Is there really a Gevalia coffee scam or is the Gevalia program a legitimate online mail order business? Over the past several years, consumers raised numerous issues with the operating practices and customer service offered by Gevalia. What should you know about Gevalia coffee and similar monthly services?
What is Gevalia? Gevalia distributes European specialty coffees and teas directly to the consumer, allowing consumers to sample coffees and teas otherwise unavailable in his or her market area with the convenience of home delivery. The company offers coffee and tea lovers various plans and “club” style memberships.
Why has Gevalia been reported as a scam company? The concept sounds simple enough and is similar to other “of the month” style clubs and member-only food and beverage distributors. Why have so many consumers felt scammed by Gevalia? Consumers agree to purchase an initial coffee or tea sampling at a drastically reduced price, but, in most membership plans, also agree to continue to receive monthly coffee shipments at full price until the membership is cancelled. Again, this sounds typical, but many consumers reported an inability to cancel memberships in a timely fashion and claimed unauthorized charges on credit cards. Sometimes, consumers claimed that entire membership accounts were started without permission or consent.
Customer service issues lead to many Gevalia scam reports. The fine print of the initial Gevalia coffee trials frequently goes unread or misunderstood by consumers or gift givers, leaving many consumers to receive additional shipments of coffee and tea along with a hefty bill often already billed to a supplied credit card account! Many English-speaking customers face language barriers in attempts to cancel memberships with Gevalia customer service. frequently making the experience time consuming and frustrating. Numerous complaints appear due to account credits and cancellations not received in a timely fashion. In many cases accounts were not cancelled at all due to poor customer service relations.
What has Gevalia done in recent years to avoid scam reports and customer complaints? Gevalia has modified trial memberships and has changed the plans and gift options available to consumers to avoid some of the misunderstandings and account billing issues. Consumers are able to manage accounts online or with the aid of a customer service representative. Additionally, Gevalia offers options to reduce amounts and frequencies of shipments if permitted by the initial contracted agreement.
How can you avoid feeling duped by mail order companies such as Gevalia? Read and understand your initial purchase agreement and contract obligations. While Gevalia has come a long way in recent years to make its service more user friendly, the consumer still bears responsibility to read and understand the various plans and shipping options. This is especially important for those shipping Gevalia products as a gift as you do not want to burden yourself with a larger bill than initially anticipated or “contract” the gift recipient with future, perhaps unwanted, shipment purchases.