ShopNBC’s Fine Print

May 24th, 2013

The Claim: Television shopping network ShopNBC advertises ValuePay as a “payment option that allows you to pay for purchases on your credit card, PayPal or ShopNBC Credit Card over a period of several months.” The ValuePay option is constantly advertised on the channel, with the words “ValuePay” almost always visible somewhere on the screen.

The Issue: TINA.org reader Robert S. wrote in to tell us his concerns about ShopNBC’s offer. He says that when a consumer uses ValuePay to purchase an item, ShopNBC often makes a credit inquiry, which can lower your credit score. He also says that ShopNBC charges consumers for the first payment before checking their credit, and that if ShopNBC then denies credit or cancels the order, they can take their time refunding that initial payment. Other consumer protection websites and forums are loaded with customers complaining about the same or similar problems with ShopNBC and its ValuePay offer.

Fine Print: Though a single credit inquiry can lower your credit score typically by about five points, ShopNBC says in the fine print on their website that they can make a credit inquiry on orders made using ValuePay:

Please note that orders submitted on ValuePay® are subject to credit approval and that ShopNBC reserves the right to make credit inquiries. Not all products or orders will qualify for ValuePay®. ShopNBC reserves the right to decline an order as stated in our Terms of Use.

And they say that they might cancel your order at any time for any or no reason:

ShopNBC reserves the right at any time after receipt of your order to accept or decline your order, or any portion thereof, even after your receipt of an order confirmation from ShopNBC.

None of these details are mentioned on screen or by the hosts as “ValuePay” flashes repeatedly on the TV screen.

The Conclusion: Consumers should be wary of ShopNBC’s ValuePay option, which can leave them with a lower credit score and a temporarily lighter wallet.

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