Fail by Fee

I somehow got on a marketing list for National Pen Company. Might stem from when I was running my own business. They sell customized SWAG you can give away to customers. For over 10 years, National Pen has been sending me samples to get me to buy some pens from them.

Here is the thing. They have nice pens. When it came time to buy, I figured why not give them a shot? They persevered for such a long time. I placed an order. They had a "first time buyer" discount that sweetened the deal.

They called me up to confirm my order. Then it arrived. They even shipped it without me first paying. The invoice was included with my shipment. That's when the bad surprises came. Yeah I expected they would tack on a shipping fee. But they also added a setup fee.

The setup fee feels like what I call a garbage fee. This is not a third party fee such as the real money they have to bay UPS to deliver the package. This is some in house nonsense extra money I need to pay. Hey if you have costs, roll them into the cost of your project. Don't try to trick your customer by gouging them with a surprise fee.

It is a shame. Their marketing and project was really good. The pricing and billing killed any repeat business they might get. Now they are going to get bad publicity. Every time I talk about them, I will say they have good pens but they try to rip you off on the transaction. Fail.