One Spirit practices "bait and switch".
I joined One Spirit Book Club a couple of years ago based on an Internet promotion. The offer provided a variety of genres, including what I would call “mainstream fiction”, and those were the books that I chose. A couple of historical fictions, a Grisham thriller, and a couple of murder mysteries. Then, for more than a year I looked at the books subsequently offered in their emails. They were exclusively what I would consider “spiritual” or “self-help” non-fiction. Not once did I find anything close to the mainstream fiction I purchased under that promotion—yet the offer did not state that their actual products were limited to those genres of non-fiction. I finally figured out One Spirit was indeed not offering what their promotion had promised to me as a consumer, and ignored the emails from that point on.
Since then, they have sent numerous letters demanding I buy more books. I wrote to a manager, Frank Lombardi, explaining that I wanted the books I had been promised in their promotion, because what they had done was false advertising. In the spirit of doing the right thing, One Spirit immediately turned my account over to a collection agency, which is threatening to ruin my credit rating.
It is well known that outright fraud, such as lying about what is being offered, is illegal in any situation. It is just as illegal to misrepresent what goes to the core of what the consumer expects in future transactions. A softer problem is deception. At best, One Spirit’s promotion was a “bait and switch”, offering mainstream fiction in their introductory offer when they had no intention of ever having it again under the membership fulfillment terms. While I will make no commentary on the types of publications they do offer, they are definitely not mainstream fiction, nor or they of the sort that I would ever bother to read.
The main federal laws governing false advertising are the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act and the Lanham Act. Here is a brief summary:
“Under the FTC Act, false advertising includes advertisements that make representations that the advertiser has no reasonable basis to believe, even if the representations turn out to be true. Private parties, such as consumers or competitors, can file a complaint for false advertising under the Lanham Act. To establish a violation under the Lanham Act, consumers and competitors must prove the following: (1) the advertiser made false statements of fact about its product; (2) the false advertisements actually deceived or had the capacity to deceive a substantial segment of the target population; (3) the deception was material; (4) the falsely advertised product was sold in interstate commerce; and (5) the party bringing the lawsuit (plaintiff) was injured as a result of the deception. Injury is construed as a likelihood of injury, rather than actual injury.”
At this point, having suffered injury from their false advertising, I intend to file suit. However, I am inviting a class-action suit, as I’m certain there are people who are just as irritated at One Spirit, and other such misleading companies, as I am. There is only one way to get these people to stop their underhanded tactics, and that is to fight them in court.
this is the worst company to deal with.
I wish I just would have ordered these books elsewhere. It has just been a very frustrating experience. I placed my order on 12/30/10 and it was sent on 12/31/10. The order was coming from PA and I live in Ohio. And here we are on 1/24/2011 and still no books.
The problem is the company told me to allow up to three weeks. And now I called today over three weeks later and they told me due to the holidays they added another week. They shipped USPS but One Spirit uses their own tracking system so when you have a problem and want to contact USPS the tracking number is invalid.
The postal lady told me the holiday excuse is bogus since they do process on Martin Luther King day. This was at the USPS National Distributing Center in Pittsburgh.
I think my best bet if these books ever show up is to just send them back marked "return to sender".
Why be frustrated even more with bogus bills that may pop up later like some of the others have said they had to deal with. Jeez, if even getting the books in the first place is so hard I can't imagine trying to suss out a bill with them. It just seems apparent that this is NOT a customer focused company.
I agree One Spirit is a rip-off. I'm experiencing the same situation. In August "One Spirit 'sent me a notice that I have to comply with 2 contracts due in October. I did not know where this contracts coming from nor I signed or agree to their terms. They said I have to order 4 books for each contract . I tried to comply with both contracts, I order 4 books and paid $49.79, later after the books came, they said you need to order one more book to their own selection,I was negotiating ,why I can order my own selection, when a collection company called that I owe $35. for the book not ordered, they rejected the other order for $43.93 because they want their own selection . Now they said I failed to comply to their contract and I owe$88.00 plus the $35.00 and they adding more charges. I complaint to BBB 2 weeks ago and still waiting for their response. Now the collection agency is call me demanding for the $88.00 I owe to One Spirit. what is needed is for all of you to file a complaint to Better Business Bureau and to Ripoff Report, to stop this abuse on the consumer.
I agree - the WORST ever. I joined this club and got a kit with missing parts. I didn't get email notices as required by them and bought the first book sent to me (without my agreeing to) just to get out of the club. I emailed them several times to get the missing part and it seems that for their system to ship me a replacement, they without my permission resigned me up - and not are sending me books and billing me. I've sent half a dozen emails and they either cannot read or are purposefully lying.
One Spirit Bookclub is a rip-off!.
Spirit One Book Club is such a nightmare! Beware Buyer!
You know if it looks to good to be true, it is! Don't get suckered into the website and think you can ever get rid of collectors on books you never received. You can't cancel subscription. You will send back endless books after you have cancelled, which you have to pay for postage. When you finally can get them to stop sending books they will sell over to countless collection agencies trying to collect on books never received. Now a new collector has indicated the reason I have a $192.00 bill is because I didn't satisfy my contract which I had already satisfied. The representative is again trying to get me to pay for something I do not have and never did. If you think the old record clubs were a nightmare, these guys are new, improved, and they have taking steriods! BEWARE BUYER!
BIGGEST RIPOFF MASQUERADING AS.
WARNING! WARNING! AVOID THESE PEOPLE LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!!!
This company will rip you off! After joining, I completed my "membership agreement" and purchased the necessary books to do so. The books I HAD purchased as a member were infinitely less expensive on Amazon and were no "bargain" through the club. I then canceled my membership and was done.
A year later, (an entire year!!!) they suddenly began sending me bills for books they claim they sent a year after I canceled my membership! I had not renewed my membership, nor had I ordered or received any books from them. My letters attempting to correct their mistake have been ignored.
I even sent a letter to them by registered mail to which they sent me a form letter saying I "cannot cancel my membership until I purchase one more book to complete my membership agreement."!?!? These imbeciles completely ignore my correspondence and have the nerve to talk about my "agreement".
The point I have been trying to get across to this incompetent bunch of thieves is that I HAVE no current agreement, have completed my membership over a year ago, never renewed or ordered anything since!
Then they threaten to impact my credit! I am still trying to straighten this out but my research shows others have had similar problems. You can google them to find more info.
Ultimately, the courts will decide my redress for the time and materials I have invested in correcting their error, and refer them to the Federal Internet Fraud Division of the FBI. These boneheads need to be taught a lesson. Stay away from them, and stick to Amazon! AVOID THIS COMPANY! DO NO BUSINESS WITH THEM! WARNING! WARNING!