Friday, October 22, 2010

A New Ploy To Extract More Money From The Comsumer?

Is "Out Of Stock" the latest in the lame bag of tricks that companies will be using, since outright heavy price increases don't go over too well in this economy? I'd say being on the lookout for more of this, might be in order. Not so clever re-wording (or re-framing) of the situation, does not help it fly, at least in my book. Here's a recent email exchange, for an example:
-----Original Message-----
From: Greg Gillette <>
Sent: Thu, Oct 21, 2010 4:25 pm
Subject: kava kava

Thank you for your continued loyalty to Whole Health Products.  We are writing because an item you have on your Convenience Plan, Kava Kava Extract 200mg, 150 capsules is out of stock and we do not have a tentative date for its return.
However, we do have the 60 capsule bottle in stock.  This product is identical to the product you have been receiving, except for the different capsule count per bottle.  The current price for the 60-capsule bottle for our Convenience Plan customers is $14.98.  Because you are a loyal long-term customer, we will give you a discount of 15% off that price, reducing the price to you to $12.73 per bottle.
Your Convenience Plan order was set up with 1 bottles shipping to you every 75 days.  If we do not hear back from you before this date, we will automatically change your shipment to the new size bottle and leave the quantity of bottles the same.
Please let me know if you need to change the quantity of the order to correspond with the new capsule count.  I apologize for any inconvenience.
Thank you,
Whole Health

Sent: Fri, Oct 22, 2010 7:35 am
Subject: Re: kava kava


So, out of the goodness of your heart you are going to give me 60 (60% less) capsules for the exact amount (to the penny) that I have been paying for 150 capsules? Does 'out of stock' mean you can't find a slightly larger bottle in which to put 90 more capsules, in order to honor our original agreement? Or perhaps this is actually just your way of increasing the per capsule price to me by 250%, and then attempting to explain away the increase with this unsatisfactory excuse. In any case, this is absolutely unacceptable to me.

Do NOT attempt to charge my card for anything other than what I agreed to originally, which is 150 capsules at the price of 12.73 per bottle plus shipping. That is my reply to your email.


I guess I should be thankful that they weren't waiting outside my home, with a loaded gun, to rip me off, eh? Maybe this is a kinder, gentler robbery technique that we are expected to accept without complaint.

What a world.

Now, here is the final email from Whole Health representative Greg "Little Shaver" Gillette:

-----Original Message-----
From: Greg Gillette <>
Sent: Fri, Oct 22, 2010 9:36 am

Subject: RE: kava kava
The Kava Kava raw material price has gone up tremendously in price. Our price went up and thus, our customers’ price did as well. I will cancel your convenience plan for the kava kava.  

It appears li'l Greggy-poo doesn't like being called out on bullshit, does it not? I know he's merely a sales-kid, who was just slammed against the wall, slapped and then forced to say the truth out loud. And, of course, I'm at least as remorseful as he is "sorry for the inconvenience." Maybe more. But it seems to me that not being certain when an 'out of stock' item will become available, and knowing you are jacking up a price by 250% are so different that the term "deception" is MORE than kind. And isn't deception just a milder term for "lying"? I'm just asking.