This Online Pet Store Has Rabies

On the surface, Hands-N-Paws caters to owners-n-their-dogs, but the company’s real stock in trade is being hilariously rude to its customers. When someone asked them to cancel an order immediately, they wrote back, “No..not immediately, when we can get round to it.” When another person threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau, they wrote back, “File it. Blackmail gets you nowhere, honey.” They even have a “Hall of Shame” on their website where they list the email addresses of customers they hate most of all. This is why we make all of our cats’ clothing out of old newspaper.

This story from the thread seems to encapsulate the type of experience shoppers have with handsnpaws:

I ordered over $60 worth of items from this site in March……their site clearly states that your “order status” will change within a week from your order…and if not, to email their customer service. So, when mine didn’t change, I sent an email….not response, sent another, no response…..it was now the middle of April and I still hadn’t heard from them, my order status was never changed and I read a lot of BAD reviews on them, so I got worried.
 
Here is an email I sent them (the only one they ever answered to):

 

 
This is my third attempt to contact you regarding the status of my orderd, placed on March 1st. I would like to know when to expect it to be shipped, if item are backordered, etc. I am a little concerned about my order and am afraid if I do not receive a response about my order OR receive my order soon, I will have to file a dispute for my PayPal payment.
 
Thank you!
Jenn
 


 

AND here is their response back:

 
 
Thu, 24 Apr 2008 17:12:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: “HandsNpaws”
Subject: Re: FEEDBACK: Order
 
File it. We’re still closed for PASSOVER and the processing time is still 1 to 4 weeks as you were advised. We’ll say the same thing elsewhere, because that’s the first thing they’ll ask. What are our terms. And we’ll show them what we showed you…more than once. Blackmail gets you nowhere honey, but we do get a kick out of letting you make a fool of yourself. And of course, you won’t get the items any quicker. We’ll let the paypal time run its course. That will be even more fun sitting back and making you wait while you get yourself all worked up. It pays to be nice, honey. When you’re nasty, this is one store where we won’t go one inch out of our way. Don’t have to.
 


 

I had filed w/ PayPal before I got the email back from them, because, of course, it took them awhile to respond. But once I got this email, I forwarded it to PayPal, my dispute was moved to a claim (within a few days of my filing my dispute) and I got my money refunded (THANK GOODNESS)!!!
 
Here is their response in the PayPal refund:

 
 
Sophistication Alley Ltd. (Mail@HandsNpaws.com) has issued you a full or partial refund for your payment.
 
Message from merchant:
Hope you enjoyed the long wait. That’s what you get for being rude and impatient.
 


 

Even the lone customer on the thread who stands up for the company has faint praise:

I’ve been ordering from that website for the last two years with ZERO issues! I wonder what happened. I haven’t ordered anything within the last few months, but the last shipment I got was prompt and correct. I must admit thought, I don’t ever get a shipment confirmation or anything from them.

Ripoffreport has another stunning example of the madness behind Handsnpaws, where they refuse to answer a customer’s questions, then tell her they aren’t going to talk to her anymore.

A Ripoffreport commenter also point out that there’s another company, Hands AND Paws, that is totally unrelated to this story, owned by a different person, and has no complaints against it. Here are the Sophistication Alley businesses we could find:

Handsnpaws, please read this post and send us a hateful email! Unlike customers, we actually enjoy hearing back from people like you. It makes our jobs that much easier.

(Thanks to Dan!)

(Photo: kansas_city_royalty)

Comments

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  1. smirky says:

    Damn! Just plain Damn!

  2. G-16 says:

    Talk about having a lax job. Hopefully someone steps up and puts them out of business.

  3. SOhp101 says:

    Someone will do a DoS attack on their server in 3, 2, 1…

  4. cliffordmanning says:

    I hope they get their due and have to close up shop, or change their url to hoofnmouth.com. Either way, it’s a win-win.

  5. godofcookery says:

    Wow, that’s amazing. I don’t know if I’d be amused or angered at a reply like that. It’s almost enough to make me want to order from there just to see..
    How these companies can stay in business is beyond me.

  6. SkokieGuy says:

    No chance this is a hoax?

    Are you accepting nominations for douchebag hall of fame?

    As a huge pet lover, I’ve always thought that those that love and work with animals (or kids or the handicapped or the elderly) were always compassionate and caring people. In fact when dating, getting along with the pets is a prerequisite. I’m frankly shocked to read about what an arrogant bunch of jerks runs this company.

  7. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Dear Mr. Walters.

    I dare you to write a followup story on your snooty fancypants website featuring this letter! Then those people will see how stupid and greedy your website is!

    DARE! DOUBLE DOG DARE! NO TAKEY BACKSEYS!

    We don’t care. In fact, we’ll only care if you don’t post it. Then we’ll care.

    Sincerely,
    HandsNPaws.

  8. consumersaur says:

    Pretty hilarious, honey.

  9. B says:

    @SkokieGuy: I’ve met plenty of people who, while they get along great with pets, seem to have difficulty empathizing with actual humans. That may be the case here.
    Personally, I’ve always found the idea of dressing pets up in clothing to be rather repulsive.

  10. Crabby Cakes says:

    Those stock e-mails from Sony are looking pretty good right now.

  11. 10intheCrunch says:

    Order…March 1st.
    Passover…April 20th.

    That’s 7 business weeks.

    “Sophistication” apparently does not imply basic math or grammar skills (check out the language in the ripoffreport claim).

  12. katra says:

    Oh dear. I wonder if they’re prepared to put all of Consumerist in their hall of shame!

    After reading that, I’m just disgusted. Assuming this is real, I wish they’d lose all the customers they obviously don’t deserve.

  13. ideagirl says:

    Company name is “Sophistication Alley ltd.” I am assuming sophisticated is a relative term…

  14. Caroofikus says:

    @SOhp101: I was thinking of that myself…I’ll jus thave to learn how.

  15. Buran says:

    This sort of thing is why I no longer will use Paypal. With a real credit card, you can get the money jerked out of their account by force when the merchants are assholes and fail to help you. Then they get to enjoy a nice fat chargeback fee.

    Thankfully, the one time a merchant scammed me via paypal (also the last time I’ve ever used paypal) I’d paid via credit card and got my money back even when Paypal told me to fuck off despite being a victim of fraud.

  16. Thaad says:

    I smell a Nomination for next-years worst company…

  17. You know what they say…. Negative attention, is STILL attention. I’m sure there are a bunch of people visiting their dander ridden site right now, after reading this story.

    The odd thing is, the company wrote back “It pays to be nice, honey. When you’re nasty, this is one store where we won’t go one inch out of our way”….

    Is it just me? Because I found her email to be quite nice, considering the situation. Who wouldn’t be concerned where their order or money went?

    P.S.- To “Jenn” – If you read a bunch of bad reviews…. why did you order from them?

  18. Caroofikus says:

    From their privacy policy:

    “This site uses an order form for customers to request information, products, and services, it also collects visitor’s contact information (like their email address), in some circumstances their unique identifiers (like their pets name, or mothers maiden name), and financial information (like their account or credit card numbers).”

  19. LiC says:

    Ha ha ha ha, I love that. OMG, where can I sign up to work for them? Are they hiring CS reps?

  20. TheDude06 says:

    OMG.. their terms of service is pretty hardcore!

    “We expressly disclaim all uses of any items sold on this site. Product descriptions are for general information only.”

  21. TheDude06 says:

    “If an incorrect item is shipped, upon receipt of your return item (please request an RMA), we will reship the appropriate item for no charge and issue you store credit for the return shipping”

    I could go on and on, but its hilarious [www.handsnpaws.com]

  22. kallawm says:

    “Non Returnable Items
    There are no returns for sales items, items purchased with a discount coupon, exchange items from a return, Mutt Hutts, Hatchbag cargo area liners, pet beds, Pet furniture (ottomans, Louis Dog), toys, pet pillows, dog or cat treats and other consumables, pet jewelry (including charms, pearl, crystal or rhinestone necklaces), harnesses, toys, harnesses, collars or leads made with crystal or rhinestone, or any products made with Swarovksi Austrian Crystal (E.g. Those product numbers beginning with LCW or CBCOLL), designer pet carriers (any pet carrier over $100), discount/coupon purchases, personalized items e.g. with initials, monogrammed items, pet throws, seasonal items (halloween or other pet costumes, xmas themed gifts, any Christmas or Hanukah items, St.Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day), spa or grooming items (shampoos, conditioners, skin treatments etc), health products (including pet meds whether opened or unopened). We do not provide exceptions to our return policy. Please read carefully.”

    Holy cow! Wouldn’t it have been easier to just state what they DO accept for returns?

  23. smirky says:

    If only the name were Monster Hands-N-Paws then we could have a real cage match.

  24. Optimus says:

    Two words:
    Chargeback magnet

  25. alyssariffic says:

    I like the last question in their FAQ. The response to if there is a minimum order requirement is “There is no minimum order requirement in our store, however, in order to maintain our low prices, there is a $5 processing fee for orders under $50.”

    So… to get low prices, you charge a fee. Okay…

  26. flairness says:

    OMFG. From [www.handsnpaws.com]

    …I get 10 vacation days a year. This chick gets SEVENTY FIVE. (plus some, because she didn’t specify how many she’s taking off for Chanukah…I love how she’s ALSO taking off for Christmas)

  27. el_smurfo says:

    What Makes Us Special?
    We admit to being quirky. We have scoured the globe to find the fun stuff that will allow you to interact with your pet at home or in the fresh outdoors. We also love to interact with our regular customers and make them feel at home here. We spend just as much time on our community efforts as we do running the store. This is why we are not a 24 hour turnaround store.

  28. uncle_fluffy says:

    Someone blame the customer.

    Pretty please?

  29. el_smurfo says:

    Prices
    Please note that cached pages on the internet may not reflect accurate pricing. Where sale items are indicated, they may not reflect the larger sizes of many items which customarily higher for many items of clothing and some pet carriers. Prices shown reflect the price for the smaller size if more than one size or variant is indicated.

  30. el_smurfo says:

    So, basically, you’ll get it when you get it, and you’ll pay what we charge you.

  31. homerjay says:

    @uncle_fluffy: essentially verucalise did.

  32. Buran says:

    @uncle_fluffy: Nah.

  33. Buran says:

    @verucalise: Probably the bad reviews weren’t found or searched for until after it was too late.

  34. evslin says:

    @uncle_fluffy: Customer should have thicker skin! Geez!

  35. gruffydd says:

    This is fantastic! Having worked in CS roles, many times I dreamt of responding like this company, but never had the balls to do it!
    I mean, it’s horrible for the customer, but it’s funny as hell!

  36. KIbbit says:

    is RuPaul head of customer service?… so many honeys

  37. jpdanzig says:

    Hilarious — these guys are the Fawlty Towers of online pet shops! BASIL!!!

  38. attackgypsy says:

    You know, in a partial way, its refreshing to see a business like this.

    I don’t put up with anybody’s crap in mine either.

    However, provided there wasn’t any nastiness in the original 2 emails, they didn’t have the right to go off like that.

    If they did it in the first, I’ll cancel their order and issue a refund. But this company was just plain dumb.

  39. Shaftoe says:

    What concerned me was them publishing the email addresses of those with whom they disagreed. In clear text. A clear violation of thier canned privacy policy. And just plain nasty behavior. I would be contacting the NY and Arizona states attorneys general on that one

  40. kathyl says:

    @alyssariffic: Hmmm…about that $5 fee for transactions under a certain limit…I wonder if that’s against the agreement that vendors agree to with the credit card companies. I know they can’t refuse to accept a card as payment for anything below a minimum amount according to their agreement, so I wonder if MC/Visa/Amex allows a fee in those cases. Does anyone know for sure?

  41. Buran says:

    @kathyl: While the agreements on credit card issuer websites are generic ones and might not apply to all companies specifically, in those I believe you aren’t allowed to impose a minimum transaction limit, and you cannot have a surcharge for credit card payments.

    But we don’t know the specific rules that apply to this company.

  42. seismic007 says:

    I really couldn’t believe any business would be this rude and obnoxious–until I visited their website! They **really do** have a Hall of Shame. And I have never seen such a lengthy (ridiculous) and unfriendly terms and conditions. It’s amazing they sell any products whatsoever.

  43. lamorevincera says:

    Good God, how do they expect to make money this way?

    I feel so sorry for those poor people who’ve had their personal info posted simply because the company owners felt like being asshats. I hope they don’t get pummeled with spam after this.

  44. Not Alvis says:

    From the site: “Please note, for phone orders, we do need your email address to process the order. Rest assured, we NEVER sell or rent these addresses.”

    No, they won’t rent or sell them. They’ll just post them for free online for any spambot to pick up if you do anything to piss them off. And they accuse the CUSTOMERS of blackmail?

  45. akede2001 says:

    They are using Authorize.Net to process their credit card transactions. They also do not have any sort of intelligent card validation system. As such, if you go in and try to place a test order with totally bogus information and a card number which passes LUHN-10 (such as 4111111111111111), they’ll get a transaction decline.

    They pay for each one of those declines. Both to Authorize.Net and their merchant service provider.

    My guess is they’d be open to a brute force/validation attack also, as they likely have no fraud detection suite enabled and do not limit the number of orders per IP or user account. Very poorly built site, extremely insecure too.

    /Former Authorize.Net employee from many years ago
    //Former developer that did Authorize.Net integrations for merchants
    ///Security specialist too

  46. socritic says:

    This story is hilarious! These people are beggin to get crank called!!! Does anyone have numbers for the owners/handelers? it goes without saying that no one should ever order anything from them, unfortunately, it’s obvious they don’t give a damn whether you like them or not. or whether people badmouth them or not. They’re going to change name and continue doing business. The best way to get to them is to report them to anyone you can report them to, give them as much trouble as possible, look to get them into trouble on anything related to products, shipping, charging.

  47. juniper says:

    As a Jew, I think I can say:

    Way to perpetuate stereotypes, lady.

  48. starrion says:

    @akede2001:
    “if you go in and try to place a test order with totally bogus information and a card number which passes LUHN-10 (such as 4111111111111111), they’ll get a transaction decline.

    They pay for each one of those declines. Both to Authorize.Net and their merchant service provider.”

    Interesting…

  49. maggiesmommy says:

    Ripoff report shows that they are located in Clifton, NJ – conveniently located less then 5 miles from my house. After reading the article, my first thought was – they have to be from Jersey. And they are.

  50. valarmorghulis says:

    Don’t know if the comment beast ate the last one, but I hope this isn’t a double post…

    This is why I love the internet:

    Looking at the handsnpaws.com privacy statement leads us to this contact information:

    By Mail: HandsNpaws
    3219 East Camelback Road, #824
    Phoenix, AZ. 07012

    By Phone: 602-522-8300

    or Email: email@handsnpaws.com

    A reverse lookup of that phone # via anywho.com (which almost never works) turns up this:

    Peter Greenfeld
    4500 N 32 St
    Phoenix, AZ 85018

    a WHOIS of handsnpaws.com via networksolutions.com (grrrr) lists this for the administrative contact:

    Wolf, Peter mail@handsnpaws.com
    1360 Clifton Avenue; #322
    Clifton, NJ 07012
    US

    Notice that the NJ zip code is the one included in the contact information under their privacy policy. I personally wonder if Peter Wolf and Peter Greenfeld are different persons, but that is just conjecture.

    The best part though was finding this little gem at the bottom of their Privacy Policy under the heading “Customer Information Obtained and How It is Used”:

    “We may also use information obtained in order to protect our customers, employees or property or if you have published our information or communication to you on the Internet. [Bold added -VM] Such protection may include investigation complaints or fraud, harassment or types of unlawful activities. Such information may also be given to a government entity or a third party provided such demand is lawful.”

    So at least they are hinting up telling you what kind of experience they expect you to recieve.

  51. cheviot says:

    Ooooh, I just love watching people get all riled up because a company refuses to be beholden to the concept that “the customer is always right”. Businesses aren’t required to believe it and when a business doesn’t the vast bulk of the normal complaint process simply won’t work with them… and lots of customer’s can’t handle the idea.

    These are the same type of customers that demand “fix this or I’m returning it and never shopping here again!” and when you agree to return it and escort them from the store they start screaming because they cannot comprehend the idea that a business would rather be rid of them than deal with their crap.

    And look how people in this thread respond when it’s pointed out the business won’t deal with their crap… people advocating crank calling, forging credit card transactions, trying to get them in trouble with other companies.

    GROW THE HELL UP! What are you folks 8 years old?

    If you don’t like the way they do (or don’t do) business, don’t shop there. They clearly don’t want your business, why would you want to give them yours?

  52. dragonfire81 says:

    @cheviot: Businesses are expected to maintain a certain level of professionalism in dealing with all their customers. Taking a firm stance on this issue or that issue is fine, but you can be polite about it instead of being a douchebag just to purposely piss off your customer.

  53. bigroblee says:

    @cheviot: You, sire, are a fucktard. I hope this comment does not get me banned, but I felt it needed to be said.

  54. Shaggy says:

    @bigroblee & @dragonfire81: I agree 100%.

  55. kathyl says:

    @Buran: Thanks for the info. Good to know.

  56. valarmorghulis says:

    @cheviot: Point taken. When people start reacting in that manner to this business, I would see your stated response as a viable option. The problem here is that some people like to be told when an order is going to take 6+ weeks, especially when they are told that they will be communicated with within 7 days. Petulant 8 year olds would begin peppering the site with “Where’s my stuff?” questions around the third day. Patient adults ask nicely what the status of their order is…three times, and on the third time state what the repurcutions will be for a continued silence.

    The customer is not always right, but the customer is always the customer.

  57. valarmorghulis says:

    @kathyl: worth noting the destinction between applying a flat CC surcharge, and charging more for items purchased using a CC. the latter is accecptable, but the former is not.

  58. cheviot says:

    @dragonfire81:

    Expected by whom? Someone who’s threatened a chargeback on what may be the first email the business received while closed for a religious holiday, while still within the 2-4 week processing time for orders listed on their site? This sounds very much like a customer that breezed through all the instructions and limitations listed on this companies website then, when they didn’t meet her personal expectations, threatened them.

    Take a look at their site. These folks go out of their way to explain they don’t fill orders quickly. They’re closed three out of every seven days a week not to mention their extensive calendar of days their business is also closed. This looks like one of those companies where you place your order, and in old-school mail-order fashion you get your stuff four to six weeks later.

    I ask but one thing of companies I do business with. That they do what they tell me they’ll do. If they won’t tell me they’ll do things the way I want them, I go elsewhere.

    @bigroblee:

    I won;t repeat the word… but am I a f****** for calling people immature for advocating fraud against this company or am I a f****** for pointing out that some customers are so much trouble that businesses would rather be without them than deal with the likes of them?

    Oooh, wait… maybe I’m a f******* for pointing out the ridiculousness of tilting at windmills to Don Quixote?

  59. lamorevincera says:

    @SkokieGuy:
    It’s not a hoax at all. I didn’t know if these people knew that their email addresses were publicly posted, so I emailed them to let them know. The people who have responded to me so far have thanked me for doing so, and had NO idea that their info was out there like that. God bless ‘em for not marking me as spam… lol

  60. @valarmorghulis: CAN I GET AN AMEN

  61. BrokenGlassHurts says:

    @dragonfire81:

    What dragonfire81 said. cheviot appears to hate consumers and love companies that rape them, so I have to wonder who cheviot is here to shill on behalf of…?

  62. cheviot says:

    @valarmorghulis:

    Agreed. Here we run into another problem, and I since I wasn’t privy to her emails, I hesitate to ask… but we’re told this is her third email to the company. Did she place her order number in the subject line of her prior two emails or this one? I ask because having gone over their site before posting my first message in this thread, they’re very clear that emails without an order number in the subject will almost certainly get eaten by their spam filter.

    Did she use their online help system when her first email was seemingly ignored? I ask because that’s exactly what the site’s “Contact me” page says to do.

    But this customer isn’t even a really good example of a bad customer. The message that started the thread of complaints was from a person upset that her order hadn’t been shipped after 10 days, when their entire website says over and over that they take 2 to 4 weeks to fulfill orders. She then complains they don’t do order tracking on the phone, which the website explains and she should have known before placing her order.
    Then, when she emails for an update she’s offended that they cut/pasted the FAQ from their site, explaining how long orders take to ship.

    At this point, long before the minimum time quoted to ship she tells them to cancel her order immediately. And they say sure, but not immediately. When they get around to it.

    GOOD FOR THEM. This is exactly the type of customer they don’t want and getting her out the door, KNOWING they want her gone is the quickest way to be sure she won’t be wasting their time in the future.

    The customer isn’t always right. Heck, they aren’t even always the customer if the business decides they aren’t.

  63. Televiper says:

    @cheviot: Sometimes when every commenter disagrees with you, it’s usually a sign that you should RTFA.

  64. Bobg says:

    I’ve said this before but…when did the customer become the enemy? I thought the idea was to treat the customer so nice they WANTED to come back.

  65. katekate says:

    @cheviot: 7 weeks, dude. 7. That’s just plain unreasonable.

  66. cheviot says:

    @BrokenGlassHurts:

    As I said in a previous post, I ask but one thing of companies. That they do for me what they tell me they will do. I think if you’ll check my posting history you will see one trend.

    I side with the company when they tell a customer the terms of their service, the customer disagrees with those terms, does business with them anyway, then screams bloody murder after the fact.

    I side with the customer when the store says they’ll do something for them, then doesn’t follow through.

    And I LOVE to poke those who scream with righteous indignation regarding how a company is treating them, especially when they either haven’t been treated poorly (like the fictional price markups at CompUSA when the liquidators took over) or when the company treats them exactly according to the policies the customer agrees to when making a purchase, but that they don’t like so much when it means the customer would have to take responsibility for their own decisions.

    So… you’re really implying that I’m shilling for CompUSA, Forever21, Dell and the City of San Carlos, CA. all the while rooting for customers of Best Buy and Radio Shack? Seriously?

  67. katekate says:

    @cheviot: The message that started the thread of complaints was from a person upset that her order hadn’t been shipped after 10 days, when their entire website says over and over that they take 2 to 4 weeks to fulfill orders.

    She was wondering what the status of the order was, which hardly constitutes being “upset” about it not being shipped. And again, I gotta point this out: 7 WEEKS.

  68. BretHunterLA says:

    How funny…a nice user of this site sent me an email alerting me that my email address is posted on the hands n paws website under the hall of shame. I ordered nearly $500 of items in February, and after THREE MONTHS, two deliveries during which only half of my items were received (without any prior indication that there would AGAIN be missing items), repeated lies being told to me as to why there were delays, repeated excuses like “we attempted to communicate with you about your order status but perhaps it ended up in your spam folder”, email after email requesting status, and finally getting so fed up that i asked for a refund, they have the audacity to place me upon THEIR hall of shame? that’s actually pretty funny. Not once did the company ever apologize or assume responsibility…it was always a deflection or some holiday excuse. I’m an attorney in Los Angeles, and more than happy to share my experience with anyone who wants to email me. The customer service was abysmal, and frankly, the passover excuse was used on me too…how hilarious! The first time I actually spoke to a rep from HandsNPaws (which now seems more representative of their demeanor than love for animals), she praddled on about how her store gets frequent complaints and i started picturing this place being run out of a meth lab trailer in the middle of Arizona. After I finally had to threaten them to get a refund three months after being charged for my order, the final laugh was had when I receieved emails from the crackers saying “we noticed you haven’t used our $7 coupon for additional orders…” UMMMMM…WHY would i order ANYTHING again? Had i known there was a problem, I would have ordered my pup’s italian soccer jersey from someplace else to begin with. :) Live and learn.

  69. Televiper says:

    @cheviot: Should also point out that the order status is supposed to change within 7 days. It didn’t change. If they couldn’t change it to “order shipped” or “order processed” it could have been “order recieved.”

    If the first 2 emails were eaten by a spam filter, why did the third one get through?

    If the customer was so wrong, then why did pay-pal side with her so quickly?

  70. metaled says:

    @maggiesmommy: they are located in Clifton, NJ – conveniently located less then 5 miles from my house. After reading the article, my first thought was – they have to be from Jersey. And they are.

    I think maybe they drop-ship from New Jersey, All of their business offices are in Arizon. Looking at the sattelite view, looks like they have a storefront on Camelback Road. I was just there last week, darn, I would have liked to “Shake this Persons Hand.” /sarcasm/

    HandsNPaws.com dba Sophistication Alley Ltd.
    4500 N 32nd Street. Suite 109
    Phoenix, AZ 85018
    Phone: 602-522-8300
    Fax: 973-598-0949

    Correspondence
    Send to: Sophistication Alley Ltd
    3219 EAST CAMELBACK ROAD; #824
    PHOENIX, AZ 85018

  71. cheviot says:

    @Televiper:

    I did. Did you read the companies website?

    Don’t get me wrong. Having read this stores terms of service, I don’t think I’d ever order from them. Let me repeat that just so we’re clear. I would never order from them given their terms.

    But they don’t hide those terms. They state them quite a bit, several pages in their site. The customer must agree to those terms when placing an order.

    They say very clearly that their orders take 2-4 weeks to process. Continue reading and it also says days when their closed do not count towards that processing time. They are closed 3 out of 7 days a week. They were also closed April 17-28th for Passover. They are in fact closed A LOT (another reason I wouldn’t order from them) but having read their website, like anyone who’s ordering from them should, I know that.

  72. cheviot says:

    @Televiper:

    Could you point out where it says that the status will change within 7 days on their website? I’ve looked all over and I can’t find a single reference saying the status will change in 7 days.

    Dunno why her third email got through, perhaps she included her order number in the subject line? Maybe she submitted it through the help form on their contact page as the instructions said to do if she didn’t get a reply within 3 days to her first email.

    Now, lets get down to brass tacks. There is only one way the customer is wrong here… and it all boils down to one issue. This company tells people exactly how it deals with orders. Exactly how you have to communicate with them if you want to be their customer, exactly how big of a pain in the arse they can be… long shipping times, difficult to talk to someone about order status, etc (they spell it all out on their “Contact Us” page and they don’t try to sugar coat it). The customer agreed to all this when they placed the order. It’s only later the customer got all grumbly when they found out the company was doing just what they said they’d do.

    The reason Paypal sided with her (and should have) is because they said explicitly they were going to let the clock run on the Paypal dispute and (presumably) not ship the merchandise. They were divorcing the customer.

  73. TheRealAbsurdist says:

    @cheviot: No. you’re simply a fucktard. Sorry, I can’t put it in simpler terms for that so you can comprehend it. And no, sorry, typing it f****ard doesn’t make you any more grown up.

  74. metaled says:

    BTW Their 32nd Street Address is about 6.5 miles from the Phoenix Headquarters of the BBB. Straight down the street at:
    BBB
    4428 N 12th St
    Phoenix, AZ 85014

    Funny, Google search gives a warning that the ArizonaBBB (.org) may harm my computer, so I can’t access it? Google’s link to the warning does not work?

  75. lamorevincera says:

    @cheviot:

    I don’t think this customer, Jenn, is in the wrong at all. I see where you’re coming from, and completely agree that the customer is NOT always right – but she handled the matter politely, and was met with nastiness. There’s no excuse for that. There’s also absolutely no call for this company to have posted her email address publicly. I’m not a lawyer and don’t know whether or not that’s illegal, but it’s certainly not right.

    I can’t really blame this lady for being worried about her order, either – I would have been as well after two failed attempts to contact them and 2 months without an order status change. It’s good business practice to make sure that someone goes through any spam email filters and makes sure no real customers’ emails got put there, so that doesn’t really fly either.

    I do see where you’re coming from, and agree that it’s in a consumer’s best interests to research the companies that they’re doing business with, especially those that are small and may be fly-by-night. I could do more of this in my own life, certainly. I just don’t think any consumer ever really expects that kind of response – insults and the subsequent posting of their personal info – to a polite inquiry about an order that’s become very late with a company that isn’t talking.

  76. cheviot says:

    @TheRealAbsurdist:

    So… you’re one of those customers who just ignores the terms of service and does whatever you like? I speak specifically about Gawker Media Group’s comments terms of service that you agreed to when you signed up to be a commentator? Specifically where you agree not to defame others.

    Now I see why my comments infuriated you so. You’re acting today exactly like the customer’s I was railing against. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume this isn’t a new thing for you either (although I don’t know that for a fact) No wonder you took it personally! I should be ashamed for calling out customers who act like you appear to! Shame on me!

  77. metaled says:

    @cheviot: The stores TOS is what the store agrees to, unless the customer is checking a box when handing over their credit card,(I haven’t bought from them, so I don’t know). then the customer is not agreeing to it at all. And if you read much of this store owners writing, they are ignorant and don’t seem to make much sense since one line will be the polar opposite of the next line.
    I say again, if the page does not say “Before purchasing, you must agree to all of our policies”, then it is just the stores one-sided policies. Not consumer rights or the law. IANAL (Obviously).
    You can’t just put it in a return policy that they will only look at when they have problems or put it in the box with your purchase. It has to be agreed to before the sale. You want them to agree to it, make it the main page, they must agree to before entering the store sight. NO ONE WILL ENTER

  78. cheviot says:

    @lamorevincera:

    I agree with you to the extent that I don’t think there was anything she did (aside from choosing to do business with that website) that was wrong.

    I think she went off the rails in choosing to do business with them in the first place. It’s like paying a homeless guy to wash your windshield at a stop light then complaining about the quality of the work.

    My best guess is this company has a lot of customer’s that place orders and are happily surprised 6-8 weeks later when their orders arrive. Again, just guessing, but I’d assume these customers, possibly from the old mail-order-catalog days, make up the bulk of their business. That’s the customer they want and the type of new customer they want to cultivate. (again, this is just conjecture)

    So, what do they do when someone does anything that takes up their time in the way that 80-90% of their old-school customer’s don’t? They show them the door, quickly and rudely. Slam the door and make sure they don’t come back.

    Now, is that how I’d run a business? No. But if they want to run their business that way, it’s their right. And it’s certainly their right to do so without an internet hit squad encouraging people to clog their phone lines, track down the owners, and process fraudulent credit card charges on their site.

  79. cheviot says:

    @metaled:

    Hey, I get your point. But this is exactly what practically every online store does. We’ve all heard of Amazon posting a television for a nickel, then, after thousands of orders were placed by customers, canceling them all, pointing out that their TOS gives them this right. Just about any online store has T&Cs you must agree to when using them, just as you must agree to the return policy of a brick & mortar store when buying from them and this one is no exception.

    Taken from the page of their order process before you submit payment info:

    “Order Confirmation
    Please review your order for accuracy. Please note that by continuing with your order, you agree to our terms of sale and return policy on this site.”

    So she had to agree to even place the order.

    I disagree that the store owner is ignorant. I think curmudgeonly is more like it. They sound like they’ve been doing things the same way for a very long time, aren’t planning on changing and would rather turn away business than change to suit a new customer. I suspect the uneven writing is due to adding in additional terms and details when specific issues came up without taking the time to rewrite a whole section.

  80. lamorevincera says:

    @cheviot:
    Thanks for the clarification – I do see better what you’re getting at now. :)

    I’m actually glad of the “tracking down the owners” part – most of the people who were on the “Hall of Shame” email list had no idea that their email addresses were being listed on the site, and those who did know can’t get an answer out of the company. I passed on the info to those who said that the company’s refused to talk to them about the email addresses, just so they had a way to arm themselves.

  81. cheviot says:

    @lamorevincera:

    I don’t like the email “Hall of Shame” due to spam issues… but a Hall of Shame in general can work wonders.. My old video store (pre Blockbuster) had one… customer pictures (taken when they’d signed up to rent) up on a wall behind the counter of anyone that kept a video, didn’t pay late fees, bounced a check, etc. Their wall of shame didn’t list names or offenses, but it was a big motivator for people to resolve their issue with the store.

    Likewise, a local mom & pop market has a sort of list of shame at each register, with a list of names not to take checks from. Again, I chuckle every time I see the list.. and chuckle some more after a few days when I see a name rendered unreadable by a big black marker once they resolve their debt.

  82. thelushie says:

    @cheviot: I would not give my money to a store that did any sort of “Wall of Shame” even though I would not end up on it. I find it juvenile and unprofessional. And I find the only businesses that do that sort of thing are run by people who have little to no business experience and think it is just a “kool idea to have a, like, business”. I also find the owners of this online pet store juvenile and unprofessional. There are more appropriate ways of dealing with customers than to post their pictures and/or names for the world to see.

  83. cheviot says:

    @thelushie:

    Agreed. But this gets back to what I’ve been saying. When people do business with a company like this, they know exactly what they’re getting into.

  84. Cliff_Donner says:

    I am a little concerned about my order and am afraid if I do not receive a response about my order OR receive my order soon, I will have to file a dispute for my PayPal payment.

    Most credit card companies, when you make a purchase directly with their card, have a timeframe of at least several months to dispute a charge, and in my experience, are not even that rigid about enforcing the deadline.

    Paypal allows you, I believe, 45 days to file a dispute if you haven’t received your purchase. If you delay beyond the 45 days to file a dispute, you’re screwed — Paypal will not lift a finger to help you.

    I’m sure this is where Jenn was coming from when she mentioned the dispute. If a vendor can’t get the product into a customer’s hands within 45 days, they probably shouldn’t accept Paypal.

  85. fjordtjie says:

    “By all means, feel free to contact us if you have a rush or need more information on shipping, but please note that during rush periods, it may take a few days to respond with a small staff. This helps us keep our prices affordable. On occasion, because we work with mainly small designers, items may also be backordered up to six weeks. Please also note our non-business days as this will affect processing time.”

    That is on the website, and that was what she was doing: contacting them for more information on shipping. Nowhere does it say ‘we will just ignore your responses if you try’. Assuming, after dealing with reputable companies, if they urge you to contact them, it is reasonable to assume they will respond…maybe in a few days, as they state themselves.

    Sorry if this was already said, I was skipping over the million responses from cheviot…

  86. eskimo81 says:

    @cheviot:

    On principal I agree with you, the company does tell you up front that you`re going to get poor service.

    But on the other hand, commmunication is key to customer service, and this company fails at proper communication.

    This is an example of a company that may be behaving legally, but is not behaving responsibly.

    I agree with the principal you`re arguing for, but I don`t think this company is worth defending, and I think you should pick your battles, and let this one go.

  87. planetdaddy says:

    @Clold:
    My email address is for rent.

  88. RetailGuy83 says:

    @eskimo81: I would disagree, I think that if cheviot believes in his arguement, then this is the perfect senario to battle for it. If he 100% feels that customers should expect to get what they agree to, then what better place to stake an argument than on this thread?

  89. superchou says:

    How a company that manages their business like this can be successful is beyond me.

  90. Lambasted says:

    Now this post is what Consumerist should be about all the time. A straightforward poster who has a legit problem dealing with a putrid business. No whining. No self-victimization. Tried to solve own problem but it didn’t work.

    I love how everyone (almost everyone) is rallying their hatred and venting it at this despicable company. This is fun to read.

    @lamorevincera: Nice thing you did there for those people.

    @BretHunterLA: Thank you for posting with your own account of the Little PawShop of Horrors.

  91. Lambasted says:

    @Lambasted: Oops I meant to say, tried to solve own problem amicably but it didn’t work.

  92. mrearly2 says:

    The cause of the whole problem is that the customer was not sufficiently wary, to avoid doing business with the schmucks. She shoulda read the fine print, and taken it at face value.
    I hope she learned a lesson, here.

  93. maztec says:

    @cheviot: I appreciate the humor you have injected into this discussion. However, I have one question: Since when is calling someone a fucktard defamation? I am fairly certain that in the context here it qualifies as an opinion. Now, if someone was going around saying, “Hey folks, don’t deal with cheviot! He’s a fucktard!” And that actually lead to you being harmed in some remotely quantifiable manner . . . I could see a potential defamation claim. But, well, calling someone a fucktard, just doesn’t cross me as being defamation . . . especially if it turns out to be true – at least in context.

  94. coriona87 says:

    After reading this article and thinking to myself. Damn what a b!tch. I had to email them for myself, Attaching a link to this article, oh which hopefully they will respond to soon. Listed below is the email I sent reguarding their not so customer based service. I can’t wait for the response :)

    I have recently discovered your website off a daily blog I read and decided I had to check out your website for myself. Being a pet stylist, I like to keep up with the latest pet couture, and I must say I do love the wide variety of fashionable products you have to offer. That being said I wouldn’t mind placing a future order with your company but I am weary of your services based on reviews from previous customers. This is the article from which I heard about your company and I would just like to know your opinion as to the rude gestures given to the people who help keep you in business. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    [consumerist.com]

    Sincerely,
    Cori L.

  95. sleze69 says:

    @Buran: /agree. I am so done with Paypal.

  96. WhirlyBird says:

    I have to agree with cheviot, on this fine point: if I choose to run my business as an asshole, and clearly state up front that I am an asshole, and you still choose to do business with me (foolish though it may be), then you should not go whining to the Consumerist when I follow through on my obviously heartfelt commitment to treat my customers like dirt. Everyone makes good, but fundamentally different points, like “they shouldn’t be assholes”. No, they shouldn’t. But in this limited context, I must actually applaud the company for sticking to their guns and trying to be the very best assholes that money can buy.

    This whole discussion reminds me of prudes commenting on cable TV shows: “They shouldn’t be allowed to show that filth on TV!” vs. “If you don’t like, it, don’t watch it”. I suspect cheviot, like me, is in the “don’t watch it” camp on that one.

  97. rbaldwin says:

    Without customers you don’t really have a business.

  98. Jeangenie says:

    “No part of this website may be reproduced without expressed written consent. By accessing, browsing or using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use of this site. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, you are not permitted to use this site. “

    Ooooh I just violated their instructions!!! What kind of crazy shite is this.

  99. Tank says:

    the ed debevic’s of pet supplies. hilarious.

  100. StellaSquash says:

    maybe it’s only me, but I check my spam folder too. I then determine if they’re legitimately spam or need to be moved. I’d think if I were awaiting an email, I’d be extra aware.

    I coined the phrase “fucktard” btw, years ago.

  101. StellaSquash says:

    oh and their site is ridiculous with their “fine print”. The have way to many clauses, policies, and the like. that should send up flags.

  102. graymulligan says:

    “If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, you are not permitted to use this site. ” So, apparently you DO have to agree to the TOS to order from them.

    I think those of you that are screaming at Cheviot are missing the point. He’s not saying that the company is right in what it does, he’s simply saying that there’s a ton of evidence on the site showing how you should expect to be treated, and if you then choose to do business with the company, it’s your fault for entering into the buyer/seller relationship with them. (and if that’s not what you meant Cheviot, feel free to chime in…that’s how I read it)

    I agree on a lot of levels with that. Anyone reading their TOS, or perusing the site should know immediately that it’s just chock full of potential issues. Does that mean that how they treat customers is right? No. But if you choose to play 3 card monty in the back alley, don’t expect a refund if you don’t like how it turns out, either.

  103. Propaniac says:

    I’ll only blame the customer if it turns out she bought this: [www.handsnpaws.com]

  104. unohoo says:

    Regardless of whether Jenn “misread” some of the terms or not, I think handsnpaws is WRONG–WRONG–WRONG, not to mention complete morons. Jenn’s letter was polite and all handsnpaws needed to do was respond with an equally polite email that highlighted their policies and provided a way for Jenn to get satisfaction–such as give the status of her order, which was all she actually requested.

    I recently preordered a CD directly from the artist and noted my credit card was charged, but I didn’t receive the CD or any further communication regarding the status. I sent them an email and received an immediate reply that satisfied me. They didn’t even point out that it was my misunderstanding of the process that was at fault–there was no need. It was polite and friendly.

  105. darkryd says:

    I just sent handsnpaws a link to this post and suggested they start treating their customers a little bit nicer…

  106. AdrienneShaw says:

    I am one of the customers listed on the “Hall of Shame” by Hands N Paws. Thanks to everyone that let us know that our emails are being posted, and after reading all your comments, I can assure you that this is 100% true.

    By the way…how sad is this: My order was for dog booties for my three-legged dog to get better traction on my wood floors and in the rain (cue violins).

    I placed an order with them, and contacted them after 7 weeks to check the status. When I tried to cancel and they wouldn’t refund me, and finally after contesting with AMEX and filing with the BBB they reluctantly refunded my money.

    I’m leaving out the whole part where they sent me rude/funny/crazy emails. Oh, yeah, and also the part where they responded to my BBB claim in AZ with an equally rude/funny/crazy response…but oh WAIT…they did that AFTER finally refunding my money.

    I filed with the BBB in NJ and AZ with them but they only responded to my AZ claim, and I also posted on RipOff Report and TheSqueekyWheel.com. I’ve also contacted staff at Consumer Advocacy Group Public Citizen as well about a case and a couple lawyers.

    The idea that ANY business would operate this way is just sad.

    I love that Consumerist.com picked this up, hopefully now people will google this business before ordering (like I should have!!!).

  107. fjordtjie says:

    @graymulligan: but she did agree to the terms. they didn’t specify that shipping takes 4-6 weeks in addition to passover. they said 4-6 weeks. and as with my previous post, they asked to be contacted with questions. they don’t say they’ll never respond and that when they finally do it will be rude and incompassionate, they don’t say that shipping times are in addition to the holidays, and they certainly don’t say that they had no intention of ever sending whatever she purchased.

    although i think the wall of fame is crazy, and i would never buy from them, it is like an amazon seller in my opinion. They have their positive customers, and they have their neutrals and negatives. This website is posting the negatives. If a seller has 10,000 customers and 20 negatives, i look at those, but it isn’t obvious the seller is insane. i always assume, given the 10,000 postives (after working awful retail jobs) that the 20 are just those customers that think i should kiss their ass for everything–like the woman at Joann that tried to return a used clothing pattern and the cut fabric, sewn into a dress that was too small, because she hadn’t checked the measurement before making it–she was ridiculous and although my manager did end up letting her get her money back, she still left angry. having a wall of customers like that doesn’t say to me that the company is a bunch of asses and these are just the poor people who didn’t want to be walked all over.

    their policies are shady, but it isn’t obvious they want to rip you off. plus, i’m pretty sure they agreed to sell her something and not following through is illegal?

  108. ArgusRun says:

    Whoa! I’m sitting half a mile from their New Jersey mailing address.

    I feel a stakeout coming on.

    … No. Not really. But it is tempting.

    1360 Clifton Ave #322
    Clifton, NJ 07012

  109. mariospants says:

    Cheviot is all over the map here and his/her arguments are lost in a flurry of replies and rebuffs. I suggest ignoring him/her because it’s just noise at this point.

    Just to clear the air, the assertion that the client has no right to complain “because the client should know ahead of time that the store owner is an asshole” is stupid and unreasonable. Also, for those who assert that you don’t have to treat the customer as #1 all the time or at least treat your customers with a grain of respect (regardless of how they treat YOU)– just remember, it’s not worth it because otherwise you’ll end up on this and many other web sites…

  110. lamorevincera says:

    Good news, folks.

    Apparently, next to nobody in the “Hall of Shame” knew they were on it. One poor lady didn’t even get a response and is STILL waiting for her order, and her email address got slapped up there, just for ASKING.

    A couple of them have now emailed the rest, and they’re taking action together. This is why I love this website. :)

    And Bret – I’m Jen, who emailed you. You go kick some pet store butt. :)

    *waves hi to Bret* Go kick some pet store butt. :)

  111. lamorevincera says:

    Well, didn’t know I’d typed that twice. LOL

  112. V-effekt says:

    @valarmorghulis: @valarmorghulis:
    The address and info you provide is for a lawyer, btw. So either the lawyer represents or runs the business.
    [pview.findlaw.com]

  113. sean77 says:

    @Tank: That was my first thought as well. I imagine that if anyone from consumerist ate at Ed Debevic’s, they’d run home crying.

    This company is hilarious.. and even a cursory glance at their website will tell you what to expect.

    “Waah.. they were rude to me”

  114. ScarletsWalk says:

    I’ve bought a lot of things online and they’ve gotten delayed or held up somehow and every time people are at least not rude. There is no reason to be a jerk for being a jerk’s sake.

    Just cause this say 4-6 weeks or whatever doesn’t mean customers can’t ask. I don’t understand why they just can’t say “we’re processing your order still. Our turnaround time is 4-6 weeks. Thanks for your patience.” Then maybe people don’t get pissed cause at least it’s some kind of response.

  115. metaled says:

    Anyone that has watched a daytime court show knows that a store must post their return policy in a prominent place. The examples give are: on the cash Register, on the wall behind the counter where the purchase is made or on the receipt itself. Posting a sign saying we have our return policy posted in the return policy book, ask us how. is not acceptable. With that being said….
    If you try to enter an Adult Web Site (Not that I ever have) you have to click on an agreement that you are over 21 and allowed to view the material from your state.
    Everyone that says she should have known the policy before making the purchase, is incorrect. It is the store’s resposibility to make sure the customer knows about any unusual return policies or restrictions for using the sight at all, before the purchase is made. (or in case of site restrictions, before they enter the site).
    You can’t post a statement somewhere, that by using this site you agree to our policies, unless it is presented to the visitor before they enter/start using the site. She can’t say, by buying these items, you agree to what a page somewhere on our site states, unless it was presented to her and she agreed to it before. Like before entering the web site or before loading the CHECKOUT page.
    What most people are saying, is this store had policies, she should have asked about them before buying anything. How many people go into a 7-11 or Circle-K and ask to see their store policy or return policy before getting a candy bar? They cannot say, you want to return the items? reach under the counter and pull out a notebook and say “You can’t return it, by entering the store, you agreed to abide by our return policy printed in this book”. It wouldn’t hold up anywhere (at least not on daytime court-TV! )
    You visit my web site, read an article, before you leave you have to pay me $10, because I posted in my TOS file that by using my pages and reading any article, you agree to pay me $10? If that’s the case, then consumerist needs to make a TOS file and bury it somewhere in there!
    She *COULD* have read the TOS, NOT *SHOULD* have. A reasonable person does not expect a shop to have UNREASONABLE and UN-Natural policies and procedures. It’s not her fault this store owner is as “crazy as a loon” and likes to play by their own rules (some of which I would really question the legality of!) There was no sign or notice the business contract would be outside of a normal business contract (and nutty as a fruitcake.)
    IANAL but Judge Marilyn Milian REALLY is hot!

  116. Durannie says:

    I say track down the customer service rep’s address and abduct and hold for ransom all of her/his 30 cats!

  117. baristabrawl says:

    They told me at HandsNpaws that The Consumerist was under investigation by the FBI and that my IP address would be logged and I would probably be investigated by the FBI, too.

    *blank look*

  118. irid3sc3nt says:

    @B:

    I agree. I’ve met several people that LOVE animals but could care less for humans.

  119. Randy Treibel says:

    Can’t blame them for hating annoying yorkie owners :P

  120. Debbie says:

    If the picture you posted of the poor dog is an example of what kind of sick person you are, then I can only imagine how you treated the people in the customer service dept. of Hands N Paws, I would bet you were the problem. Who would post a picture like that ? I have done business with Hands N Paws for a year and a half now and I’ve never had a problem with delivery, or with any employee who works there. I love their products and their prices are very reasonable. It’s a great place to do business. You should always listen to both sides of a story before making a decision.