ShopNBC Threatens To Cut Off The Homeshoppingista Over Returns

Ain’t this a kick in the ass. We got THE LETTER from ShopNBC today.

Several years ago we first learned from our readers that QVC had sent them warning letters telling them they were returning too much merchandise — all this despite the fact that all the home shopping networks say they have an unconditional 30-day guarantee. QVC suspended some of their accounts.

We couldn’t believe it! It sounded like false advertising to us: You say customers can return goods and then renege on that promise.

The Homeshoppingista with letter from ShopNBC saying how great she is, after being told by email that she was returning too many items

The Homeshoppingista with a letter from ShopNBC saying how great she is, after being told by email that she was returning too many items

Surprise, surprise, we got one of those letters from ShopNBC via email Monday. It chided us for returning more than 50 percent of the items we ordered this year. Nancy “Knucklehead” Kunkle, ShopNBS’s, get this, senior vice president of “Customer Experience,” sent us the letter.

Now, anyone who know us knows our addiction is jewelry. If a home shopping network has a jewelry Today’s Special, and we want to check it out, we will order it at its one-day-only discount price to see what it looks like. We don’t view that order as a commitment to keep it.

Now we understand that some customers really abuse the 30-day-return policy. They may use a hair shampoo or a lipstick, for example, until they are nearly used up and then return them. We have never done that. We don’t abuse the policy.

We posted the letter, which is at the end of this blog, earlier today on Facebook. And as usual, our smart and funny Facebook friends had some priceless comments. A common response was “that’s crazy.”

Here are some others:

“Boy, firing their customers, there’s a growth strategy!!” wrote Linda H., our former colleague and friend.

“Lemme think… The stuff you’re buying from us is not satisfactory. That’s not OUR problem, it’s YOURS. You’re not supposed to be a discerning customer who expects silly things like quality, accurate representation of our products. Just take our crap and like it, Beyotch!” wrote Ray G., a childhood friend.

“You have got to be kidding!!!!!” from our sister Karen’s close friend Anne.

“So I guess you’re on the naughty list,” from our sister Karen.

“Sounds like a column to me, got get ’em tigress!” and “Moss, don’t shop there. What a scumbag outfit. Write,” from our former boss and mentor, Marianne.

But here’s the kicker, as we say in journalism. When we got home from the gym tonight, we had a letter in the mail from ShopNBC.

It called us “a valuable member of the ShopNBC Family,” and talked about the rebranding of the channel as ShopHQ. Guess they didn’t get the memo from Kunkle.

“We’re honored that you’ve been part of our growth over the past 23 years,” the letter said. Really?

It was signed by ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart.

Here is the “naughty, naughty” email we got.

Dear Linda Moss,

Thank you for choosing ShopNBC to make your purchases. We hope that you have been satisfied with the products you have received.

At ShopNBC, we want you to shop with confidence. However, after reviewing your account activity during the year of 2012, we noticed that the majority of your purchases (over 50%) were not meeting your expectations and were being returned to us. This resulted in ShopNBC incurring a higher than average cost to service your account.

We value you as our customer and in order to better serve you, we are writing to ask for you to share your reasons for these returns. We invite you to share your feedback via survey at or by phone at 1-800-676-5523 between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm CST, Monday through Friday. Your feedback will help us determine if we can make changes for you and other customers to improve the shopping experience with ShopNBC.

Please be advised that if we are not able to meet your expectations in shopping with ShopNBC and your return rates do not reduce, we may regretfully need to take further steps including closing your account in the future. We will contact you in advance if that step is taken.

We look forward to receiving your feedback. Thank you in advance for your assistance, and for continuing to shop with ShopNBC.


Nancy Kunkle
SVP of Customer Experience

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8 Responses to “ShopNBC Threatens To Cut Off The Homeshoppingista Over Returns”

  1. Toni Brattin Says:

    Unfortunately, there are many that abuse and actually scam the service being provided. Because of the lax return policy there are many customers that take advantage and even basically use it as a way to purchase, use it, with full intensions of returning it before they even receive it…it is basically…authorized stealing! Though this does not happen often, and may very well in some cases may not be the intent, of some customers, it is others. Most cosmetics and the such must destroyed, but the cost to manufacture is real to the vendor. If an excess is being returned from a particular customer, I guess Shop and other shopping channels review those accounts, but the truth is, someone (not the customer) is paying for these items to be manufactured none the less. As a vendor, we have to “bill in” to the over all average cost of these goods, knowing that money will be returned to customer and nothing to the vendor. I truly feel that most customers return legitimately, and many just need an exchange, But, the truth is, some customers just do not realize the mathematics of average return rate. It’s kinda like the person at Thanksgiving, that heaps their plate full, and then throws half of it in the trash, leaving others that got none. Most people don’t take advantage of the policy and only have their fair share of returns, but it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out if a certain customer is always getting more than he/she ever pays for. I know many people may not realize, but if an item has too many returns, (no matter why), Shop or other channels can and will decide not to offer that item again, simply because they can not buy airtime for an item with too high of a return. Every business has its margins…otherwise they’re out of business.

    I don’t know if this helped, but hopefully seeing things from two perspectives, helps!

    I love reading reading your blogs! Keep up the great work!

    Toni Brattin & Co. Inc

  2. Helene Says:

    Many, many years ago, I received a letter from HSN advising that I was returning too many items. I wrote back “stop selling crap and I won’t have to return”.

  3. Ann Says:

    That happened to me with QVC. They were merciless. It was around Christmastime. I’m partially handicapped and it makes sh oping in B/M stores very difficult and painful for me. I had returned things to QVC; but only if the size, color,or quality was off. Which happened at a moderate, not excessive rate.
    I received the letter and about 2weeks later, they closed my account with no warning about a month before Christmas! Orders that were “in progress” that normally couldn’t be cancelled, suddenly were. I couldn’t even get to my account and see what might be actually delivered!
    When I called they were extremely nasty. I wasn’t allowed to speak to anyone of power in the hierarchy chain. I was told I could write a letter to the ” office of the President”?!? Or; wait 2 years and open a new account. Who does QVC think they are? Who do all of them think they are? In this economy they should be happy for customers!!
    Thankfully for me there are other. Eat works any many many other online vendors now that even pay shipping both ways! QVC can go rot as far as I’m concerned. I know a few people that work there, and was told other than the hosts….employees are treated like servants! I do not need to spend my money at an establishment that treats both customers and employees like that!

  4. Joan Says:

    This has happened to me also but they used my husbands name which I guess they got from the phone for it is in his name. Boy!!! He was mad, he is not even on MY! Acct. But he now has an acct. That SHOPNBC say he has returned over 50% of his orders but he has never ordered from them.. He has his on customer # ?? Where they got this number we don’t know. I have my own # . So they wouldn’t let me close he’s acct. The next time they contact him they will get an ear fill ( if he can find some one to talk to) … ha ha

  5. Deb Says:

    I love a particular designer on HSN but the past few yrs the sizing is off, armholes in the wrong place, etc. but I always order because I love the styles. These orders are in addition to many many other items I buy. My a/c was cancelled without warning so I wrote to one of the female execs asking why they wouldn’t ask why the items were returned before canceling an a/c and in addition stop telling the viewers you have a liberal return policy. If you google this subject all of the shopping channels do this.

    • homeshoppingista Says:

      Thanks Deb. I know all the shopping nets do this, but it’s not rignt. I have not ordered anything from ShopNBC since they sent me the letter.

      • Anna Says:

        Wow! I just stumbled on this…it happened to me, as well, at both HSN and qvc. I don’t buy that much, but lately everything has been poorly made or ill fitting. I have no intent to use and return. I like Helene’s reply…if they’d stop selling badly made products, they would have many fewer returns.
        Sorry this happened to you, Homeshoppingista. They are getting too big for their britches at these channels. My solution? I took the channels off remote….ALL shopping channels, canceled the 2 orders I had recently made, and closed my accounts. I never had their credit cards; the interest is too high…so I didn’t have that to deal with. No more purchases, no more returns. No more Wallmart quality (and usually not that good) items at Bloomingdales prices. I’ll just go directly to Walmart now when I want those items. Good bye and good riddance.

  6. After Warning Letter, ShopNBC Wants Us Back! Fat Chance | Homeshoppingista's Blog By Linda Moss Says:

    […]… […]

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