I gave up balancing my checkbook years ago, but I still look over my credit card statements every month. Usually I just cringe at the amount of money that flows through the account, but every so often I’ll catch an errant duplicate transaction, a missing credit for a return I swear I made, or a mysterious charge from some suspicious, unknown merchant. Such was the case last week when I noticed a charge for $14.95 from EZSVER RW ID055236244 – 800-355-1837 MD. A little research proved very eye-opening, and in the end made me vow to never do business with ProFlowers again.
I did not recognize “EZSVER”, but a quick Google search revealed many screenfuls worth of consumer wrath with headings like these:
- EZSVER & Proflowers Complaints – Illegal charge on credit card
- Ripoff Report: Easy Saver – EZSVER – Pro Flowers Scam
- How to reverse Easy Savers (EZSVER) charges
- ezsver stole $61.75 from me
- Beware ezsver rw and the proflowers scam!
Scam? Was I the victim of a scam? Had I been duped, tricked, conned? Certainly not an intelligent, savvy skeptic like me. I called the EZSVER number from my credit card statement and learned that I had supposedly signed up for a paid rewards program some 7 months ago in connection with an online purchase at ProFlowers.com. In exchange for free shipping on my floral order, I “agreed” to pay $14.95 per month for all sorts of supposedly wonderful savings and benefits I never wanted, used or even knew I had. The customer service rep reminded me that I had entered my email address and zip code as a contractual obligation to pay for the program.
Run that by me again? Since when does an email address and zip code contractually obligate me? Usually, in order for a merchant to charge my credit card, I have to give them my, ahem, credit card number.
After I gnashed my teeth hard enough over the phone, EZSVER agreed to refund all the charges. I’m still waiting to see if that happens.
In the meantime, I have a bone to pick with ProFlowers, who was the company I originally chose to do business with. Through some ill-conceived marketing alliance, ProFlowers chose to partner with the shady Easy Saver program. I wrote to ProFlowers to complain and received a disappointing form letter reply detailing the terms of the program.
I am sure ProFlowers’ legal department has reviewed and approved the terms of the Easy Saver program and I am sure the legalese fine print is on their side. But where is the ProFlowers common sense department in this matter? That would be the department that sees that all of the top online search results for their “rewards” program are customer complaints.
I am sure ProFlowers makes a pretty penny from the Easy Saver program, but I doubt they are truly evaluating the cost in terms of lost customers and lost brand goodwill. I for one will never do business with ProFlowers again based on this experience. It would seem there are hundreds, if not thousands, of others who had a similar experience, likely with a similar outcome. Does ProFlowers recognize how much potential revenue they have lost with these brand defectors?
Marketers contemplating co-marketing alliance programs need to be sure the value, image and reception of the program are consistent with the brand’s core attributes. In this case, the Easy Saver bouquet was putrid.