Table Charm: How to Avoid Buying Scammy Cookware

Oh Table Charm. How did you suck me in?

A few weeks ago I attended the Wedding Fair in Vancouver as a fun way to spend an afternoon as a newly engaged bride. The Wedding Fair itself is not a scam. However, that doesn’t mean that all the businesses that were there were totally legit.

The Call

Besides having a great time mentally pinning ideas for my upcoming wedding, the really fun part about attending the Wedding Fair was entering all the booths’ prize draws. I mean, I think I ended up entering about 130 draws, and for the most part I still have no idea what prizes I entered to win.

So, when I got a call from Table Charm saying I won something, all I remembered was that they were the booth that gave away free oven mitts and I liked that. The woman on the phone told me that I won a pair of his & hers aprons plus a prize of my choice including two wedding rings or a vacation getaway. Being the savvy woman that I am, I knew this sounded too good to be true. And it was.

In order to claim my prize, my fiancé and I had to attend a 90-minute demonstration of their Table Charm cookware. Time share seminar anyone? This screamed scam to me, but in the spirit of doing something I would never do and thinking this would be something good to blog about, I said “Sure, sign us up!”

The Demo

So, one early Saturday morning we drove all the way to the Best Western in Burnaby, which was not the sketchiest hotel I’ve ever seen, but there’s no doubt in my mind that at some point someone was murdered there. Just a hunch.

When we entered the freezing cold conference centre, no one was there. After waiting about 10 minutes, four other couples finally joined us. Everyone seemed just as skeptical as we were and showed up for the exact same reason — they wanted to see if this was legit and a fabulous vacation was up for grabs at the end.

Let me break this “demonstration” down for you as quickly and painlessly as possible. They offered us free refreshments. By that I mean they had jugs of ice water and paper cups. They said the demonstration would last 90 minutes. We were there for 2 hours.

They said since they were low on aprons, we could get a free trip and the free wedding bands. Lucky us! As expected, the trips were utter nonsense and you had to order your rings from this sketchy site called jvljewellery.com, which only sells Titanium and Tungsten rings (which are impossible to resize by the way), plus you needed to pay $50 for shipping.

But, if I had to choose the highlight of the demo, it would definitely be when the host was promoting their knife set while pointing a knife directly at me. Nothing makes you want to buy some knives more than fearing for your life!

Oh yes, and the pièce de resistance, after waiting 2 hours to find out how much these “amazing” pots and pans cost, we were finally told that for the complete 10-piece set it would only set us back $4,999.90. Umm, excuse me? That’s a quarter of our wedding budget!

Obviously after finding out the price (even after they reduced it to $2,999.90 and threw in the knife set and a cruise) we grabbed our wedding ring gift certificate, our trip pamphlet and ran the hell out of there.

The Aftermath

When we got home, my fiancé started googling reviews of Table Charm (also known as Kitchen Charm apparently). What we found was not good, and this blog just adds to the pile of negative reviews and buyer beware posts out there.

So, what’s the lesson here? If something seems scammy, it’s probably because it’s a scam. I knew that before this terrible experience, but my curiosity just got the best of me. Although I may have lost 2 hours of my life that I will never get back, at least I was able to write this blog post to save you from making the same mistake I did.

How Much Should You Spend On Pots and Pans?

If you’re wondering what a smart amount of money is to spend on pots and pans, I looked at some of the main box stores’ websites and came up with this.

Let’s just say you definitely do not need to spend $3,000 – $5,000 to get quality pots and pans. Case in point, I’ve been using my Lagostina set for over 4 years and they work perfectly well.

Gordon Ramsay by Royal Doulton 11-pc. Maze Cookware Set

$299.99 at Costco

Gordon Ramsay Cookware from Costco $299.99

Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Enamel Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set

$300.00 at Wal-Mart

Rachel Ray Cookware from Walmart $300.00

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Spirit 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set and Open Stock

$469.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

Zwilling Cookware from Bed Bath and Beyond $469.99

Cuisinart 11-Piece Five-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

$999.99 at Hudson’s Bay

Cuisinart Cookware Set from Hudson's Bay $999.99

Have you ever been to one of these Table Charm or Kitchen Charm demos? What was your experience like?

Disclosure: Nothing on my website or affiliated channels should be considered advice or an endorsement, and some content may include affiliate links in which I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Please read my disclaimer to learn more.
Showing 49 comments
  • Shannon
    Reply

    Oh wow, thank you for this post. I kid you not, I read this earlier this evening and about 90 minutes later received a call/voicemail from Table Charm as I had attended the Wedding Fair as well! Needless to say I will not be responding after reading about your experience. How terrible!

  • millions2
    Reply

    You seriously just saved us! I got the call tonight and we googled Table Charms and JVL Jewellry and found it was a scam. I attended a wedding show in Calgary and they wanted us to go to the far northeast end of the city to attend a cooking demo. Thank you so much for this post!!

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Glad I could help! The reason I wrote about this was because I couldn’t really find anything on google. After my experience I wanted to make sure when someone did a search, they’d know what is really going on.

  • Tony
    Reply

    people! Table charm products are really good, and the rings and trip were for real. I dont know who the representative was at ur meeting, but we got everything we were told and it was no scam. cookware is amazing

    • Tiffany
      Reply

      They have no return policy I tried to return mine and they fwd me to the office manager. It’s a load of bs.

    • Tiffany
      Reply

      This was their response, basically I have to pay for dishes I don’t even want. So.

      Hi Tiffany,

      I am the office manger and Jenny forward me your email requesting to return your cookware. Unfortunately, it is past the 3 day cancellation period and once your order is approved and you receive your cookware, there is no option for canceling your order or returning your cookware. The contract that you signed is a binding contract and you are held responsible for the balance that is owed. Even if we did allow you to return the cookware, the balance will still reflect on your credit report and if it is not paid or payments being made each month, it will put an R-9 on your credit report as an unpaid balance. There is absolutely nothing that we can do about that since you did sign a binding contract.

      One thing I do suggest to people with it being tax season, is that this is a great time to pay off the balance if you are able to.

      If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

      Thank you.

      Kim Seiffert
      Manager

      • Frankie
        Reply

        I know this is very, but which email address did you email the notice of cancellation letter to?

  • Aimee Abais
    Reply

    I received the same phone call about 15 minutes ago!!! Thanks for your information!!

  • Not my real name
    Reply

    I went to the show in Calgary NE approx a month ago, maybe a bit more. At basically a ghetto truckers hotel. Had no idea what to expect but the idiots at kitchen charm messed up and invited myself as well as contacted my girlfriend and her fiance that had also attended the wedding fair. So I had the advantage of going with my fiance and someone else that I know.
    The host was so far and rude. He stuttered over lies and tried to talk fast to avoid answering questions. My only wish is I had googled during the show to find out more but seeing a guy behind me pull out his cell then promptly get yelled at by chef goodgoll or whatever his name is… I kept my phone out of site and avoided confrontation with this sweaty greasy man.
    The cost is ridiculous. Once the “presentation” was over, we were handed order forms to purchase this over priced crap. We new we can for the free trip, nothing else.
    We walked to the back to collect our trip voucher and be on our way but had no idea this man would turn so nasty once we declined to purchase his wife or who ever the female companion he had that was assisting him, she also turned nasty once we said we didn’t want to purchase. Basically said that we are killing ourselves by not buying their product. I tried to be kind and offered to consider later on, just need time to think about spending that money, she informed us this would be the only chance ever to purchase this product, it’s by invite only.

    Funny I found a set on eBay for $500 not long after. The product had been recalled once already then replaced with more defective crap. I feel so badly for the people getting duped and falling for this. The free trip is a scam, nothing but terrible reviews online.

    Cannot believe these people are getting away with this.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      I know! I can’t believe wedding shows still allow them to have a booth! I still can’t believe people get sucked into buying thousands of dollars of cookware when you can buy the same thing but better and cheaper at a normal store with a good return policy. Just ridiculous. Thanks for the comment!

      • A kitchen charm owner
        Reply

        Yeah they are allowed to have a booth at bridal fairs because they sell you a real product for a real benefit. I noticed that the only people on here talking are people who didnt buy the cookware. Ive been using the stuff for 2 years and when you use it as instructed it is an amazing product. I was offput by many of the comments I read online until I had been using it for a while. I had some cognitive dissonance for a short while then I ended up realizing that the company’s CUSTOMER dissatisfaction rate was actual very low. What negative comments that you see from actual owners are either user error or people who have been influenced by the negativity of ignorant would-be customers who had a bad experience with the presentation.

        • Jessica Moorhouse
          Reply

          Thanks for your comment and differing opinion. Glad you like their products and haven’t have any issues with them, but I do actually know people who have bought them and have had a drastically different experience (and not a good one to say the least).

        • JOE
          Reply

          I am an owner of a Table Charm cookware set(purchased in 2007) but not a believer. The products are WAY, WAY overpriced. The frying pans are terrible as even bacon sticks to them if you can believe it! BBQ utensils are average and I think the “free” trip was a scam as it was impossible for us to book the vacation. Bright side is that the pots are excellent! Keep in mind however that great pots sets are out there for a fraction of the cost. My wife and I are still sick over what we spent!!

          • Jessica Moorhouse

            Thanks for the comment! That sucks that the frying pans suck. And ya, way overpriced. I’ve been using a set of Tfal pans I got from Costco a year ago for fairly cheap and they’ve been fine.

    • Lynn Woods
      Reply

      I got a call after attending the Edmonton bridal show and was told we had won a choice of a trip or wedding bands. We just needed to go to a cooking show. I found this to be very strange, I wasn’t sure what one had to do with the other.
      After reading reviews I was curious to see what it was all about. We love to cook and have been looking for good cookware so we went.
      I have to say it was a lot of fun. We had chef Goodgoll and he was entertaining and to the point. The pots were about the same price as the ones we had seen at Williams & Sanoma. I liked the fact you could fry chicken with no oil and have a good warranty.
      I could see when doing a demonstration like that and to have someone playing on their cell phone to be a little rude. I give talks at my work and have that happen sometimes it is frustrating.
      Needless to say we have purchased a small set. After talking to friends and family about it, my aunt has had a set of this cookware for over 15 yrs and a co-worker purchased from them 2 yrs ago and they are both happy with the pots. I am hoping we will be as happy.

      • Jessica Moorhouse
        Reply

        Well good luck, hopefully you won’t have the same experiences as almost all the other commenters on this post. I still think it’s totally scammy, and believe that if they were legit, they wouldn’t need to do these strange and long presentations in hotel conference rooms.

  • Joey
    Reply

    Their still doing this but go by Kitchen Charm as well… No one got aggressive with us but we were told we are crazy for not buying. We took the ring certificate but I guess we won’t be ordering those after reading your review here. To bad I only googled this now, as I wasted 2 hours on this 🙁

    Thanks for blogging!!

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      You’re not the only one. I wish I googled it before going too. At least you didn’t waste good money on over-priced crappy cookware!

  • John
    Reply

    I came across this post looking for recipes. We have owned our cookware for three years and love it. It was my fiancé that wanted to purchase it, I was hesitant. Happy wife happy life. I have to say it was very expensive but worth it. We had a couple of issues cooking in it in the beginning. When we contacted the company they had put us in touch with chef that had sold it to us. He was very helpful on how to use the cookware. It is a bit different. I found him to be very helpful. Everything cooks really well and we will never have to buy pots again. We did go on a Carnival Cruise they gave us and that made feel better about the expense. I read some posts here that sound pretty bad I thought I would add my two cents. We’re happy with the pots and the company.

  • Samantha
    Reply

    So I got an email from Kitchen Charm and decided to look it up before I signed up for the demonstration. I found this post and am SO glad that I did. I would have hated to go and waste two hours of my life. Thank you for writing this post and warning others so they don;t get sucked into a scam.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      You are so welcome! That’s exactly why I wrote this post, to prevent other people from wasting their time too.

  • Coty
    Reply

    My fiancee and I went. Felt scammy. Signed up to buy the 11 piece set for something like 4K. I felt pretty stupid for that so I called them up and without any issue at all went all the way down to just one pot. They even sent me the knives they promised for signing up to purchase the huge set and threw in a griddle pan for not cancelling all together.

    The cookware is simply amazing. I honestly cant stress enough how well this pot cooks. My father is a chef and he agrees that it is a wonderful pot although a bit expensive but with a 50yr. warranty that I have zero doubt they will live up to, ‘due to the customer support I’ve received so far’ I’ve got an amazing pot for life.
    I let my mother take it home with her for a weekend and she is going to buy a few pieces.

    The trips… I expected them to be throwaways so I haven’t put any effort into booking any of them. I will use them though, when we decide to travel to the areas.

    The rings. They are just plane ole rings but really a great placeholder ’till the 1 year anniversary, for free.

    Final thoughts. Don’t be dumb. Go to the seminar, eat a free meal, look at some truly quality cookware. If you can’t afford the huge set, don’t sign up for it. I feel like people are too afraid to negotiate anymore. Everything can be worked out to be beneficial for both parties. Yes, it’s a sales pitch but at no time did we feel any pressure at all to buy. We signed up for the huge set cause the man took a piece of frozen chicken, stuck it in a pot, and maybe like ten minutes later served some of the juiciest bock bock I’ve ever had!

    • Coty
      Reply

      Just wanted to add a post post post. =p It is a sales seminar… Our presenter was great and we fact checked everything he told us. I can’t speak for others across the country but I can say, keep your whits about you, get everything in writing, ask questions, and if you’re uncomfortable, walk out. =D

      Ooooh yeah! Don’t buy cookware just to get a vacation……. that’s pretty damned ridiculous if you sit there and actually think about it.

  • Jeffrey Normore
    Reply

    Heyo,

    I have a few questions because me and my fiancee got asked to go on Saturday.

    1. Is the trip a voucher that you can apply to a lengthier trip? Aka they offer 2 nights is it just a voucher you can apply to your trip? And has anyone gone on the trip?

    2. Do you need to purchase to get the trip?

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      It was a while ago, but I remember there were some strange stipulations for the trip like you have pay something and they’d reimburse you, and there were a ton of days you couldn’t go on, and you had to stay and such and such a hotel. Again, maybe things have changed but honestly from all the comments I still get for this post, just don’t even bother. If you want to go on vacation, save up your money and find a deal through Expedia or something like that.

  • Stephanie
    Reply

    Thank you for posting saved me and my Fiancé!

  • Darren
    Reply

    I wasted 2 hours of my life by sitting through this presentation. I didn’t buy and could never book the trip we received at least I got the apron lol

  • Sam
    Reply

    So glad i found this website! I received a call from a lady yesterday about the Kitchen Charm Show in Calgary NE this coming weekend. When she told me we could receive a FREE set of rings or a FREE trip for simply attending this show; I thought it was to good to be true. So I said I’d call back. I did in fact call back and had another lady on the phone. I began questioning her about all this FREE stuff we could receive. It sounded promising enough to me. I ended up booking a time to go for one of the shows.. Glad I stumbled across this website. My fiance and i will NOT be driving 2 hours to Calgary to attend this and another 2 hours sitting there for a horrible scam.. Way to fool a poor young couple Kitchen Charm..

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Nothing in life is free and if it sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. Glad my post helped you avoid wasting your time. 🙂

  • dave
    Reply

    My wife and I bought a good sized set of this cookware. We are both big into health and fitness, my wife competes at a pro level as a figure fitness model. The pots and pans are wonderful. The flavor they produce with no oil is amazing. Vegetables taste much better coming from these pots somehow. We recently had friends over for dinner and our one guest asked me how I made the broccoli taste so great, I did nothing to it except cook it following the directions the pots came with. Being in sales myself I know a sales pitch when I see one, and they definitely try to sell it to you. It’s no different then buying a car or anything else from a commission based sales person. The rep from calgary has been great. I have him on my Facebook and he has responded to all my questions and even wished me a happy birthday. Financing options on the pans are brutal. We paid it all at once which I strongly suggest. We have had our set almost 2 years now and love them. We plan on adding more in the future. I wear the wedding band we received with the set and it is fine also. Nothing fancy but I’m not a jewelry guy. We ordered two men’s as my wife got a tacori band to match her engagement ring. Have yet to book the vacation but when we looked there were lots of options available. In closing I love our set, they are of great quality and we plan on using them forever. I am also in no way affiliated with the company just a happy customer.

  • Caitlyn
    Reply

    I’m from Ottawa and I fell into this trap too. I signed up for everything at the Wedding Show, and the company that called me was “Diamond Food and Wine Show”. I was told I would get a free dinner (presumably to test out the chef to later hire for the wedding). When my fiancee and I got there, we were in the industrial plaza, and it was very sketchy. We were the only couple there at first, but I felt too guilty to leave. We could tell it was going to be a sales pitch, what with all the cookware on display. But I was confident enough that I could just eat and leave. No such luck! Those guys were amazing salesmen… They didn’t leave me an my finacee alone for a second to discuss what to do, and they used their mind-voodoo on us. Before you know it, we had left after agreeing to buy a 12 set cookware, with a free grill pan and a 8 day, 7 night, 5 star hotel stay. For almost $2000. How do we report this? And/or get OUT of it?!

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Oh no! I’m not sure how to get out of that. You know what, I’d suggest trying to get in touch with Ellen Roseman from the Toronto Star. She’s all about helping the little guy against nasty companies. Just a thought. Hope everything works out for you and wish I could be more helpful! http://www.thestar.com/authors.roseman_ellen.html

  • Joe
    Reply

    Hi thanks for the heads up.
    I’m wondering about the trip side? Was the trip legit and good? Or was that at a sketchy hotel and a scam like the cookware..
    Wondering if it’s worth the presentation..
    Thank u!!

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Honestly, I think it’s probably sketchy. When we looked more into the details, I remember it being like you can only travel from a Tuesday to Thursday, only this crappy hotel, and some other criteria. Basically, if you think you’re gonna get a nice free vacation out of this presentation, you’re not. Sorry!

  • shawn
    Reply

    I have no idea what you talking about i absolutely love my pan set and it has saved me money… its a very beautiful set up plus we got a full table set up for free… this is the best pan set i have ever owned. I cooks very well. And the warrenty is as legit as it gets… sorry but it was money well spent.

  • Elaine
    Reply

    Hi

    Thank you for your post. I have just received a call from kitchen charm telling me that myself and my fiancé won the competition and are invited to the travel lodge this week. All the same prizes too. Running away from that now!!!!

  • Colin
    Reply

    hello, dear. Saw this on page 2 of a google search for “kitchen charm scam” …honestly, i’m sure i’d have found this on page 10 if i’d searched for “kitchen charm AMAZING” because i swear 95% of positive reviews all use that magic adjective. almost. like. a. script.

    my fiance got a phone call 2 hours ago about how we won a free trip to a food presentation at a hotel downtown and she showed me the stuff we won and could win.
    I was initially excited for her since she hadn’t won anything yet from the bridal fair she and her friends went to early this year.

    So i googled just to make sure nothing bad came up…or, if bad, would be just troll comments with bad spelling and grammar.
    Every negative reviewer went to great detail and every positive review asked me to forgive their lack of memory except for the ‘fact’ everything was “AMAZING”

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Don’t waste your time. I just can’t believe that Table Charm or Kitchen Charm or whatever they’re gonna change their name to next is still doing the same thing at wedding fairs! My experience was back in 2012 and I guess enough people get sucked into their scam that they keep making money. It’s just insane. If you want good cookware, buy it from a place you’re familiar with that has a good return policy like Costco, Canadian Tire or someplace like that.

      • Colin
        Reply

        Well, i thought about it and if say one person buys into the cookware it would alone pay for booking the conference room, the lacklustre tidbits and the water, plus the idiotic vacation spots they know noone will pitch in $100 in the blind just to start the process.

        Anyways, i initially assumed that this implied catering company merely wanted to whet our appetites (literally) to get us as clients…I actually wanted to go just to see what sort of ideas for food at a reception would entail…then, of course, i googled. and the rest is history.

        oh, we certainly won’t go. my fiance has enough stress without losing her temper at some salesman

  • sheila
    Reply

    Hi I actually stumbled on this while trying to find TableCharm to replace a faulty plug on my (now 20 year old) fry pan. While most sales (time shares) included..do have weird bits to them, the table charm cookware is in as good as shape as originally, and the lifetime guarantee has been honored on a few knobs. Know this though..that the people selling them are part time guys who need a job…like tupperware. Some know their business and some do not.. good news? I have the original invoice from 1994 and the price hasn’t gone up much. I paid 2132 for everything they had including roaster etc, incvoice in front of me now. No trip though, this guy was selling in the mall before Christmas, and they did the demo right there or in your home if you wanted. . If there was a trip, my hubby didn’t let me in on that part. As a photographer.. I like brides with your wedding budget, lol. sorry you had a bad experience!

  • Tiffany
    Reply

    This company sells over priced pots by offering “prizes” that cost you more to redeem then they are worth. We went a demonstration to redeem our “prizes” and the sales person was friendly, however they make it sound too good to be true. The pots are not worth anything near what they are charging and the “gifts” are not worth redeeming. Basically, you go to the presentation and they talk for 90 minutes and then they try to sell overpriced, cookware. The catch is that they have the same sales tactics as timeshares. They use very skilled sales people to try to bait you. If you don’t fall in line in the first 10 minutes or so, they will bring in the ‘closers’. And they use tactics to make you believe you can’t live another day without their cookware. Yes, you get the trip. However you have to pay the taxes, fees, and travel (plane or car) for the trip. The company will not cover those expenses. Most of the hotels that you will be put up in will be 2-3 star, in a rough area of town. They will not spring for a luxury hotel room. They will also use blackout dates for peak times, holidays. Also remember that they are getting a discounted rate from the hotel. That being said, there are only so many rooms that the hotel is willing to let go at that price. You may not get to go at the time you want to. Along those same lines, you will pay taxes and fees on the full price of the room, not the discounted rate. oh and you have to pay for it before you know anything about it. In the end, for a price, you get to stay in a sub-par hotel that you have paid a pretty penny for. You lose two hours of your life that you can’t get back. You end up spending $1000 on cookware. I used my cookware within 3 days that I had it and I absolutely hated it, I called several times to see if I could even get part of my money back but they wouldn’t. They send you a cd and book to help you ‘learn’ how to use the cookware. Trust me it does not help. It burns all of my food and I mean all of it. It sticks to the pan to where you can’t even get it off. Even if I cook it on low, it still ruins all of my food! Unfortunately I fell for this scam and I am now out almost $1,000.00. And now have pots and pans I can not use. Please do not fall for this. This business only cares about making money and ripping you and your families off. They will do NOTHING to help you out. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM KITCHEN CHARM!!!!

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Sorry to hear about your experience Tiffany! That really sucks, but appreciate you sharing so hopefully others don’t fall into the trap.

  • John Mowry
    Reply

    We just recently bought a $3,000 set of pots and pans. I wish I would have seen this article about Kitchen Charm. I only came across it looking for a return policy. I have emailed Kitchen Charm and I expect a negative response like so many on here. If so then I how to hot up every bridal show I can in Alberta and male certain people know what kind of scammers they are

    Thank you

  • Al Schmidt
    Reply

    I believe that Table Charm started in South Africa, if not it was at least started by South Africans. They promoted their dinnerware as unbreakable with a life time warrantee. You had to return more than one piece and pay shipping on each piece you received. The shipping was more than the value of the items. I believe that at one time their corporate office was in New York but then moved to Canada. I worked with them for a very short period of time. To make money at Table Charm you had to be lower than a Realestate Agent or Used Car Salesperson. I do not believe they are still in business as Table Charm, but may have other scams going.

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