lied to, Scammed, Terrible customer service, Lack of communication, Continuous money stolen.