View Full Version : Horrible experience with Polka Tots...

02-27-2003, 07:48 PM
I just wanted to post, because I am so frustrated with the experience I had and just needed to vent.

Middle of October I ordered a bedding set over the phone from Polka Tots (www.polkatots.com). At the time they were running a special - 10% off Wendy Bellissimo plus free shipping (and because they are in Atlanta I wouldn't have to pay tax.) Well this was a substantial savings for me. I had ordered WB's cheapest bedding set, but still, a great savings. I was promised the order would arrive to me in 6 to 8 weeks. They charged my credit card immediately.

Around 6 weeks, I started calling. Each time I called, I got a stock answer "one more week...", "two more weeks...", until finally I called and said it was getting ridiculous and I wanted a solid answer. The person called Wendy Bellissimo who then called me back to say that the fabrics weren't in stock and wouldn't be until mid February! Nice huh? I finally got my bedding last week after waiting just over four months. The most ridiculous part is throughout all of this, they had my money, and no one from Polka Tots ever contacted me. Additionally, when I first ordered my bedding, the fabrics WERE in stock, so I assume they waited quite a bit of time before they actually placed the order, and the fabrics must have gone out of stock by then.

I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. I wrote them a letter of complaint (as calmly as possible) and emailed it quite some time ago. I never heard back from them. Just today I forwarded the complaint onto Wendy Bellissimo, just because I thought they should know about this retailer and that the experience was so bad for me.

Anyway, there's obviously nothing I can do about it now, and I guess the good thing is I finally got my bedding, but let's face it, who would pay in advance and then wait four months for a fairly expensive crib bedding set?! I could have had something made custom in half that time, probably nicer and cheaper.

Thanks for letting me vent :)

Mom-to-be Mar 8, 2003!

02-27-2003, 08:40 PM
Tammy, that is ridiculous! It is illegal to charge for something before shipping it. I guess you took the best course of action...Did you tell them at Polka Tots about your activity here on this board and how we all share our experiences with various baby products/companies? But you are right, at least you did get your bedding. Let us know if you get any response from either company.

And vent all you want!!! :D

02-27-2003, 08:42 PM
I agree! I'm not in the market for bedding, but you can bet I'll pass along that experience to the friends of mine who are!

02-27-2003, 08:46 PM
I wasn't aware it was illegal to charge for something before shipping it. Is that really true? What are the guidelines for that? Because if that's the case, I could threaten to report them to the BBB. I did mention that I'm on these boards, and that I initially gave them a good review based on the fact that I was getting a good deal, and that I would hate to have to retract my opinion. Guess they didn't care!!!

Mom-to-be Mar 8, 2003!

02-27-2003, 08:53 PM
I'm pretty sure that it is illegal to charge your card for something until it has left their premises or warehouse or whatever. I don't have hard documentation to that fact, but I am almost positive...

02-27-2003, 10:29 PM
Actually, it's not that it's illegal, but according to the Visa/Mastercard merchant agreement, the merchandise must be shipped within 30 days for a domestic transaction and 60 days for international, unless both the merchant and consumer mutually agree upon another timeframe. In your case you agreed to 6 weeks, so technically, you could have disputed the charge with your credit card company. Now, if you used Discover or AmEx, their agreements may be slightly different, but not by much. If you did use a Visa, you can file a complaint directly with Visa for the merchant violation - just contact your credit card company. HTH!

Mom to Aidan Christopher 01/28/03

02-27-2003, 11:10 PM
I have had a great experience with American Express and unauthorized charges. Any time I have discovered something suspect, they immediately credit me the amount and investigate the charge. This is always followed by an update letter outlining any action they have taken. Really, all I have to do on my end is call them, and the problem is taken care of. It's very easy, no red tape.

02-27-2003, 11:14 PM
I usually pay with amex, but in this case, I don't think they accepted it, so I paid with mastercard, but I think since I already have my product, it's probably too late to dispute. I think, unfortunately, I have to chalk it up as a learning experience :) Ah well!!

Mom-to-be Mar 8, 2003!

02-28-2003, 11:48 AM

The actual law is the FTC's Mail and Telephone Order law. It is NOT illegal to charge your card when an order is placed if the merchandise is going to ship within 30 days. If it's going to ship within 30 days, the retailer doesn't need to necessarily give you any delivery estimate, it's assumed to be within 30 days if they charge your card or take your money.

If the merchandise will ship after 30 days it's still LEGAL to charge your card as long as you were quoted UP FRONT when the merchandise will be shipped. So your card can be charged for special order bedding that takes three months to ship as long as you were told three months when the card was charged.

What becomes illegal is if your money is taken and the merchandise doesn't ship within 30 days. OR, if you were quoted a time frame for delivery and that time frame passes and you are not notigied. According to the law you MUST be notified in writing of any delay beyond 30 days and/or what you were originally quoted, you must be given a new delivery estimate, and you must be GIVEN THE OPTION TO CANCEL AND RECEIVE AN IMMEDIATE REFUND. If you wish to continue to wait for the merchandise, it is not illegal for the merchant to retain your funds.

I definitely recommend disputing the credit card charge with your bank when the purchase contract you have with the merchant is violated according to the FTC law. You can always pay the charges later when the dispute is settled, but filing a chargeback will keep you from having to pay the charges until it's settled.

Hope this helps!