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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Deluxe Checks - web stores - annoyances - deception

I started to place a check re-order this morning thru my US Bank Online account. They re-directed me to Deluxe Corp. via a private label portal. Since I've done this a few times before, I expected that the process would take about 5 minutes or less. The first screen showed my sample check with the correct starting number etc. The only problem was the default quantity; '1 Box'. Most of us know that a ream is 500 but don't know how many checks are in a box. Since I use checks individually and not by the box I thought that might be useful information. After about 15 minutes of searching their web site, going thru to the last step of the order and going back thru the US Bank site, I found no quantity other than 'box'. I decided to call the 'help' number to find out. When the lady asked me what I needed, I said I'd like to order a 'case' of checks. She said "how many is that"? I said, "I don't know but it's more than a box". After about 5 minutes of toying with her, I noted that her first question about my 'carton' order was "how many is that?" and that I had the same question when the web site was trying to sell me 'boxes' of checks without indicating the quantity. She finally gave me a couple of different answers ranging between 120 and 150 checks per box. Since this was getting nowhere, I asked to speak to her supervisor. After going thru the basics with the supervisor, I was told that they deal with many banks and they all use different quantities per box so it would be too difficult to show the exact quantities for each bank. Anyone who's still reading this is probably chuckling as I did and saying to themselves like I did to her... "you mean to tell me that you can look up my routing number, my account number, my address, my starting check number and put the banks logo on the page but it's too difficult to put the quantity per box on the site?" She just kept making excuses with no apologies or any indication that the Deluxe web site would ever show this information.

Why do I put myself thru this torture? I learn from it. This is not how to build a website! This is not how to support a web site! I want my end-users to enjoy the experience of using a web site that I've built and even when my first reaction to a complaint might be "they just don't understand how complicated that is", I always try to find a way to make it work.

A final comment on Deluxe. In the their checkout process they give an option for free shipping. But even if you check that box, the final price shows a line item for 'shipping and taxes'. In my case, it would have been $3.20 on a $20.00 order. When I asked about that, the supervisor told me it was a standard handling charge just like when you buy something from a TV ad. Please note, another lesson here. Don't lie; call it what it is; put the information in early - not at the last step.

The surprise ending for me was that after rejecting another site for many of the same reasons as above, I ended up ordering from Wal-Mart Check Printing. Their site was easy to use, quantities clearly indicated, shipping and taxes itemized and checkout quite simple. Depending on how many checks Deluxe actually puts in a box, Wal-Mart was about half the cost.

Comments

1. John+Dykstra said...

To follow up on this story... the checks arrived quickly and just as ordered from Wal-Mart. I highly recommend that you give them a try next time you need checks.

2. Brian said...

Heh... I found this article by googling "how many checks are in a box". I, too, was trying to order new checks for my US Bank account. Almost two years later they still haven't managed to make that information available.

3. Nanci said...

Wish I had found this article BEFORE I placed my reorder for checks from Message Products. $15 for a box of checks, $3 for transaction registers (because they aren't included w/ the checks, and shipping costs - TOTAL = approximately $30. Just mildly ticked off when I opened the box and it was only 1/2 full. I used to get a full box of checks for the same price. Did they think I wouldn't notice when they only shipped half?! And yea, NO WHERE on their site do they list the quantity of checks in the box. What a ripoff - I think from now on I will just do all my banking online.

4. Marianne said...

Last time I ordered checks from Huntington Bank, it was $25 for a "box" of checks (not including tax, shipping and handling). The box arrived and included the grand total of 30 checks. Banks are clearly trying to disincentivize the use of paper checks because they make more money off of checking account cards.

5. RIPOFF said...

50 checks in a "box" from my bank for 13.50 from the US Bank website. That's a quarter a check!!!!

6. Derek D. said...

Its 2012 and the same thing is still going on. I used the contact form on their website to pose the "how many" question and have not received a response after 3 days.

7. Jenn said...

And also in 2012, the same thing is going on with the handling charge too. It's never mentioned anywhere on the "shipping" page of the site. It clearly says $0.00 will be the shipping charge and then when you get to the last page of checkout, there's a $3.75 "handling" charge that comes out of nowhere. I've gotten two emails from customer service that, just like you described above, just made excuses and avoided addressing the actual issue. They just treated me like I was stupid for not knowing! I was trying to get her to forward my concern to the appropriate management, but she wouldn't. I'll find somewhere else to order my checks.

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