Reader Patrick wrote to us about a scam involving the “Awesome Auger.” After finishing his transaction on their website, Patrick thought that his total price came to $28.98, but he soon came to realization that the only thing awesome about the “Awesome Auger” was the amount that they charge for “shipping and processing” on the auger’s “free” items. All said and done, Patrick was billed $56.80 on his credit card. Patrick’s letter inside…
Hey Consumerist – I wanted to let you know about a scam that’s going on right now, and is hitting many people, including myself.
A few weeks back, I saw a commercial for a product called the “Awesome Auger” on television. Normally, I would be reluctant to try products “As Seen on TV” because of their usually outrageous claims, but I had just had very good luck with the PedEgg (I would highly recommend it to anyone). I am an avid gardener, and figured that this would help, and at the low price of $19.99 plus $8.99 shipping and handling, it seemed like a really good deal and suggested my wife get me it for Father’s Day. Unfortunately, I didn’t exactly do my research on the company I was ordering from until after I placed the order, and ultimately, this turned into a disaster.
My wife, being the thoughtful person that she is, decided to order it for me. When my wife placed the order, you cannot even get into their site until you enter the credit card number for the order, which we both thought was unusual. She completed placing the order, and then called me and said that she thought it was very unusual that it doesn’t give a total at the end for the order to even confirm the amount.
A few weeks passed, and finally we get a confirmation e-mail from the site – and now they are charging us for $56.80 instead of the $28.98 we thought we were being charged. Immediately upon receiving this notification, I was on the phone with the Awesome Auger company. I talked to an agent by the name of Amanda, a completely unfriendly woman who probably has to deal with call after call, who explained that the additional charge was for the shipping and handling on the “free” items, and that there was nothing she could do because “it says it somewhere on the site” (which as I said, we cannot even verify because you have to supply a credit card even before getting to this site). I asked to completely cancel my order, and she said that although the order hadn’t been shipped yet it was sitting in their warehouse, so she couldn’t completely cancel the order. I of course informed her of my rights as a consumer, and she informed me that once I did do a BBB complaint, and a chargeback THAT’S when they would be able to work with me. I asked for a manager, and was told that one was unavailable and that they would call me back.
I proceeded to call back immediately and try to get another rep. who possibly could help me a little more, and got Michael. Michael was much more friendly then Amanda but just as unhelpful, and even went as far to admit that he could understand how the website was “confusing”, although he wouldn’t straight out admit that it was misleading. He said he couldn’t supply me with a full refund because the order has already been shipped (a contradiction of the phone call I had 5 minutes prior). I asked him for a shipping number, for which I looked it up and it shows on both FedEx and USPS that it hadn’t been shipped (he said that both shipping companies handle the item). Michael forwarded me to Jill, the manager there, who told me that she would call me back after a few days.
During this time, I finally did the research that I should have done upfront, and found numerous sites (http://www.infomercialratings.com/product/awesome_auger_reviews for example) where people have ran into the same scam! Needless to say, I knew I wouldn’t be seeing resolution. She did end up calling me back this morning, and refusing to offer any solution to the problem except me returning the items and paying for S&H. Jill even admitted to me that she had 4 other people to get back to with the same exact situation just this morning!
Consumerist, please do me a huge favor and make sure that your readers know to stay away from this scam, and anything that that shouting fool Billy Mays is advertising on TV.
One small update to the story – we’ve also discovered that this Awesome Auger company has also given our credit card information to one of their “partners.” When this company called “Quality Resources” called us offering a $40 WalMart gift card, they indicated when they called that we made an online purchase with one of their “partners” – and the Awesome Auger is literally the only online purchase we have ever made with my wife’s name and my cell phone number and they keep calling my phone asking for her.
Here’s information on this company: http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-727-712-0382 , and they literally will not stop calling us after repeated attempts to be removed.
I beg you guys, please post this story so that no other consumers are going to go through this. I thank you guys in advance.
We checked the link you provided and it seems you may have gotten off easy. One person writes about getting charged $90, and another one $146 because his zip code was far away.
We are certainly glad you had enough sense to use your credit card versus a debit card. Unless you have done so already, start your chargeback as soon as possible. Even if all the hidden numbers are tucked away somewhere on their sneaky website, credit card companies are usually pretty understanding about these types of scams.