Background: I ordered a gymnastics mat. It arrived. It was like the most enormous mattress you’ve ever seen. I had thought because there was a picture of a folding mat next to the product that I purchased, that it was a folding mat. I did not have space for a non-folding mat. I attempted to return it. I was informed that I would have to eat some enormous return freight shipping cost. I was told that the picture of the product I purchased was not in fact of a folding mat, and furthermore that in any case I should never assume that what is pictured is what I will receive. I was told that OnlineSports will take no responsibility for this situation and will not admit to making any error.

My response.


As I have outlined at length on the phone:

1. The mat was clearly pictured as folding. The picture didn’t just show dark lines, it showed the mat in a folded state. There is really no disputing this. In fact it was exactly the same picture as you use for your 6’x12′ mat that does actually fold. I see you have subsequently updated the image, which does rather imply that you realize your own error. Naturally at the start of this entire debacle I saved PDFs of your product listing at Amazon as well as at your own website that clearly display the folding mat image, so let’s make sure we are referring to that and not to the current updated image which is far more accurate. I am happy to forward PDFs of the original product description if you would like them for your records. I’m sure Amazon can also confirm when the image was updated.

2. The product description makes no mention of whether or not the mat folds. The only indication to that end is the image. I strongly dispute your assertion that the omission of adequate descriptors absolves you of responsibility for this situation. Any reasonable person would have made the assumption that I did given the image that was included. In order to confirm this fact I called your customer service line and asked the nice young man who answered whether he felt that the image of this product adequately represented what I would receive, and he answered in the affirmative. I have that call recorded and am happy to forward you that recording if you care to review it.

I continue to be unwilling to pay for return freight for this item for the reasons above. I have taken the matter up with my credit card company. I am willing further to take it up with Amazon, and God forbid my legal counsel if it comes to that. I feel that I have sufficient grounds to prevail on this matter, and I certainly have reached a level of annoyance that I am more than willing to invest significant amounts of time and energy seeing this through.

Having said that, Pam, here are the things that I AM able to do for you:

1. I will exchange the mat for the 5’x10’x8″ folding landing mat. However I will incur no cost on this other than what I would have paid for it anyway. i.e. $845.24 + $115 = $960.24. Therefore I would expect to receive a refund of $113.20 on my original payment.

2. Should you agree to exchange the mat under these terms, I will agree not to share my thoughts on this experience with every online review site I can find. I have quite a bit of professional experience with search engine optimization, social media, and viral marketing, and I may feel morally obliged to put that experience to use.

That’s really it. If you’re unwilling to proceed with this plan, I will be proceeding with my complaint against you and will obtain my refund come hell or high water. I strongly urge you to consider whether this is something you want to devote resources to on an ongoing basis.

Kind Regards,

Their response:

Hello Samantha,

Thank you for your reply. Online Sports has opted proceed with the return on the flat mat, and exchange for the folding landing mat as per your email below.

<Blah blah blah, here’s how to return it…>

Thank you again,
Pam, Senior CSR
Online Sports Customer Service