Recently contested a bill that contained missing items they were already aware of. Their first email blamed postal mail and told me to wait 4-6 weeks before resubmitting a claim for missing items. (A) According to everyone at Columbia House, the computer records are backed-up and removed from the current order status page that proves the items shipped and were billed every four weeks. (B) After four weeks late charges are incurred for each unpaid invoice.
The instructions they give protect them from further claims as the records must now be requested (this takes several days to weeks) and as each week passes while waiting for the former records to be searched, new late fees appear. I was told to send the original invoice (as a copy wouldn't do cause of digital copy/paste forgeries) and pay my bill in full at the same time. They said a reshipment or refund for the missing items would then be taken care of. All of this occurs after several emails and customer service calls.
The last straw (occurring today 05-08-08) was when their supervisor said they did not have any records of the order. I provided an email they sent me that collaborated that they had shipped and billed those items as of 01-14-08 and also stated that computer errors kept them from retrieving this proof any earlier. The supervisor said that an email from them meant nothing and that if I wanted the items so badly to basically quit complaining and reorder them. I said why would I reorder them if I just paid for them on this last invoice the same I provided for them as proof and she said what invoice (and a copy of that invoice would mean equally nothing as well).
So now I'm out over $75 of a $325 bill and still do not have the product (a point I drove home with the supervisor). She became belligerent and I became inflamed and dropped a couple of unsavory words such as "This is B*LLSH*T " and she said she was hanging up. Before she did I said make damn f*ing sure you cancel my account and issue a refund on my overpayment for my open orders. She said with pleasure and slammed the phone down.
Now 3 hours later I went in to see if my account was canceled (amazing how quickly and precisely they can screw you yet never show the same talent for undoing their own mistakes, huh?) and it was but not before they shipped over $600 in merchandise and kept my overpayment and created additional costs. Yeah, I know... Just return them and get a refund. This brings me to a final point.
I went through this same bs when they shipped me an item I had not ordered and once again had the email to prove I had in deed declined not ordered the Boxed Set DVD. I struggled with them for several weeks via phone and email. They said mail it to our Greenville, SC. Returns facility and you will be credited. It cost me $17 to mail, insure and get a return receipt to prove I followed their instructions exactly and the box set appeared on my Columbia House bill for $44. They then said they found the original email to me saying I had not ordered it and that since it wasn't ordered they would have never mailed it to me to begin with and no refund or compensation would be forthcoming. So long story short they nailed me.
They had the DVD Boxed Set back, they had my money and they stiffed me with return postage for their screw up for a total of $61.
This lesson tells me that if I return the $600 screw you shipments they sent me they'll probably just say they were lost in the mail during return or some other crap so they can draw out the process and add penalties, still charge me and do anything else they feel entitled to do for the hell of it.
I've spent over $12 Grand at Columbia House. To be treated this way is beyond reprehensible especially since I have bent over backward to do what they instructed me to do.