Saturday 28 February 2009

Rip-offs (Part I)

A rip-off is a bad deal. Usually it refers to an incident in which a person pays too much for something. A rip-off is distinguished from a scam in that a scam involves wrongdoing such as fraud; a rip-off, on the other hand, is in the eye of the beholder. A scam might involve, for instance, a scheme in which a person pays $20 for a startup kit related to stuffing envelopes for a living, but the kit never arrives; upon receiving the money, the recipient flees. A rip-off, on the other hand, might be a business opportunity in which a person pays $375 for bulk vending machines worth $75. The fact that the advertised product actually arrives – even though it is worth far less than the purchase price – makes it a rip-off and not a scam. Part I of this series deals with a particular product that clearly is a rip-off to the victims who purchased the product.


I don’t think that there is anyone who hasn’t seen the commercial on TV that describes a product called, ‘Snuggies’. What you see is a person wearing what appears to be a warm robe with big sleeves that you can wear around the house while going from one room to another or when you are reading a book or watching TV. The robe goes right up to the neck of the wearer.

With many people conscious of the price of heating fuel, be it oil or gas, they turn down the heat in their homes to conserve energy and the expense of heating their homes. It follows that being snuggled inside a warm robe (made of flannel) will make it possible to enjoy their pastimes without being chilly in the process.

The commercial states that if you order right away, you will get two Snuggies for the price of one along with two book lamps included for the price of only $19.99 US which is $25.38 Canadian plus handling and shipping. Naturally I sent in my request by making the free call to the telemarketer who was taking the call and I gave my credit card info to her to close the deal.

Three weeks later, I got a notice from my local post office that there was a parcel for me and that I would have to pay $16.00 to retrieve it. No doubt that was the cost of the shipping of the products I had paid for. When I opened up the large package, there were the two book lamps inside it along with the two Snuggies.

It was then that I discovered that I had been ripped off. The lamps worked fine. It was the Snuggies that made me mad. They weren’t robes at all. They were two narrow flannel blankets with two sleeves. When I put one of them on, every part of my back and ass were bare. And worse yet, they didn’t reach my neck as they kept slipping down my shoulders.

When I got my credit card statement, I discovered to my horror that I had been billed $48.85 US which came to $58.31 Canadian. Since I paid $16.00 Canadian for the shipping, this meant that the firm charged me $25.86 US which came to $32.82 Canadian for handling. The handling charge was almost twice what it cost to buy the two Snuggies and the two book lamps. Altogether, I paid $58.55US which is $74.31 Canadian.

Do I feel like I was ripped-off? I sure do. My Snuggie keeps my arms warm and my chest and belly warm and that is about all it does for me. If it was a robe, I would have been warm all over. Let me ask you this rhetorical question. Would you walk around your house with a Snuggie while your family is laughing at you as they look at you wearing a blanket with two sleeves?

This is what their ads in Google say about Snuggies.

“The Snuggie keeps you totally warm and gives you the freedom to use your hands, work the remote, use your laptop or do some reading in total warmth and comfort. Lower the thermostat and stay warm and cozy head to toe with new blanket you wear! Snuggie is made with super soft, thick, luxurious fleece with roomy, oversized sleeves that let you do what you want while still being totally wrapped in warmth.”

What a lie. How can you be totally wrapped in warmth when your entire back from your shoulders to your ass is uncovered and that goes from your ass to your toes also? You notice that it refers to Snuggies as a blanket but it doesn’t do that on TV. You get the impression when watching the commercial on TV that you are literally enveloped in a robe.

Here is the best part. Again I quote from the ad.

“Great for indoors or outdoors for winter sports events.”

Outdoors for winter sports events? Are they kidding? Do you want to be seen in public wearing a narrow blanket with sleeves that only covers the front part of your body? I for one would rather wear heavy winter clothes than a small blanket covering only the front of my body when I am outdoors observing or participating in winter events.

What I should have done before buying the product from the American firm is go to Google and look up the word Snuggies. Wow! Did I get an eyeful when I looked at the complaints listed in Google with respect to Snuggies.

I will show you some of them. Believe me. Had I taken the proper precaution and read the complaints, I would not have invested in such a product as Snuggies.

“Be careful to verify the pricing. Although the website states the price at $19.95 plus $7.95 shipping EACH (for the BOGO order); when you click on it --- they try to charge you $31.80 shipping!!!! That is a rip-off! and very deceiving.”

November 25, 2008

“This Snuggie company is a sham. They do not charge your credit card the advertised price. As stated earlier they added 31.80 for S&H and then you have trouble getting in touch with a customer service agent to cancel. Everything is automated including the number to call to order the Snuggie.”

December 1, 2008

“My wife called it: the Snuggie is a bathrobe, worn backwards.”

January 7th, 2009

“I placed an order for two Snuggies via telephone after listening to many other offers. All automated. Finally placed an order for one set(2) Snuggies. Still all automated. I used my debit card as a credit card. My total should have been around $28.00. A few days later I checked my checking account. They had taken $92.00.”

January 7, 2009

“The Snuggie works great. Except for the fact that when I wear it to football games, my ass and back get really cold. I wonder if I should have purchased two and worn one backwards.”

January 8th, 2009

My order came with two Snuggies so I am taking it to my tailor to see if he can make a robe out of them.

“This company is a scam - don't fall for it. I don't know if you have seen those commercials on TV for Snuggies. Well, they are a scam. A fraud, plain and simple. The phone ordering was completely automated. I ordered two blue blankets. I wanted one extra thick and one regular, but they didn't give that option. There was no total quoted at the end. After going through three phone numbers I finally got hold of a live person. They say orders can take time to process so I ended up calling several times. Each time I was told that my order was not in the system. I eventually ended up ordering again figuring that my first order didn't go through for whatever reason. Two days after I placed my new order, four Snuggies arrived in the mail, all super thick. I checked my bank account and I had been charged $99! I have not been able to contact the company since then.”

February 5, 2009

”We ordered two sets of Snuggies at buy one and get the other one free for $19.95 and 7.95 S&H. the total for all should have been approx $54.00 we were charged $91.70 on our Discover card. They overcharged us almost $38.00. I tried contacting them but the number I was given on the internet goes to something else not at all related to this company. In fact it says if we are trying to reach Snuggies, we were given an incorrect number.”

February 17, 2009

“The website is a scam, although it may be just shy of illegal. My wife wanted one for her birthday. They asked for my card before I ordered, then tricked me into buying multiple extra sets, when I though I was just choosing color and thickness. There is no way to undo any choices, or to go back and remove items; you just keep adding additional Snuggies. The worst part is that they claim that they cannot cancel the order when you call them, because the computer system has a two to three day delay. This is an outright lie.”

February 19, 2009

These are just few of many complaints listed in Google with respect to unhappy customers of Snuggies. I have only been ripped off a few times in my life because generally I am careful with my money but I sure fell for this rip-off.

I have learned a valuable lesson, a lesson I should have learned earlier. Always search for complaints in the Internet before you buy on-line or when you see something for sale on TV. You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau also.

If I had done that, I wouldn’t have had to pay $74.31 Canadian for two fairly cheap book lamps that came with the useless Snuggies.

Oh, by the way. My credit card company said that they couldn’t do anything for me. I am stuck with the bill.


I went to my tailor and asked him to make a robe out of the two Snuggies I was sent. He succeeded in doing it. It cost me $60.00 to have the two Snuggies made into a single robe but now that it is, it is nice and warm when I am in a room that is a bit chilly. It is a shame that the Snuggies weren't sent to me as robes.


About a month after I posted this blog in the Internet, Anne Flynn, marketing director of Allstar Products Group which sells the Snuggies said in the news media; "The product is just a big blanket and is not meant for walking around." I should add that that observation isn't included in the commercials and the unsuspected people watching the commercials only learn after they have paid the outrageous price for the Snuggies, that they have bought an expensive blanket with two arm holes and one for the head.

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