Saturday, August 18, 2007

Town & Country Foods: Highway Robbers

Last November, my wife signed us up for a food delivery service called Town & Country Foods. Well, okay, she consulted me, and ultimately it was my name on the dotted line. But a friend had recommended the service, and a salesman had convinced her that the service would save money "in the long run." I was feeling indulgent, so . . .

Here is the deal: For $986.40, you select a "menu" of meat that will last approximately six months. The meat is delivered to your house in a single shipment, but the $986.40 is payable in six monthly installments. However, to participate in the service, you must pay about $3000. T&CF will finance this $3000 through fairfinance.com at 19% interest. And you get a commercial grade freezer bearing the Supreme brand name. These freezers are not sold new online, but looking at the advertisements for used models, they appear to sell new at around $1300.

So what did we get?

The first thing we realized: the "all natural" meat wasn't that great. I didn't really have a problem with it, but my wife decided that she liked ordinary supermarket meat more.

The second thing we realized: you can't withdraw from the program. There is no obligation to purchase any more six-month supplies of food, but the $3000 dollar freezer is not returnable. This put a new light on T&CF's claim that no one ever withdraws from the program: there is no point.

The third thing we realized: the program does not save money in the long run. As I was contemplating the purchase of our second $986 installment of food, I decided to nail down exactly what we were paying per pound for what we were getting. T&CF won't give you this information, so to calculate it, I asked the nice customer service lady, "Let's suppose I want my six month's supply of food in only one kind of meat. How much meat would I get?"

"Sorry, but my system doesn't allow that. You must purchase at least two different foods."

"Okay," I said, "let's assume I want 1 pound of ground beef, and the rest of my menu in something else. How many servings of the 'something else' would I get?"

Here are the results, and the price per pound that I calculated. Note that each of these include one pound of ground beef, except for the ground beef, which includes one pound of chicken.

Item

lbs/serving

# servings

$/lbs

Chicken Breasts

1

162

$6.09

Ground Beef

1

215

$4.59

Pork Loin Roast

1.5

84

$7.83

Pork Tenderloin

1

118

$8.36

Sirloin

0.5

64

$30.83

New York Strip

1.25

40

$19.73

Beef Brisket

1.5

70

$9.39

Chicken Drumsticks

1

405

$2.44

Tuna Steaks

.75

75

$17.54

Hot Italian Sausage

1

137

$7.20

Porterhouse Steaks

1

42

$23.94

German Bratwurst

1

154

$6.41

Hickory Bacon

1

100

$9.86

As I realized that not only had I paid $3000 for a freezer worth only $1300, I had also overpaid for a freezer full of meat by a factor of 2 or 3, it occurred to me that all this information could have been obtained before hand. Bottom line: don't buy Town & Country Foods. When you price it out, it's a colossal rip-off.

103 comments:

bobvis said...

It's usually a pretty good assumption that if a company makes it hard to figure out how much you are paying for something, they aren't giving you a particularly good deal. When a company competes on good pricing, they will do everything in their power to demonstrate those cost savings to you.

I guess those refrigerators you saw used were from former, dissatisfied customers.

J Arizona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J Arizona said...

Your cost analysis for Town & Country Foods is really very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to do this. An eye-opener! In my own dealings with the company, there were other yellow flags to note, but after checking out your price summary, I could not be happier I didn't get involved.

j_denver said...

Thanks for your comments. I would also agree this is not a good deal.

*Comparing the Town and Country food total cost for 6 months (~$900) to the exact same items from King Soopers (~$850) there is not a signifcant cost savins.

*The Town and Country price includes a 25% discount which I obtained by purchasing ~$1.6k in cookware over 3x years @ 20% interest.

*The fridge which is also included as part of the 'deal' is financed at 20% over 3x years.

*Finally, the ~$1.6k up front cost is also financed at 20% for 3x years.

*All in all the ~5k up front cost is financed over 3x years for > ~$7.5k. The sales pitch indicates there will be significant savings once the upfront cost is paid after 3x years. Comparing the King Soopers price to Town and Coutnry foods I did not find this to be true.

You might ask why would someone sign up for this in the first place. The true cost for the 'deal' is not shared until the last 5 minutes of the sales pitch at which point you have already soaked up 2 hours of time. I would avoid Town and Country foods at all costs. Beware.

Analisa said...

Appreciate this write-up. Found it Googling T & C as we have been thinking about signing up. I am curious what you and your commenters would think about the service if you paid off the 19% interest part up front...certainly less of a ripoff then but is it still a ripoff? We love the meat and we love that it's from healthy animals and we don't mind paying a little more for it, esp. considering the convenience factor. We signed up for the freezer but not the grill or cookware. Thanks!

Φ said...

Analisa: We also bought only the freezer, not the grill, and paid the $3k up front, so we were never charged the 19% interest.

If you like the meat, and think it to be worth the prices I posted, then this is the program for you. We didn't, and didn't, so it wasn't for us.

Ralph said...

I bought nearly two years ago and paid a little less for my order. The sales guy said that their beef was free of anti-biotic and added hormones. That's what I wanted. Specifically asked. But it did not say that on the packages I got. So I checked into it.

I called the headquarters of the company and asked them if their beef was free of added hormones and anti-biotic. The nice lady said no, they do not say that. No apology for a lying salesman. So I asked the lady what made their beef more "healthy", if it could have hormones/anti-biotic. About all she could come up with was that their cows were not raised on a feed lot but in open pasture and their processing plant was clean. When I asked her how that made their beef more "healthy" than say Swift she just repeated herself, like there was an answer there somewhere.

They label their beef "natural". That only means that the beef is "minimally processed" and has "no added artificial ingredients" when it is processed (that is on the package). And THAT describes just about all the beef sold in the U.S by most grocers. "Natural" can be entirely misleading used the way they use it, since it does NOT mean no added hormones/antibiotic
during the life of the beef cow.

I also found out that all pork and chicken sold in the U.S. is free of added hormones by law, same as theirs. And Town & Country chicken is NOT free of anti-biotic, same as my grocers when it is not labeled 'without anti-biotic'.

Only difference I can find is that Town & Country costs a whole lot more. When I compared prices per item with Safeway and Kroger I found I could buy the same order for less than $580.00, hundreds less than I paid them.

"Colossal rip-off" is an understatement.

Analisa said...

We decided not to do it. Too many uncertainties and dishonesties from the salesman.

@Ralph: I was told that there is a line that *is* free of hormones and "sub-therapeutic" (prophylactic) antibiotics, and there is a line that is not free of them. We only considered the line that is (or that they claim is). I agree that "natural" is a meaningless term here. Also, grass-fed meat is the healthiest. Theirs is grass *and* corn fed. I don't know the implications of this, but I do know that I only want grass-fed.

Thanks to all of you for the helpful discussion.

Ralph said...

ANALISA
Thanks for the interesting info. My call to their headquarters was a little less than a year ago. At *that* time they absolutely denied selling or advertising for sale any beef that was free of added hormones or anti-biotic. This may have changed in the past year.

If a package of beef is free of added hormones or anti-biotic it would be printed exactly that way on the label. If it is not expressly printed on the label or if the label says only "natural" then there is reason to doubt any such claim.

Then there is the matter of pricing the higher quality beef, if they sell it, and the fact that no price per pound or per item is provided by that company. One must ask how much of each beef product he gets for the total cost of his order (less one item) -- as was kindly done above -- for one to have any kind of idea how much she is paying for it.

Also, I am trying to price the retail cost of their "Supreme" freezer. When I called Crosley they said that they make this brand for only one customer (no name given, but guess who!). So they can say it costs whatever they want it to "cost", apparently. I priced the same quality of freezer with Home Depot and found the Supreme to be in the $500 to $700 range, max, comparatively for the same quality of body parts and compressor, manual defrost, same size. The only difference I could find was that the Supreme has a light on the front and a "commercial" grade of power cord (from the freezer to the wall). I was shocked to learn that the meaning of "commercial" in "commercial freezer" only means that the power cord is "heavy duty" -- nothing more! Their sales guy led me to think that the whole freezer was heavy duty -- compressor, body and all. Nope.

So used (I would like to sell it) it is worth MAYBE $300 to $400 if I am lucky.

If you're lucky you won't buy into their "savings" program. Any more savings like that and I will be broke.

Justin said...

Wow, thank you very much for taking the time to write this up. My wife and I got the sales pitch this afternoon. The salesman was very energetic and enthusastic about the product. He offered to give us a few minutes to decide but I wanted more time to do some research and I'm glad I did. It wasn't until I came here that I found out the freezer is charged at $3000... I immediately found one locally, used (1 yr old) for $500... good lord.

We also got the whole natural beef and "free range chickens" spiel.

Well, thanks for the free meat for an hour of our time! We were ready to sign up until I read more.

BKDK said...

Thank you for the blog. It is very helpful. We got the pitch yesterday but ours was a little different. Ours was $1500 freezer and $2000 service charge over 48 months at %20, but the food was the same. Still a ridiculous up front cost with ridiculous financing. The food is good and we want to be eating healthier for our family, so we were in conflict over doing something we believe is right but with the ridiculous financial strings attached. After seeing this blog, we decided to make a comparison to Wild Oats / Whole Foods.
First, the Whole Foods web site is much more descriptive and specific about their meat standards then Town and Country Foods. These two specific points and others:
• The animals must not receive any added growth hormones through feed injections, implants, or any other method.
• The animals must not receive antibiotics, ever. Sick animals must receive safe and humane treatment but antibiotic-treated animals must not be sold to Whole Foods Market as natural.
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/meat-poultry/qs_programrequirements.html
A lot came out of the Town and County Salesmen’s mouth, but there is not a lot of written support on the web site or labeling.
Second, the pricing is very comparable. Especially when you consider that this is the retail pricing for as small a quantity as you would like and not purchasing 6 months worth at a time.
Item Wild Oats / Whole Foods $/lbs (as few servings as you want)
Chicken Breasts $6.99
Ground Beef $4.99
Pork Loin Roast $6.49
Pork Tenderloin $11.99
Sirloin $7.99
New York Strip $14.99
Beef Brisket $6.99
Chicken Drumsticks $1.99
Tuna Steaks $19.99
Hot Italian Sausage $5.99
Porterhouse Steaks $14.99
German Bratwurst $5.99
Hickory Bacon $5.99

My wife and I decided to cancel the order with Town and Country. We can buy the best freezer in Home Depot for under $1000 and under 10% if we put it on our credit card. Then we can purchase meats and other natural and organic products at Wild Oats / Whole Foods. We may be paying a premium on the meats, but at least there is no 3 or 4 year financing attachment.
I believe their saving logic is skewed from the beginning as they claim to replace 60% of your grocery bill. If you’re like us and already buy in bulk when there are good deals and freezer pack, just meat and vegetables is not 60%. You’ll still have everything else to buy.

The Kingfam said...

I am so happy to see this blog! Our friends signed up a year or so ago (got the freezer and grill) and gave the guy our name. Yahoo! LOL they were relentless. The great part was that they would only speak to us together as a couple and since my husband and I are only together as a family once a week, I could not guarantee them a time, I offered to speak with them by myself, and they would not do that. I sign the checks around here people! I have learned that people who come into your home and will only speak to you when you are both there, it is usually high pressure, and it is ulitmately to benefit them, NOT YOU! I looked into then, and tried to get a pricing sheet form them to look over with my hubby, could I get one? Of course not. I ama frugal little ranch girl at heart and we still buy our beef from the neighbors I grew up by. I feed a family of 5, plus my 5 daycare kids on $500 or less per month. I asked them if they could beat that, and of course he would only talk prices with the 2 of us together. I tired to talk to my friend about how to do the same for her family of now 6, and she is so fooled by T&C it isn't funny. I guess if you like the convenience, maybe, but she is still at Sams and the grocery store as much as I am. I have a hug freezer, which I found on Craigslist when I needed to go bigger, for $250. I can load that up with all kinds of deals when King Soopers or Safeway has a good deal, and when I do my selected bulk run to sams once a month, plus the side of beef I buy each year (which is all natural and free of everything but good stuff for my family! Call any local meat packing plant and they can get you in touch with a local beef family who can hook you up too! I spend about $800 every year and a half, and that covers the meat and the packing of it. The only thing I buy in the store is fish and chicken, meat wise that is.) I buy all frozen veggies, sometimes 20 packs when they are 10/10, and do the same for everything else. The key to saving money is learning how to shop wisely and buy up when there is a good deal out there, like when cereal is $1/box. I didn't mean to go on and on, but I hate T&C and how they present themselves. Its like people who get talked into the golden vacuum! I think this thread is awesome! I think the time some people took to post their findings with T&C, Whole Foods etc, is awesome! If you are looking into T&C think again... There is a great book out there called "The Complete Tightwad's Handbook" or something along those lines.... It can teach you the basics of saving and getting your dollar's worth! And you can do that organically too! Stay smart and don't just ahdn your momney over to someone who tells you something is a good deal without checking it out. Its like thinking everything at Sams or Costco is a great deal because its there. Toilet paper is cheaper at Wal-mart than Sam's... Just be wise.... Happy saving and eating to all of you! Feel freet o contact my blog for any further help!

Jessica said...

Hey,

I am a Town and Country customer. I appreciate the pricing per pound that you posted here because I've been wondering about that for a while-- it's helpful for getting "the most" for your money.

I think you guys all have good things to say. But let me present the other side. I'm still a a satisfied customer for these two reasons:

1) convenience-- I love having individual serving sizes ready to go. It saves quite a bit of time over dividing up a large package yourself and putting it in freezer bags. At this stage in my life, I'm willing to pay for this.

2) variety. Truth be told, when I shopped at the grocery store all I ever bought was chicken breast and ground beef. Because T&C encourages you to get a variety of meats in their order, I did, and I'm happy to say I can now cook tuna steaks and pork loins and whole chickens. :) And cooking is easier and faster.

I do think there is some truth to the bit about saving grocery store trips. At one point I had a milk delivery service, too, so the only other regular shopping I did was the farmer's market for produce.

One other thing that I remember from the spiel is that the meat is warrantied, if you will-- if the power goes out and the freezer thaws they will replace it for free. I haven't tested this out yet, but it's a perk. That and free freezer replacement/maintenance for life.

So, when it comes down to it, you're right, you're not saving much (if any) money. But if you consider the whole package, I personally find it worth it.

Lisa said...

I would like to add a little bit to Jessica's "why I like T&C" comments. I have been a customer for 3 years (though I've only bought 4 "six month supplies" because they last me about 9). But first I will say for anyone considering doing it, 1) you do NOT have to buy the freezer from T&C to buy the meat from them, and I would not if I had to do it over, and 2) yes, I agree, it is not a great deal financially. Do it if you like the quality and convenience. Take the free meat when they visit, say "no thanks" then try the meat and call them back if you want to sign up. Its not like they will turn you down because you didn't play by their rules.

But here are some reasons, besides those listed by Jessica, that I like it.
1) I often don't shop at Whole Foods or such on a regular basis, and the selection of organic meats is pretty limited at my grocery stores.
2) I love having my freezer full of choices.
3) I used to buy in bulk and freeze myself, but it is a pain and more importantly it generally means that your meat has been frozen twice. At a regular supermarket, most meat that is out for sale has been frozen before delivery (not always, but often). Then you take it home and refreeze it, so it gets defrosted twice. This changes the moisture content -- particularly of the beef. The T&C foods are flash-frozen and never defrosted before delivery. I personally have found this to impact quality -- though I notice it less if I defrost my meat "quickly" and more if I have time to let it defrost in the refrigerator.

I think your information in your blog is great, and I thank you for it. It is good to know just what I'm paying, because like another poster said, "if they make it hard to know, you are probably not getting a good deal." Fortunately, I did not make my decision based on price, but on convenience and quality (which I do find very good). My husband and I agreed that we were probably not getting a good deal, but we wanted to do it anyway. We all make choices about our time vs. money everyday.

FYI -- the guarentee on the freezer is for the life of the freezer, but the food replacement is ONLY for a power outage due to lightening (I think that's what it is). Its for something that would not be covered by your home owner's insurance. Anyway, don't buy their freezer, regardless of the warranty.

Darlene said...

My oh my what a disgusting fabrication this is!! Sad I tell you, just sad. I am a VERY happy Town and Country customer and have been for years now. I would like to set the record straight about a few things you claim in your blog post. Of course I would not be surprised if this gets deleted, but perhaps someone will see it and understand the misstatements in the original post.
Let's start at the Freezer purchase. The amount you pay for the freezer is $1495, not nearly $3000 as you suggest. The $3000 figure is a combination of the freezer and the company overhead, which by the way is paid only 1 time, not over and over again like a retail store. Anyway, the Freezer is a commercial freezer with a LIFETIME warranty. Buy any freezer new, use it for a few years, and you can expect to get about 1/2 of the original retail purchase price for it. The fact that the warranty for LIFE tranfers with the freezer is a good deal, no matter who you ask.
The meat is ALL NATURAL, what's not to like? I can tell you that I will NOT get sick from buying my meats at a retail store. The menu examples you use are terribly misleading. You take a certain meat, let's use chicken breats for example because they are first on your list. You say that IF you got 162 servings of them, the price per pound based on your $986.40 menu price, they would cost you $6.09 a pound. Are you kidding me???? It's laughable for me to see this because I have the same menu size that you do and I can tell you that the $986.40 is a total of 476 servings! So, the true math means that if you were to get ALL chicken breasts for your order of 476 servings, the whopping grand total per pound is actually $2.07 a pound. For ALL NATURAL NO WATER ADDED Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. THAT is the actual price per pound broken down. Your inflated price per pound is very misleading and an outright lie. Let's take this a step further and do something that's obviously more expensive in any market...let's do the New York Strip Steaks. Again, the menu price of $986.40 for 476 servings. We buy many of these as we think are they are truly awesome. They are packaged at 10 ounce servings, so at 16 ounces per pound, you actually get 297.5 POUNDS although there are still 476 servings. This breaks down to $3.31 a pound. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? This is the BEST price you can get ANYWHERE!!!! In todays sale flyer for my local Safeway grocery store, New York Strip Steaks are selling for $6.99 a pound, and that's the SALE price! For "Select" grade, not CHOICE like T&C is.
The bottom line is this...your information is VERY misleading, not entirely true and unfortunately it will turn many people away from truly saving money on their groceries and they will continue to shop and pay retail for lesser quality things.
Sad I tell you, just sad.

Φ said...

Dear Darlene: Thank you for commenting.

The prices were calculated exactly from the information read to me over the phone by the T&C representative. I would encourage you (and everyone else) to verify that "476 servings" number. I'm quite sure we didn't take delivery of anything like close to it.

Additionally, while I appreciate that businesses have overhead, I am reasonably confident that the "overhead" associated with the marginal customer, over and above the cost of the freezer, is nothing like the $1500 the company bills us for "overhead".

Beverly said...

Beware of this company's claims. We are former buyers and are investigating them with professional help. Darlene is factually inaccurate in virtually everything she wrote. Her mistakes illustrate the deception this company employs to sell its products to unwary buyers.

Town & Country sold us what is called "menu 41". It is a fixed mix of various beef cuts, pork and chicken cuts, small amount of select seafood, a few "Italian Delicacies", a few "servings" of "gourmet" items and 420 ounces of frozen vegetables. The total "servings" on this "menu" is 476 it says on the first page.

A "serving" is NOT a pound of meat, nor is it a "meal" as we were told by our salesman. A "serving" is 4 ounces. On the "menu 41" left with us by our salesman it shows how many "servings" we get per *package* of meat. Most packages weigh one pound. Beside each package there is a number that says how many "servings" you get in that package. T-bone steaks on menu 41 come with two one-pound packages. The menu says *that* is equal to 8 "servings". Divide 8 into 32 ounces (2 pounds) and you get *4 ounces* making a "serving".
Go down the list. A "serving" is 4ounces of meat and not a pound. It is not a "meal" unless you call cutting a 16 ounce steak up into 4 pieces four "meals". So eating one 16 ounce T-bone steak is the equivalent of eating 4 "servings" of their steak.

Buyers can exchange one product for another, but NOT according to an equal portion. I cannot trade a pound of chicken breast for a pound of steak. Obviously that is because they have different costs. But Town & Country keeps to itself its *code* of what those comparative cost values are; they do not explain their exchange cost values to their customers.

However, their sales rep states how many *packages* of meat you get for one order of $986. We get 160 packages of chicken breast, one pound each, we were recently told. That is actually more than Darlene's "476 servings". Comes to 640 servings. Only each serving is not a pound, but just a small 4 ounce breast and does not make a "meal" for most persons. It is NOT 476 or 640 "pounds" of chicken. The 160 pounds of chicken breast divided into the order cost of $986 renders a per pound cost of about $6.16 per pound. This is higher than Whole Foods in our area.

If we bought only New York Strip Steak we would get 40 *packages* for our $986. Since each package weighs 20 ounces that would be about 50 pounds of steak. Darlene incorrectly thinks that a "serving" is a "pound" or a "meal", rather than merely 4 ounces. In the case of chicken breast Darlene said the cost was "$2.07 per pound", which she got by dividing 476 servings into $986. Since a serving was only 4 ounces that would make her cost 4 times $2.07 per 4-ounce serving, or $8.28per pound. And since we would get only 50 pounds of NY Strip the cost per pound would be 50 into $986, or about $19.72 per pound. And 50 pounds would only be 4 servings per pound times 50 pounds, 200 total servings and not 476 as Darlene imagined. Even if Darlene got 476 servings of Strip per order that amounts to only 119 pounds, divided into $986 is $8.28 per pound, not $3.31 as Darlene said. However, the menu does NOT allow pound for pound exchanges of different products or everyone would just order the most expensive meat and forget everything else. In truth we would get only 50 pounds of Strip at $19.72 per pound. That is three times the cost that Darlene said she could buy Strip for at her local grocers, for $6.99/pound. Also, the beef sold by King Sooper's is all Choice, not Select. Safeway beef is either a high grade Select OR Choice. There are three grades of Choice anyway.

We have discovered already that most of the other "facts" Darlene and others have presented here defending Town & Country are not accurate. They may reflect the company pitch, but they are entirely misleading and deceptive.
I am considering posting considerable data about this company, including copies of all our paperwork on a blog for innocent persons to make up their own minds.

We have discovered just why their food is more expensive than even Whole Foods, that it is not at all like Whole Foods meats, what the real cost of their freezer is, what their "overhead" cost really is, and a lot more. People need to know before investing in this company's claims of "savings" and "higher quality" food.

Darlene said...

Beverly, (and everyone else)
I understand where you get some of your figures. However, they are based on an incorrect assumption. Let's take the New York Strip Steaks that I used as an example that you used also. They are NOT priced out at 4 ounces per serving. They are packaged in 10 ounce steaks and listed as 1 serving each. Please...go get your menu and look at how it's listed. It's the first item on the menu. There are 2 packages of 2 steaks for a serving size of 4. Ummmm. 2 steaks per package, 10 ounces a steak, and 2 packages equals 4 servings. . Not the 4 ounce servings you suggest. I did the math for this above for you. Your math is based on a 4 pounce serving...not so in this case. It's a better buy than my local grocery store no matter how you add it up. ESPECIALLY if I try to find Choice or Prime cuts, which these are. Yes, there are different choice cuts, but they are ALL better than the select that is so readily available in my grocery store. You want choice cuts? You can find them...and pay dearly for them. There are items on the menu that are listed as 4 ounce servings. Boneless skinless chicken breasts for example are 4 ounce servings as well as ground meats. I would suggest that a 1/4 pound of meat is usually suitable for a hamburger, chicken breast or pork chop. What I am trying to point out is that not everything is a 4 ounce serving as you stated. Yes, the menu is based on servings, like a caterer or food service company would price things out. But they are not all 4 ounce servings. Also, if you'll add all of the suggested servings together, the 476 servings available on menu 41 DO NOT include the 420 ounces of vegetables. The vegetables are not counted in the overall servings, they are additional...a bonus if you will. I think that it's a better deal for my money. Obviously or I wouldn't be a happy customer and I wouldn't bother to post here. For me it's a matter of price for what I get. All natural, prime and choice cuts of meat delivered to my house, hormone free and way healthier for my family than what I can buy at the local grocery store. It's not going to get recalled for contamination, it's not going to make my family sick. I don't have to cook it until it looks char broiled like the USDA suggests to do to make sure the bacteria's are all gone since they no longer seem to care about cattle processing in this country. Here's an excerpt from the USDA website about ground meats...

"Preparing Ground Beef For Safe Consumption.
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHOTLINE or visit www.fsis.usda.gov.
Although the product(s) being recalled should be returned to the point of purchase, consumers preparing other ground beef products should heed the following advice.
Consumers should only eat ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe temperature of 160 °F. When a ground beef patty is cooked to 160 °F throughout, it can be safe and juicy, regardless of color.
The only way to be sure a ground beef patty is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use an accurate food thermometer.
Color is not a reliable indicator that ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.
Eating a pink or red ground beef patty without first verifying that the safe temperature of 160 °F has been reached is a significant risk factor for foodborne illness.
Thermometer use to ensure proper cooking temperature is especially important for those who cook or serve ground beef patties to people most at risk for foodborne illness because E. coli O157:H7 can lead to serious illness or even death. Those most at risk include young children, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems." Hello??? Shouldn't we just be able to eat without having to fear the bacteria at all??? It's a healthier, more convenient and cost effective way for my family to eat. It might not be for your family, and I am sorry you figured that out now, instead of earlier. But that doesn't make it a bad system. I have recommended the company to many, many friends and family members and have only heard praises from them all. It's truly a cut above and it shows in the flavor, cook time, color, smell and overall quality. No colors, fillers, growth hormones or water are added. I guess, for me, it boils down to this... What are you willing to feed your family? For my family, I prefer the better quality at a fair price. If you do not agree, that's ok. But it doesn't make this system bad.
One more thing...the freezer is $1495 and the overhead is a 1 time charge of $2195. Noting hidden, It's in black and white on your paperwork.
At least I am not giving the retail industry $.75 out of every dollar I am spending for overhead. (According to the Dept of Agriculture, not T&C) My overhead is paid off and I won't ever pay for it again. I only pay for my food now. Having said that, yes I still have to visit the grocery store for my fruits, bread, and pantry items, but I tell you....knowing what I am really paying for makes me less happy about it. I realize this was not a personal attack on me, but I feel I should say that I am not factually inaccurate in virtually everything I wrote.
Thanks for listening.
:::stepping down now:::

Beverly said...

Darlene,

Your comments are grossly inaccurate.

Take out your copy of your menu 41. Look at New York Strip Steaks. You get 2 STEAKS, not 2 PACKAGES of steaks. Your 2 steaks come in ONE package, or "2 per package - 10 oz. each". You get a TOTAL of 20 ounces of steak, NOT 40 ounces.

Look at "T-Bone Steaks". You get 2 STEAKS. Each steak comes "1 per package" and the steaks are "16 oz. each". You get a TOTAL of 2 pounds of steaks.

Look at "Sirloin Steaks". You get 4 STEAKS. Your 4 STEAKS come "2 per package" and the steaks are "8 oz each". That is a TOTAL of 4 steaks times 8 ounces each, which is 32 ounces. How many "servings" do you get? "8" 4-ounce "servings".

NOTICE that NONE of the above numbers refers to PACKAGES. The word "package" does NOT appear with each number.

NOW go down to "Stew Beef". Notice it says "2 packages". The word "packages" is NOW used where it was not used before. It was not used before because it referred to individual steaks, not "packages".

Look at the "Poultry" section of your menu. Under "Boneless Chicken Breasts" you get "2 - one lb packages". That is a total of 32 ounces of chicken, which is "8" servings, "4 pieces per package",
each piece weighing 4 ounces.

What we find on their "menu" is that the labeling varies. Those variations can lead to misperceptions about the amount of food the buyer gets. As a point in case YOU are illustrating this precisely. You are treating numbers that refer to individual items as though they refer to packages instead, when they do not.

As a point of rule and regulation, Darlene, it is required that a "serving" be 4 ounces of raw meat. This is a labeling requirement of the USDA and Departments of Agriculture. The word "serving" is a precise term that refers to explicit measurments of different foods, set up by the USDA to help consumers understand what they are getting and what is suggested to eat.

You can go to the USDA website, the pyramid section, for a complete explanation. Or you can go here where the measurements are summarized;

http://www.aicr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pub_nap_ssw

The Town & Country "menu" publication constitutes a "label" telling consumers how much they precisely get for their money. Town & Country is required to conform to this USDA labeling requirement where a "serving" is equal to 4 ounces of raw meat, or about 3 ounces cooked.

You are using the term "serving" as though it meant "portion". A portion can be any amount of something eaten as a meal or snak. But a "serving" is a precise term referring to specific quantities of different foods.

A "serving" is supposed to reflect an eadible amount of food, and NOT include bone and other similar meat products. To include bone in the measurement of a "serving" is not legally following the regulations.

Town & Country's inconsistent way of naming "packages" and "individual product pieces" can be very misleading, as you illustrate. Your prior claims are entirely incorrect about "serving" sizes. As a buyer of their food plan informing others about the "truth" of their advertising claims it would be appropriate for you to correct yourself here and admit the true serving sizes a buyer gets with Town & Country. It is the honest thing to do. It can be understood that honest persons make mistakes, particularly when they are misled by the wording claims of an unscrupulous company.

I am sticking to this one topic in this posting. You switched topics in your posting, and I would like to comment on your other claims later.

Chris said...

Great information here! Thanks!

I'm wondering if there's any validity to the claims saving money at T&C because of rising food costs. As I was told, grocery store prices increase at a faster rate than T&C food prices, so after a few years (or maybe a decade), I'm getting significant savings. The numbers I recall were that grocery store prices increase about 10% per year (sometimes more, sometimes less), but T&C "food/membership" prices only increase 1-2% per year. If that's so, than I would have significant savings in just a few years. In fact, it would appear that T&C food prices increase at a pace slower than inflation (if inflation is 3-5% per year). So is the food a good deal in the long run?

Beverly said...

Hello Chris,

The answer to your question is that you don't have a hope in h*** of saving a penny with this "economical" system. Figure it out for yourself.

This company has been around for about 15 years. So people who bought into this system 15 years ago should be paying only "1%" food increase compared to "10%" increase over the grocers? Is that right?

Then why is it that those persons who bought then are still paying over double the grocery store price for their food today?????
After 15 years??

Current grocery store prices for New York Strip steak range from $6.99 on sale to about $11.99 per pound. If you bought all New York Strip steaks from Town & Country you would pay today about $19.72 per pound. King Sooper's sells only aged choice grade beef, same as Town & Country.

Whole Foods sells their New York Strips for $15.99 at my local store and theirs is free of added hormones and anti-biotic, which Town & Country steaks are NOT. Town & Country steaks don't compare to Whole Foods at all.

The same sort of comparisons apply to ALL the other food Town & Country sells.

You what do you think, Chris? How many years will you have to buy their food at their so-called "reduced" inflation rate in order to begin to save any money?? A couple of centuries, maybe? Or maybe never? Maybe they are just good at deceit.

Sarah/kitty said...

I Work for Town and Country Foods. i looked into the prices as well, and the only thing you pay up front, is the $45 (if you can come up with at least 6 names) if not it's $145 not our over head and the freezer. (we put that into monthly payments so PEOPLE can afford it) and we give away a FREE meat package, so you can SEE the difference and it's FREE!
you DO NOT pay anything up front. the freezer is a good idea so we can ensure our meats are safe. (cause if we used your freezer and it broke down, would you want to pay for NO food because it thawed and went bad?)on a better note if you chose your freezer and it bit the dust, we give you ours. we CAN use your freezer if it is under 10 years old and is at least 18cf.
and about the cost of our foods??? HA HA your all nuts to think we are more expensive. if your all shopping at whole foods you NEED this program. we save 97% of our customers 300-500$ (and more) depending on your family size and how much you eat/spend. yeah it's payed over 6 months but that better then paying more and more each year. and after you payed off the 6 months and there's still food in your freezer you don't have to pay the whole cost, it just goes down to our overhead/ freezer (and the grill OR the cookware if you chose these items).
this IS a good deal. OUR system cost has not gone up in price in 4 years. we ONLY have a 1-2% increase each year. and thats only 2-5 extra bucks a MONTH!!! this year alone in the USA food costs have gone up by 17% and it's JUNE!!! have our (t&c) prices changed? NNNOOOO!!! if any of you did your homework, you would not be saying these thing about our company.
Watch the news people, can't you see whats going on? The USA used to have a 6mo supply of food at any given time if anything were to go wrong... NOW as of MAY there is only 4 DAYS of food supply, for the entire USA. So i know i'd feel pretty darn good having 6+ months of food in my freezer.
also look at the gas prices... $3.89...and going up. we can save you gas by going to the grocery stores and WAISTING time. would you rather have that time to spend with you family? I WOULD!!!

Trained Observer said...

I'd be interested in whatever Beverly's investigation about his company reveals. Since she hasn't shared her profile I can't contact her. Anyone have any updates?

Beverly said...

I have quite a bit of info I will post here shortly. Our investigation has been very revealing about the deceptions of this unscrupulous company.

Beverly said...

I have so much information on this company that I am considering a blog to air it all, replete with copies of internal documents used by this company to further certain deceptions.

Anyway, I shall divide up the information into several posts over a period of time, each post on topic.

The first post is on the topic of what you are promised to receive from this company regarding the "quality" of their meat products and other products.

We were promised "superior" meat products, and they were compared to "Whole Foods" products, as on a par with Whole Foods. The above comments from employees of this company (and purported customers) suggest that their beef is "organic", without added hormones and anti-biotic, since these are the factors that might distinguish their meat from the average grocery store meats and therefore justify a higher price if it is charged.

Their meat is not organic. It is not free of added hormones in the case of beef and anti-biotic in the case of all meats. In those respects it is no different from most grocery store meat. It does not compare with Whole Foods in those aspects, since Whole Foods is advertised as free of added hormones and anti-biotic, and where marked is "organic", or free of pesticide treated feed.

The writer "Ralph" above got it right. The sales person used the word "natural" on their packaging to infer that their meat is "special" from grocery store meat. Not the case. "Natural" means that no artificial ingredient was added to the meat at the time of butchering ONLY (no reference to how it was treated prior to slaughter), and that the meat is minimally processed, or that it has not altered the raw product. That is all that "natural" means, as Ralph wrote. Almost all the raw beef sold in the U. S. is "natural" by the official USDA standard of what is "natural".

Federal law prohibits the adding of hormones in any form into chickens or pigs, so all of these products sold by all companies are alike in that respect. Their chicken and pork is not free of anti-biotic. Any such claim must be so labeled. It is not.

We were told their beef is "prime and choice aged beef".

1. There is no identification of the kind of beef they provide, for example Black Angus.

2. I have never received "prime" cuts from them. Who has?

3. What kind of "aging" do they perform? (There are two kinds, wet and dry. Dry is by far the superior aging. The wholesale company from which they purchase their beef for resale said they usually only wet age their beef.)

Their sales person claimed their "aged" beef was about 20% less water content (due to "aging") and we got more beef for our money. However, there is no appreciable water evaporation from wet aging, only dry aging. This claim then was absolutely false, since their retail beef is wet aged.

4. The sales person claimed that grocers sell only select grade beef, not choice. King Soopers sells "choice aged Angus" beef. This is comparable to Town and Country beef, except for the "Angus" type, since we don't know the beef type T & C is selling.

So, how is T & C beef "superior" to King Sooper's beef, for example?
They are both "choice aged" beef, only King Sooper's is "Angus" (a generally regarded superior brand of beef). Neither are free of added hormones or anti-biotic or are organic.

How is T & C pork and chicken superior to King Sooper's? Both are free of added hormones by law, but may have anti-biotic. Various brands of pork and chicken are sold at most grocers that are free of anti-biotic at a higher price than those that are not at the same store.

King Sooper's does sell "prime" cuts of beef by request. The cost is higher than choice cuts sold at the same store.

In summary, one of the major claims of T & C is that their products are "superior" to what I buy at my grocers. This is a major factor in their justifying whatever price they may charge for their products. Their products are "more healthy" for "my family"
they claim.

(Their packaged fish and vegetable products I can buy at most any grocery store, the very same label products. So there is no superiority there.)

This amounts to mere claims. If any T & C sales person wishes to refute this with facts, and not mere continued vague claims, let him do so here and now. There is a decided difference between what I was told by the sales person and what are the facts of the matter.

In the next messages I shall get into their very high pricing.

wayne said...

very intersting information, thanks.

wayne said...

Hey does anybody know what kind of confirmation you get for canceling your order within the 5 days to ensure that they don't say that did not receive it or something like that?

Analisa said...

Wayne, we did cancel our order (I think it's within three days) and received no confirmation but it was in fact canceled.

cheesy said...

I think it is funny that someone complained that a 4oz serving of meat was not enough for a meal... Come on people. 4oz is PLENTY! That is a quarter lb of meat! How much do you really eat per meal? More than that is A LOT!

I enjoy my T&C food. Some things I didn't like, others I did. And you have the guarantee that if you don't like something, they will exchange it for something else. Not to mention if you move, they will come move your freezer for you for free. I have moved twice and each time they have transported my freezer for me and even repositioned and organized my food. It was really nice. I have also tested out the food exchange. I didn't like the flounder and exchanged it for salmon. No problem.

It seems that a lot of people are really confused on money as well. If I remember correctly, there are 6 months for a family of 4 and 1 year for a family of 4 options. So maybe that is where some of the confusion is coming in at?

Highlancer said...

Here it is a year to the day that this article was posted and I just discovered it as we trying to tighten down our spending and T&C food is an area we are currently evaluating. I do find it very frustrating that the company is not willing to help you determine the cost per pound of items they are selling, it is a red flag to me personally. Since it is so difficult to extract the price per pound I am taking a bit of a different approach. I know what T&C delivered now I am going to simply price out the same meat in the grocery store and make a determination on whether there really is cost savings with T&C. I realize there may be a very good argument for the freezing and refreezing aspect of the grocery store meat, but these are tight times! I'll try to post the results if anyone is still following this thread or is interested.

To good health! But let's now kill ourselves trying to get it!

Karen said...

We were completely misled about the whole T & C Food "deal", the food is nothing that was first presented to us, hamburgers shrink way up, hot todogs not 100% beef, porkchops all missing the "filet side", vegatables are frozen to the point of freezer burn and the foods we most eat were very limited, 2 filet mignons for 6 months, 2 T-Bones for 6 months as well etc...

What exactly does the Provisions of Arizona Title 44, Chapter 15 mean?? Under Arizona Legislature Home Solicitations & Refferal Sales it states.
NO seller in a home solicitation sale shall offer to pay a commission or give a rebate or discount (which we got) to the buyer in consideration of the buyer's giving to the seler the names of prospective purchasers or otherwise aiding the seller in making a sale to another person, (which we did) if the earning of the commission, rebate or discount is contingent upon an event that is to happen subsequent to the time the buyer agrees to buy. Any sale made in respect to which a commission, rebate or discount is offered in violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be voidable at the option of the buyer.

Beverly said...

Once in awhile we all come across people we catch with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar. Instead of owning up to stealing cookies they pretend it is *us* who caught them who are somehow to blame for catching them. They tell lies about what we see with our own eyes. Then they expect us to buy into their lies through intimidation and bullying and acting like they are the innocent ones. It's quite amazing.

Town & Country Foods and its steady employees are just such a company.

Take "cheesy" for example. Cheesy thinks that 4 ounces of meat is plenty for a meal and chides readers here for not agreeing. Well, that means that I will cut my 16 ounce steak into 4 pieces and that is "plenty" for a meal.
Or take one 4 ounce piece of chicken and that is plenty for a meal.

Cheesy claims to have T&C move their freezer "twice". Truth? On the T&C "official" manila jacket presented by their sales people that contains all our legal papers for financing No. 11 reads, quote; "LOCAL MOVES - If you move during the next 180 days period within the company's local delivery area, the company will move the freezer you purchased from us for you. (limit one move)...."

"One" move Cheesy. You had only 6 months to move twice. You sound, frankly, more like an ill-trained employee than a customer concerned with whether the deal was a good one or not.

Every single T&C employee who messaged here was responded to with facts and refutations.
Not one of them has bothered to either come back and "clear up" their misspoken "facts", nor apologize for spreading company lies. Something needs to be done.

Beverly said...

Karen;

We have a similar law on the books here in Colorado. Title 5, Article 3, Section 209 reads:

Quote
Referral Sales

With respect to a consumer credit sale or consumer lease, the seller or lessor may not give or offer to give a rebate or discount or otherwise pay or offer to pay value to the consumer as an inducement for a sale or lease in consideration for the consumer giving to the seller or lessor the names of prospective purchasers or lessees, or otherwise aiding the seller or lessor in making a sale or lease to another person, if the earning of the rebate, discount, or other value is contingent upon the occurrence of an event subsequent to the time the consumer agrees to buy or lease. If a consumer is induced by a violation of this section to enter into a consumer credit sale or consumer lease, the agreement is unenforceable by the seller or lessor and the consumer, at his or her option, may rescind the agreement or retain the goods delivered and the benefit of any services performed without any obligation to pay for them.

End quote.

Word of their violations to customer victims needs to be published widely.

Beverly said...

WHY DOES T&C FOOD COST AT LEAST TWICE AS MUCH AS ANY ORDINARY GROCERY STORE?

A T&C sales team told us that because they had no large building expenses their food was less costly, by being delivered directly from the processor.

T&C refuses to provide any cost per item list. They claim any item-to-item comparison would not be an "accurate" comparison of costs.

However, clearly T&C has an internal price list it uses to determine how much of any one food item we can get with our choice of food plan. I cannot trade, pound- for-pound, one pound of chicken for one pound of steak. Why? Because steak costs more.

The food price chart in the first posted message above is exactly accurate for the reasons stated.
When you make an order adjusted to your choices of items, all you have to do is total the cost of all the individual items at the above posted per-item price list and that will tell you how much of each you can get with any order.

If you wanted 20 pounds of Porterhouse steak, for instance, that would leave you the difference from 42 pounds, or 22 pounds times $23.94 per pound for the balance of your order, figured at the cost per item that is posted in the above chart.

Besides, T&C has an internal document called a "points chart" that converts cost per item from dollars and cents to "points". Then the "points" are used to make exchanges. The idea of using "points" enables them to hide the real cost per item in recognizable terms to a point system that is obscure and unreadable to customers.

We made a price comparison between our T&C food plan after our so-called discount of 20% (for buying their freezer) and King Soopers, buying similar quality products. We spent about half at King Soopers. The above-posted price of items bears this out by itself. If we bought sale item it would have been even less.

So why is their food so expensive?
Because they "sell" their food plan contracts to a "factoring" company is why.

Every time we bought something from T&C we wound up paying a "finance" company called Fair Finance instead of them. Allegedly, when we reordered food from T&C we paid Fair Finance instead over 6 months equal installments for no finance percentage. Fair Finance did not charge us a penny to finance this for 6 months.

The reason Fair Finance does not charge a finance fee for this is because they "buy" each sales contract from T&C. The sale cost of the food plan is necessarily "marked up" to cover the charges that Fair Finance makes to T&C for buying their contracts. This mark-up is passed on to uninformed consumers.

Here is how it works. T&C computes all of its costs for selling one of its food plans. That includes the wholesale cost of product, transportation and delivery costs, storage costs, sales rep costs, administrative costs, etc. Then it adds to that total figure an amount of "profit" it wishes to make on each food order. That gives them a total figure representing what they want to make on each order.

Then they mark up that total to a figure that covers an amount of money charged to them by Fair Finance for buying their contract.
They must also mark up an *additional* amount of money that is held in a kind of "escrow" by Fair Finance against potential losses that Fair may accrue if someone defaults on their payments. If the buyer makes all their payments this amount of money is then forwarded to T&C. So all of these extra charges and rebates are factored into the ultimate cost of the food plan to the customer.

Typical mark-ups range from at least 50 to 100% above the otherwise direct sales price. That would be enough to cover the additional buy-out cost and escrowed rebates.

In the end this makes the T&C "system" far more costly than King Soopers or any other similar grocery store. This is called "factoring" and is always more costly than direct buying, even when there are the costs of a building involved. T&C food can "never" be priced less than these grocery stores.

Beverly said...

DO WE GET 6 MONTHS WORTH OF FOOD REPRESENTING ABOUT 60% OF OUR FOOD BUDGET WITH THEIR FOOD PLANS?

No. They claim, even at their own webpage that their food plans cover about 60% of our food budget, under the "Benefits" page, where it reads: "Imagine completing approximately 60% of your grocery purchases without experiencing the hassle and stress of going to the grocery store." And also, "Our system can also reduce costs associated with shopping at grocery stores." These "costs" are *implied* to be real costs, but only "impulse" buy-reductions are next mentioned. Tricky language.

The food plan for 3 to 4 people for 6 months comes with 35 packages of vegetables. How long will this food last?

Well, even if we follow "cheesy's" admonition and eat only 4 ounces of meat per meal, if we buy only Porterhouse steaks in our order then the 42 pounds of steak will last a family of 4 for 42 days. The packs of vegetables range in size from 10 to 16 ounces and a single pack would be needed per meal to feed this size family. So the veges would run out in 35 days. That leaves 7 more days of 4 ounces of steak as our "6 months" of food at 60% of our food cost for that 6 months.

But let's go the other way and get ground beef, the cheapest beef. That gives us the most for our money in beef. We get 215 pounds of ground beef. Cheesy would make the beef last for 215 days where a family of 4 divides each pound of beef into 4 portions and has that for dinner (less than 4 ounces each after shrinkage from cooking). The vegetables last for 35 days. So the remaining days dinners consist of one 4-ounce beef patty pre-cooked weight and nothing else, covering what they say is 60% of our food budget.

If one is a normal person, on the other hand, and eats the recommended 8 ounces per day the 215 pounds would last 108 days for a family of 4. About 3 months of one meal consisting of a beef patty and vegetables for the first 35 days and a beef patty alone the remaining 73 days, representing 60% of our food budget for 6 months.

Now how about chicken legs for 6 months? We get about 405 pounds (they quoted me only 340 pounds for the same food plan size). There are about 4 medium size legs in a pound. So, lets suppose that a family of 4 eats just 2 legs apiece and vegetables for dinner. The legs would last for 203 days, and the vegetables would be gone in 35 days. Again they say that represents about "60%" of our food budget for 6 months.

Since chicken legs are half bone I could easily eat 3 legs and still get a bit less than the recommended 8 ounces of meat per day. So if some days we ate 3 legs and some days 2 we might make chicken legs alone last for 6 months, although we may otherwise starve to death ourselves.

If all this attempt to make these food plans last 6 months looks plain silly that is because it is.
These food plans do not last a family of 4 for 6 months. A mixed order of various meats will last only a few months at most. The vegetables are always gone long before the end of the second month.

This food plan does NOT represent
"about 60%" of anyone's food budget in a family of 4.

They are lying through their teeth.

If ANY sales rep of this company wishes to post ANY combination of food items from a food plan that lasts 6 months for a family of 4 and represents about 60% of a family's food budget, let him post it now and here.

If ANY sales rep of this company wishes to post ANY combination of food items from a food plan and compare your list with a list of items from King Soopers or any other grocery store that you mention in your sales pitch with which to compare your system, cost- for-cost please do so here and now.
Show us a comparative list where T&C food is NOT about double the cost of grocery stores, item for item. Show us a comparative list showing that T&C food plans are even cheaper than Whole Foods or some similar market that actually sells meats that are superior to T&C meat (because they actually do lack added hormones and anti-biotic at Whole Foods and yours do not).

If your food plans are actually less costly then why does this company NOT provide comparative lists to demonstrate this to use in your sales pitch? Be a great selling point, wouldn't it? But it doesn't because T&C is NOT less costly.

Do you really save "trips" to the grocery store? Who are you kidding? Look in your refrigerator and your cupboards. You see items that need replacing far more often than meats require. There is bread, milk, drinks, butter, seasonings, spreads, chips, desserts, salad materials, fruit, crackers, and a whole range of things that need constant replacing. It is those items that keep us going just about as often to the grocers. Most people buy their meats for at least a week at a time, at the same time they are shopping for the other things we need. T&C saves few or no trips to the grocery store.

At best T&C represents about 20 to 25% of our food budget -- meat for one meal for a few months and vegetables for a bit longer than one month, for only as long as the food lasts. That could be as little as one or two months or as most as 4 months, depending on what is ordered. Your food prices are about double (more in some cases) what the grocers charges. Also, we can take advantage of sale items at the grocers, something not available from T&C.

If you are an honest T&C sales rep you need to stop lying by repeating their bogus claims.

Beverly said...

Regarding Sarah/kitty, a T&C employee,

This post is a good illustration of how T&C reps are trained to handle objections. They ignore them. Then they change the topic to something else believing we will forget what our original objection was.

The topic was the actual cost of T&C food compared to the grocery store. She changed the topic to what customers pay "up front" and T&C claims about rising comparative costs of T&C food. She never addressed the topic, the actual cost of T&C food.

She then made the claim that 97% of their customers saved "300-500$" with T&C food. She doesn't explain *how* that savings happens, but only claims it.

It is easy enough to perform actual comparisons of T&C and grocery store food. She doesn't perform this simple task. The company could do this and furnish comparative lists to their reps to use in their sales pitches. That would be a very effective sales tool. The company doesn't. Why not? Because they are not cheaper. They are lying and manipulating criteria to *imply* less cost.

For instance, Sarah says that "there's still food in your freezer" after the "6 months" it takes to pay it off. How is there food still left in my freezer? Only if I bought more meat and veges from the grocery during the 6 months. That is the only way. Notice they do not provide the number of portions customers get and actually eat with an order. But by doing the math we find that there are not enough portions to last more than 4 months (buying cheaper meat) without buying meat from the grocery and not enough portions to last more than 5 *weeks* (not months) of vegetables.

Sarah didn't do her "homework". She just accepted the T&C company line, rather lie. Their food costs *did* increase in the past 4 years. Our plan went up.

From where did Sarah get her food price increase percentages? She recites what are "food" cost increases without demonstrating *which* food products experienced price increases. The cost of milk went up much more than other foods, but when averaged in with the increase cost of other foods makes the cost of all foods appear higher.

For example, the cost of ground beef actually *dropped* from 2006 to 2007, from $2.28 to $2.19 per pound. The cost of whole chicken dropped from $1.06 to $1.03 per pound at the same time. It went up this year.

All of this is not relevant anyway. It is a diversion away from the real cost or price per pound of T&C food compared to any grocery store. T&C is double or more the cost of groceries. From the very beginning of their company history it has always been at least double the cost of grocery store food. How does that happen if T&C food has only gone up slightly over the past 15 years? She does NOT address this issue. She switches the topic. The couple who sold us our T&C system did the same thing. I surmise their reps are trained to respond this way.

If buyers want a straight answer to our questions do not expect it from this company.

Here is another example of misinformation from T&C reps I have heard and read from other victims. Their beef is "aged" and loses about "20%" of its water content before cooking, so there is little shrinkage from cooking, more to eat we were told in their sales pitch. They say there beef is "aged". Well, it may be "aged", but NOT *dry* aged. Dry aging loses water content, but NOT *wet* aging. Their beef is *wet* aged, has lost no water content. But we were led to think otherwise by the deceptive way we were pitched.

This is T&C salesmanship; misdirection and misinformation.

Beverly said...

WHAT IS THE COST OF THE T&C SUPREME FREEZER?

We paid $1495 for their Supreme freezer. Good price for a good freezer?

Here are the facts. The Supreme freezer is made by Crosley. Crosley is owned by W C Wood Co which makes Whirlpool and other brand appliances.

This brand name freezer is made only for T&C and no other company distributes it. So T&C can claim the freezer is "worth" whatever it says it is worth, since there are no other companies selling the "Supreme" brand freezer.

Can a value be otherwise obtained?
Yep. Our detective found out that W C Wood makes a freezer marketed under Whirlpool with the very same model number as the Supreme. He even got the model number. It is EV200FZRQ. Apparently T&C changed the handle of their freezer and added a "heavy duty" power cord, rather than the standard power cord. So T&C "changed" (but very slightly) the Whirlpool freezer and renamed it their Supreme freezer and tripled the price.

The same model number Whirlpool sells for $598 to $610 at Lowe's and other smaller distributors. T&C marked up this model by about $900.

Maybe they think that is a good deal due to their "warrantee". Well, their warrantee is crap. It lasts past 10 years ONLY if we continue buying their meats at highly inflated prices. Otherwise we are out of luck. Besides, their warrantee covers only the compressor, and not the other parts of the freezer body, as I quoted from their written warrantee in a previous message here.

What gives the Supreme a grade of "commercial heavy duty" freezer is that there is a "heavy duty" power cord on their freezer -- nothing else. There is no special body, body components or compressor.

We were told in their sales pitch that if our freezer failed they would replace it with another freezer. But the written warrantee does not say that. It says they will fix the broken freezer. If the freezer cannot be fixed under the covered part of the warrantee there is nothing in writing to require them to give us a replacement freezer. The same applies if we had not bought their freezer, but bought their warrantee to cover our freezer instead. Their warrantee to cover our freezer (which is still working fine, by the way) would have cost us about $800 as I recall, and does not cover much of anything beyond the compressor. If it rusts our, seals are lost, etc, we are not covered by the T&C warrantee.

T&C gave us a 20% reduction in their hugely inflated food costs down to merely double the cost of grocery store food in order to help us pay for their $600 freezer priced by them at $1500.

How nice of them.

Beverly said...

DOES T&C CHARGE US "OVERHEAD" ONLY ONE TIME?

This is amazing manipulation.

The answer is NO, they do not charge us "overhead" only once. We pay whatever is their overhead everytime we buy anything from them.

This only makes sense. How foolish of us to believe this lie we were told.

We paid a whooping $1695 for their "one time" overhead cost.

However, every time we reordered from them we paid all of their "overhead" costs that came with handling our order. In fact we also paid them a "profit" on our reorders, along with the overhead.

That only makes sense. A company is in business to make a profit. Nothing wrong with that. But the price of our first *food* order(excluding all the other costs) is the same as all our reorders. And that cost includes ALL of their overhead costs, including wholesale cost, moving and storage costs, delivery costs, administrative costs, etc, PLUS the amount of profit T&C wants on its food. So we are and will ALWAYS pay what is their "overhead" costs when we order anything from them.

So what does it mean when they told us that we pay for their "overhead" costs only once?
Who knows. It is a lie in any case.

After the fact I notice that on our contract they do not use the word "overhead" to name this charge. They call it their "Basic Service" charge.

This fee is nothing more than gouging us for $1695 to fatten their pockets. Maybe they pay some of it to their sales reps for the initial sale. We do NOT have to pay that at my grocery store.
Every time we buy from the grocers we pay what are the current overhead costs of the store plus their profit, and we do the very same with T&C on each food order. There is no difference, except that T&C manipulates us to think that we are not paying some kind of "overhead" on future orders that we are in fact paying on each order -- just to extract $1695 out of us up front.

James said...

Hey all, the T&C sales guy just came by the door to set up an appointment. I'll admit, the pitch didn't seem so bad to me. I signed up for an appointment tomorrow evening.

And being the good internet nerd that I am, the first thing I did when he left was look up T&C on the net. Lo and behold, I found this site.

So, it seems like a total gyp. I already own a freezer, so, he'll have to take a different tack on it. I figured, after reading these comments, that it would be fun to ask him some questions he may not want to answer.

My question(s) for you guys is what do I have to do to get the free food? If I'm not going to buy their stuff and have fun wasting the salesman's time, I might as well get some free stuff while I'm at it! The brochure says I get the free food for letting them show me the "menus and prices". Looking at their track record on lying, I'm guessing it may not be that easy. Do I have to sign up for something first? Or do they give you the box of free stuff first? If I have to sign up, is it easy to cancel? Is it not worth the meat if I have to deal with a later hassle for them not letting me go as a client?

Also, what do you think the best questions are that I can ask him to make him squirm? :D

Beverly said...

Hello James,

The meat is free as an inducement to listen to the pitch. You don't have to sign up for anything to get the meat. They gave us our meat at the end of their pitch. Be advised that they will pressure you to sign up immediately of course.

Ask what they mean by "natural" -- is their *beef* free of added hormones and anti-biotic? If they say yes it is, ask for it in writing, either on the packages they give you or from the sales persons.

Ask them how much the same food order plan would cost from the grocery store. If they can't provide a comparison list that documents their claims how can they make any claims on comparative costs at all?

They will charge you a warrantee fee to warrantee your own freezer if you don't buy theirs. It will be close to $1000. Read the actual warrantee for your own freezer. Ask if they will replace your freezer if it fails and cannot be fixed. Ask them to show you where it says it on their warrantee. Ask them what happens to your warrantee if the company goes out of business.

Ask them how Fair Finance can finance 6 months of food payments for no interest. Ask them if Fair Finance makes any money on their 6 months financing of a food order. Ask them if 20% financing of your warrantee and your overhead fee is not a gouge.

Ask them about your "overhead fee". If they say you pay overhead only one time for upwards of nealy $2000 does that mean that all future food orders are actually "wholesale", are not marked up to cover the then overhead costs plus a profit margin? Ask them to put it in writing and give it to you signed as a factual claim you can use if it turns out to be a lie.

Ask them what kind of aging is their beef. Ask them if their beef loses any water weight by their aging process. Ask them to put it in writing for you.

If all of these claims made to us verbally were true ask them for brochures that make the same claims. If true there ought to be no problem putting down on paper what should be great selling points. Ask them to put down in writing any claim that sounds too good to be true to you.

You do not have to buy their food plan tonight to get the free food, once again. You just have to listen to their pitch.

Afterwards, consider carefully what you were told and what is the truth. You have the truth above, from me and others.

Their food is at least twice as expensive as regular grocery store food. Their beef is "wet" aged (loses no water) and not free of added hormones or anti-biotics. Their chicken and pork is the same as much of what is sold at any grocery.

Their freezer warrantee does not cover most parts of your freezer and is good for what few things it does cover only so long as you are their customer. Their warrantee does not promise to replace your freezer.

You always pay whatever is their current overhead for processing any order, plus a profit. Their overhead one-time fee is an additonal profit they charge you because they can.

You will pay for some extra convenience and that is all.

Have fun.

Shiarna said...

I subscribe to the Town & Country service and have never been happier. Their food has always been good and quality good as well. I hate shopping so to have them bring my products to me is awesome.

Yes, T&C will use your own freezer if it is 18 cubic feet and fairly new, so no obligation to purchase the freezer up front, I don't know who told you that.

I think there are different plans for food so if you have a bigger family obviously you would be on a different plan than I. It is financed with 0% interest for 6 months which beats the heck out of a credit card payment which we would be having if it was a trip to the grocery store instead.

As for the claim that there is no savings in not having to go the grocer for meat and veggies, have you checked the price of gas lately? The difference in paying that gas to get to the store and back 2-3 times a week makes up for any difference in cost of food. Particularly for those of us that live out in the country are are 10 minutes or more from town. Sure, you still have to go buy fresh produce etc, but certainly on a less frequent basis with a small amount of planning.

Beverly said...

Dear Shiarna,

You claim to "hate shopping" so having anything delivered to you may be a satisfaction for you. But please do not test our intelligence whether we save money or not. Your claims sound ridiculous although you don't sound like a stupid person.

First we had to buy either the T&C Supreme freezer OR THEIR WARRANTEE ON ONE WE ALREADY OWN. That amounts to either $1500 for the freezer OR nearly $1000 for their next to worthless warrantee alone without their freezer. Read your warrantee. It is exactly the same for any other freezer they warrantee. And please don't insult my average intelligence by claiming there is no significant cost either way.

Second, if you *really* think that Fair Finance finances your food order for FREE for 6 months because they do not charge you any "interest" then you make yourself the target of every scam there is out there. Did you not read above?? Do you not know what "contract factoring" is? Do you really think a finance company finances anything for FREE??

T&C and Fair Finance charges you plenty on every food order whether you finance it or pay the same one time for cash -- makes no difference. Fair Finance buys the T&C contracts after the price/cost of our food is *marked up* to pay for this buyout. That cost is way more than the cost of mere interest. Just google "Fair Finance" and hit the link titled "Contract Factoring" on the left-hand column. It will give you an idea of what T&C is doing
to us.

Don't you get it?? T&C is leading you to think your food order is financed for 0% interest when the price/cost of their food is marked up instead to cover what T&C pays out of your food purchase to Fair Finance to buy our contracts. You are being manipulated to think something costs you nothing when it costs a whole lot out of our pockets instead. This mark-up of our food order sold to Fair Finance makes the cost of our food orders at least DOUBLE the cost of the grocery store.

So you think that paying double for our food is less than paying for gas to go to the store? We go once a week to 2 or 3 grocery stores that are close to each other. That's it. We buy our meat at the same time we buy our milk, our bread, our fruit, our greens, and the rest of what is about 80% of our food budget. We don't go 2 or 3 extra times just to buy meat alone. That is absolutely ridiculous. I find it extremely odd that a person who hates shopping makes 2 or 3 extra trips from the "country" to the grocers just to buy meat.

We save $0.00 on gas by shopping at the grocers over T&C. If anything we run out of milk or bread or something else before we run out of meat that might require a rare *extra* trip to the grocers.

As you say yourself, it only takes a "small amount of planning" to buy groceries adequate for a week without having to make extra trips just to buy meat.

You got convenience. That's it. And that convenience is limited to meat available in your freezer.

It cost you a hugely over-priced freezer OR a huge next-to-worthless warrantee fee on another freezer, a huge "overhead" fee you failed to mention I noticed and at least double the cost of your food on ANY order size to pay for the "Contract Factoring" fee built into the cost of your food. Now if you like that for what little convenience that gets you, fine. But WE were entitled to know this before we signed up, rather than the stack of lies we were told instead.

And btw, their food is grocery store average by any factual comparison. Their beef is not free of added hormones or anti-biotic. I can buy grocery store "choice" beef all day long. All the chicken and pork I buy from any of the three local stores I shop is "natural", without added hormones by law. In fact the chicken I buy is also free of anti-biotic, which is not true of T&C. It also costs less.

I am really really annoyed by the large number of vacuous claims made following this company's sales rhetoric. Facts, my dear.
Specific and exact facts, and not the company sales pitch would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Craig said...

OK, I do not work for this company and I have never bought thier service. I was thinking about going to work for them but I do not think it would be a good fit. That being said, "Beverly" does not sound like your average pissed off consumer to me. I would suspect a competitor or ex-employee. She even mentions her investigator. Just as I am very suspect of a lot of the claims by customers as some of them are likely employees, I think there is something VERY fishy about Beverly. Just read back in the posts. Usually long, researched responses. She has research on the sales process, the wholesale meat distributor and the freezer manufactuer. Does this sound like a consumer to any of you? I actually have no axe to grind, but remember, anyone can pretend to be anybody on the internet. I really do not have any idea on the claims and counter claims here but I just googled "Meat Portion Sizes" and everything that looked legit said 3 ounces.

Beverly said...

To Craig. . . .

What an amazing message you write. The single most important question -- the single most important issue -- you don't even mention. You seem inclined to mostly undermine my information. I will come back to that later.

As to the only fact you recite I beg to differ. The DAILY portion of recommended meat is not 3 ozs.
It is 7 to 9 ozs. Check "my food pyramid" .gov for yourself. The sources you cite assume one MEAL out of THREE meals per day. They assume that someone eats about 3 meals per day, each of which includes meat.

The T&C sales lie is that they gave us "60%" of our food needs for "6 months". It's written on their website. We were told it. If T&C provides only 3 ozs of meat per day per person for just the dinner meal WHO or WHERE do we get the other 4 to 5 ozs of meat per day? We have to buy it, don't we? We have to buy 5 ozs of meat for every 3 ozs of T&C meat we eat according to your "3 oz" formula, in order for us to eat what we need DAILY. It is all a manipulation of data to make us think we buying something we are not.

As for "competitors", who might that be? I don't know anyone else who sells their kind of food plan.
I would be very interested in the names of competitors to see if they sell food plans the same as T&C.

Now maybe I am not "your average pissed off consumer". Maybe I should be. Maybe every consumer should finally stand up for when we are ripped off, make it known. If that had happened in the mortgage industry would we be in the deep stuff we are in nationally today?

Let me tell you why I am "pissed off", Craig. Part of the sales deal was that we got dollar credits for giving them referrals, so we did. We gave them several, not just for the credits but for passing on what we thought at the time was a good deal. From our referrals 4 bought. One is a close girl friend of mine. She has 4 kids, ages 6 to 13. She doesn't work, so her husband is the sole supporter of her family.
She does work hard taking care of home and kids, scrimps and saves when she can. This seemed like a wonderful way to save her large family MONEY on food and eat well at the same time.

They bought a larger food plan, but ran out of food in less than 3 months, with 3 months left to pay for food they didn't have and years to pay Fair Finance on the rest. She called customer service, was told she needed to buy a larger quantity of food. Well, she finally added up what she paid T&C PLUS what she spent at the grocers and was stunned, absolutely stunned. She called me. We went over it all together. So then I went over my own total food expenditures. I was stunned too.

What did we get for what we spent with T&C? We paid them $1700 just to join their "plan". We paid $1500 for the same freezer we could have bought with a better warrantee for $600 from other stores. We paid nearly $1000 (AFTER our so-called "discount) for food that costs about $550 (being generous here) at the grocers. So figure it out, Craig!
Yes, I am really pissed! I would have spent about $1150 for what I actually paid $4200!! PLUS INTEREST to "FAIR Finance"! What is "FAIR" about any of this???

My close friend could not afford to continue buying T&C food at their inflated prices. She wound up selling the freezer for $250 to another friend and actually used the money toward her bill with T&C/Fair Finance. That left her a lot of money still owed over time to pay off. My husband gave them $500 to help pay off this deceptive purchase. They wouldn't take it from us, but we cried and made them take it since we were the ones they trusted to send them these "people" from T&C in the first place. And we are able to afford it.

I figured out that between the 4 families who bought from them, including us, they cost us all over $12,000 ABOVE what it would have cost to buy from reputable stores. And we would have been continuing to buy meat from them at DOUBLE the grocers prices -- FOREVER, if they had their way!!

And you don't think I should be "pissed off" as a "CONSUMER"! Really? I don't understand you.

WHO is watching out for the consumer these days? The authorities, the government? Well who got the nation into the financial mess it is in today? It was started by implementing a policy designed to provide housing to persons who otherwise could not afford it. It was enacted by creating laws that required lending institutions to give money to persons based on inadequate or non-existent ability to repay it. It was facilitated by persons willing to take advantage of that climate of "helping the poor" to obtain "affordable" housing they could not afford at all by presenting "false" data to persons who did not understand it and who foolishly ACCEPTED THE WORD OF THE SO-CALLED BROKER PROFESSIONALS without confirming it for themselves. Those persons got screwed and the nation got screwed. And now the persons leading the charge to "fix" the problem are the same ones who not only "led" in facilitating it, but are now portraying themselves as our "benefactors" whose word and confidence we ought to now accept!

Who was watching out for the "consumer" when all this was going on, huh? Practically no one. Who *knew* what was going on? Nearly everyone in the lending and governmental oversight community, that's who. We didn't get duped because we watched out for ourselves.

Who was watching out for *my* family when T&C left their brochure at my door and called me up on phone? No one, Craig, no one.

Now, I fail to understand why you didn't ask the most important question of all, Craig. That question? It's this; is all the information I found out and presented above TRUE? Is it TRUE? Not a word from you about that. Just a reference to what someone is recommended to eat for ONE meal, not per DAY.

Craig, when was the last time you ate a 3 oz steak? Sure, you don't eat steak every meal. But when, Craig? I serve our kids cereal, hot or cold, with juice and toast for breakfast. We almost never eat bacon or sausage. I have either a salad or sandwich for lunch with a small portion of meat sometimes. I serve at least 5 ozs of some kind of fish or chicken or turkey for dinner, since we really don't eat that much meat for our other meals. We have fruit frequently, together with potato and usually fresh vegetables (not their frozen Cascadian Farms veges we can buy at any grocery store, incidentally). But we eat our 7 to 8 ounces of meat per DAY.

So, again, Craig, why do you seem unusually unconcerned about the truth of this company's sales claims, considering the amount of available data you can check out FOR YOURSELF written above by me and others, when you were actually looking at going to work for them? All you wrote was that it was not a good "fit" for you. I don't have a clue what that means to you. You don't like the hours they keep? Too much driving? But not a word about checking them out for yourself as to whether their sales pitch is true or not.

Would *you* watch out for me and every other "consumer" out there you would potentially sell to, Craig, had you gone to work for them? Who will watch out for *us*, the "consumers", Craig? Just how *much* "pissed off" should the "average" consumer get at being ripped off of thousands of dollars by T&C? Who are *you* to tell any consumer just what level of "pissed off" we should be?

I wrote here what was my personal experience, my personal loss, my close friend's losses. I was watching out for *you*, Craig, and everyone else who is concerned if buying from them is what they represent it to be. You don't have to accept anything here. Check it out for yourself.

In the end it is "buyer beware". If the gov can't or won't inform of every scam in our very complex society then it is up to ourselves and to our friends to watch out for us. The present state of our economy is testament to the fact that we have to watch out for ourselves and then each other if we are to be properly informed. You find that strange. I find you strange. Well, at first I did. But on reflection I guess there was a time when I did think like you. Trust what I am being told by sincere-sounding "well-meaning" perveyors of something I "needed", or something that the poor need. We all need to learn that the world may not be what we would like it to be. We are one and all "consumers", Craig. I would have liked to have known what I now know before I invested in the T&C sales plan. I would have liked for someone to have taken just a bit of their time to watch out for me then. Didn't happen.

We are looking for ex-employees of T&C, Craig. Do you know any? It is interesting that you would think former employees would have an axe to grind with them. Why is that? What do you know that makes you think that way? Every "employee" who has bothered to write here seems to have no axe to grind. They are defending T&C.

If there are any ex-employees of T&C who are reading this column, would you care to write about your experiences of any kind with them here?

The Kingfam said...

Well Miss Beverly-
You are my favorite write on this thread! I am so impressed with your last post.. See I know all that, but could've never remembered all the ins and outs you put together, and showed smart guy Craig how it all goes together! It would've taken me about 3 different posts to remember it all! LOL You are great!
Anyone who has figured out the truth (***This just in! Just because something is in type and on a well put together brochure, presented by a smooth talking sales rep, does not make it true.. Sound like our media anyone????***) will agree that T&C does not save you money.. Maybe time, but NEVER $$$!!! And with our economy, that someone forgot to hire a babysitter for, I choose to keep a close watch on all of my pennies, even the ones behind the washer! Because I know that I will need every single one to make it through the next couple of years. If anyone wants to hire me to teach them to be frugal in a material/money driven world, hand me your pennies, and sign up for my class! Those will be $$$ well spent!
And for you, you poor little Craig! My personal opinion of Beverly, before she explained who she is, was that she was a pissed off consumer, who had been robbed by T&C's deceitfulness. Wow.. could it be? Much like me? Only I was able to figure things out before I had a loss (and Beverly, I am sorry for you and your friend!) Do I sound like "a competitor" to you? Does anyone know of any other rediculous companies like T&C, or does the rest of our country have better things to do besides rip people off on this big of a scale.. I am sure there are probably smaller companies trying to get something for nothing, that is actually what our country as a general pop believes right? You can have anything you want, because you want it, and to boot, you can have it your way!!! Craig you sound like many of the people that stand for such ethics.. Oh wait, what ethics??? And you're right shame on people like Beverly and I and the other posters on here who have taken time from their lives to warn people from the scam that this company is. I'm sure we all have serious ulterior motives!! If you're still looking for a job, try your local grocery store... educate yourself, and then go back to T&C and see if you still feel the same!
And again Beverly, you rock! By the way Craig, based on Miss Beverly's last post, I'm guessing when she and her friend sat down, they wrote all this down, and kept a good log of it all. You should keep a record of things like this just in case.. Just in case... I also challenge you to come up with a way to better our society Craig! Have an amazing day all my fellow people out there!
By the way, I meant to put this on one of my other posts.. a free coupon site that shows you how to use your coupons with your local grocery stores sales! www.cutouthunger.org
It routes you to the coupon mom now, but it is all free! I personally guarantee it! :)
*stepping off the soap box, pushing it down the line to the next person!* LOL

unbreakable said...

I completely agree with everything you said. I worked for them almost 6 months and feel sorry for all the people I set appts with... It was my job and just recently did I find out what the company is about. THey dont even care about the employees just getting money is what the owner cares about. They cut my hours and everyone I worked with because they didnt want to offere us benefits. Then I was let go because someone who had been sexually harrassing me lied to get my fired because I didnt have a thing for him. The owner still wouldnt give me my job back even tho I told him what had been going on and ended up keeping Bob E. which is also a sales rep who goes into peoples houses and just gave him a week suspension. THe company is bull all the way around. No company should be ran like that

itsroy said...

We got the sales pitch & signed up. My wife & I have gone through Amway, Time shares, Shopsmith, etc, etc, presentations. We walked away from this one scratching our heads because it sounds like a really great deal!

I didn't ask for all top sirloin or T-bones etc to compare prices. What I did was make the list of all foods that we would eat off of their menu 43. Sirloin steak, chuck steaks, roasts, pork chops, chicken breasts, and on and on.

We ended up with 5250 oz of meat (I didn't include vegies). That's 328.125 lbs. I have a family of 4... I eat 6-8 oz of meat, my wife eats 4-5, my son eats 2-3, my mother (who lives with us) eats 4-5. That averages to 5 oz per person. My daughter & boyfriend may be moving back home for awhile which is why we got the larger menu.

So, 5250 oz of meat / 5 oz per person / 6 people = 175 days of meat. IF we ate meat every day (no going out to dinner, eating soup, or pizza), we would be 7 days short of hitting 6 months of food.

This meat (and vegies that I've not mentioned) will cost $1462.86. Take 5250 oz / 16 oz/lb = 328.125 lbs of meat. $1462.86 / 328.125 lbs = an average of $4.46 per pound.

For Steaks that's cheap! For Chicken, that's average. For ground beef, that's pricy. On Average, I'm willing to say... Not bad.

The biggest thing that sold us was the individual packaging. Every steak, chicken breast, pork chop, etc is individually wrapped. So, when my daughter & her beau show up on weekends, we can just grab another piece of meat. "What? Oh, you ate but he didn't..." Put one piece back & it's never been opened.

We have a nasty habit of going to the store, buying their meat that they wrapped in the back room (how many days ago?), bringing it home, throwing it in the freezer. A week later, it's 6:00 and I ask my wife what's for dinner and she replies "Uh Oh! I forgot to pull anything out!". Now we can either try to defrost this brick o' meat, or order Pizza (again!).

Or, she pulls out something & we decide to go out, or the kids have some event, etc, etc, or we don't want whatever it was so it sits in the fridge for several days 'til it gets thrown out.

T&C's individually wrapped meat can be defrosted in a few minutes because it's not a huge chunk of meat (the sales-monster brought in a couple of 1/2" thick steaks which defrosted during his presentation). It's several smaller pieces which means it's got a larger surface area which means that warmer air or water can hit more of it & defrost it faster (Stay tuned for more Physics! -NOT!). We can be flakey & still eat at the last minute which saves us money.

Did I mention that they trim their meat closer than King Soopers or Safeway? I HATE paying for fat!

Yes, they charge $2195 overhead.

Yes, they say they can up their prices (though your plan is locked in for 1 year).

Yes, their cookware is $1595 which is quite pricey but it's quite nice too (still not worth THAT much!)

Yes, their freezer is $1495. Okay, they do up the warantee to a complete lifetime warantee. You CAN'T buy a freezer from any chain store & get a complete lifetime warantee. You MIGHT be able to pay extra for an extra warantee at a box store. Also, the sales-monster claimed that the freezer only draws 2 amps instead of 4+amps that most standing freezers draw (haven't check it myself yet).

One thing that I don't recall seeing in all of the posts is that you can pay off the freezer, cookware, and overhead charges at anytime with no prepay penalties. So, yes, they will charge 19% until it's paid, but pay it off sooner & you won't have to pay 19%.

I'm truly sorry to hear that Beverly & friends had a bad experience with this company.

It looks like a good deal for my family.

Beverly said...

To itsroy,

I'm guessing your name is roy here, but I am going to call you *Moses*, because you are able to call down manna from heaven it seems!

You wrote that you got 5250 ounces of meat off of your order from menu 43. Well, I got a hold of menu 43. I totalled up all the ounces of food that come with their printed menu 43. In beef there were 1192 ounces. In pork there were 432 ounces. In chicken there were 992 ounces. In seafood there were 64 ounces. In "Italian Delicacies" there were 194 ounces. In "Gourmet Kitchen" there were 175 ounces.

That comes to a grand total of 3049 ounces. But you said you got 5250 ounces. You must be Moses, roy! That is a difference of 2201 ounces! That is nearly 70% more food you got than comes printed on menu 43. Hello Moses!

Dividing 3042 ounces by 16/ozs per lb it comes to 190.6 lbs of food, not all "meat". That comes to a per pound cost of $7.60. Since I am not Moses I can't get that same food for $4.46/lb that you say you got.

So how much of EACH food item did you get, roy? According to menu 43 I would get 6.5 pounds of New York Strip and Tbone, along with 4 pounds of sirloin steak, all of 10.5 pounds for just $7.60 per pound. You said that was "not bad".

Well to get that 10 pounds of steak I had to buy 39 pounds of hamburger at $7.60. I had to buy 35 pounds of whole chicken at $7.60 per pound. I had to buy 15 pounds of chicken legs and thighs at $7.60 per pound. I even had to buy 3.5 pounds of pasta at $7.60 per pound.

That is a horrible deal, roy.

As I went down the list of items I had to buy at $7.60 per pound, items like pot and chuck roasts, stew beef, pork chops, ham roast, spare ribs, ground pork, chicken breasts, tortellini, sauces (15 ounces for $7.60!), buffalo wings, prepared frozen lasagna and chicken dishes and more it didn't seem like a very good deal at all.

All these items are considerably less than $7.60 per pound at any grocery store I know of. On average, it seems even higher than Whole Foods, and the quality is no where near as good.

You get 50 packages of veges at one pound weight or as little as 10 ounces each. A family of 6 cannot possibly make that last longer than 50 days, and that long only with 1/6 of a package per person.

At 30 ounces per day this 3042 ounce order would last 102 days. That is slightly over 3 months, roy, unless you are really Moses and get extra manna from heaven.

As was mentioned already in other messages their "warrantee" on the freezer "excludes locks, gaskets, light bulbs, rust, paint and plastic parts". Well, since the freezer is made of plastic and metal, is effectively sealed by gaskets what does this warrantee actually cover? If it rusts out you are not covered. If the plastic is damaged you are not covered. If the door frame warps and the gasket does not seal you are not covered. What does it cover? The compressor? Ok, then. That's about $200 if the rest of the freezer is ok any time it may need fixing or replacing.

You get all that for only paying double for your food, for paying $2195 for an overhead you will continue to pay anyway every time you order food from them, for paying $1000 to "warrantee" the very same thing on your own freezer, but ONLY if you are a continuing customer at double the food price, and then you wind up with one portion of meat and a serving of veges for 2 to 3 months that they say is "60%" of your entire food budget!

What a deal, roy!

And you think that it was great that you could pay this thing off early and not have to pay an additional 19% interest on top of all that you did spend!

I don't think most of us live on your planet.

You really do sound like you are a salesman for Town & Country, roy. You didn't try and figure anything out at all. You repeated the exact same things our sales person did to us. You "averaged" individual food costs without saying how much of each food we would get. You mention "warrantee" without saying what is covered. Your folksy "And did I mention" statements are just like what their salesmen said to us.

But it doesn't matter. It is buyer beware in the free market place. And beware we must.

Sis said...

Well, I don't have time right now to go into great detail about this, but I am a former employee of Town and Country Foods who has watched this thread for a bit now and will come back and set the record straight for you, Beverly. Mostly it seems you just love to argue and have to win at all costs. Even calling people "Moses" to make your point seem right and theirs unattainable. You are misinformed and uninformed about a great many things and I will enjoy answering many of the things you address.

Beverly said...

Sis,

Please set me straight. Bring on your "facts".

While you are at it, please bring on a "points" sheet for establishing item values for trades.

If we want to trade items we don't want for items we do want we are not informed of comparative trade values between items. If I trade a pound of steak for chicken legs OR chicken breasts instead, how much of each would I get? That kind of thing. Since the company doesn't tell us what trade values are exactly or furnish us with the exact means for making trades, then you can provide points sheet data and set these facts straight.

Also you can tell us if the points values assigned to items varies over time from item to item, without us consumers being informed.

What do you ya think? Will you bring on all your facts and set the record straight here, when you get the time?

I am looking forward to it.

Btw, is Holly factually correct when she wrote on her blog that T&C meats are "organic" and "guaranteed free of hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and bacterial" in 2005 when she bought their meats? About today?
Who told her that?

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/752909/town_and_country_foods_a_customer_review.html?cat=5

itsroy said...

Heh! You're funny Beverly... You make me laugh! Ahhhh! Everyone is a T&C employee & they're all out to get me! Ahhh!

Okay, the reason for my post was to point out that perhaps it didn't work for Beverly, but that doesn't make it a bad deal for everyone.

It's interesting how Beverly seems to have EVERY menu (she had only been talking about menu 41 until my post which mentions menu 43 & all of a sudden, she has it too!)

As I said, I got the schpel from a T&C guy. The only info is from the menu that he sat with my wife & worked out. It is a printed menu with 5 columns: Item, Cut Source, Weight per Pkg, Pkg Qty, Total Weight to be delivered.

Each row has a food description. The first row has :"N.Y. Strip Steaks 2 - 10 oz pp.", Loin, 20 oz. as the first 3 columns. The Pkg Qty & Total Weight to be delivered are blank to fill in as you design your menu. (Little tangent here... I'm a S/W Eng which means I'm usually pretty anal about details... If I put something in quotes, that is EXACTLY what is on the page).

Okay, my wife told the sales monster that she wanted 5 pkgs of Sirloin steaks (which is the 3rd line). This line has: "Sirloin Steaks 2 - 8 oz pp.", Loin, 16 oz. They wrote in 5 for the pkg qty & multiplied 5 * 16 oz (which is what is printed in the weight per pkg column).

I dunno where Beverly is getting her numbers from, but this is how I got mine. I added up all of the ounces listed on this sheet that my wife and the sales monster filled in. It totaled 5250 oz of meat. If anyone still reads this blog & really cares, I'll scan it & email it to you so you can see I'm not pulling things out of thin air.

Our buddy Beverly keeps making statements like "According to menu 43 I would get 6.5 pounds of New York Strip and Tbone, along with 4 pounds of sirloin steak" I don't understand how she can make these statements... There are 18 items in the "THE BUTCHER SHOP" (beef) section. They have fill-in-the-blank sections for what you want. You get to select how much of each item you want (we seleted 5 pkgs Sirloin Steaks, 4 Round Steaks, 5 Chuck Steaks, 3 Cubed round, 1 pot roast, 2 chuck roast, 3 stew beef, 40 ground beef & 10 beef patties from this section - NOTE: NO N.Y. Strip, NO TBone, and 5 lbs Sirloin Steak)

The sheet says that we got 620 oz of veggies but I'm not sure how that works as the Pkg Qty shows M, L, or H.d

Okay, Freezer... I can deal with a warrantee that doesn't cover light bulbs. Rust? When was the last time you had a freezer rust? (I don't keep mine at the bottom of my swimming pool!) Did anyone mention that "Under this agreement, for the next ten (10)* years your freezer will be serviced at NO CHARGE for parts and labor." So Beverly, you got your $200 compressor... is that installed or just parts? What will your big box store warrantee cover? I know that Home Depot won't deliver up my driveway but T&C will. (FYI... Looks like a GE 20.6 CU Ft Upright Freezer is going for $649 today). But my point is that you will have to pay around $250 for an extended warrantee that is good for 3 years. The T&C is more, but the lifetime coverage & food replacement coverage is worth quite a bit to me. (Hmmm, I'm saying you can buy your freezer for around $900 from Home Depot or $1495 from T&C. A difference of $595.... Where did you get your price difference of $1000 Beverly?)

No, I'm not a T&C salesmonster (or employee, stockholder, or anything). As a matter of fact, they refused us because our credit isn't good enough (my wife had a bankruptcy before we were married). I'm now trying to get them to let us re-apply with me as the only applicant.

Finally, Moses didn't call down manna... The Israelites called out to God & said that they were going to starve so God poured down manna from heaven to feed them. Perhaps you'd prefer to use Jesus for your analogy as he took 2 loaves & 7 fishes to feed the masses.

In either case, you're wrong.

Beverly said...

Well, roy is back.

Roy, you are an employee of T&C, probably upper management. Spotted it right away. Gonna tell you how I know in a minute.

But first, you just don't get it, roy. Your company steals from people. You stole from me and my friends I mistakenly referred to you. Your company led me to believe that your beef was free of added hormones and anti-biotic. It is not. Your company said that your food was cheaper than my grocers. It is twice as expensive. Your company said that I would pay a lifetime overhead only once. I would pay it every time I ordered from you. Your company lied about the warrantee on YOUR freezer and its value and anyone else's freezer that was warranteed by T&C for about $1000 charge from T&C.

I told you, and every reader here, T&C is being investigated.

This country, our country, is in dire financial straits because people in power and people in the mortgage markets manipulated data, deceived people and put the entire country in peril. Your company, T&C, is just another one of these kinds of financial companies. I feel financially raped by T&C. I am pissed off. And you are feeding the fire, just because you just don't get it. Maybe you will one day.

You are an employee of T&C. You have a menu 43. I have acquired menus 41 to 44, and some other documentation. You know for a fact that you get what is printed on the first page. Period. Under "The Butcher Shop" there is a list of what every buyer will get in beef. Item one is New York Strip Steaks. The ORDER comes with 4 steaks, 2 per package, and the menu informs that the steaks are 10 ozs each for a total of 40 ounces. Then we go down the section, item by item, until we total all the beef items as 1192 ozs. Same for the other sections. Grand total comes to only 3049 ozs for the ENTIRE menu as printed.

That is a FACT, roy! Dispute it. You can't. I am going to post this menu on the net, roy, along with the others. You have really pissed me off now.

That comes to a total of 190 pounds. That also comes to a price of $7.60 per pound. THIS order of food will last less than three months for the family you described.

If a person orders this menu, 43, and makes NO changes in the order THAT is what he gets. Right? Right, roy.

If you were a poor ignorant customer you would look at that, and say, yep, that part is certainly true. If I bought that menu as it comes with no changes that is exactly what I would get and that is the exact cost per pound for those items. But you didn't admit that, roy. You are not even a customer, you say, but you are totally defensive of what you didn't buy.

A customer might then say that you could exchange items on the menu, things you don't want for things you do want. And that can affect how much food you wind up with.

You didn't say that, roy. You wanted me and every reader here to think that you got 5250 ozs of a large variety of high value food items including "sirloin steaks, chuck roasts, roasts, pork chops, chicken breasts, and on and on".
But, you leave out the most significant thing, and that is the amount of chicken legs and thighs you HAD to buy in pounds in order to get to your manna food quantity of 5250 ounces.

And that was the clue that let me know you are an employee of T&C, roy. That was your mistake. That's what made you, absolutely.

A customer would have noticed that he could make exchanges of food items, but he is limited to the value of the items that come on his printed original menu order page. Now, T&C does not give us a list of comparative item values, so we know that if we trade the 4 pounds of T-bone steaks that actually comes with the order for, say, chicken breasts, just how much chicken we get. T&C just "tells us" what that is.

But the point is this. Whatever we trade from the menu items we get on the original order will always equal no more than the total value of the original menu item total on the menu 43 order. Isn't that right, roy? Ah, roy, fess up. Tell the folks the truth, here.

So what is the value of the total items that come with the original menu order? Well, you have something called a point chart. All items are assigned a point value. A one pound package of T-bone steak has a point value, as does a one pound package of chicken breasts. All we need to do is know what those point values are, and we can divide the point value of the steak by the point value of the chicken and that tells us how much chicken we get.
Voila. How easy. But we need a point chart you don't give us. We have to "take your word for it", instead. And this company is so so "honest".

So, suppose that I want nothing but T-bone steaks, roy. How much would I get, and how long would it last? Would I get as much as 60 pounds of steak for my $1462? No? I bet you know how to figure it out exactly. How long would that last your family, roy? Not even a month.

Therefore, how long any food order might last would depend on what you ordered, what you substituted for what comes with the menu, and is equal to the total value of that same menu.

And here is the rub. The four least expensive items on the menu for meat are ground beef, ground pork, chicken legs and thighs, and fish sticks.

Now you and I know that if you ordered NOTHING but ground beef for your ENTIRE order you would not get anywhere near 320 pounds in the order. In order to get the items you mentioned it is mathematically necessary for you to order at least 250 to 275 pounds of chicken legs and thighs!! You didn't even mention them in your list of things you ordered! Do you get it?! A genuine customer would look at his entire order and value it accordingly. Can you get 5250 ounces of meat on your order? Yes, you can, BUT NOT of the kinds of things you said and insinuated to be a "NOT BAD" purchase.

You, AT MOST, would have gotten 30 to 50 pounds of sirloin steak, roasts, breasts, etc and been required to buy 250 to 275 pounds of chicken legs and thighs! Your "average" for all this was $4.46 per pound, for mostly chicken legs and thighs that cost between $.89 to at most $1.29 per pound at the grocers. Or you could substitute fish sticks or ground pork for some of those pounds.

You absolutely had to know that, roy. The ONLY way you could get to that number of ounces would be to order THAT chicken or fish sticks. You would have seen that on your order. It was MOST of your order. But you didn't even mention it! You made it seem like you got a whole bunch of high value items instead. A potential first time customer would certainly have noticed this. He might have said, Holy moly, I just ordered 260 pounds of chicken legs and thighs for $4.46 per pound. And I got a few steaks, chuck roast, chicken breasts, ground beef and the other items for $4.46 per pound, too. Was that a "NOT BAD" deal?

It was a horrible deal roy.

Here is what you do, roy. You post another message. You simply write in that message what you ordered and in what quantity, per item. We can figure out from that how many ounces you got and what it consisted from our menu chart. Simple. Do it.

The instance of Jesus you cite did come to mind. However, I would never compare anyone to Jesus, least of all you. I am a Christian woman. This has to do with simply telling the truth.

So, roy, do the truthful thing and write one more post you think no one will read. Tell us the food items and quantities you wanted to buy. Tell us how you would continue to have "vegetables" after 30 days of 6 people eating only 50 packages of veges. Tell us how you would have bought "60%" of your food needs for 6 months with your order of at least 80% chicken legs and thighs for one meal per person per day. Tell us how that is a good deal at $4.46 per pound. Tell us *why* you failed to even mention the single item that would consist of 80% of your entire food order, chicken legs and thighs (or fish sticks).
Tell us why you will not write another post detailing your total food order of 5250 ounces of food.

Then I will discuss the rest of your defensive message about a freezer warrantee for a freezer you never got, one you managed to price at Home Depot even though you had no freezer with which to compare to Home Depot products. That would be quite a trick for a non-customer "customer" of T&C, but not for an employee, eh, roy.

The Kingfam said...

As always, Beverly, you surpass any expectations! You are so diligent to get it all correct! I am so impressed! I was gonna go back to the line where I figured out he was probably a salesman, but didn't get around to it! You go girl! I have this idea/pic in my mind of you with your notebook where you have this all down.. I love it! I hope that the people who are daily being duped into T&C find this blog and make a wise choice against them. Happy day all!
Kelly

itsroy said...

Hey Bev (and anyone else following this painful thread! /;)
I'm back (sorry to disappoint you).

Okay, let's start with:
I DON'T CARE IF YOU BUY FROM T&C OR NOT!!!!!

My name is Roy Leach. Look me up on LinkedIn.com. You'll see that I work for a company called Linq3. I write software. I was presented with the T&C song & dance & thought it sounded pretty good. I decided to look into it & that's how I found this Blog. I read through & saw people with pros & cons. I also saw posts with vague references to menus & such. The things that were posted looked different from what I was presented with by the T&C Sales monster. I am an engineer so I thought that I'd post to try to show what the current presentation is in a non-biased manor. I DON'T CARE IF YOU BUY FROM T&C OR NOT!!!!!

I got challenged so that's why I keep coming back (kind of a pride issue). I'm trying to give info so people can make an informed decision. I DON'T CARE IF YOU BUY FROM T&C OR NOT!!!!!

Now to the facts...
Just to ensure there is no misinterpretation, I scanned my menu checklist. It's on my home server. Please refer to http://o.wao.com/TCScanTop.jpg & http://o.wao.com/TCScanBottom.jpg
(Sorry, my scanner wouldn't scan the entire thing in one pass so I had to make 2 images).

I also scanned the mysterious warrantee. Please forgive me for blanking out my personal info at the bottom (I'm beginning to question the sanity of some people here so better safe than sorry!)
It's at http://o.wao.com/TCWarrantee.jpg

Finally, I realized that the menu doesn't say what menu it is, so I went ahead & scanned my purchase agreement: http://o.wao.com/TCPA.jpg

One of Beverly's points is quite true... They assign point values to each item & you have to get the right number of items to have the points add up correctly. Also, they won't show you the points list. We keep talking about menu numbers... I think that really refers to how many points you are getting. Then you sit down & say how much of what you want & they keep track of how many points you've used.

Oh yeah...
I DON'T CARE IF YOU BUY FROM T&C OR NOT!!!!!

Once again... I have no idea of how the veggies work & if Bev hadn't annoyed me so much (more of that pride thing), I'd probably agree that it looks like the veggies might come up short.

Let's see... about that freezer thing... How could I compare something I never received.... Hmmmm.... They said it was a 20 cu ft upright freezer. I went to Home Depot's website & stopped at the first 20 cu ft upright freezer I found. It was a GE. Not so tricky for a "non-customer customer".

I DON'T CARE IF YOU BUY FROM T&C OR NOT!!!!!

I do, however, believe that it's a good deal FOR MY FAMILY and want others to have enough info to make informed decisions.

I hope I didn't offend anyone with my "folksy" attitude & wish you ALL (even Beverly) the best!

(I gotta quit wasting time here... I just missed bidding on an item on eBAY! Grrrr! /;)

Beverly said...

Well, roy.

I have so much to say about your post and not much time now. Before I write a full response there are two things that need your immediate attention.

1. If your name, visa credit card number and its expiration date are legitimate you need to remove your copy of the "Purchase Agreement" you posted online before all those crazies you don't trust make use of it. (Two additional things; neither the signature nor its printed version appear to resemble your name on your "Food Delivery Item List", and what does "48 x 1000 = 48,000 mean on your purchase agreement?)

2. The number of ounces on your "Food Delivery Item List" do NOT equal 5250 as you stated in previous posts. They total 2874 ounces. That amounts to 180 pounds of food. Divided into $1462 that made the cost of your food order $8.14 per pound, and not the $4.46 you calculated in your previous post.

What do you think about that?

I have much much more to write, but that is all the time I have at the moment. You should take care of your credit card info you posted online immediately.

itsroy said...

First... Thanks about the CC info... I missed that.

Okay, now for the other stuff...
GULP!
I miss added! I dunno what I did, but I just rentered everything and found 2874 oz of meat which works out to around $9.00/pound.

Ok... It's a crappy deal.... I guess I'll stop trying to get them to approve my credit!

Beverly said...

Hello roy,

Just how "crappy" a deal was your order?

You would have paid $8 to $9 per pound for 50 pounds of natural 90% lean ground beef sold at King Soopers for $3.49 to $3.99 per pound; 23 pounds of chuck and cube steaks and roasts and stew meat that sell for $3.29 to $5.49 per pound; 20 pounds of natural chicken legs that sell for $.99 to $1.29 per pound; 29 pounds of chicken breasts that sell for $3.99 to $4.99 per pound for "natural" label quality; 22 pounds of natural pork cuts that sell for $2.99 to $5.99; 3.5 pounds of ravioli that sells for $2.99 per pound; bbq chicken wings and marinated chicken breasts that sell for $3.99 to $5.45 per pound; 5 pounds of sausage that sells for $4 to $5 per pound.

You ordered 5 pounds of sirloin steak that sells as natural, choice aged at King Soopers for $7.99 per pound, still less than your order per pound cost.

The ONLY item you ordered that costs less than the $8 to $9 per pound price of your order was *3 pounds* of rib eye steak. That was IT. So in order to get a "good deal" on three pounds of rib eye steak you would only have had to have bought 187 pounds of other beef products, chicken and pork at double the price.

Your order would cost about HALF from the grocers. Your order is *more* expensive than Whole Foods and no way near the same quality (without added hormones and anti-biotics).

Like everything else in life there are different prices for different 20 cu ft freezers. The T&C Supreme is made by W C Wood, distributed by Crosley and the same model freezer sold under the Whirlpool name manufactured by W C Wood is model number EV200FZRQ, a manual defrost freezer. This Whirlpool model sells at Lowes for $595, other places for $609, for $649, and other prices. With a 10 year warrantee that covers what the T&C warrantee excludes there is an extra charge of $95.

The warrantee states exactly what I quoted it as saying above. NONE of THE facts I presented are disputed here.

We are still waiting for sis to defend the T&C claims.

Sydney said...

I have SO enjoyed this series of comments (following the great article of course).

Bev, you are the absolute BOMB! Way to cool for school!

And Roy Boy, you did admit your error in addition, and you were willing to post your receipts, credit card # and all (lol), and I think that says a little something for a fellow.

By the way, I presently work in poultry sales and processing, and what I do with all of my meat is buy it fresh in bulk and divide it into smaller freezer bags and throw it into the freezer. In effect, this individually quick freezes (iqf's) individual portions for my use since its just me here now that my son has gone off to college.

I have toured poultry plants across the country and in Canada, countless numbers of them, and with the exception of one remarkable Canadian plant with a great state of the art chiller system, all fresh poultry lasts about the same amount of time and it will be fine if you get it into your freezer within six or seven days from the time of its kill date. The "kill" is accomplished in a chilled plant and the chicken stays cold from that point on.

Other meat slaughter/processing is similar. Look on labels for retained water statements. Although. Sadly, it is unfortunately not that uncommon for people to water meat items (added on top, basted or marinated, or injected) and not always mark it, or inaccurately mark the amount of it. It's illegal, but it happens. A good bit actually.

Also, there are very few places selling truly organic meat, PARTICULARLY when it comes to poultry. I believe Whole Foods does, but there just are not many sources for completely organic poultry yet. So buyer beware.

Sydney said...

I forgot to mention that Kingfam had such a great point at the beginning of this series of comments. If you buy a side of beef and have a butcher cut it up for you once a year you will get so much meat at such a reduced price. Hell, you can pick out the cow if that doesn't creep you out too much (I grew up in the country in Texas where your shotgun is your best friend, so I'm pretty impervious to the slaughter of cattle and other food animals).

But you can get a friend to split a cow with you, and each take a side of beef. It is a very economical way to feed your family and to know, at the same time, where the meat came from. A lot of local, or smaller butchers are quite reasonable, and even grocery store butchers will sometimes cut a cow up for you economically if you make arrangements in advance with someone you use frequently. It will give you many nice cuts of beef, with the thickness of cuts that you like, and plenty of ground beef as well. My dad does this every year.

Sydney said...

One more thing I forgot to mention. In case you were wondering where Town & Country obtains the poultry it sells to its customers at such inflated prices? McClane Poultry. McClane is a fine company, a humongous distribution company owned by WalMart, not an organic free range poultry farm. They also supply that same chicken to many other chains across the country. Like... KFC.

And McClane is state of the art. They have their distribution system and logistics system down pat. This means that they are a much more cost effective method of supplying Town & Country than some other supplier might be. Think about that when you're paying for T&C's expensive chicken. Or better yet, just go to WalMart and get the family pack. It's the same thing.

Analisa said...

Just a quick thank-you to Beverly for the thoroughness of her research. We found this post very helpful when we decided to cancel our contract in the three-day grace period after we signed. So glad we did!

karen.beckner said...

WOW I wish I would have found this before signing with T&C. I found this because I am trying to sell the freezer and came across this in my freezer research. The whole reason it seemed like a great deal at the time was that it was "all organic and no hormones" and "that it would save us money" WRONG. The food did not last past 4 months and we are not really big eaters but we never ever eat out, hence the saving money. Along the way I did figure out that my sales person lied but it was to late I was locked in and now we are moving across country and I need to get rid of this dang freezer and pay fair finance so my credit is not messed up. Once the food ran out we could not afford to pay two bills which my sales person promised that would never happen.."T&C never would want to cause a second bill for anyone that is not our goal, Our goal is to give good pesticide and hormone free food at an affordable price" I will admit the first four months I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread but once the food was gone and we still had 4 months to go ( we did the 8 month plan to save money) I was kicking myself. But what can you do but learn from it I guess. No I would not recommend this program to anyone unless they were to do it with out the freezer and buy their own...and that is a big maybe

Janine White said...

I recently purchased from Town & Country Foods. The total order came out to $7/lb including the freezer and service agreement. We did not order a grill or cookware to get an extra discount. I find this quite reasonable up front for certified organic meat and it will be a great value when the service agreement is paid off.

Beverly said...

Dear Janine,

Sorry, but their meat is NOT "certified organic", as you said. Your package label says "Natural" which does NOT mean without added hormones or anti-biotic or pesticide treated feed product. How were you led to believe that their meat was "organic"? ONLY the *vegetables* are organic. Most any grocer sell Cascadian Farms veges for much less money than Town & Country (including Whole Foods, btw).

The service agreement is $2195. The freezer is $1495, and the smallest food plan is $986, for a grand total of $4676 (not counting the 20% finance fee on $3700 of it. If you bought nothing but chicken legs (the cheapest meat on their entire menu costing much less than their ground beef) for your entire order you would have gotten no more than 405 pounds of chicken legs. Dividing that into $4676 you will have paid $11.55 per pound for chicken legs that sell for $.79 to $.99 at most grocers.

If you bought only ground beef you would have gotten no more than 215 pounds, divided into $4676 gives you a cost of $21.75 per pound for ground beef.

If you bought only Porterhouse Steaks you would have gotten no more than 42 pounds, divided into $4676 gives you a cost of $111.34 per pound for Porterhouse.

Sadly, Janine, you did not get "certified organic meat" nor did you pay $7 per pound for that order. Perhaps your money is better spent on a reliable calculator.

Sis said...

Beverly, I don't read this blog often, but when I do I have to sit and shake my head most of the time. You really know how to portray yourself as an idiot sometimes. You can't add the cost of the freezer and their service agreement towards a total price per pound for the food. How stupid is that. If you want to complain, at least do so in a manner that makes sense and doesn't make you look completely stupid about how you figure things out. For crying out loud. If you take the cost of food only and do your little math example the CORRECT way, 405 pounds of chicken legs would cost $2.43 a pound. For all natural Chicken (by the way, this does mean no hormones. Hormones are NOT ALLOWED in raising pork or poultry, since you are using chicken legs as your example) home delivered, vacuum sealed, guaranteed not to freezer burn, guaranteed against loss and also guaranteed to taste great or it will be replaced FREE along with the whole "not bought at Wal Mart" factor, that's not so bad a deal. Just because it didn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't make sense for some of us. I am climbing down from my soap box now, perhaps you should step of the high horse too.

Beverly said...

Dear Sis;

Instead of shaking your head, why don't you actually say something. I didn't say that *I* would add the costs together in order to find a price per pound -- *Janine* said exactly that, when she wrote,
"The total order came out to $7/lb including the freezer and service agreement." *Janine* included the service agreement and freezer in determining the cost of her "total order" by the pound to be $7. So why don't you direct your criticism at the one who made the assertion, rather than the one who merely commented on it?

How stupid is that.

You repeat what I said in other messages regarding the different meats offered by T&C. I explained previously that chicken and pork are not permitted hormones by law, while beef is permitted. I can just as easily say that I am tired of reading you misquoting me and omitting what I did write, as though I hadn't. I also used ground beef and Porterhouse steaks in my examples, which you chose to ignore.

I am not sure what *you* mean by the "not bought at Walmart factor". Perhaps you would care to explain?

You made several claims in your previous post and in this one. You haven't backed a single one of them up. Why not? Why do you simply make vacuous claims absent any facts to back up anything? You claim the presented facts here are incorrect from me and others, while very vaguely claiming that *you* have the correct facts? What are the correct facts, Sis?

Say something. Don't just "claim". Any "idiot" can do that. Since you are not an idiot, say something that isn't a mere claim, something with substance.

And, as I asked you before, please furnish either a copy of or excerpts from the T&C "point" sheet that defines precisely the *cost* per pound of all that they sell.

Be honest with everyone here. Recite facts. Your claims are making anyone looking for facts only weary with their lack of substance.

So, let's hear something meaningful from you!

Beverly said...

Dear Sis,

Went back and read your previous message posted here. You wrote:

I don't have time right now to go into great detail about this, but I am a former employee of Town and Country Foods who has watched this thread for a bit now and will come back and set the record straight for youk, Beverly. . . . . You are misinformed and uninformed about a great many things and I will enjoy answering many of the things you address."

Well, c'mon Sis! Follow through! Set my facts "straight"! You say you will "enjoy" it, so, enjoy it and state your facts!

The sales persons who came to my home and the homes of my friends lied to us, deceived us into buying something other than what they said it was, as to quality, price and comparative values to any grocers and hidden costs and other things. That is stealing. I noticed that Janine said that she was told that the "meats" from T&C were "certified organic", as we were told the same thing, and you didn't utter a peep, did you! You know their meats are not "certified organic", but you diverted attention from that to Janine's foolish $7/lb claim. You really don't care at all, do you Sis? Someone who cared about fair and truthful selling would have immediately said something -- made an apology for some kind of "misunderstanding", or "unauthorized" claims. But you didn't. Didn't faze you one bit.

What I think about you is this, Sis. I think that you know the true facts about T&C. I think you can't defend them at all, without saying things that can be easily disproved with copies of menus, copies of sales agreements, and copies of the Point sheets, that explain the real cost and quality of T&C food. I don't think you want to talk about Fair Finance and factoring. I don't think you want to talk about the model of freezer T&C sells under the brand name of Supreme compared to the same model produced by W C Woods under other brand names. I don't think you want to talk about what the meaning of the "overhead" fee is supposed to be, when equivocated into being also called the "service fee". I don't think you want to talk about where T&C buys its food, what is the meaning of "natural", the meaning of "free range" chicken, the meaning of "aged" beef, and the meaning of the various claims made by T&C employees.

In fact, I don't think you want to write anything at all that factually defends T&C claims. I think you just want to write vague nonsense that sounds like some kind of rebuttal but has no substance.

I think that you have no intention of writing anything of substance at all.

The Kingfam said...

Beverly-
I am obviously very void of adult conversation, as I totally get excited when I see a thread come in my inbox! LOL I too am passionate about the public knowing the truth and not being taken advantage of, especially in today's world! Being around 8 miniature people all day, they don't really get it. I tell them I am trying to save $ with all of my coupons, so we can occasionally get the brand name box of cereal! LOL Whoossh! Right over their heads!
AS someone who has done the math and knows T&C is a RIP-OFF, that's right everyone, repeat after me... R I P O F F!!! It gives me a great laugh when I see someone try to debate this issue with you! I smile just writing this because I am amazed at how gullible people are. I love reading your posts, as you are honest, knowledgeable, and entertaining to boot! Keep on keepin on!
I also find the sociological part of this very entertaining.. How the supporters come in strong and leave weak.... And I have only seen one person come back and say sorry, as well as thank you for alerting him to his brainless post with his credit info... The part I find so odd, is that these people act as if anyone nay-saying T&C is the enemy. Because trying to alert people to this scheme is bad? Because why? Because it means T&C loses more $$$$.. Which is a goal of mine. Why can't this company go under like so many currently??? Hmmm.. maybe the clock is tickin??????

Happy new year all you bloggers!
Smiles from CO!
Kelly

The Kingfam said...

Sis-
I also wanted to pass this comment on to you. It is very immature in a public chat- space/blog/comment/forum area to call anyone names or refer to them as stupid. Quite tacky... Especially in this area, where everyone is entitled to their opinion by all means. But I only see a select few actually come on a board and call people names or reference their intelligence level. Funny... My kids are all under 10 and aren't even allowed to use the words dumb or stupid, let alone idiot. I hope I never come across my children's public writings and see them stoop to such a level as you have. It says a lot about who you are or may be... Go www.joke.com and take a load off... The economy must be getting to you to! Sorry...

John said...

First off I would like to give huge kudos to Beverly! I already love you, you remind me of my sister! Second, THANK YOU!!!! We had our presentation just three days ago and there were a few red and yellow flags, thankfully I never sign anything before checking it out first (I'm a google freak), so I decided that I would research T&C after my husband & children went to bed. This was actually the first website that I found aside from T&C's own. We had asked the sales man (who as so new that he was still reading off his cards, we were his 2nd presentation by himself) if we could copy the point sheet and price sheet so we could figure things out & set another appt for Monday, he obliged and left.

I Started looking on here and reading Beverly's & other's posts and told my husband and he started figuring and came to the same conclusion. My Chiropractor's sister does it an they love it and think it is a great deal. I will be sharing this with him.

I am so glad that I felt just "o.k." about this and did not sign up that night and that I found this thread so I could make a real, informed decision. Something didn't quite sit right with me especially that there was NO price sheet. That was my biggest hook-up, there was no price sheet giving the $/lb for ANY product and I didn't get the point system, among other things. Our salesman was so new he actually didn't get some of the concepts himself yet and was unsure how to answer our questions about them. I will be contacting him and informing him of the company he just signed under. I hate to see anyone taken advantage of and am glad that so many others on here feel the same.

"Delenda Est Carthago" an "Beverly", thank you both for starting and carrying this thread, I believe you will save many people thousands of money and credit hassle. Thank you again.

I live in Utah and can buy an entre half of a cow (which will feed *my* family for a year, we don't eat *that* much meat), free range and organic, from a trusted farm in my home town for $450 and they will entirely butcher (to my specifications), wrap & freeze and deliver to my door, 150 mi. from their farm. Look locally and you will find more than you thought was there. [Unless you live in Greely, CO, lol!] These poeple also have chicken and there are organic vegetable farms all around you too. I have 5 organic, heirloom, co-op & non-co-op farms within a 50 mile radius of me, and I live in UTAH, not really an all-natural state here. It's everywhere, just look and you'll find it. If you can do the research (or surfing) to find this thread, you can do the research to find local small businesses to support and save *you* money at the same time.

Thank you for letting me join in your thread and have a voice.

~Mistie

Beverly said...

IS THERE AN HONEST SALESPERSON WHO WORKS FOR TOWN & COUNTRY FOODS??

Since the price of meat and food items is equal to the number of points assigned to each item, why doesn't Town & Country give all of its customers a point sheet, so we can know the value of the items we are buying?

I can think of two reasons why they don't. First, they don't want us knowing just how costly their food really is.


Second, they might be able to change the price of individual items without changing the price of the entire food plan at the same time, by changing the point values of any item without informing us of those changes.

For example, they can raise the number of points for any item and thereby give us fewer or less of that item, yet keep the price of the entire plan the same. That would effectively raise the cost for the item that has an increased point value. If a pound of T-bone steak has a point value of 250 they can raise it to 280 or 300 points, which gives us less steak, while keeping the same price for the plan itself. That gives the illusion that they haven't raised the prices of individual items when they have, just because the entire food plan is the same price throughout any number of internal changes to the point values and costs of individual items.

Or they could even reduce the point values for items they want to promote, that might drop in price on the open market, while increasing the point values to items that increase in price on the open market. That would be a clever way to conceal real individual price changes while keeping the overall cost of the food plan itself the same.

I was told by a woman on the phone from their customer service department that they did change the point values from time to time. I would like to know if it is true.

Is there a single honest employee of this company who dares to tell us what the various point values are to each of their food items? Is there an honest person who would explain whether or not the points vary from time to time for any food items, and give us a few examples?

I have been given two point sheets from two former employees of this company. They are identical. They were very short time employees and do not know if points change over time.

Mistie, Kelly, myself and a lot of other people deserve to know the truth. Will anyone speak up?

Anonymous said...

I worked for Town & Country Foods for four years. I was a top salesman and a District Manager. They do change the point values at least once or twice a year which is exactly as you suspected: the price of the food has not changed but if the point values have gone up there is less food. When I started with T&C a menu 41 was $888 or 6 payments of $148. When I left a menu 41 was $1098 or 6 payments of $183. You can do your own math to figure out the inflation but it's not the 1-2 % they claim in the pitch. Guys...this is a sales company, not a food company. The people in charge dedicate most of their time to creating slick angles and ways to mold and distort the facts. Don't do it and pray for my soul because I did for four years and now regret it every single day.

Très Sucré said...

My husband and I just listened to the sales pitch for T & C. We thought it sounded like a decent idea, and we liked the idea of having everything in one freezer conviently packaged and organized, but we told the salesperson that we wanted to do some research. I found several positive reviews, but then I came across this website. I will admit that at first I was a little skeptical of this Beverly person, but then I thought, "I will just go add it up myself." And I did. The total amount of food that we would be getting would be 2,931 oz or 183.2 lbs. The cost of the food only (not including the freezer and such) would be $1,440.00. Making the cost of the food $7.86 per pound. Keeping in mind that this includes all of the cheaper cuts of meat (which cover the vast majority of the total) and the vegetables and pastas, this is outrageously expensive. I thought the salesperson was really nice, and I don't really think he was trying to mislead us or lie to us. He never told us that the food would be cheaper PER POUND, he just told us it would save us money. Maybe it would, because I would take less trips to the store when I was out of meat or forgot to take meat out of the freezer, and thus I would spend less on "impulse buys", but overall the food is very highly priced. Our salesperson was not high pressure at all and I feel kind of bad that we wasted 2 hours of his time, but when he calls us back, i will surely decline!
And I do need to note, that I am very grateful that someone out there took the time to post all of this info!
Overall - I don't think they are necessarily evil, I think they are just another company out there trying to make money! I am glad we sat thru the pitch, because at least we received some free meat, and I walked away with some good ideas about how to better plan my meals! And thanks to this thread I have also gotten some good info on where to buy beef and other meats in bulk from local farmers.
Thanks!
Dusti

Anonymous said...

We also signed up for Town & Country foods about 2 years ago. Highway Robbers is absolutely correct! The meat is tiny and crap! Crap! And now we are stuck with a so called $3000 freezer that you can resell for about $200 on craigslist. You can go to homedepot and get one for $150. Absolutely ridiculous! Buyer Beware!!

Anonymous said...

We had a meeting today and I am ashamed of myself for even taking the time to listen. My first sign of trouble was when I couldn't get a real price per pound for the steak in his small cooler.

He was good and slick, he actually had me ready to believe a steak that I paid more for from TC was was really cheaper because I wasn't paying all that nasty overhead, adversting, parking lot care... (even though I was paying way less per pound at Costco and Kings). So I guess it back to the old way for me--PICKING UP A PACKAGE OF MEAT OR GOURMET FOOD AND NOT HAVING TO HAVE A DEGREE IN BOTH MATH AND ECONOMICS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I JUST PAID FOR THE SIZE I WANT!!!

Anonymous said...

Town and Country Meats is a good choice for those people who do not have the time to get to the store for large shopping. This is a Colorado based business and they also donate to local food banks etc.
You do not have to use their freezers that is an option you can choose from. You can go purchase your own.
Personally I love the meats and I would not buy from the local grocers even if I had the time.
If you are considering town and country think about this. They deliver to your home. I would probably spend on fuel more than it costs for someone to deliver once every 6 months or so.
Not every company makes everyone happy.

The Kingfam said...

And also.. think about this... Not every company uses this much deception to fool their customer base... The one and only reason to use this company is for convenience. I would rather hire a personal shopper and would probably still save more money than by using T&C. If you think you are saving the difference in gas money, I challenge you to break out a calculator and recheck your numbers. If you use it as a convenience and cost is no factor to you, then I would assume you would like this company quite well. We are merely trying to inform those who have been sold on it being a cost effective alternative to "the old way" and those "grocery stores who charge you so much overhead etc... Give me a break! If you are in Northern CO, I would be glad to take the money you pay t&c and be able to shop for you for all organic and keep your pantry and freezer full of ALL your food needs (not just freezer stock), eggs, milk, fresh produce etc... and then take the difference and take my family of 5 on a nice week long vacay! Let me know... I could be persuaded! :) I love to save money for myself and others! You included "anonymous!" ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you all so much for your time and effort in posting all of the information on this thread. We just sat through the sales presentation last evening (7/23/09) and based on the information *details, that were lacking in the sales presentation* have decided against signing with T&C.

Once again, thank you *Beverly* for taking the time to detail what the T&C sales reps do not.

Anonymous said...

T&C, Blue Ribbon Foods, Service Foods, and others it's all the same. It may be a local operator, but the enterprise is far from local. There is no full disclosure of an honest, ethical business as far as I can tell. The disclosure is buried in noise. It's a high pressure sales scam in my book. And having fallen into the trap, I can only agree with all the criticism of the company (companies really). It's all been said above.

We got suckered into it. Same crap. Nothing over the phone, lots of talk about how we save money and how things are free and yada yada yada. All garbage because you're paying for everything and then some. And "then some" is significant, a multiple of the "food order". Obviously, we had lost our mind when we signed this and when we figured it out while doing finances following weekend, it was too late. Never heard from the sales guy again after he made the sale. I wouldn't let him in the house anyway.

The food isn't bad, although some things are less than stellar, but it's not great. Or exceptional. And all the rambling about how this is sushi grade.. Sure. With that basis of trust, why do I need to worry.

The only "amusing" part is the so very obvious planted comments by this rip-off company who praise everything and quote the same repetitive crap you can read on their website and every comment that comes from "customers" in this comment list and other review sites that praise them endlessly and over the moon.

I feel scammed. And once this first order runs out, I won't break out in tears over the food, but over the money I still get to send them for their ridiculously inflated margins. All that's left to do is figure out how to pay them in lump sum and don't hand them the hefty interest profits, too, to the company owned finance company. And they have taken great care to obstruct the relationships for the casual observer. If you dig enough, it all becomes obvious.

"No customer ever quit." RIGHT. That right there should be alarm bells for anyone. I guess that makes us first. Woohoo. Yay us.

PS: Why do I post Anonymous? They owe us the last delivery of food and I have no faith that they won't retaliate given track record of broken trust and deception. Yes, shame on me, but that doesn't mean that I can't make my opinion known. If you disagree, and love them, good for you.

BUY BEWARE.

Anonymous said...

+ER

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping me from making this mistake! I appreciate the thoughtful and factual postings.

Chad Pfitzer said...

We got the pitch the other night and it smacked of time-share. Noble enough idea...just not in the hands of these folks. Fortunatley, we were not an easy case for this particular "saleman" so we were dealing with him outside of his comfort zone, obviously. We buy beef of the hoof in quarters, can pickles and freeze sweet corn, have a huge garden, no excess freezer space, etc. Not to mention that I worked as an Purdue Extension Educator in an amish colony for 4 years, or that we had a rather interuptive 22-month-old running around during it all. Again, he was out of his element. After 90 minutes of successive "listen to this" puedo-epiphanies (including fuzzy math)...I told him that we would look at his informtion, compare to our average monthly food budget, and be back in touch if necessary. He got visibly disturbed. DING! DING! DING! Big ol' red flag went up. If someone can't give you the time to make an informed decision...it's a scam. One would think these people would be better at "selling" these products. Going door-to-door with this package must be a miserable existence. Parting thought...why would a food delivery company be financing freezers, grills and cookware? That's when we knew it was total nonsense. RUN...don't walk away from this one. Your time is more valuable than their "free" box of snake oil.

rbfried said...

My wife and I received the pitch last night. We were shown menu 51 and it all seemed very reasonable at first. The quality, convenience and variety of the meats sounded good. I was hesitant about needing to buy a freezer (we already have a 2nd fridge) and the $2195 overhead, but when we thought about keeping our monthly entrees under $177 per month (not including the overhead and freezer), it seemed like a reasonable deal. So around 10pm, we signed on the dotted line.
So after the salesman left, and being a night owl, I found this thread and started doing my own calculations. Not including the vegetables, we ended up with a total of 1740 ounces (108.75 lbs) of various foods (beef, foul & pasta). Over 476 servings that amounted to only 3.66 onces per meal. That might satisfy my wife, but certainly not me or my teenage (black hole of food) son. And at a cost of $1065.31 priced out at $9.80 per lb. Considering the large pecentage of poultry and pasta in our order, it seemed way too expensive.

The good news was that I realized our error, called the salesmans cell phone the next morning (at 7:15am, which kinda pissed him off) and told him to cancel the purchase agreement. He of course made his best effort to change my mind, brought up the evenings points about 75 percent of food cost is supermarket overhead (is that really true?), water weight, inflation, etc. But I just stuck to my point that $9.80 per average pound of food was more than I paying the supermarket, let alone $3690 for the fridge and O/H.

To the salesmans credit, he said he I wouldnt need to sign the notice of cancellation, that he would call it in. But I wanted to play it safe, and hand delivered the cancellation in the afternoon, and the receptionist said that he had informed them. Not that I am recommending trusting any other salesmen.

Anyway, thanks for the posts. Its nice to be able to get timely reviews.

Beverly, your tenacious and very informed, perhaps a bit too verbose, and definetly in need of a new cause.

Roy, my hats off to you. You were not only willing to identify yourself, but were open enough to admit your error. A very rare quality. That really impressed me.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if this is the same company that sold freezer and frozen foods in the 1950's. If it is. Please tell me how to get in touch with Town and Country. The reason I am asking is that In 1958 my grandparents purchased a Blue Ribbon Town and Country Continental upright freezer. I inherited said freeze in 1991. Will I have been getting a lot of hassle from my family and friends for not getting rid of the old freezer and buying a new one. I tell them if they know where I could buy a freeze today that would last 51 years to let me know. The only draw back is that it is a manual defrost. So if anyone knows if this is the same company please let me know mc.bcmi@earthlink.net I can fined no information on this freezer other then my grandparents bought it from a company that sold freezer with their frozen foods. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well, this was an entertaining read. Thank you, Beverly and others, for helping to set the record straight and get the word out.

We had the T&C presentation tonight. I am a skeptic by nature, and only agreed to host the high-pressure, only-if-you-and-your-wife-are-there presentation in a moment of weakness. :-) Nevertheless, they offered us free food, which is usually not a bad thing, and my wife and I have a pact that we ALWAYS sleep on a deal before committing.

Coincidentally, I am a software engineer also (hi, Roy!). Between doing the math and finding this blog, we of course have decided not to sign up. If our sales rep calls back (doubtful, because when these high pressure deals aren't closed immediately, they almost never are), I'm going to ask her how she lives with herself.

A word of advice to Beverly: save your wrath and rancor for T&C. Not everyone who visits here and at first disagrees with you is a highly placed T&C executive. Most, I think, are probably just other people like you who were taken in by the sales pitch, and are initially unwilling to believe the objective comparison. Or they made an error in their addition. :-) They will be more willing allies if they are not insulted first.

Mom22Paynes said...

We were given the pitch tonight, and thought it sounded good, but wanted to think it over. We managed to sneak a copy of their Unit Value point system page. After he left, we plugged all into a spreadsheet. Using menu 52 we included oz per package, total oz per order, unit values, total unit values (depending on # of packages) and were able to figure the total $ amount per item, then broke it down per oz, and then multiplied it by 16 to get the price per pound. The following is the PRICE PER POUND of each item, assuming $1440 for food only in a 6 month period (so, not including freezer, overhead, etc). We were shocked ourselves, and SOOOO glad we didn't sign anything.

Beverly-- WE THINK YOU ARE AWESOME!!! Happy to send you their "Unit Value" point system if you want it.

16.92 New York Strip Steaks
22.59 Porterhouse Steaks
22.59 T-Bone Steaks
17.78 Sirloin Steaks
11.54 Round Steaks
11.05 Chuck Steaks
7.69 Cubed Round Steaks
8.17 Stew Beef
10.73 Pot Roast
9.29 Chuck Roast
8.17 Ground Beef Bulk
8.65 Ground Steak Burgers
10.57 Beef & Cheddar Burgers

11.05 Pork Chops
9.93 Center Cut Pork Loin Roast
8.97 Ham Roast
12.82 Stuffed Pork Chops
8.65 Country Spare Ribs
5.29 Ground Pork

4.45 Whole Fryers
3.68 Cut Fryers
5.29 Seasond Cut Fryers
5.77 Chicken Breasts
3.85 Chicken Drumsticks
3.85 Chicken Thighs
8.65 Ground Turkey Breast
7.69 Boneless Chicken Breast
3.85 Chicken Legs &Thighs
9.61 Chicken Cheddar Burgers
10.09 Chicken Sausage

17.30 Orange Roughy
9.61 Salmon Fillets
10.89 Ocean Perch Fillets
9.61 Tuna Steaks
11.05 Fish Tenders

6.25 Italin Sausage Links
7.05 Stuffed Shells
9.61 Ravioli
12.69 Seafood Ravioli
8.17 Pasta
8.17 Tortellini
7.69 Sauces

12.18 Marinated Tri-Tip Roast
16.02 Stuffed Chicken Breast
10.57 Marinated Breast Fillets
9.23 Buffalo Wings
9.29 Seasoned Pork Roast

6.73 Organic Vegetables

Tim said...

Thanks for all the information re T&C-we heard the ramblin sales pitch last night (we try to research before buying). Two red flags: He kept saying "I need to help you feel warm and fuzzy about this" when I brought up a question. Also, he completely skated around my questions about price per pound or units. To his credit he was nice to leave us some meats and didn't hammer us too hard for declining. Thanks Beverly!!

Tim & Jackie

Anonymous said...

My husband and I met with Joel the sales rep out of Ft Collins, CO this past Monday. I was coming off a long weekend with a house full of family members and getting a cold. But I listened. At the end of the pitch I asked to see the contracts so that I could have more time to read in more detail what I was signing. Joel refused saying I would only receive it when I signed it. In my experience this is a huge red flag. He also told me that he had a few phone calls to make and was happy to wait around while we talked it over because his closing ratio decreased significantly once he left our house. Was he kidding me? His closing ratio is not my problem and another red flag to a very bad sales person at a minimum. I am not buying and am going to speak to my husband about becoming vegetarians again.

Anonymous said...

All, there is additional news (if you haven't already heard), Fair Finance seems to be out of business. The FBI raided all their offices, confiscated computers, files, etc... see below:
http://www.the-daily-record.com/news/article/4717966

and
http://www.ibj.com/fair-finance-offices-fail-to-reopen/PARAMS/article/14826

Anonymous said...

We have had T and C Foods for several years and had great meat up til recently. We pretty much knew what we were getting into and it was a good deal. Our meat lasts 12 months and we paid about $100 / month for 10 months and it has tasted better than grocery meat. Recently they packed in better packaging, but the roasts were tough. In the past if I did not like something I just called and they promptly replaced it for free. Had a good rep, too. It's time to re-order but the numbers for Dallas have been disconnected. Hmmmmm. Thanks for the heads up.

J said...

I'm going to have to agree with Beverly here. I just had one of the salesman over at my house. He seemed nice enough at first, but eventually just wears you down with numbers and ambiguous talk about paying "overhead" that makes no sense. You should have seen all the scribbling by the end of the pitch! He always claimed that we would get "Whole Foods Quality" at a "Grocery Store Price". The concept seemed OK to me, as I would like to cut out some grocery shopping, so I signed the contract.

The beauty of their pitch is that you have no real way to compare prices, as they quote you a huge price for 8 months worth of food, without disclosing individual prices. In my case, Menu 51 amounted to $998. This is after the supposed 25% discount for purchasing the $1500 freezer and $1600 cookset , oh yeah and don't forget about the one-time $1700 "overhead fee", all financed at 20% APR.

Well today I took the order form to a local grocery store and priced out everything on the form in the same quantity. The grand total: just under $500.

So their supposed "Grocery Store" price is about exactly double that of the "Grocery Store", and you're expected to pay $3000-$4800 in upfront costs and merchandise, financed at a whopping 20%!

No Thank You!!! Keep in mind that you have 3 business days by law to cancel any contracts that are signed. To cancel, sign the cancellation notice on the back of your purchase orders and fax back to Town & Country.

AC said...

What they also don't tell you, is that although they claim that you can cancel, and just continue paying the cost of the freezer ... they will continue charging you 'overhead and service fees' worth a couple hundred dollars each month .. wtf? If am no longer getting the food, AND I have paid over $3000 for the freezer ... you are STILL charging me for overhead and service? This is a RIP OFF, dont do it.

MrDenver said...

I read this blog... most of it anyway shortly after a sales rep left our home after 2 agonizing hours of presentation. The sales tactics I've read in this blog are accurate. She would absolutely stop the presentation if one of us had to leave to room to tend to our children, who were patiently waiting for our attention. There was a ton of scribbling of figures onto a folded presentation pamphlet that neglected any of the details of the extra costs described in this blog. It was made clear we would not be allowed to keep any of the presentation materials. We made it clear that we would not be signing anything until we had a chance to look things over. It was made clear we were not going to be able to hang onto the "menu". The only thing we were given after a two hour presentation was a post-it note with her phone number and two costs. It stated 294/month and Direct $177... oh and the free cryovac samples.

I was astounded. Do you really think you're going to leave my house after a two hour presentation and leave nothing but a scrap of paper and think I'm not going to be suspicious and do a little googling?

There is a reason they don't leave the menu or any documentation to allow you to do your homework. They don't want you to calculate cost per pound.

I am a food industry professional and have worked as a chef, food manufacturer, food consultant, food advocate for better food standards so I was intrigued by the meeting. What a disappointment. I was intellectually insulted at what this sales rep was stating throughout the sales presentation. There are many sources of good quality food without buying a freezer full of over-priced meat. In Colorado, we have numerous organic and all-natural markets to choose from where you can find grass-fed healthy meats. The clowns at T&C are still trying to pedal corn fed, well marbled beef as a good thing. I could not get the sales rep to state that they do not sell grass fed beef. It was always "well, it's pretty close, they may be fed a little corn"

We obviously did not sign up and I look forward to her follow up call. I will be asking her some pointed questions on the phone regarding price per pound and exact costs. If the question is avoided and only can be addressed in person because it has to be explained then what I already know will be confirmed.

MrDenver said...

Beverly,

Thanks a bunch for your work on this blog. It is so easy to spot the frauds/misinformed when you take them to task. you're awesome!! I should have went to bed hours ago but this blog reads like a novel.

maulbita said...

I was suckered in last week it has been 5business days since. i have not recieved the freexer or food yet can I get out of this. anyone who knows about the investigation or a law suit please blog me the info. what the salesman said and wrote down are different. I am being charged over 5thou and only getting the freezer and six months of food what a rip off. I am very upset can anyone help me with info?

Bryson said...

We recently had a visit form Town and Country, and they told us that we would be getting 472 servings for every 6 months, at $276.55 per month. I quickly did the math, 472 divided by 6 months gives me 79 servings per month, and $276.55 divided by 79 servings give me $3.50 per serving. If this is the case, then multiply the total serving for a food item, such as Ground Beef at 80 servings for the order, that gives you $280.00 (a little more than our monthly cost) and then divide that $280.00 by the number of packages in the 80 servings (20 packages) and that gave me my cost per package, a whopping $14.00 per lb of ground beef. Apply this to each line item on the menu (make sure you know how to convert your oz to pounds - 16 oz = 1 lb) and you will get $14.00 per lb for everything on their menu, at least for the menu they gave us.

I think Town and Country is a HUGE rip off. If you know how to do your math right, you will realize, that you are paying 300-500% more for your meat than King Soopers. But if you don't mind paying that much more for your meat, that they claim is better, than this company is for you. If they lie about their costs, I wonder what else they lie about. The sales person told me that I am getting better meat for less than I am currently paying for the meat I buy at Kings Soopers. After this lie, I doubt that their meat is any different than the meat I currently buy.

Kyan said...

I love how almost all the servings at the beginning call for a pound of meat. The average person does not eat a pound of chicken in one meal. Sorry People.

lydster said...

The trickiest thing about T&C's sales pitch is that you don't find out how many ounces of food you're actually getting in your first order until you've already signed the contract.

We signed a contract last weekend after an agonizing 4-HOUR meeting. T&C's concept makes sense, but it isn't until you have your final sales contract with all the numbers in writing that you can actually do the math and figure out a price/pound for your food.

I wish we'd found this site earlier, but I can't complain. We found it on the same day we signed the contract, got out our calculator, figured that we would be paying an average cost of just over $15/pound for the food, and promptly signed a cancellation notice. I feel really bad for people who don't discover this scam in time to cancel their contract.

The only thing still niggling at me is that we gave up contact information for six of our friends at the sales meeting, and somehow I don't trust that T&C won't try to sell to them too, even though we obviously won't endorse their product or services.

My husband was suspicious during the sales pitch, whereas I totally bought into the concept and was much more eager about it than he was...perhaps someday I'll hear the end of it! :p

Connie said...

I am so grateful to have found this blog.
We signed up on Saturday and I called just now to cancel. Delivery was set up for the 30th, but after reading everybody's input, no way.
I never thought of going and just buying a half a cow instead ... DUH! So simple yet I was willing to get conned into this expensive venture.
I appreciate everybody's input and am glad I found this before it was too late.

Connie said...

I am sooo glad I found this before my 5 days were up.

We signed on Saturday ... and I found this today (Wednesday) and I just called to cancel, but was told I have to fax something tomorrow (I don't get home until 10 pm). OH MY GOD I can't believe what I was reading here and then I started thinking, it WOULD be cheaper to buy a side of beef ... it would be cheaper to find a poultry farm and I already grow my veggies. WTH is wrong with this company?

If $$ are tight we can always fix our menu to adjust to that, but with this program you can't and if you can't pay it or something comes up, then your credit is ruined. NO WAY!

Thank you thank you thank you again a million times over for saving us from this unfortunate mistake.

I guess the old saying is true, if it sounds to good to be true IT IS.

Mom22Paynes said...

Town & Country Foods tried to give us their spiel quite a while ago, and they called again today trying to get our business again, as if they hadn't before. It renewed my frustration with them. We almost fell for them the first time, but got smart super fast!

It was presented as a way to $ave money and feed our family for cheaper. They said our grocery bill for the whole year would only be $1440! Who could beat that? Well, that is if all we wanted to eat was meat and a few veggies... The package contained 63 packages of 8oz frozen veggies, and most of the rest was meat (and a little bit of pasta). My family of four would like to eat more than an 8oz pkg of veggies a week (to share, that is).

Anyway-- we managed to get a copy of the sheet that showed point values for our package. Lucky us. We did some calculations after the rep left. You are supposed to get so many packages a year of all the different meats and items offered. The page we had showed unit values for each of these things. They had unit values so that you could mix and match to customize the pkg to your own needs. We took the total charged for the year ($1440) divided by the total points allowed for the year (14,980) and figured out the price per point. Turned out to be .096128 per point. We took the oz per pkg and figured out the $/oz and then multiplied that by 16 to get the price per lb. The amount of money you would be paying PER LB is ridiculous!!!


$/lb
16.92 New York Strip Steaks
22.59 Porterhouse Steaks
22.59 T-Bone Steaks
17.78 Sirloin Steaks
11.54 Round Steaks
11.05 Chuck Steaks
7.69 Cubed Round Steaks
8.17 Stew Beef
10.73 Pot Roast 2x 1.5 lbs
9.29 Chuck Roast 2x 1.5 lbs
8.17 Ground Beef Bulk
8.65 Ground Steak Burgers
10.57 Beef & Cheddar Burgers
11.05 Pork Chops
9.93 Center Cut Pork Loin Roast
8.97 Ham Roast
12.82 Stuffed Pork Chops
8.65 Country Spare Ribs
5.29 Ground Pork
4.45 Whole Fryers
3.68 Cut Fryers
5.29 Seasond Cut Fryers
5.77 Chicken Breasts
3.85 Chicken Drumsticks
3.85 Chicken Thighs
8.65 Ground Turkey Breast
7.69 Boneless Chicken Breast
3.85 Chicken Legs &Thighs
9.61 Chicken Cheddar Burgers
10.09 Chicken Sausage
17.30 Orange Roughy
9.61 Salmon Fillets
10.89 Ocean Perch Fillets
9.61 Tuna Steaks
11.05 Fish Tenders
6.25 Italin Sausage Links
7.05 Stuffed Shells
9.61 Ravioli
12.69 Seafood Ravioli
8.17 Pasta
8.17 Tortellini
7.69 Sauces
12.18 Marinated Tri-Tip Roast
16.02 Stuffed Chicken Breast
10.57 Marinated Breast Fillets
9.23 Buffalo Wings
9.29 Seasoned Pork Roast
6.73 Organic Vegetables

Yes folks-- it's true. They want to charge you $8.17 per lb for GROUND BEEF! $8.65 per lb for Ground Turkey! Etc. Etc. Etc...

Glad to say, we ran the other direction. If you get a call from them, I suggest you do too!

(Despite the stupid free freezer they are giving you) You are still going to need to buy food to go with your food. Plus you will spend a BUNDLE in the end.

SamsFam said...

I really wished I would have seen this before we signed up! which was over a year and a half ago. I was told by my saleman that this meat was organic so I thought that it was worth the money. Later found out after my second order that only some of the meat is free roaming which it totally not the same thing as organic.
I ended up getting a better deal the second time around because I had referred two people and ended up getting a $500 savings that round but in turn I feel like all I did for them was get them ripped off too. I contemplated a lawsuit about the fact that the salesman was telling people it was organic but I figured it just wasn't worth it.
I do have to say that the chiken breast is pretty good tasting and I like how quickly the meat thaws out but I am certainly not going to keep a freezer full of only chicken breast.
I came across this article simply because I was going to post the sale of my freezer on Craigs list, We paid it off right after we got it and realized how much the interest was. Yikes!

Scott Evans said...

So Beverly's last post was on Feb 9, 2009 9:50:00 PM, and in an earlier entry of hers on Nov 18, 2008 9:43:00 PM she entered, "I told you, and every reader here, T&C is being investigated." I realize investigations can take awhile, but over 3 years? Who was doing the investigating and what are the results of the investigation? Or is the investigation still on-going? Where are you Beverly? You're our only hope. Maybe we should turn to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Seriously, though, I hope Beverly is OK. She seemed pretty passionate about this subject to just drop it. I'd like to know where she found the time to post all that.