Many of us watch QVC on the television. It's a way to waste time when nothing else is on. Of course, some people likely spend hours and hours watching this program and lots of their hard-earned money on the items pandered by the show hosts 24 hours a day, 364 days a year. (They're not selling on Christmas Day)
We used to watch QVC quite a bit and even bought quite a number of items from them, as sometimes the price, including shipping and tax, is right. And, some of the time, the show hosts even know what they're talking about when describing the products. Trouble is, sometimes they don't and when you let them know it, they never change their pitch. Sometimes the information they purvey, or simply avoid telling you, could be downright dangerous.
For example, QVC was selling a set of containers that held ice in the bottom and could be used for keeping things such as potato or macaroni salads cool at a picnic. They showed the item on air and the alleged temperature on an electronic thermometer, showing the foodstuff would be safe to eat for hours. Each time they presented the same item all day, as it was their "Today's Special Value", the temperature was exactly the same, making people believe the item would keep the salad cool all day. Not so. With the amount of ice in the product, it would have melted in a short time even under studio conditions, let alone summer heat, and the food would have started to deteriorate and spoil. But the host touted how long this was keeping the food cold and safe to eat, etc.
I e-mailed the host and explained thermodynamics and the fallacy of the scenario they were showing, as well as the thermometer either being rigged to show one temperature all day, or possibly being used to show minimum temperature or whatever. She did respond, stating she would bring this up to the manufacturer, but next time around, the same story on the same item with the same results. Wonder how many people got sick from eating warm potato or macaroni salad or other food that was supposed to be cold? Maybe if people sued QVC for false advertising they would get a clue?
Many of the hosts don't give the people who are manufacturers representatives time to describe the product, but instead cut them off and rudely interrupt their explanation of the products. David Venable and Dan Wheeler are famous for doing this, as they must think they know more about the product than any other living human being possibly could. And both make fools out of themselves on occasion when they do so. Why even bother having the "experts" when these people think they're so brilliant.
Product pricing on QVC has increased tremendously in the past several years and, in our opinion, quality has dropped. The Chesapeake crab cakes seem to contain much more filler than they ever did before, so we no longer buy them. The ones we get don't have the giant lumps of crab meat like the ones you see them demonstrate; they did once but we must be getting the dregs somehow.
Are you buying Dooney and Bourke handbags on QVC? Ever notice how on TV they never tell you that any product is made in China? Imagine my surprise when I purchased a Dooney & Bourke handbag for my wife and when I received it found it was made in China! Not that it's a bad handbag, mind you, but if I knew it was made in China I likely wouldn't have bought it. Personally, I think that's why they don't tell you where the stuff is made, because if they did it would turn people off and their sales would plummet! Much of what is sold on QVC and other shopping channels is imported, but who would have figured high line purses would be from China? And, they never tell you that! You can find that out on their website, but they will never tell you on their TV programs.
Let's talk about warranties. QVC is very good about returns within a short period of time after you purchase an item. After that, if a item fails and the manufacturer decides not to honor their warranty, you're, well, just plain screwed. QVC is absolutely no help at all. We purchased a solar bird bath from QVC with a two year warranty and within a year it failed to pump water. We contacted the company, Smart Solar, who e-mailed us and said we would receive replacement parts under the warranty within 10 days. Never happened. We contacted Smart Solar again about 30 days later and again received a similar e-mail with the same promise. Again, never happened. Contacted QVC asking for help, and they asked for purchase details. First they couldn't find the purchase, although I provided all the information, purchase date, and explained it was under my wife's name, then QVC responded again stating sorry, nothing QVC can do. Another contact with Smart Solar elicited a response from a "Jason" who personally promised to send the parts out himself, and stated they allegedly sent the parts out much earlier by mail but they must have been lost. Yeah, what a bunch of crap that was. We have never received anything and now have a nice resin dish in the yard, still under warranty by Stupid Solar, sold by QVC who touts their great service.
Bottom line is you're no better off purchasing from QVC than from your local store, unless it's something you can't get locally. In addition to your purchase price, you'll pay tax and shipping through QVC and you have to wonder whether your purchase is really worth the total cost, especially when they won't throw their weight around a bit for you when you have a product problem. At least if you buy the product from Sears, or Target or Wal-Mart, Best Buy or any local merchant you have a place to walk into and complain and some semblance of satisfaction.
August 2008 Update: QVC wants us now to ship the solar fountain back to them and will refund the purchase price if we will repack it in the original packaging (WTF?) and use their label and they will then deduct the $8.95 shipping charge from the refund. Hmm, lets see, pack the resin fountain in the packaging we don't have, and carry it to the UPS Shipping point or UPS Store and ship it to them all at our inconvenience, time and expense, simply because neither they nor the maker will replace the defective parts which would fit in a brown bubble envelope?
More brilliance and more reasoning not to trust QVC or their suppliers.