There's is a Gale's location in Winnipeg too and this is how I got to know about Gale's, seeing as Winnipeg is my hometown.
I've shopped this craft goods wholesaler in the past finding just the right kind of silky black cord for my ceramic necklaces. I ran out of said silky cord a few weeks ago, so needed to order more. Gale's Wholesale will sell products to you at wholesale prices if you have a business, which of course I do. According to Gale's Wholesale website, in order to qualify I had to spend a minimum of $50. That meant I had to buy more than 2 spools of black cord because the wholesale price was $23.75 per unit. I honestly did not need, nor could I afford, 3 spools, so I decided on 2 spools of black cord and 10 yards of black leather cord at $8.70 for a total of $56.20. When it came time to check out, I realized that Gale's Wholesale does NOT have a secure server, so I called in my order. The woman who took my order couldn't tell me what the shipping charges would be for my order, but that I would get an invoice in my package.
I got my package last week. There was no invoice. I knew I would have to call them to get an invoice sent out since I need it for my books, and I still had absolutely no idea what charges were put on my card. Yesterday I went online to my credit card account to see if that purchase had been posted, and it had. Gale's Wholesale charged me $96.00 for a $56.00 purchase!!
Now calling became a priority. They obviously had charged the retail price instead of the wholesale price. I double checked the prices again on their website and indeed the wholesale price was $23.75. I called Gale's Wholesale while staring at the computer screen, at the price of the cord that was $23.75 and said, "I'm looking at the screen right now and it says $23.75." The woman to whom I was speaking did not identify herself, but did say she didn't have a computer in front of her and that the entire mail order staff was out.
Again, I said, "You've charged me the wrong price." She put me on hold for over 5 minutes to find my invoice. Once she had it, she insisted they had not made an error and read my invoice out to me. I didn't want to go around in circles with her so politely asked her for the manager's name and when I could reach the manager. She name her name was Brenda Heron and to call in the morning.
I hung up. It was about 4:30 and still time before dinner to work in the garden, so I went outside and transplanted my Lungwort and Lillies and was just finishing up when JF drove into the yard. We came into the house and the message machine was beeping. I got a call while outside. It was the same woman to whom I'd spoken earlier who read out my invoice charges again to me and assured me that they had indeed charged me the correct price for each spool of black cord - $34.00. This was not a lot of help. I would have to call Brenda in the morning.
I spoke to Brenda just now and Brenda heard my whole story and then offers that it's possible that the price had gone up. Indeed it did! It went up exactly $10.25 a spool on their website just yesterday afternoon! Yes, they got my call, scurried over to the computer and changed the price to match their over-the-phone quote.
While I don't doubt prices have risen, I do doubt they have risen $11 since 2002 when I bought my first spool ot black cord. If the price hike is any indication of the true valuable of the product then I am buying stock in silky black cord tomorrow! How could I go wrong with that investment?
Anyway, it's now obvious to me that Brenda doesn't know what else to tell me so she says, "You'll have to speak to the manager." The manager? I thought you were the manager, Brenda! She passes the phone to me and guess who? The same woman with whom I'd spoken yesterday who claimed the Brenda was the manager!! I asked her name and she wouldn't give it. All she said was, "I spoke with you yesterday."
"Yes, " I thought, "Yesterday the manager was Brenda and today it's you?"
She launched into reading the invoice again and I interrupted her to remind her that I was looking at the web page while I was speaking with her yesterday and I did not imagine, nor make up the price to suit me. I was reading it off of the web page! I also suggested that they had changed the web price after she and I spoke yesterday afternoon because when I checked the website again last night it had been changed! She actually LIED to me and said that no one had changed it. She said that the price on the web page was $34 when she and I spoke yesterday afternoon. Then she very confidently challenged me to "prove it."
I am not insane. I know what I saw and I saw that the price was $23.75 per unit. I was so angry I called her a liar. She said, "I'm not accussing YOU of being a liar," in a way that suggested that if she wasn't accsuing me then I should refrain from accusing her.
I asked for a refund of $22 on my card and she said no, I could send it all back but there would be no partial refund for the price difference. Aaah, she admits there is a price difference! Isn't that almost as good as admitting that she knew there were two different prices!? I once again asked her to make the refund adding that if a refund was not forthcoming, the information about this would become public. She told me that wasn't very nice. I couldn't believe she actually said it wouldn't be very nice of me to blog this.
So this is a warning to all of you artists and crafters out there who are thinking about shopping at Gale's Wholesale. Beware!