In aggregate, this scam is HUGE based on the TV audience at risk.
When the TV ad said "Buy one, get one free for $10 - a $60 value!" I went to www.buytheshark.com to order a Samurai Shark. I received a prompt e-mail confirmation that shipping would take 4 to 6 weeks. When the merchandise wasn't received by 3/4/08 I called to cancel the order, since I discovered that the same item is sold at the local Bed Bath & Beyond for $9.99 (obviously without shipping charges). I spoke with 'Kami', who told me that "the merchandise was back-ordered, and shipped yesterday, so I couldn't cancel."
The hit to my checking account on 3/5/08 was $51.80, not $17.95. I called again to clarify: the charge was for TWO units @ $10 = $20, plus $7.95 EACH for FOUR units, or $31.80, totalling $51.80.
I objected to the lack of contact about the back-order without an option to cancel, and told 'Kami' I'd refuse delivery. 'Kami' informed me I'd get a maximum refund of $20.
The company is betting that the disputed amounts are small enough that the scammed won't notice, or that complaints will be neutralized by 'Kami' at their "Customer Service" intermediary (firstname.lastname@example.org), who conveniently have all the answers.
How many hundreds or thousands responded to the same TV ad?
Review about: Samurai Shark.