VinoTemp

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Post #1  Postby Scott Brunson » December 23rd 2013, 3:56pm

Since a VinoTemp saga was a thread on this forum as well as the CT forum, it may interest Berserkers to see the link Eric Levine posted on CT
http://scotchtape.ductwhisky.com/2013/1 ... sumer.html
What a bunch of douchebags.
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Post #2  Postby C Fu » December 23rd 2013, 4:05pm

In case people don't want to read a link.

It's a non disparagement clause similar to the one that recently popped up in the news from the company Kleargear. It's actually pretty similar to the Kleargear used. In Kleargear's case, someone posted a negative review and they "fined" (aka charged) them $3500. When they wouldn't pay, they put it as a non payment of bills on their credit report. (a little more info if you're interested.. http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_ins ... eview.html)

Non-Disparagement Clause
In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts Vinotemp, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.
Should you violate this clause, as determined by Vinotemp in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.
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Post #3  Postby andy velebil » December 23rd 2013, 4:17pm

Well that makes it easy. I'll never buy one of their products so long as they have such a clause.
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Post #4  Postby C Fu » December 23rd 2013, 4:19pm

wow.. actually.. vinotemp copied EXACTLY the same clause as Kleargear. I'd be curious who would put this on after the whole Kleargear fiasco?

Should you violate this clause, as determined by KlearGear.com in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.
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Post #5  Postby Richard Malloy » December 23rd 2013, 4:53pm

Thankfully when I was searching for a wine cabinet, the many, many, many stories of terrible customer service at Vinotemp steered me well away from their products. Don't get me wrong, I was tempted. Low prices will do that, and certainly they are cheaper than some of their competitors. But that cheapness doesn't come cheaply as it turned out for far too many people.

Fortunately, I read one too many horror stories to risk making such a large purchase from such a dodgy company. And I suspect it was those very same horror stories that caused Vinotemp to make the dire decision to include such a clause in their purchase agreements.

After all, why would anyone purchase anything from them? There's but one reason: ignorance.

Thank you, Eric (and Scott), for helping to keep us informed. Hopefully the other poor suckers around the web are learning what this company's all about.
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Post #6  Postby Rick.T » December 23rd 2013, 5:38pm

I'm with Andy and everyone else on this, will NEVER purchase one of their products. Just from what I know about VinoTemp I wouldn't purchase their wine cooler anyway but this seals the deal.
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Post #7  Postby Eric LeVine » December 23rd 2013, 5:56pm

Charlie Fu wrote:wow.. actually.. vinotemp copied EXACTLY the same clause as Kleargear. I'd be curious who would put this on after the whole Kleargear fiasco?

Not so clever. And certainly pretty nasty to customers.
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Post #8  Postby M. Sai » December 23rd 2013, 10:07pm

Wow! ........ Thanks Charlie, duly noted.
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Post #9  Postby Steve Matthesen » December 24th 2013, 2:01pm

Interesting. An incredibly odd "contract" provision ... hard to believe it will stand-up in court. Also would seem impossible to enforce if you didn't buy directly from Vinotemp ... many are sold through places like Costco (who I imagine won't be a fan of this clause ... not their style).

I have been a Vinotemp customer (the 400E). Used happily for a decade or so. No negative experiences with the product or service, so generally I recommend them to folks. Agree this casts a shadow over that.
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Post #10  Postby Jay Winton » December 25th 2013, 9:40am

Above clause is why I bought mine through Costco. So far so good after a few months.
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Post #11  Postby Eric LeVine » December 25th 2013, 9:51am

The author of the blog states that the clause was only quietly added in the past 2 weeks. Did you see it a few months ago?
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Post #12  Postby Nick Ryan » December 25th 2013, 1:08pm

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Post #13  Postby Rick Dalia » December 25th 2013, 1:31pm

It's too bad about this company, since they really would be in a position to be an exceptional product locally in the U.S.

I have a small VT-34 that has been fine for 2+ years and been happy with it, though haven't had to utilize the customer service. Based on the above issue, I will not purchase from then again.
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Post #14  Postby Scot Hasselman » December 25th 2013, 1:46pm

For better or worse, I am frequently asked to recommend wine and related products (sometimes coolers). Although I have recommended vinotemp in the past, I will not so again.
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Post #15  Postby Fred C » December 25th 2013, 2:53pm

Rick Dalia wrote:It's too bad about this company, since they really would be in a position to be an exceptional product locally in the U.S.

I have a small VT-34 that has been fine for 2+ years and been happy with it, though haven't had to utilize the customer service. Based on the above issue, I will not purchase from then again.


Exactly. If they actually addressed the customer service issues it would be a recommendable and very competitive product. Shame. That clause is more damaging than anything that an individual could write about them.
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Post #16  Postby Seo S a l i m i » December 25th 2013, 3:14pm

Guess I've been lucky. I bought mine at Costco for a steal (compared to on-line prices). Have had it for at least 4 years without a hiccup. Selling my home next month and leaving the Vinotemp behind, so I guess I wont have to worry about it.
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Post #17  Postby Frank Mestas » January 10th 2014, 11:25am

Wow. Thank God for Wineberserkers... I was considering getting a couple of units from Le Cache and then I saw that Costco has similar Vinotemp units at a much lower cost... Even though Costco has excellent customer service, there's no way I'm going to indirectly support such a shady company as Vinotemp. Le Cache gets my business.
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Post #18  Postby Daisy R e e d » January 10th 2014, 11:36am

We bought one from Costco in 2010. Luckily we haven't had any problems with it, but will definitely be looking for a different model if/when we upgrade or need to replace.
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Post #19  Postby Richard Malloy » January 21st 2014, 1:25pm

Given other recent nastiness by Vinotemp against a fellow Berserker, I just want to push thread this back to the top.
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Post #20  Postby AndrewH » January 21st 2014, 3:34pm

Charlie Fu wrote:In case people don't want to read a link.

It's a non disparagement clause similar to the one that recently popped up in the news from the company Kleargear. It's actually pretty similar to the Kleargear used. In Kleargear's case, someone posted a negative review and they "fined" (aka charged) them $3500. When they wouldn't pay, they put it as a non payment of bills on their credit report. (a little more info if you're interested.. http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_ins ... eview.html)

Non-Disparagement Clause
In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts Vinotemp, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.
Should you violate this clause, as determined by Vinotemp in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.


That's pretty funny: "In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback . . . this contract prohibits you form taking any action that negatively impacts Vinotemp . . . " In other words, it's "fair and honest public feedback" only if it's positive. If it's negative it must not be fair and honest!
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Post #21  Postby A S K R O B A C K » January 21st 2014, 5:39pm

From the post, I'm not sure how they are trying to impose this as an actual contractual obligation on the purchaser. That said, thanks for the heads up to avoid Vinotemp. Scumbags just for trying that.
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Post #22  Postby Scott Brunson » January 21st 2014, 5:49pm

Look at the Cellar Tracker forum to see the latest development.
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Post #23  Postby A S K R O B A C K » January 21st 2014, 5:49pm

Charlie Fu wrote:In case people don't want to read a link.

It's a non disparagement clause similar to the one that recently popped up in the news from the company Kleargear. It's actually pretty similar to the Kleargear used. In Kleargear's case, someone posted a negative review and they "fined" (aka charged) them $3500. When they wouldn't pay, they put it as a non payment of bills on their credit report. (a little more info if you're interested.. http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_ins ... eview.html)

Non-Disparagement Clause
In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts Vinotemp, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.
Should you violate this clause, as determined by Vinotemp in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.



Wow...never heard of Kleargear, but I'll seek to avoid them as well. Hope the Palmers nail them to the wall.
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Post #24  Postby A S K R O B A C K » January 21st 2014, 5:59pm

Scott Brunson wrote:Look at the Cellar Tracker forum to see the latest development.


Todd, I hope a cross-post for this subject is ok. Pretty wild stuff.

https://www.cellartracker.com/forum/tm.asp?m=286889
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Post #25  Postby Rick.T » January 21st 2014, 8:29pm

Reading that post on CT was just too much drama for me....
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Post #26  Postby A S K R O B A C K » January 23rd 2014, 5:21pm

Yep. Just be glad it wasn't you!

Where is Vinotemp located? Anyone know? Some states have consumer protection statutes that can be brought to bear.
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Post #27  Postby Scott Fitzgerald » January 23rd 2014, 5:40pm

You can sue anyone for anything. That doesn't mean it will hold up in court. This is a form of "lawsuit bullying" that scares folks with the fear of having to "lawyer up" at great personal cost to clear their good name. What goes around, comes around - this is bad business at its worst.
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Post #28  Postby C Fu » January 23rd 2014, 6:11pm

Scott Fitzgerald wrote:You can sue anyone for anything. That doesn't mean it will hold up in court. This is a form of "lawsuit bullying" that scares folks with the fear of having to "lawyer up" at great personal cost to clear their good name. What goes around, comes around - this is bad business at its worst.

unfortunately putting something on your credit is a real thing and a super hassle to take off.
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Post #29  Postby Austin Fulk » February 3rd 2014, 12:16pm

Vinotemp's non-disparagement clause is now getting more negative publicity:

http://overlawyered.com/2014/02/consume ... t-clauses/
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Post #30  Postby andy velebil » March 5th 2014, 6:42am

Here's a good one. Check out how they've modified and renamed their Non-Disparagement clause to "Honest Feedback" and changed the terms slightly as well. I suspect they got so much negative press from here and other sites they've slightly changed their tune...though not by much.

HONEST FEEDBACK: In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts Vinotemp, its reputation, products, services, management or employees, unless you: (A) have first communicated with Vinotemp, and (B) taken any unresolved issue heard by an independent mediator with ADR Services in Los Angeles, CA. Should you not follow this process, Vinotemp in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question, until after mediation. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed US$3,500.00 for your share of the mediation costs, and legal fees associated with establishing the mediation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.


Here's the old one for ease of reading/comparing.

Non-Disparagement Clause
In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts Vinotemp, its reputation, products, services, management or employees. Should you violate this clause, as determined by Vinotemp in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.
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Post #31  Postby AndrewH » March 5th 2014, 7:08am

andy velebil wrote:Here's a good one. Check out how they've modified and renamed their Non-Disparagement clause to "Honest Feedback" and changed the terms slightly as well. I suspect they got so much negative press from here and other sites they've slightly changed their tune...though not by much.


Interesting definition of "honest feedback" - Vinotemp decides in its sole discretion what is "honest".
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Post #32  Postby Dan.Gord0n » March 5th 2014, 7:23am

Given it is CA in particular, I am surprised that the CA governmental agency overseeing consumer issues and the CA AG's office have given this behavior a pass (I assume that individuals involved have brought this to their attention through filing complaints).

Again, particularly in CA, I could see the legislature passing a bill making it illegal to intimidate a customer from posting reviews or otherwise commenting if such comments are truthful. I wonder if any state has that on the books.....
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Post #33  Postby AndrewH » March 5th 2014, 2:03pm

Dan.Gord0n wrote:Given it is CA in particular, I am surprised that the CA governmental agency overseeing consumer issues and the CA AG's office have given this behavior a pass (I assume that individuals involved have brought this to their attention through filing complaints).

Again, particularly in CA, I could see the legislature passing a bill making it illegal to intimidate a customer from posting reviews or otherwise commenting if such comments are truthful. I wonder if any state has that on the books.....


My guess is that there would need to be an actual case before they would intervene - i.e., someone posts something that Vinotemp then asserts violates this policy and seeks to collect money on. The relevant agency might intervene in the court proceeding.
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Post #34  Postby C Fu » March 5th 2014, 2:09pm

an update on the Kleargear end of things

http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2014/ ... -void.html

Our suit also named the debt collector Fidelity Information Corp., who by this point owned the debt. Now Fidelity has done an independent review of the case and reported to the credit agencies that the debt was erroneous. So the Palmers have a measure of relief – the KlearGear debt is off John’s credit report, finally, after 18 months. Today the Palmers voluntarily dismissed Fidelity from the lawsuit.


Apparently Kleargear has yet to respond to the complaint and have shuttered all social media presence.
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Post #35  Postby Andrew Kaufman » March 5th 2014, 5:45pm

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