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My bad experiences with Autom January 30, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, General Catholic, silliness, Society.
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I don’t know if any readers have much familiarity with the Catholic supply house Autom, but I have bought from them a few times, and I have had now several very bad experiences.  I really don’t recommend buying from them at all. In my experience, they use deceptive pricing, what they sell is of mediocre or low quality, and their customer service is very poor.

I bought some incense from Autom maybe 18 months ago. It was supposed to be frankinscence, myrrh, basic stuff.  I have also bought incense from the Carmelite Hermits of Christoval. Thre is no comparison whatsoever in the quality.  The incense from the Carmelites is everything it should be  – aromatic, long lasting, slow smoking/burning, etc.  It’s real incense.  The stuff from Autom – I don’t know what it is.  It’s like cheap chemical Indian “incence” mixed into strange brown shapes. Most of it smells so awful you can’t stand it. I’ve had to basically throw away most of what I got. The “frankinscence” is the best, and it is only mildly tolerable. I still use that occasionally, but it makes some of my kids sneeze. I should stop being stubborn and just throw it all away.  All of it burns like a house afire and lasts about 30 seconds.

More recently, I thought I’d try again. Candlemas is coming up, and a month ago I ordered some cases of candles so we’d be really well equipped with a bunch of blessed candles for the year. Autom was selling, ostensibly, 288 or 576 votive candles for around $70.  So, I placed my order, but when I got them about a week and a half ago, I only got 72 of the 288 qty, and 144 of the 576 qty. I called them right then, and they promised they would make good the rest of my order. But I still hadn’t gotten them, so I called them back and I was told I’d have to pay 3x $70 for both to get the remaining qty. I expressed my dismay at that, stating that the catalog showed that you would get 288 for a larger size and 576 for a small candle for a roughly $70 price. The website shows that the candles would ship 288 or 576 to a “case,” but I got one box of each and they only had the lower qty’s already mentioned. I finally think I got the service rep to agree to make good my shipment for no additional charge – which, there shouldn’t be – but who knows. I had already called once and been told they’d ship, now it’s too late, it’s very unlikely I’ll get them by Candlemas this Saturday.

Has anyone else had such negative experiences? I’ve got to say, I plan on never buying from them again.  If the deal is really $72 for 72 little votive candles, it’s a massive rip-off- I could get 50 votives at Walgreens right now for $6-7.  It only made sense to buy at the higher qtys, and then, really, only marginally so.  I’m done with them.  We’ve bought some other things I won’t go into, but the quality was pretty low.

And, yes, I’m a professional whiner.

Comments

1. skeinster - January 30, 2013

What a coincidence- just got my first (unsolicited) catalog from them
yesterday. Glancing through, my first thought was ‘cheap junk’, so am glad to have the heads-up.
May I recommend Monastery Icon for incense? They offer a nice sample pack of some of their more popular blends, and they have the small charcoals for home use.

2. tantamergo - January 30, 2013

It is. Shame on me for going back to them one more time. I figured if I got 576 votives for $70 it would be a pretty good deal. I should have known. I should add, I did receive some other candles complete, but I ordered only 12 of those.

3. MicahC - January 30, 2013

I’ve purchased some statues from them, and FOR THE PRICE (I must emphasize that), they’ve been all right. A little more brittle and delicate than I originally thought, but how much “wear” does a statue really get?

I recall having purchased other statues from them also and have had a similar experience. Obviously for the price, you get that level of quality, so I haven’t been horrifically dissatisfied per se.

But I wouldn’t use the site for anything high quality.

4. dallas - February 1, 2013

skeinster and tantamergo: could you please comment on this

http://catholicinformation.aquinasandmore.com/2009/09/21/beware-of-monastery-icons/

tantamergo - February 1, 2013

I’ve heard of them. They’re like totally new age indifferentist polyglot self-esteem spirituality blech. But they fool a lot of people with their use of Christian themes and art. I don’t think I’ve ever bought one of their icons, but now I’m motivated to check! I’d stay far away from them.


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