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.
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!”
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.
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
Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Enamel Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set
$300.00 at Wal-Mart
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Spirit 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set and Open Stock
$469.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond
Cuisinart 11-Piece Five-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set
$999.99 at Hudson’s Bay
Have you ever been to one of these Table Charm or Kitchen Charm demos? What was your experience like?