|A scummy online retailer threatened this woman|
Thankfully, she's fighting back.
They're telling us about an outfit called OnlineAccessoryOutlet.com which has a terms of service rule demanding customers not even threaten to complain about it, or they'll pay, pay, pay and pay.
That's a new level of ridiculous, and probably unenforceable tyrannical terms of service rules.
Here's the "best" part of OnlineAccessoryOutlet.com's rules:
"You agree not to file any complaint, chargeback, claim, dispute, or make any public foru post, review, Better Business Bureau complaint, social media post, or any public statement regarding the order, our website or any issue regarding your order, for any reason, with this 90 day period, or to threaten to do so within the 90 day period, or it is a breach of the terms of sale, creating liability for damages in the aount of $250, plus any additional fees, damages, both consequential and incidental, calculated on an ongoing basis."
That's right, even if you casually threaten to post something whiny about OnlineAccessoryOutlet.com on Facebook, or something, and not even bother to post the complaint, they'll still go after you for $250.
This goes beyond some of the other ridiculous terms of service I've written about. At least those tried to collect only when somebody actually complained, and one of these businesses backed down when the publicity hit, saying the rules were just a joke.
Unlike some other outrageous terms of service fine print from other companies, this one from OnlineAccessoryOutlet.com apparently isn't a joke or an empty threat to make people think twice about complaining.
OnlineAccessoryOutlet.com went after a Wisconsin customer, Cindy Cox who was unhappy with them.
Says Consumerist: "The company told her in an email that not only would she be hit for the $250 penalty but that her account would be sent to a collections agency, which would 'put a negative mart on your credit for 7 years and will also result in calls to your home and/or work."
They also threatened her with further billing on an hourly basis. The customer said she had the right to contact her credit card company about the purchase, and these jerks responded that she now owed them unspecified monetary "damages" above and beyond the $250.
The customer also got a threatening email that read in part: "You are playing games with the wrong people and have made a very bad mistake given the legally binding contract we have in place. One we have successfully enforced on many individuals, the same we will do with you."
Gawd, this is worse than a plot line in "The Sopranos."
I have no idea wither OnlineAccessoryOutlet.com has actually gone after people like they said they have, but boy is this company stupid.
You know inevitably one of the customers the company abused would go to the media, or the media would find out, as happened here. This negative publicity can't be helping this bad outfit.
Plus, as they often do in cases like this, Public Citizen is helping the customer sue OnlineAccessoryOutlet.com, which will only drag out the misery for the company, and maybe with any luck, drive them out of business.
Scumbags that they are.
Says Public Citizen:
"The lawsuit asks the court to declare that Cox doers not owe Accessory Outlet a debt because the terms of sale were hidden on its website, are unreasonably favorable to Accessory Outlet and were never presented to or accepted by Cox when she made her purchase."
I'm not a lawyer, but it sure seems to be Public Citizen and their client have a strong case.
Here's more evidence of how bad OnlineAccessoryOutlet.com is, according to Consumerist. The company claims to have endorsements from the Better Business Bureau and Angie's List. However, both organizations say uh-uh.
The Better Business Bureau actually gives Accessort Outlet an "F" rating, and Angie's List doesn't give them any props, because they have no reviews of this outfit to begin with, Consumerists says.
So I think this might be the beginning of the end for OnlineAccessoryOutlet.com, which would be a very good thing, based on what I'm reading about them.
That might be happening already. I couldn't get into their Web site Friday morning. An error message said their site was "undergoing maintenance."