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HomeCenter.com Scam Alert!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

(Fraudulent Drop Ship Business Selling Home Improvement Products)

Updated: 04/29/2010 (Resellerratings.com: Average Company Rating = 7.92, Homecenter.com Rating = 0.54)

Home Center: Plumbing and lighting products for the kitchen or bathroom, and irrigation supplies (Everything in Plumbing Everything in Lighting)

 

This is an account of my personal experience with ordering some Danze bathroom faucets from http://www.HomeCenter.com.Iíve summarized the Homecenter.com scheme to defraud you, my personal experience with them, and also provided the actual email correspondence that I had with the CEO/owner of Homecenter.com. The email correspondence letís you see for yourself the customer service I received. You should expect the same treatment if you place an order. In other words, expect to lose some money. Iíve changed my name to HomeCenterFool because thatís what I felt like after this two months long ordeal.

 

Homecenter.com is rated F (lowest rating) by the New York Better Business Bureau:

http://www.bbb.org/new-york-city/business-reviews/home-centers/homecenter-com-in-new-york-ny-70658/

 

 

If you've already been victimized by Homecenter.com, itís very important that you file your complaint so that something can be done about it:

 

FILE YOUR COMPLAINT 

 

You can file a complaint at each of the following offices. All of these are easy to fill out online forms, with the exception of the New York Office of the Attorney General. The NYOAG form must be printed and mailed.

 

New York Better Business Bureau: http://www.newyork.bbb.org/Find-Business-Reviews/,

type in Homecenter.com for the business name, then click File Complaint to file your own complaint.

 

New York Department of Consumer Affairs: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dca/html/contact/contact_form.shtml.

 

FBI Internet Crimes Form: http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

 

New York Office of the Attorney General: http://www.ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/pdfs/complaints/internet_complaint.pdf

 

Last year (2009), the New York Attorney Generalís office clamped down on seven New York internet businesses that utilized fraudulent business practices to steal money from consumers.Two were shut down and five were forced to pay fines and modify their business practices. Both the New York BBB and NYOAG have formed relationships with resellerratings.com with the purpose of identifying fraudulent businesses: (http://www.resellerratings.com/forum/merchant-discussion-shopping-advice/142805-nyoag-partners-resellerratings-target-internet-scam-artists.html).

 

While the Homecenter.com scam differs from the ones previously prosecuted, it is equally fraudulent. Although the individual losses may be small ($120 in my case), the collective loss to customers over the past 10 years must be in the millions. The only way to stop this fraud is to make the authorities aware, and the only way to do that is to file your complaint.

The Homecenter.com Scheme to Defraud You

 

Homecenter.com advertises low prices to attract as many customers as possible. Their web site and telephone sales persons imply that almost every product is in stock and available for immediate shipment. They cleverly disguise the fact that they are a drop ship company (i.e., they donít actually stock anything).

 

When you place your order, they pass the order on to a third party, typically the product manufacturer. They then send you an email notification that your order has a 2-3 week lead time. In that email, they encourage you to utilize their Drop Ship program if you need the product sooner. That enables them to raise the price an arbitrary amount by charging additional fees. If that option is too distasteful for you, they offer the option to cancel. With a cancellation fee of 40%, that is the option they want you to choose because itís the most profitable for them.

 

Their company policies are devised to entrap you. As soon as you click the Buy button, your credit card is charged and your order enters the shipment process. By their definition, that is when your order is subjected to their fees, even if the item you order is no longer available. At that point, they feel they can ignore all your complaints and take as much time as they want to ship your order.

 

When they do respond to a complaint, it is only to point to their policy page as if it was a license to steal. As bad as their policy page reads, itís actually much worse. They view their policy page as a restriction on your options, not on theirs. They charge you larger fees than their published policies suggest. They use the added fees as leverage, offering to eliminate them if you agree not to dispute the charges with your credit card company.

 

My Personal Experience

 

The Homecenter.com web site implied, and their telephone sales person confirmed, that the item I ordered was in stock. After ordering, I got their standard email response informing me that there was a 2-3 week lead time. I called their order line again posing as a new customer. Again I was told that the item was in stock and could be shipped immediately. When I informed them that I had already ordered the item and asked when it would be shipped, they passed me to customer service. I listened to music for about an hour before being disconnected.

 

My protests of being lied too fell on deaf ears. They refused to cancel the order without a 25% restocking fee, so I waited patiently for shipment. After 3 weeks with no shipment, and with Home Center ignoring all requests for an update on shipment status, I checked with the product manufacturer Danze, who informed me that the item had been discontinued. Danze said that the discontinued item was being replaced by a similar item, but the replacement wouldnít be available for at least 4 more weeks.

 

Unable to wait any longer, I was finally able to get CEO Brian Okin to cancel the order, but only after charging me a 40% fee, 25% for restocking + 15% for return authorization. When I explained that there was no restocking or returning involved, Mr. Okin explained that Home Center does not make money on fees, they were just passing on the fee that Danze charged them.

 

I then checked back with Danze, who informed me that Home Center had cancelled the order and that Danze had charged Home Center no fees. When I passed that information back to Mr. Okin, he informed me that since the order had entered the shipping process, it was subject to a 25% restocking fee and that he would not discuss it further. When I informed him that he charged me 40%, he offered to reduce it back to 25% if I would agree to the charges.

 

I didnít agree with the charges, so the fee remained at 40%. In his email communications, Mr. Okin now refers to the 15% portion of the 40% fee as an unauthorized/dispute fee. Calling it an unauthorized return fee became a little too ridiculous even for him. Now heís charging me 15% for not obtaining his authorization to disagree with his entitlement to steal.

 

Note: I subsequently ordered the product from another retailer that actually did stock it and I received the item in 3 days, at a cost that was less than what Homecenter charged for doing nothing.

My Email Correspondence with Homecenter.com from Beginning to End

 

From: HomeCenter.com Tracking

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:03 AM

Subject: Order #54600719 (Confirmation #S3916748) has been Processed

 

Dear HomeCenterFool,

Thank you very much for shopping with us! Your order has been processed. Your confirmation number is S3916748.

We will provide you with shipping and tracking information as soon as we ship your order.

Rebecca Okin processed this order for you, and would like to provide you with the following additional information:

Thanks very much for your order. We really appreciate your business! There is a 2-3 week lead time on this order. If you would like this order to ship out faster, please contact our customer service team about our Drop Ship Program at tracking@homecenter.com.

Sincerely,
Homecenter.com

For more information about our Drop Ship Program, click here:

http://www.homecenter.com/info/policy.asp#fastershippingoptions

DropShip Program
If an item has a lead time that is too long for you, simply request our DropShip Program. HomeCenter.com has supplier relationships established for over 50 years across the
US. We will utilize our procurement network to locate your products. In most cases, the products will ship out SAME DAY (until 8pm EST). Because we are using alternate supply channels to expedite your order, we will pass on a portion of the increased item cost to you. Although there is an additional charge, you still save money at HomeCenter.com because of our low prices. Rest assured that if anyone can find and ship the products you need right away, HomeCenter.com can, and you'll still save money.

 

From: HomeCenterFool

To: HomeCenter.com Tracking

Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 9:55 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

When I called, I was told that these items were in stock and would ship out immediately. Now you tell me that they may ship in 2-3 weeks. Please cancel this order and credit my account in full. Otherwise I will dispute this charge and complain to the BBB.


Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

 

From: HomeCenterFool

To: <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 9:55 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Please confirm that this order has been cancelled and that my card has been credited for the full amount.


Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

From: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 3:48 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

This order can be canceled with a 25% restocking fee or we can ship it in approx 7 days. Please advise

 

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Wednesday, January 20,, 2010 4:01 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

If you can ship the items by Tuesday of next week, then do so. If I don't receive a legitimate tracking number by then, I will assume that the order has been cancelled. I don't appreciate being lied too and I will dispute any cancellation fees.

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

From: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:22 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Please contact me on Monday for tracking information.

 

Thanks,

Brian

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2010 10:30 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

This is a reminder to send me the tracking number for this order.

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 4:12 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Please verify that this order has been cancelled.


Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

From: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 4:25 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

This order cannot be canceled.

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 9:17 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Are you telling me the product has shipped? Who did it ship with and what is the tracking number?

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 12:12 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

I checked with Danze. They informed me that they have discontinued the item that I ordered (D232158BN) due to lead content. 

 

Therefore please cancel this order as requested and credit my account in full.

 

Your website does list an equivalent item D222158BN, as being in stock. I really don't think that means you would ship it if I ordered it, but I would be willing to accept that item as a substitute for the one I ordered if you could ship it out immediately. Otherwise, please cancel my order and credit my account as requested.

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool
 

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 4:02 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Since you did not respond to my previous email, I will just assume that you were unable or unwilling to ship the items I ordered. I just ordered these items from another retailer and will be receiving them on Friday. Therefore there is no need now for you to wait for Danze to ship you the discontinued items that you ordered from them.

 

As requested so many times before, I expect my account to be credited in full. I know this will fall on deaf ears, but you could make a lot more money by treating your customers with some respect rather than treating them like the enemy.

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

From: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 5:04 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

HomeCenterFool:

I have taken care of this for you already. Please immediately cancel the items with the other company or you will end up with duplicates!!!!

 

I will review and get you details tomorrow when I'm back in the office. 

 

Brian

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 5:16 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

I gave you way more than ample opportunity to take care of it. It's too late now. The other retailer processed and shipped my order immediately. It is coming via Fedex and will arrive on Friday.

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

 

From: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 5:41 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

No problem. I will cancel your order and refund you less the 25% restocking fee and shipping charge from Danze. If you decide to cancel the other order and take the items from us before we ship back to Danze, we can do that too.

 

-Brian

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 6 :11 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Well, I guess I'll have to take what I can get and dispute the rest.

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

 

From: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 6:37 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

HomeCenterFool,

 

You've been credited, less 25% restocking fee and 15% unauthorized return / chargeback fee. If you'd like to email me that you accept the restocking fee, the 15% will be waived.

 

-Brian

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 9:46 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Well let's recap. You are proposing to charge me a restocking fee of 25% for a product that you do not stock. Plus, you are proposing to charge me an unauthorized return fee of 15% for a product that you never shipped. So if I accept your proposal, you will charge me 25% of my order total for doing nothing. If I don't accept, you will charge me 40% of my order total for doing nothing. That really is your business model, isn't it?  Do you honestly think that treating your customers this way is a good business strategy?

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

From: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 9:39 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

HomeCenterFool,

 

The Danze items will be at my warehouse shortly.  You can have them shipped to you or we can ship them back to Danze with the fees below.  We don't make money on the cancelation or on returns with restocking fees.  We are charged restocking fees from Danze and the other manufacturers.

 

Brian

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 3:52 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Brian,

 

Being an authorized dealer for Danze, I would expect you to know this already, especially after I pointed it out in an earlier email. However, I'll explain it again.

 

The Danze product that I ordered from you, D232158BN, has been discontinued by Danze. What that means is that this product is no longer available from Danze, not now, not ever again. That means that Danze cannot ship it to you, and thus you cannot return it to them. Now if you want to charge me some fictional fees for restocking items you don't stock or returning items you don't receive, I can't stop you. All I can do is dispute the charges. I'm not sure why you want to handle it that way, but I guess that's just your way of doing business.


Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

 

From: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 9:49 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

D236058BN is the item

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 10:24 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Brian,

 

Although D236058BN is not the item I ordered, Danze does claim that it is a replacement for the item I did order, D232158BN. However it is not available from Danze. The earliest date that it will be available is February 26, recently changed from February 5 a few days ago, but Danze was non-committal about that. It could change again to a later date.

 

That should give you ample opportunity to cancel your order from Danze so that you won't have to deal with shipping it back or incur unnecessary fees. Since the item you ordered is no longer carried by Danze, they should have notified you and given you the opportunity to cancel, and you should have notified me and given me the opportunity to cancel, without charging a 25% cancellation fee.  I have never encountered any business, other than your own that does that. Danze is an upstanding company, so I feel confident that Danze will be willing to cancel your order without fee considering the circumstance.  If not, let me know and I will contact Danze and explain the situation.


Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

 

 

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Friday, February 09, 2010 4:58 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Brian,

 

I just received some great news from Danze (see email below). They say that they received your cancellation notice and have cancelled your order with no fees. That means you don't have to restock the product or return it to Danze. That means that you can now credit my account the  $119.85 restocking and return fee that was not credited on Feb 3, 2010.


Sincerely,

 

HomeCenterFool

 

From: customer-service.danzeonline@globeunion.com

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 2:41 PM

Subject: Re: Subject: Customer Service - questions/comments from Danze web site


Homecenter.com requested and we did cancel 2 pcs D236058BN from
PO # P1146188.

Danze will not be charging a restocking fee to Homecenter.com

Regards,

Feel free to call us: 888-328-2383
Regards,

Lina
Globe Union American Corp.
Tech Support
U.S :1-888-663-2603
Canada : 1-800-487-8372

From: Brian Okin

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 9:36 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

HomeCenterFool:

Your order is considered to have entered the shipping process.  I won't discuss this further. We charge a 25% restocking fee for orders which have entered the shipping process and are returned.

 

-Brian Okin

Homecenter.com

 

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Friday, February 10, 2010 9:05 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Brian,

 

You charged me 40%. I am sure it's hard to keep straight with all the complaints you must be dealing with, but you charged me an extra 15% for return authorization. I am still trying to figure out how to return the items you didn't ship. That's a real dilemma.

 

In your email dated Feb 04, you stated the reason for not crediting my account the full amount as follows:

 

    "We don't make money on the cancelation or on returns with restocking fees.  We are charged restocking fees from Danze and the other manufacturers."

 

You were not charged a restocking fee from Danze, as verified by the following email from Globe Union of which Danze is a subsidiary:

 

    Homecenter.com requested and we did cancel 2 pcs D236058BN from PO # P1146188.

    Danze will not be charging a restocking fee to Homecenter.com

    Regards,

    Feel free to call us: 888-328-2383
    Regards,

    Lina
    Globe Union American Corp.
    Tech Support
    U.S :1-888-663-2603
   
Canada : 1-800-487-8372

 

Since the 40% fee ($120 in my case) didn't get credited back to me and didn't get paid to Danze, you must still have it. It appears that you make a pretty handsome profit on cancellations and returns with restocking fees, considering that no restocking or returning took place. After seeing the number of complaints filed against your company, I expect that is how most of your money is made.

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

 

From: Brian Okin

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:01 PM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

HomeCenterFool:

We can ship you the item, no fees.  In the spirit of compromise, and to put this to bed, I'm willing to reduce the fee to 18%, and waive the balance of it.  This is an offer to settle the dispute, and is valid until Friday.  If you accept, please email me. 

 

Brian

 

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Friday, February 11, 2010 9:10 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Brian,

 

An honest business would credit my account in full as I've requested so many times. You still owe me $119.85. 

 

I do understand why you have made this such a laborious procedure. It's your standard business practice. You advertise product availability, then attempt to extract large fees for prompt shipment through your drop ship program, or through order cancellation. You think that is a good way to boost your profits, but it does have serious negative side effects. For one, you don't get many if any repeat customers. But more importantly, word of mouth is a very powerful thing. Mistreated customers have a strong motive for spreading the word.

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

From: Brian Okin

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2010 10:18 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Wrong.

 

We've been in biz over ten years because we offer the best prices and great service.  If you order something that is not in stock, most companies tell you to either wait or cancel. We on the other hand, offer the Drop Ship Program. We are charged more for those shipments, and make LESS even when we charge you additional to drop ship the items. 

 

Brian Okin

 

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Friday, February 11, 2010 11:05 AM

Subject: Re: Confirm Order #54600719 Cancellation

 

Brian,

 

Most companies are honest about whether or not an item is in stock.  An honest company would not have told me the item I ordered was in stock when in fact it was not. An honest company would have informed me that the item I ordered was discontinued and that the replacement for that item was not available.  An honest company would have allowed me to cancel the order at that point without fee. Don't delude yourself into thinking that you run an honest company.


Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Homecenter.com is an Authorized Reseller of Danze Products. The Following Emails Were My Attempt to Inform Danze of the Fraudulent Business Practices Employed by Homecenter.com. I Copied These Emails to Homecenter.com and Elicited a Response from Owner Brian Okin.

To: internetreseller@globeunion.com

Cc: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2010 1:31 PM

Subject: Internet Reseller Authorization

 

To the person in charge of granting authorized reseller status to online retailers:

 

Your authorized reseller, Homecenter.com, is the most disreputable company that I have ever had the displeasure of doing business with over the past decade of online shopping. On 1/12/10, I ordered a discontinued Danze faucet D232158BN (Homecenter.com PO# P1146188). Homecenter.com cancelled this order with Danze as evidenced by the following email from Danze:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

From: customer-service.danzeonline@globeunion.com

To: HomeCenterFool

Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 2:41 PM

Subject: Re: Subject: Customer Service - questions/comments from Danze web site

Homecenter.com requested and we did cancel 2 pcs D236058BN from PO # P1146188.

Danze will not be charging a restocking fee to Homecenter.com

Regards,

Feel free to call us: 888-328-2383
Regards,

Lina
Globe Union American Corp.
Tech Support
U.S :1-888-663-2603
Canada : 1-800-487-8372

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

On 2/3/10, Homecenter.com credited my account less a 40% fee for restocking and return authorization, even though no restocking or returning took place, and no fees were charged to Homecenter by Danze.

 

After falling victim to Homecenter.com, I took the time to research this company and found that this was their standard business practice. There are countless complaints filed at the following sites:

 

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/HomeCenter

http://www.complaintsboard.com/?search=homecenter.com

http://www.ripoffreport.com/Search/homecenter_com.aspx

 

The resellerratings.com site provides the most accurate company ratings because it does an excellent job of preventing companies from boosting their ratings by posting lots of positive reviews of themselves. I've posted my personal experience, including the complete email communications that I had with CEO Brian Okin, at http://www.mixsoftware.com/HomeCenterFool.htm. It reveals the true character of this man and the company he runs.

 

After my experience with Homecenter.com, I ordered the same products from another online reseller (one not listed on the Danze site as an authorized reseller). This reseller actually did stock your products and delivered them in 3 days. Unlike the exhausting experience that I had with Homecenter.com, the unauthorized reseller was a pleasure to do business with.

 

One of the reasons that I ordered from Homecenter.com was that you list them as an authorized reseller. Since I had never ordered from Homecenter.com, your stamp of approval gave me confidence that they were a legitimate business.  Unfortunately that was a bad assumption. Homecenter.com borders on being a criminal enterprise. You should take the time to evaluate your implied endorsement of this company.

 

Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

 

From: HomeCenterFool

To: internetreseller@globeunion.com

Cc: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com>

Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 3:10 PM

Subject: Internet Reseller Authorization

 

 

Follow Up on Your Authorized Reseller - Homecenter.com:

 

It was very puzzling to me as to why your authorized reseller, Homecenter.com CEO Brian Okin, even bothered to post replies to the complaints he receives at http://www.resellerratings.com/store/HomeCenter.

 

I knew that he wasn't attempting to please his customers. My own personal experience proved that. I then thought that maybe he was doing it for the manufacturer's benefit. I thought that maybe a manufacturer might not appreciate being associated with a company that elicits so many customer complaints.  The fact that he replies to some complaints makes it appear like he cares. It wasn't until I saw the connection between resellerratings.com and the New York office of the attorney general that it suddenly made sense to me. He is replying for the benefit of the NYOAG. Last year they clamped down on several New York based internet businesses that utilized unethical business practices to steal money from consumers. It's clear to me now that Mr. Okin is attempting to keep his company off of that list.

 

http://www.resellerratings.com/forum/merchant-discussion-shopping-advice/142805-nyoag-partners-resellerratings-target-internet-scam-artists.html


Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool

 

 

From: Brian Okin

To: HomeCenterFool†††††

Cc: internetreseller@globeunion.com

Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 6:31 PM

Subject: Internet Reseller Authorization

 

HomeCenterFool,

 

I'm very sorry that you are so unsatisfied with our service. I see that you've been spending a lot of time emailing our vendor about this order.  Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to satisfy you fully.  As I stated in my emails, once an order has entered the shipping process, it cannot be canceled. It must be returned. Your order entered the shipping process.  Your options at the time were to take delivery of the item within approximately 7 days, or else as an accomodation I was also willing to have it drop shipped from a third party warehouse with a small added charge for our Drop Ship Program.  Instead, you chose option 3, which was to cancel the order and try to dispute the restocking fee.  As per our policies, we will not waive this restocking fee.  I'm not inclined to make any exception for you whatsoever at this point.  Your emails are becoming spam, and are filled with lies and mistakes.  My company has been in business over ten years.  We have hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers.  While we are not one of the companies who integrated our checkout process with some third part ratings websites, as you pointed out, this means that the only ratings we have gotten on websites such as resellerratings.com are when customers seek out these websites independent of our checkout process and website.  I am considering adding them to our checkout process because it will encourage a larger and more diverse cross section of our buyers to review us on those sites. As of now, the problem with websites such as this is that they are self selecting.  While 99% of our customers are happy, most happy customers don't seek out ratings websites to write reviews.  Then when someone is unhappy, such as you, you'll go to all of the ratings sites to post your negative review as many times as you can.  You'll even make up stories about why I answer the reviews and give all sorts of theories and explanations which are false.  While I actually do bend the rules once in a while just to satisfy a customer, and while we go out of our way to satisfy our customers, giving them the best prices, a huge inventory, fast shipments, and fast email responses, there are times when some customers just aren't going to be satisfied.  

 

At this point, I'm very sorry but I'm unwilling to bend our policies to accomodate your wishes for a full refund.  No matter how many times you try to spin it differently or lie about the situation, the facts are that I gave you your options as per our policies and you chose this option. However, as one last ditch effort to accomodate you with my only non-negotiable offer, if in the future, you find yourself needing any home improvement products that we carry, I will consider offering you a substantial discount off of any items that you order from us, just as a compromise so that you can feel that we made up for the restocking fee which you are disputing.  In addition, as I stated, I will reiterate my expired offer, which is that you stop the dispute with the credit card company, and in return I would waive the 15% unauthorized/dispute fee, as well. If those two parts will satisfy you, then let me know. If not, then by all means, keep sending emails and spending as much time on this as you wish.  We have followed our policies, and we will not respond to any more of your  emails or inquiries except in the case of your positive response to my last and final offer of compromise.

 

Sincerely,

Brian Okin

Owner, Homecenter.com

 

 

From: HomeCenterFool

To: Brian Okin (CEO) <cancel@homecenter.com

Cc: internetreseller@globeunion.com

Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 10:23 AM

Subject: Internet Reseller Authorization

 

Brian,

 

I don't know if Danze is fully aware of your unethical business practices, or even if they care. At least now they should have reason to investigate if they do care.

 

My purpose in copying you on my email to Danze was to let you know that I care. I don't care about the money you stole from me, that was an insignificant amount. What I do care about is the fact that you've been stealing from your customers for over 10 years and you haven't been stopped yet. Your scam may be different from the ones already prosecuted but it is equally fraudulent. Although you point to your policy page as if it was a license to steal, that defense won't work once the number of complaints reach the NYOAG threshold.

 

You called me a liar in your response. I would direct anyone who cares to our email communications. I can't indict you any better than you do with your own words. You also dismiss the complaints on resellerratings.com as a skewed sampling (self selecting in your words). The average rating for a company on that site is 7.91 out of 10. Your rating is 1.37 out of 10. There are also a lot more reviews posted for your company than others. It appears that people have "self selected" your company as the one to complain about.  I too would like to see you link your site to resellerratings.com, but we both know when that will happen.


Sincerely,

HomeCenterFool