Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Fitness Direct Fiasco (Ch 3)

(Continued from Chapter Two)

I then received an e-mail from Andy Grenz (the e-commerce manager), which stated (in full, direct copy-pasta):
Hi Phoenix,
Thanks again for your purchase. What are you finding to be different about the bike than the listing? YThis is a new product and I think the manufacturer has mixed up the details on a few of their models. They have this unit at $299, the 7200 at $399 and the 7300 at $499.

Just let me know if you would like to return the unit, let me know when you have it back in the box and I'll send Fedex out to get it.

Sorry for the mixup.
What did I find to be different about the bike than the listing? Did he even CHECK the listing?

Andy helpfully included the e-mail to him from Mark Goodman (president, and I think the guy I spoke with on the phone):
From: Mark Goodman
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 12:34 PM
To: 'Andy Grenz'
Subject: Pls contact this guy ASAP
Importance: High

Stamina Fusion 7100 bike - problems....
He says it is different to what is described on website !!
Please double-check the website before you contact him.
How could he have checked the listing and not noticed what was wrong? I went back to the product page...


He removed the fake description and put in the real one (still with minor errors, I see). Then he pretended that nothing was wrong.

Can I borrow your phone? I need to call BULLSHIT.

I also needed to call my credit card company, which I did. I let them know everything that happened. Well, in order to do a chargeback, they normally need me to send the product back to the seller. HOWEVER, because the product is so large in this case (and not at all easily disassembled), and because the seller sold it to me under false pretenses, I only have to allow them to make arrangements to pick up the fully-assembled bike. I let Andy know all of this.

But now, it has gone from a simple mistake on a web page (which was still constructive fraud since they profited from their error), to a cover-up. Andy changed the web page and then pretended to be unable to find the error. Now, he *CLAIMS* that he wrote that e-mail to me BEFORE he saw the web page (despite being specifically told to look at the page FIRST), but if so, WHY DIDN'T HE TELL ME WHAT HE FOUND? If he found out later, and still failed to follow up with me, the effect is the same: suppression of the truth (aka, actual fraud).

That's right, Andy tried to fix his constructive fraud with ACTUAL FRAUD.

At this point, I feel obligated to report this to the appropriate authorities.

Continueto Chapter Four: The Excuses...


  1. previously...i probably used the wrong word ('frisky', it's great not to know the meaning of the word before using it!)

    What do u mean by..."appropriate authorities" ?

  2. I mean reporting the incident (and Andy's actions) to:

    * The California Office of the Attorney General (which handles fraud cases in California)

    * The Internet Crime Complaint Center (which handles fraud on the Internet)

    * The San Diego Better Business Bureau (which handles complaints about businesses)

    * The Federal Trade Commission (the nation's consumer protection agency)

    Likely, if this is just the first complaint, nothing will happen anyway. I just want their response on file, if this is an actual pattern of behavior.

    It won't help ME, but if they pull this kind of crap again in the future, BAM!