1.12.2009

Children's Place SCAM

Ok, so let's start out by saying I looove The Children's Place. Their clothes are adorable and are well made. They don't shrink or pill up after one wearing and washing. They also offer some fantastic sales and you can scoop up some amazing clothes pretty cheaply. And their flat rate shipping is nice too.

BUT.... and this is a big but... you gotta watch what they charge you! Seriously, I've placed many orders with them over the past 3 years and I didn't even realize this blatant scam until my last order.

Pay attention. Then check your orders to see if this has happened to you as well.

After going through the entire check-out process with my last order, I happened to notice that on my purchase I was charged $0.37 for tax. Hmmm.... you might be thinking ok, no big deal. Well it is a big deal when the state of NJ does not charge tax on clothing.

I wondered if it was a tax on the shipping charges, as I had heard of the tax law changed that allowed for the tax on the shipping charge. But NJ state sales tax is 7%.... so how did they come up with $0.37???? The shipping was a flat-rate $5.00. So if this was a tax on the shipping charge, it would have been $0.35.

(Yes I know it's only a few cents, but it's the principal of the matter, ya know? Besides, it's not like this money is going to the state or anything. They pay what they have to... not extra!)

So I emailed The Children's Place and asked what the tax was charged for. They emailed back with a quick response saying that it was a shipping tax, which was standard practice. Hmmmm. Really??? It's their standard practice to overcharge customers with the incorrect tax?

Soooo... getting angrier by the moment, I emailed back saying that NJ sales tax is 7% and I was simply wondering how they computed 7% of $5.00 to equal $0.37. Every calculator I tried said 7 x 5 = 35. Anyway, they responded with some bull-crap answer that it was based on the number of items in my order. Ummmm what???? Are you kidding me???

Oh and they also said it was not a sales tax. Hmmmm... the tax is on the sale of the shipping.... therefore, it's a sales tax. And sales tax in the state of NJ is 7% of the charge... not based on the number of items you buy. And either way... there's still no way to come up with the random amount of $0.37.

Sooooo.... I proceeded to research the tax laws myself. And there is when I came upon the clincher! This is the NJ tax law regarding shipping...

"Delivery Charges for Taxable Goods and Services (N.J.S.A. 54:32B-8.11)

The law modifies the exemption for delivery charges that are separately stated from the purchase price of an item on the invoice, bill or similar document given to the purchaser. The law provides for the taxation of delivery charges on taxable items and retains the exemption for delivery charges on nontaxable items like clothing.

The law defines “Delivery Charges” as charges by the seller for preparation and delivery to a location designated by the purchaser of personal property or services including, but not limited to, transportation, shipping, postage, handling, crating, and packing. If a shipment includes both exempt and taxable property, the seller should allocate the delivery charge by using: (1) a percentage based on the total sales price of the taxable property compared to the total sales price of all property in the shipment; or (2) a percentage based on the total weight of the taxable property compared to the total weight of all property in the shipment. N.J.S.A. 54:32B-2(rr). Thus, only the portion of the delivery charge that relates to the taxable property or services is subject to tax. "


I'm not a tax expert (although Hubby is an accountant, if that counts, lol) but the tax code is pretty clearly written. Basically, you cannot charge a tax on the shipment of non-taxable goods. Clothing is a non-taxable good. My entire order consisted of clothing.... therefore the shipping charge is NON-TAXABLE!!!

I emailed the tax code to The Children's Place and very quickly got a response that they would, in fact, be refunding me the $0.37 that I was charged for tax. No apology for my time, inconvenience or aggravation. Also there was no statement that they were in error or that they would be correcting the situation in the future.

So, I was happy that they were giving me that refund, but what about all my past orders??? Yes, I had been charged that "tax" on all my past orders as well. It would only amounts to a few dollars or so, but it really angers me to have money stolen from me like that.

Anyway, I was curious to see if they had made any changes. So I went to their site, threw a few things in my shopping cart, and sure enough, they were all set to charge me that "shipping tax."

Do you shop through The Children's Place? Do you know if you've been robbed? I know it's not much money, but really, how do they get the nerve to charge a tax, that doesn't exist? Racking up a few cents from each customer here and there can make them thousands of dollars.

I'm still undecided if I will shop through them in the future. As I said before, I really like their clothing. I would just have to email them and argue after every single order I placed. Sounds like fun, right?

1 comment:

The Royal Family said...

WOW I am going to look now!