“I ordered flowers for a client a few months ago and apparently to get free shipping I signed up for a monthly membership at freeshipping.com at $12.97 PER MONTH! This is outrageous.“
So writes a customer of RedEnvelope on PissedConsumer.com. Is the FreeShipping.com “subscription shopping service” a good deal or a bad one? The answer depends mainly on whether you signed up for it knowingly or accidentally (some victims say their credit cards were hacked or they were tricked into it). The corridors of the Internet echo with the outraged howls of people who do business with some other company only to discover that they’ve somehow gotten entangled in a FreeShipping.com subscription.
Even the Better Business Bureau seems confused abut FreeShipping.com. They rate it A+ despite eight negative reviews and 125 complaints.
On June 1, 2017, let’s stick our Scam-O-Meter probe in FreeShipping.com and watch the needle. There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices. But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true, +1 means false, and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.
Ridiculous claims: +1. None found.
Suspicious location: +1. They have a real office, so one credibility point for FreeShipping.com. I dug into the Terms of Service to find this address, PO Box 290728 Wethersfield, CT 06129-0728. But the Better Business Bureau has another address for Clarus Commerce, the operating company: 500 Enterprise Dr Ste 2D, Rocky Hill, CT 06067-3913. Here is their HQ, on Enterprise Drive, nestled against Dividend Brook (coincidental names?).
Onerous terms: -1
- If you cancel a monthly membership, they won’t give you your money back. They will just stop future monthly charges. This policy offers no escape for the people who accidentally subscribed without realizing it.
- They don’t guarantee that products you buy thru their site are fit for any use; nor that anything they say is true.
- You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them, or join a group arbitration.
Ads, spam, robocalls: 0. Mild compared to most Privacy Policies I’ve read.
- They’ll use the information you give them, plus what they can suck out of your browser, to spam you. You can opt out.
- They try to get your email address up-front. If you give it, they’ll spam you even if you don’t register for their service.
Lying and deception: 0. Despite the flood of confused, angry victims’ complaints, I see no lying or deception on the site. The real story of how so many people unknowingly fall into their trap is beyond me. Once they’re in it, they do get bled.
Obfuscation: +1. None found.
Phony reviews: +1. I’m leery of any testimonials featured on-site; but the ones on FreeShipping.com seem credible.
Crummy product: 0. Experiences vary.
Overpriced: +1. Looks to be in the same range as Amazon Prime.
75% discount: +1. False.
Total score; +5
Unauthorized charges: FreeShipping.com maintains that all charges are authorized. Victims tell a different story. So I’m turning on the CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT red light. This peculiar operation is the highest-rated site I’ve reviewed to get a red light.
From PissedConsumer.com: “Ordered parts from PartsGeek web site. Never linked out to FreeShipping.com however, I just noticed on my credit card statement everytime I placed an order from ParrsGeek Freeshipping.com charged me a $12.97 charge.
Freeshipping.com CS rep stated I had to have filled out their info page and agreed to join their membership program. I informed the CS I never gave anyone my credit card data except Partsgeek. Freeshippping.com refused to credit back the charges but stated they could canceled my ‘Membership’.
Will call my back today and cancel the card and Partsgeek and Freeshipping.com are SCAMS! Buyer beware!”
From RipoffReport.com: “I receive a Walmart Reward by email. At the end of the personal information report I notice it wasn’t free because they ask for my credit card. I close the window. I receive a phone call explaining to me that it was a reward not a price I accept it. I went back to the window and field the blanks of credit info. I never receive the reward. But now I receive two charges of $12.97 from IC FREE SHIPPING. This is a scam they are interfering with people transactions and ilegaly charging money.”
From the Better Business Bureau: “Unbeknownst to me by ordering a lamp from ************* I somehow began having debited amounts of $12.95 a month being billed to my credit card.”
Conclusion: If you shop heavily online but not at Amazon, you might consider signing up for this service. But don’t stumble into it by accepting offers of free shipping on other sites. As an eBay customer posted, “Sometimes it pays not to click a button that looks too good.“
Related: FatWallet.com, “FreeShipping.com; scam or deal?“