My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: California and others...
I'm a constant online shopper always in search of a coupon deal. I found School-astic (read between the lines, please) coupon codes at a teacher forum. Some of the codes were for free books, while others were for bonus points to be spent on future purchases. The forum claimed that the codes were from a published magazine which anyone could have access to.
I checked the codes on my account and found that they were valid as long as I made $20 purchases on each catalog. This is how I check coupon codes I get on the internet.
I and many other teachers ordered books using the codes. I waited a week after ordering to ensure that the bonus points were credited to my account and then placed an order for more books using my bonus points.
In late November, I went to make my payment on the account (upwards of $200 of my own personal funds) and the login page told me there was a problem with my account. A forum search told me that others who used the codes were also locked out. The threads are at AtoZteacherStuff forums and there are upwards of 25,000 views, so I presume there are MANY of us in the same situation.
I called in late November and was told that it would take a week to unlock my account. I have heard nothing, while others have recieved a non-itemizedBILL for upwards of $800. 'Coupon Fraud' has been mentioned by the website employees.
My question is, what is the legality of controlling the use of online coupon codees? If the items were ordered in good faith and delivered, is the contract completed?
Many of us put the books out for student use and cannot return them as they have been labeled and/or damaged. The option we are being offered by the company is to 'return or pay' but after a month, was the expectation that we would have books in returnable condition?
The company sat on this problem for so long that now we have no options, unless we have legal standing on the use of coupon codes. Looking back, of course, we realize that 'if it's too good to be true, it is', but I waited to see if the points were credited before ordering just in case the system was flawed.
Good faith, but still owe $800+?
BTW, I still have not heard back. I've been locked from use but my e-mails are still unreturned.
People who did not yet spend their bonus points before they were locked out were notified of 'fraud' and the points removed. People like me who spend some or all their points have either not heard back or are asked for the books to be returned/paid.
Thank you for any advice.