MUSKEGON, Mich (WZZM) -- 13 is on your side with a cyber shopping problem you might want to be aware of. A Muskegon man says he bought an item that said "free shipping", but later found out it wasn't. It's a problem that could come up with any online site, at any time.
"I had been looking for an ice shanty, saw it was $100 off. I thought it would be a great deal," says Jack Oliphant. Gander Mountain had the ice shanty for $529.99. "There was no shipping or freight fees or anything, so I went ahead and paid for it with my Visa."
Oliphant was having trouble entering some information, so he called a customer service representative. She helped him finalized the purchase and he printed out the receipt. It still said free shipping. That's when the woman said there was a problem. "I asked what the problem was and she said there was supposed to be additional fee because it's an oversized item."
The item ships right from the manufacturer and would cost an extra $138. "I can go to the store and buy it cheaper than that."
WZZM 13's Sarah Sell tried to test the site by buying the exact same item Tuesday afternoon. The ice shanty was still $529.99. The final statement also said free shipping and there was no charge for freight. There was some fine print on the shipping page that said some items may require additional shipping. Oliphant says he saw the same thing. "But, I thought that would have been added to the rate when I did the final calculations with tax and stuff."
In the end, the customer service representative told Oliphant that she would investigate the problem. She warned him that he may be asked for more money.
"I will wait for it to come. If it doesn't come and they call and ask for $138, I'm gonna cancel. I'm better off going to the store."
In the end, Gander Mountain said it was a problem with the website. Normally, the freight charge on oversized items would be calculated on the final page. In this case, it was not. Gander Mountain said it was in the process of fixing the problem and will have the item shipped to Oliphant for free.
The Michigan Attorney General's Office says you should always be cautious when buying anything online. Always read the fine print. If you think you've been mislead, you should file a complaint with the AG's office in Lansing.