Shopping Essentials

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

Monthly automatic deduction from my bank account. Until I spotted the $34.99 deduction on my bank statement, neither my wife nor I recall signing up for the membership.

I can't believe I have been so ignorant in checking my checking account online. Since 2009 this company has been charging me $41.95 a MONTH. I am so outraged. This company needs to be sued.

The company has made a monthly charge to a credit card claiming enrollment in a monthly program. However, no bills or invoices were sent and no services were rendered. A monthly charge of $17-$33 appears on the credit card statement despite having never enrolled with the company. They refused to reimburse any funds.

Shopping Essentials obtained my debit card information from the checkout page of and proceeded to debit my checking account for a monthly fee of $19.95 from October 2009 through January 2010 when I noticed this charge and called the number. Shopping Essentials claimed I authorized a membership, which I did not. My Internet research indicates that Shopping Essentials uses this method with companies other than to obtain credit card/debit card information from unsuspecting consumers, then debits the account on a monthly basis until someone notices.

They agreed to refund the January fee of $19.95, but not October, November, and December fees of $19.95 each. Not only would I like the rest of my $59.85 returned to my checking account, but I would like this business to be investigated for this practice of scamming the consumer into a monthly fee. I feel certain there are others like me who are unaware that they are losing money to this company.

I noted a charge of $19.95 on my debit card account. I went to Chase Bank to dispute this charge. I was given a number to Shopping Essentials Plus. I could not get through to anyone to complain but have found out that gave Shopping Essentials Plus my debit card information. I had been enrolled into a membership; whereas, my credit card was to be charged $19.95 monthly for a service I never authorized or utilized. I have cancelled my debit card, requested Chase Bank to investigate, cancelled my membership to but now wish to request investigation by

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They fraudulently charged my credit card without authorization. I don't even know how they received my information. I have incurred several charges of $22.

I was on the internet checking my bank account and I have noticed that the total amount of $19.95 has been withdrawn without my permission. My wife gave me the phone number and what looks to be an account number which is **, and I called to find out what they were and they wanted my Social Security Number and my email address. I told them that I am not giving them my Social Security Number. I want this to stop immediately. If it does not stop, then I am going to have to close my account again.

I was charged $11.95 for some service I never ordered for December and January (2008 and 2009).

They attached their monthly "service" onto my purchase with two years ago. I never received notice (email or postal), an option to opt out, or a phone call that I was a "member" of their shopping service. I do not pay my household bills personally but happen to notice this months credit card charge and called.

Shopping Essentials used a July 2008 VitaCost order to sign me up for a monthly membership at $19.95/month; however, they didn't charge my account until September 2008. We just caught their scam (Nov. 2008) and called them. Clarissa quickly arranged to cancel my membership and refund the October 2008 withdrawal, then passed me on to Sue. Sue, a supposed supervisor, told me that they'd done all they could, and according to my membership contract they don't have to repay the September withdrawal. I researched my account to make sure there were no other withdrawals and called Shopping Essentials back.

Tamara, upon hearing my request for information, routed me to Chris, another supposed supervisor. Chris told me he could not authorize the refund of the Sept. payment either and gave me the address where I can appeal this situation with Consumer Affairs. I asked Chris for the date of the Vitacost order when I supposedly signed up, and he told me the date of an actual order I placed with Vitacost. Then I asked Chris to e-mail me any information they have about my sign-up: e-mails, forms, confirmation e-mails, etc. Chris said that those items aren't connected with my account information he could access. I need to contact Consumer Affairs in Nebraska about that.

Then I called VitaCost and Angie listened to my complaint. She knew it was Shopping Essentials before I even named them. When I told her my story, she made sure she had it correct (Shopping Essentials said they'd cancelled my membership and refund for October but not September) and put me on hold for a few minutes, then came back on and said there was a manager at VitaCost she would e-mail with this situation. He will supposedly contact Shopping Essentials on my behalf. We'll see what they can do. . . .

Two withdrawals of $19.95 each were taken from my checking account in Montana. To date, no refund for the October 2008 withdrawal has been received.

Two unauthorized charges for 9/08 and 10/08 made to my bank of $19.95. Bank statement showed Discount shopping but bank rep told me that it also showed AP9 Health Plan. Called the company they said it was Shopping Essentials. The Supervisor Evonne ID# 25528 said the charges would be refunded within 2 days and membership cancelled. What membership? I never signed up for a membership.

I'm going to cancel my card anyway. I am also going to contact the BBB, Attorney General's Office [and Consumer Affairs]

An act of FRAUD was perpetrated! Loss of security with my credit card and will need to cancel it. $40.00 taken from my bank account.

I happened to be checking my statement online before I paid my credit card bill. I normally do not check the charges. In doing so, I realized there is a charge for $239.95 from August 8, 2008. I contacted the merchant phone number on the statement to question the charge and the representative, Charles, I spoke to was unable to locate anything membership in our name, credit card number etc. How can the company as a MERCHANT charge for a product if account holders information wasn't provided in order to purchase?

I expressed my frustration, as my wife or myself didn't authorize this charge. I contacted MasterCard and they suggested I go back and look at all my statements to confirm there hasn't been any other charged. I found a total of 3 charges each of them taking place in August of 2008, 2007, 2006. This letter is to dispute all 3 charges and demand a credit to our credit card for each amount PLUS INTEREST as soon as possible. I have also submitted a complaint to the Better Business Bureau, I will withdraw that complaint if this matter is resolved in a very timely fashion.

August 2008 - $239.95 + 14.99 % interest = $275.92
August 2007 - $219.95 + 18.24 % interest = $260.07
August 2006 - $199.95 + 18.24% interest = $236.42

That amounts to a credit of $772.41 to be made to my master card account.

I have contacted my credit card company as well as BBB to further investigate these UNAUTHORIZED charges. $772.41 was charged to our account UNAUTHORIZED and we've been one their many victims of fraud and demand our money back.

Charged my debit card $14.95 a month for a "membership" that I did not sign up for after making a purchase at Vista Printing Services.

I bought a discount coupon for Papa's Pizza via with my co-worker's Entertainment Book subscription. Shopping Essentials began debiting my account three times before I noticed it. Which caused 3 $35 overlimit fees on my checking account. I called Shopping Essentials and the soul-less rep wanted to verify she was speaking to the right person and she said my co-worker's name. I told her no and, "You had no authorization to charge my account especially under someone else's name." She passed me on to a manager who was extremely condescending and rude. He claims he will take my word for it that I didn't authorize the charges. When I began asking questions as to how they could do this without the correct name and no confirmation was sent to me, he told me I was yelling at him and hung up. This is a scam and I will make every party aware of this situation including Papa's Pizza,, Entertainment Book, the school that has children selling these books. Beware of this scam!

I had been receiving phone calls marked "Offer P" on my caller ID. Usually if I don't recognize the number, I just don't answer. These calls would come in all day, several times a day. I answered a couple of them and twice the "telemarketer" was an individual with the last name of **. Both individuals had a heavy Middle Eastern accent. I would listen to their opening statement about a free gift card or gas card that I had won and then I would tell them to take me off the call list. Both times they tried to keep me on the phone. I would insist on taking me off the list then just hang up.

After a month of them still calling, I answered the phone again. This time, I had won a $25 Walmart gift card AND a $50 Visa gift card. I asked how the winners were chosen. He told me that Walmart chose me because I shop there a lot and that Visa chose me because I paid my credit card bills on time. He told me about the "free" offer and that my gift cards would be hand delivered to me. The shipping would only be $1. I told him I didn't want to participate and to take me off the call list. I mean how many times can I win in a month? He said he wanted to pass me to his supervisor to continue with the info. I asked if the supervisor could take me off the list and agreed to speak with him. The supervisor greets me and gives me his name, Adam **. I see a pattern here. He also gives me an employee id number.

So Adam continues to tell me about this free offer. He says the same things... Walmart and Visa wanted to reward me, free. He basically repeated everything the first guy said. Then he proceeded to tell me that I can call the customer care phone number to verify everything he has told me. He gives me the phone number of 1-888-243-6181. He said I'd have to call them to continue my free offer transaction, but first he'd need a 16 digit identification number from one of my credit cards. It could be an expired or zero balanced card. I told him that it didn't make sense. The only 16-digit number on a card is a credit card account number. He began to get angry and repeatedly told me I was wrong and that it was just for identifying me when I called the customer care number. He said that he wasn't asking for my zip code so it was legitimate. I refused and told him that he was wrong. He began to holler and shout that he gave me his employee number and the customer care number. He was trying to reassure me that it was okay.

I knew right then with his shouting and persistence that he was not legit and that a respectful company would not allow an employee to talk that way. He was basically getting mad at me for questioning him. I told him I was gonna call the customer care number to report him and to take my name off the call list since he wouldn't. I told him I was hanging up and not to call back. I'm pretty ticked by now and immediately call the customer care number. It was answered right away by an automated machine. I selected my choice to speak with a representative. I was placed on hold... for 11 minutes. During that time I looked up the company name and found numerous websites showing them as fraudulent. Needless to say, they never picked up.

I noticed one day in Jan. 08 that I had a $14.95 charge on my bank debit card from The reason this stood out is because I hadn't made any purchases in close to two weeks, and the name sounded familiar. I come to find out that they've been charging my bank account $14.95 every month for the last four months. I called four different times, talked to four different people, and was "disconnected" twice. On the final call, I was able to talk to Cal, the supervisor, who it is obvious he's done this a million times. Apparently, I was signed up automatically when I clicked on a banner on the website. Cal canceled my "membership" and refunded THIS month's charge. I complained about the dishonest nature of his business and stated that I was going to file a complaint.

Like a typical salesman/scumbag, he offered to refund yet one more additional month's worth of charges, but that was all he could do. He tried several times to tell me that it was all my responsibility for not reading the email, which I (and everyone else subject to this unethical behavior) did not receive. I advise everyone to check your online account weekly for scams such as this. I was so busy making purchases for the holidays, working, and going to school that I didn't notice the prior charges. I may have just written them off as one of my purchases. $14.95 isn't a noticeable amount at times, but it is still my money to which I did not agree could be taken, and for which I have received nothing in return.

"Shopping Essentials" debited money from my checking account without my knowledge. "Shopping Essentials" is debiting $16.95 per month + a $35.00 overdraft charge to my checking account monthly. Unable to enact a stop action over the telephone thus far. Another company is also debiting my account, "Passport To Fun", 1-888-840-6303, in the amount of$18.95 + $35.00 in overdraft fees monthly.

I was fraudulently signed up three years ago for some shopping service I never heard of and when I tried to get a full refund they offered only two years. I am trying to get the $96.00 back in addition to the $70 NSF bank fees charged to my account. I mentioned I would write the Consumer Affairs and BBB and they laughed and said "go ahead". This company is shady in my opinion. Thank you for your support.

Because my husband assumed the charge was legit, he never asked me about it. It seemed small enough, but when your credit card is charged $16.95/month for a period of 20 months, it adds up. Okay... it may seem silly to some people that we were duped for this long, but in between large charges, this one gets kind of lost. When I called to inquire about the charges I was told I signed up for a membership when I visited the Travelocity website. I never sign up for anything. I was able to get 2 months refunded (well... we'll see if it actually gets refunded to my credit card). The next 4 phone calls made to "shopping essentials" supervisors were disconnected before anyone spoke to me. I keep asking for proof of approval for these charges. Their response is: "this is a no signature contract". What is that??? I was given an address for the Compliance Department which I will attempt to contact. I'm not sure where this will end up. If anyone has any advice or has been fortunate enough to receive a refund please let me know.

OK, so I'm no good in the bookkeeping dept., I admit it. I finally got some time to go over my bank statements and noticed this $19.95 monthly charge from Shopping Essentials every month since June!!! 8 Months! I had received emails from them, over the months, but I didn't open them since I didn't know who they were. Well, I SURE KNOW NOW! I don't know how they got my name.

I had checked my January 2007 banking account and a charge of $14.95 was deducted for 12-19-2006 and 1-17-2007 from ShoppingEssen and a $19.95 charge from WC *Value Plus dated 1-05-2007 on my statement but I did not catch this company until the February 2007 statement. I had called the bank and reported these transactions on January 23, 2007. The bank gave me the name and telephone of the business (Shopping Essentials). I called this company 888-243-6180 to find out why and who was this company who had charged my account. I spoke with a "Leila - Emp. No. **" and asked her "Who is your company" and "Why have you been charging my account because I gave no one any authority to charge my account." She stated that the company was a "membership service" and that she could only "cancel" my account at this time.

I was very direct and asked her how did they get my account number and told her that not only to cancel this account but I also wanted the two charges returned to my account. Of course, she stutter along and would not give me a reasonable answer, but she would credit two pymts of $14.95 within two business days. These two payments were received on January 29, 2007. However, as I reviewed my account further, Shopping Essentials had charged $1.00 on 6/05, $14.95 on 6/23, 7/24, 8/23, 9/19, 10/19, 11/20, 12/19, 1/17. So a total of $120.60-14.95-14.95=$90.70 at present time that I have not received. I have tried contacting this company; but to no avail, I only get a recording to enter my membership account in which I have never received.

I contacted WC *Value Plus at 800-475-1942 after receiving my February 2007 statement and asked them "what kind of business were they" and "who gave you the authority to charge my checking account." I spoke to "Jeff - Emp. No. **" who instructed me that he could only "cancel" my account. I was still demanding who gave them the authority to charge my account and that I wanted this charge of $19.95 for January and February to be returned to my checking account. He still did not commit but said that he would cancel the account with their company. So, I called back the following week to get a response from this company.

I advised the representative that I was fraudulently charged and would take this information to my attorney. He said that they would send a "785 form" for me to fill out my dispute. I never received a "dispute form." However, I received a letter dated March 5, 2007 from Customer Service indicating that I was dissatisfied with the outcome of my call. "After reviewing the representative's concerns, we have decided to issue a full refund for the amount $160.60, which was charged to your credit card for Value Plus." There are two different PO Boxes, on the letter is PO Box 658, Hopkins, MN 55343-0658 and posted on the envelope is PO Box 5265, Hopkins, MN 55343. I have not received my bank statement for March 2007; however, I will be going to the bank Monday; first to see if the $160.60 has been credited to my account, and then to have this checking account closed that I have had for over twenty years and another established in order to keep these types of fraudulent businesses from stealing money from my account.

I just hate the fact that any type of fraudulent transactions can be stolen from my personal account in this way. It's as if a thief has entered your presence to take what is there for the taking without any consequences at all. It has caused great distrust in our banking systems as well as our credit card uses that are debited from our banking accounts.

Credit card has been charged $9.95 every 4 days. No charge has ever been authorized. Called phone number listed to try and cancel. Only automated system answers. Still being charged every four days and will probably have to cancel credit card.

They charged my credit card for 8 months and I never authorized it. Their charges caused my card to be over the limit every month and I was charged fees for that and interest.

They and Simple Escapes (which is basically the same scam company) have charged over $500 from my account without my official knowledge, consent, etc. for the last year and 3 months. I guess I took one of those scam surveys online over a year ago which unwittingly signed me up for this stupid service. I just checked my credit card more carefully b/c my wallet was stolen a couple of days ago and finally realized what was going on. When I called them, they said they could only refund for the month of October (about $30) and said there was nothing else they could do. Over $500 dollars taken from me over the last 1.2 yrs.

Somehow I had been enrolled in some program that lets me experience the program for 30 days then they automatically bill my credit card. Well I didn't even know I was enrolled and I noticed a random charge when I looked at my credit card statement, then I look at the past six months and I had been charged $12.95 on every statement. I have never received any emails, or paper mail that has the agreements or anything. I don't even have a member number but yet I am being charged. So I called the number on my credit card statement and cancelled today. I have never even used this offer.

Vendor: Shopping Essentials. My ID# (**) (according to 1st supervisor). I accidentally signed up for this service online thinking that it was something else, when I realized it was not what I wanted, I immediately called and asked that the account be closed and to credit the $12.95 fee be credited back to my account. I was assured that the account was closed, and that the credit would be given because I called within a timely matter of the account being accidentally opened.

I was reassured several times that in addition to the account being closed and the credit being given that no further charges would appear on my credit card statement. Please note that due to illness and inability to access the internet (too ill to use computer during March and April) as proof of this I also canceled high speed DSL service with Comcast in person due to inability to use computer during same time. So I was being billed and not using service, but at least I was aware of that and additionally, Comcast was kind enough to inform me of the proper date to cancel to not accrue charges for the next month, since I was not using the computer.

On 5/18/06, I noticed additional monthly bills, called the company and was told that the person I spoke to did not close or credit my account for 4/13/06. I requested to speak to a supervisor, who stated that he credited my account for April and May, but refused to give credit for the initial billing of 4/13/06, yelled at me and then hung up in my face before I finished speaking -- his name was Rasheed. I then called again and reached the Easton, MD call center and spoke to Gabrielle employee # ** (very polite), however she stated in order to get credit for the April billing I would need to speak to another supervisor. I told asked if she would be transferring me to Rasheed and that is when she stated that Rasheed (male with heavy East-Indian accent) was from the Canada office and that I did not have to worry about speaking with him again.

However, I was transferred to an African-American female supervisor, who would not give her name or give me her employee ID, she too was rude and stated that because I had so many questions, that she could see why the first supervisor hung up in my face! However, I was still kind to her and simply asked what their web address was so that I could cancel online to make sure that it was done this time. She stated that going to the web site and canceling online was stupid and unnecessary, as she had already canceled the acct, however, she did not give me a confirmation number, but stated that when I don't see any future bills on my acct, then I will know that the account is closed. I explained that I use paperless billing and may not know that it has been done and she continued to get even more nasty and finally said, “Well, I've been on the phone with you for almost 4 minutes, so you can either take the name and address for Consumer Affairs to get the refund for April, or I am gonna hang up on you too! Goodnight.”

I then begged her to please not to end the call and to please give me the mailing address for consumer affairs, and she did, however, after the way she spoke to me on the phone, I decided to go directly to the Consumer Affairs website to make sure that I reached the proper place to request my refund of the wrongful billing for 4/13/06 on my nationwide platinum card. Please note that this company closes at 10:00 Eastern Time and when I was on with the last supervisor, the time was 9:54 pm. Just to see if I would hopefully get someone with more understanding to my plight, I phoned back, however, the message stated that they were now closed and this was at 9:57 p.m.

I will be very grateful for any resolution you may be able to accomplish with regard to this company not canceling the account in March, which would have avoided any future bills and more importantly, avoided the physical stress this has caused me. Please assist me in any way possible to hopefully get this resolved. Thanking you in advance for your kind and courteous attention to this matter.

Shopping Essentials Company Profile

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Shopping Essentials