Wine Club Leaves A Bad Taste For A New Britain Man

A New Britain man reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds after he says he was charged for a membership to a wine club he never joined.

Frank Bradley and his wife enjoy an occasional glass of wine. So when the New Britain resident spotted a flyer in the mail for a wine deal, he said he jumped right on it.

“It was a 29.99 deal plus 9.99 for shipping for six bottles of wine from California,” Bradley explained.

Bradley said Vinesse Wines of Napa, California mailed out another shipment of wine to his home.

The company said Bradley joined the American Cellars Wine Club. He said Vinesse Wines deducted $141.56 from his checking account without his authorization.

"I never got a bill. I never got an invoice of any kind that told me they were going to send it to me and they never said how they were going to get paid,” said Bradley.

Bradley swears he never signed up for a club membership and showed us the receipt for the purchase. He said the company insisted he did and said they would send him a copy of the signed form.

“I said you, you better send me a copy and don’t take any more money out of my checking account,” said Bradley.

Bradley said when he received the copy of the signed form, his signature was not it.

He disputed the charge with his bank and they ruled in his favor refunding the $141.56 back into his account. Bradley then contacted Vinesse Wines who told him they would cancel his membership and asked the company what to do with the extra wine.

“Well, they said you can send the wine back,” said Bradley.

He said he requested a return mailing label several times and that the company refused. But there was another problem Bradley ran into when he tried to mail the wine back.

Federal law prohibits the United States Postal Service from shipping beer, wine and liquor. FedEx and UPS, by policy, do not ship alcohol sent by individuals.

He explained that to the company. But he said they still wanted the wine returned to them. That’s when Bradley turned to NBC Connecticut Responds.

After we intervened, Bradley said Vinesse Wines reached out to him saying he could keep the wine and that saved him an additional $45.

“I’m happy to have a station that responds to people,” said Bradley.

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