Tag Archives: shoddy merchandise

POS Purse: don’t buy a Buxton Bag!

POS: adj  “piece of shit” abbrev. (slang) – used to describe a shoddy product or service.

Purse: n. a receptacle (as a pocketbook) for carrying money and often other small objects

To get straight to the point before recounting my story… the Buxton bag (“As Seen on TV”) is a piece of shit. And the company selling them is as bad as their product. Avoid both.

My old purse was near death and I had to get a new one.

Now, I’ve never been a handbag hysteric. (The mind boggles at  shelling out $150 a week just to rent one that carries Kate Spade’s name. Quite apart from the expense, who wants to schlep all their stuff from purse to purse to purse?   And how does the frequent bag renter keep straight into which crevice her keys have crept?)

My purse use is strictly utilitarian -a place for everything and everything in its place.  I like them small – with slots for credit-type cards and money because I don’t carry a wallet.  Unfortunately, Perlina, who made my last purse, is now into mini- mini-bags, so the saleswoman at Nordstrom suggested I check out the Buxton bag which she’d seen in an info-mercial.

I was dubious about the info-mercial aspect, but I had fond memories of earlier Buxton products… I think my first wallet was a “Lady Buxton.” And Nordstrom sales people are usually trustworthy.

So I found the Buxton website (I refuse to link to it) and figured why not try it; the bag was really inexpensive ($19.95. Woo-hoo, eat your heart out Kate Spade!).

What WAS I thinking??? I know that from painful experience that anything that is  too cheap to be true  is too cheap to be good. Anyway, I went for the “deluxe” upgrade – price $29.95 . Plus $8.95 shipping.

I went further and added the FREE pocket memo recorder (just add $6.95 more for shipping). I placed my order on November 25.

After 3 weeks had passed and there was no sign of the charge on my card or the purse on my doorstep, I went back to the website.  There on the customer service page (not on any of the pages during the purchase process) it said the order might take 2 to 6 weeks to process.

Now they tell me.  Like they’re custom-making a bag for me???

If I’d known what a swiz this might be, I’d have googled “Buxton complaints” because I discovered a buttload.

[Try googling it yourself. You’ll find that some of  the complainers had waited as long as 3 months to get their POS purse. Others discovered it was ugly, poorly made, smelled bad and the dye bled on everything. Those who got past this initial shock and began using it discovered that it almost immediately began to disintegrate….  But I digress.]

I called Buxton customer service yesterday and said I wanted to cancel. The gal said, “Uh… you can’t. It’s already shipped.”  But she couldn’t tell me when it had shipped or by what method.

I smelled fish.

“You can always send it back to us if you don’t like it and we’ll give you back the $29.95,” she said, “but you’ll have to pay the shipping charges.”  (The complaint site made it clear that most folks return the bag and suck up the shipping charges.)

Evidently they don’t actually start the shipment procedure until you call to cancel – then they say “Sorry, too late; it shipped.” Then they institute the shipping process.

The shipping scam: the purse is sent from Reno in a light plastic bag using the cheapest possible postal rate (less than $5) via horse-drawn buggy.  Since they charged you $15 they net $10.

Now I get it: they’re actually a shipping company with just a dozen bags in stock. They keep these in constant rotation: as soon as a buyer receives a bag and realizes what a POS it is, she ships it back (at her expense). No need for an expensive warehouse and lots of inventory.

Buxton slaps a new label on the tired package and out it goes again.This might explain why the complainers often report that the bag looked shopworn.

I finally got the guy in customer service to agree to refund the shipping charges – after he conferred with his supervisor. I was pissed.

Especially at my own stupidty.

Update 12/19: Stronger smell of fish. After calling Customer Service on 12.16 and they said “Uh…it’s shipped – too late to cancel”, I kept checking my credit card online to see when they would charge me, since normally businesses hit your charge card as soon as possible – like the instant they ship. The charge didn’t show up till today, dated 12/18 – two full days after I was told it was shipped. In other words it was bullshit that it had shipped earlier.

Update 1/5/09: Bag finally arrived in my mailbox – six weeks after I ordered it. I refused it and sent it back.  Called Buxton and said I wanted the FULL amount refunded, including shipping. I finally got to a supervisor who agreed they would refund it all.

Update 2/8/09: A credit showed up on my charge card… for $29.95. Not the shipping.  I called again – had to get to a supervisor.  They said they’d refund the rest of it. We’ll see.