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  1. #11
    Guest

    More on Smiles Coffee

    OK, so I've tried smiles coffee twice now (I know, I'm a sucker for coffee deals). The first time I kept the subscription for a good while, because the coffee really was amazing -- I never had any trouble roasting the beans, though I only did it for about 5 seconds (and they smoked and steame even after that). I also had a really good experience with their customer service. (This was all before the digital camera/thermos thhing -- the grinder was still a promo freebie, but nothing else)
    BUT not the latest time I tried it. I went to the site, left it, and got an email offering the camera as well as the grinder and thermos. I though "what the hell" and signed up again. they charged me $9.95 shipping (it's supposed to be $19.95 with the camera), so I emailed to ask what was up; they replied saying I hadn't authorized them to charge an extra $10, so they couldn't send the camera -- so I sent them another email authorizing that. Lo and behold, they charge me those $10 twice, I get my coffe without a camera (I've emailed them again, and dammit I will get what I paid for :-p ), and to add insult to injury, the coffe flavours are wrong. So I guess I would have recommended them before, but no longer . . . too bad, though, cause I really liked the coffe

  2. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    16
    Thanks for the warning about this place - I almost signed up for it!!!
    Coffeemaker: Bunn Home Brewer GR10-B
    Grinder: laPavoni PGC
    Roaster: Fresh Roast +8
    Favorite Coffee: Indonesian Celebes (the more earthy the better!)

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    140
    Wow,
    I hope that by me telling you guys about smilescoffee (which BTW was indeed a spam I got), you didn't get spammed just by visiting their site! I hate spam with a big passion!!
    But I'm glad someone here posted about their experiences! Thanks a lot!

  4. #14
    Guest

    ripped off

    I wish I had read all of these posts before I foolishly signed up for this "deal?". I feel I have been royally ripped off! It took me 3 days to get a clear line into the company by phone to cancel and complain. You aren't kidding about their rude customer service department. I was ready to wring the woman's neck and ended up just hanging up the phone with no resolution to my complaints. I am ready to report this company to the attorney general of my state for fraudulent advertising. If you are reading this, Smiles executives, you'd better wise up and play fair!

  5. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Greater Boston, MA
    Posts
    2

    Re: ripped off

    It seemed like a good deal. Not too good to be true[*], but for $15 I'd get a cheapo camera, a $10 grinder, some coffee, and they'd get me to try their product. I'd heard about the coffee before and was curious. I went to GrinderCam.asp and hit all the "Click here" links and authorized the $9.95 charge. The confirmation didn't mention the camera, so I wrote back. (Also thanked the party who referred me, grumbled about the back-end fee but said "If this package were $14.90 up front I'd still take it", asked about a particular coffee I like.) Went in circles for a while ("We can't find your subscription" "You found it fast enough when you charged my account!") eventually they say "The promotion you want costs $19.95, send us $10 more." (To be fair if instead of clicking where they say to click you read the bottom of the page, they've hidden that there; GrinderCam funnels to the same order-entry page as the regular Grinder promotion.)

    *About 3 years ago I got a cheapo digital camera from EarthLink, in return for trying out their service at $19.95 per month for 3 months. The same camera was selling for about $85 then.

    I said "Forget it -- I was in for $15 but not for $25". Box has arrived while they were messing around. They write "Cancellations can only be done by phone, not email." I'm getting ticked, but what the heck, cell phone calls are free, so I call them. They go around in circles some more ("We can't give you a refund." "Why not?" "Because it's policy." "Who made the policy?" "We can't give you a refund." "Sure you can, you are merely choosing not to.")

    I contested the charge with my bank. They credited me the $9.95, but then allowed the charge for $4.95. I waited a few weeks for them to make a final judgement and have now asked for the $4.95 to be reversed. Bank so far has said "You authorized the $4.95; by the way please send us certification that you've mailed back the product." I've just told them "I authorized both the $9.95 and the $4.95 in expectation of getting something that they didn't send; I have the box ready for pickup, or they can send me a return shipping label, but since it costs them $9.95 to ship and handle it, and I don't have their economies of scale, it would cost me at least that much to mail it back. I'll be throwing it away in a month."

  6. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    6

    Smiles Coffee revisited

    Their SPAM is intolerable, as others. I've received several a day at times and refuse to patronize people that think it's fine to use a service I PAY FOR and EQUIPMENT I PAY to own and maintain to send their self serving and dishonest offers.

    I fell for it once and got stiffed on the camera that was clearly included on the face of the offer. After outing them they agreed to send the camera and I rescinded my complaint.

    When the camera finally arrived it didn't work. I wasn't expecting an Olympus but I was expecting something that worked.

    Bottom line is that the tricksters are working overtime these days in every possible field and they are doing their best to part you from your money however they can.

    My new STRICT RULE is that if a SPAMMER or PHONE SOLICITOR contacts me WITH ANY OFFER AT ALL, I tell them that we don't patronize companies that are selfish and rude enough to resort to invading our privacy to sell their wares. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!

    It's a good rule:^)

  7. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2

    DON'T DO BUSINESS WITH SMILES COFFEE - YOU WON'T BE!

    I had the misfortune of signing up for this service, and have regretted it from day one.

    1. The product arrived, basically on schedule, but the amount billed to my card was NOT what I signed up for.

    2. The company is IMPOSSIBLE to reach! Emails have NEVER been returned, and they NEVER answer their 866 number. (I have sent almost a dozen emails. NO REPLY.

    3. Instant update: As I'm writing this, my husband emailed to say that he just got off the phone with them -- after making 30 attempts to reach them today (he logged his attempts: ALL BUSY SIGNALS until he finally did reach them.)

    Here is their "solution" -- They did ALLOW us to cancel (thanks, guys) BUT they're charging us $4.95 for the priviledge of not doing business with them. They WILL credit our card (in 60 days) IF we return ALL the product (WE NEVER WANTED AND COULDN"T CONTACT THEM TO CANCEL) AT OUR OWN EXPENSE.

    I'm furious. I URGE EVERYONE TO BOYCOTT THIS COMPANY. The "customer service" rep my husband dealt with was VERY RUDE, and the info he gave out was no more helpful.

    (Oh, and by the way, their product SUCKS!)

    I'm filing a complaint with the BBB.

  8. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2

    UPDATE from JavaHound

    Well, THANKS TO YOU FINE FOLKS I have resolution!

    After WEEKS of emails and busy signals, I got a call back from the CEO himself in less than five minutes of hitting send, and within ten minutes of negotiating, I'm satisfied....well, no longer irritated is more accurate. I'm STILL irritated that it took detective work to REACH a human...but you get the idea.

    As I'm an inherently fair human, let me share THEIR side of the story: the marketing they have in place (yeah, that includes all those spams) was FAR more effective than they might have wished for. So this relatively small company is overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with demand. A situation every start up envies...up until the INSTANT they find themsleves in over their heads. My gut instinct is that the CEO IS a decent fellow, a businessman who wasn't prepared for the response. If they can survive the considerable rage this engenders in the masses, they may become a player. Who knows?

    There is light at the end of this tunnel, at least for me. But I had to work WAAAAAY too hard to see it.

  9. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Greater Boston, MA
    Posts
    2

    Update on my dealings with Smiles

    Besides writing to my bank, I wrote to my state's Attorney General, and things got bounced around until it reached their appropriate consumer protection division, who bounced it around some more, but eventually sent it to some pre-law student who is doing some sort of internship I think. All she can do is ask nicely, but it will be coming from the AG; however she called me back and said she hasn't been able to get through on the toll-free number.

    I'll give her that private e-mail, thanks Javahound, but the story about the promotion being too successful doesn't ring true, and not just because it's the same reason Staples' rebate house gave as to why "8 to 10 weeks" (way too long anyway) is now taking 3 to 4 months. Their web site clearly funneled one promotion into another's acceptance area, and enough of the squirrely-ness has been brought to their attention over too long a period of time. They've got a scam going, and they know for $10 most people aren't going to fight something colorable as non-fraud.

  10. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1

    I HATE SMILES COFFEE

    I am NOT smiling. Smiles Coffee is the WORST company I have dealt with in years. They got me on the initial offer, and the coffee was pretty good, but not worth the monthly fee they were going to charge me. I called to cancel before the initial offer period expired, and the rep convinced me to have my account put on indefinite hold while she sent me more free samples. I reluctantly agreed, but I figured it was safe. Wow was I wrong. They proceeded to send me 6 free samples, and the a week later 26 in another box. They charged me over $36 TWICE on my credit card. I emailed them and auto response told me to call. GOOD LUCK CALLING. First, it sounds like you are re-routed to somewhere in India, and you can barely understand anything the person is saying. The connnection is so bad its pathetic, and then the rep's accent is so thick you have to have them spell everything. I called three different times with horrible people- rude people- to have to deal with. They denied ever offering me the free sample; and they said that they could still charge my account as often as they wanted even if it was on hold! They said I should send everything back and then maybe they would refund my money! I didn't even receive everything I was supposed to, I didn't authorize them to charge my card once I called to cancel, and then they want back the stuff they said they were giving to me for FREE!! The rep was literally yelling at me, telling me I should not have drank the coffee if I didn't plan on paying for it! I told her she was nuts, that I wanted to cancel and didn't want the stupid "free" samples anyway. I asked for a supervisor and she said there wasn't one she could get. I insisted and she refused telling me to call back and ask for a different rep. I spent nearly an hour with this "Carol" who was so obnoxious- I disputed the charges with my credit card company and they refunded me at least one charge for now. I HATE THIS COMPANY. STAY FAR AWAY. The only good thing is that I know they won't be in business for long when they treat people like this. Good riddance!!!

 

 
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