We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about American Cellars Wine Club and whether it is a scam. We haven’t personally reviewed their wine club ourselves and have made a decision not to based on our research. Even if we had a positive experience, it would not negate all of the negative reviews that we have found online. What have we found? Keep reading and we will share all of our research with you.
What is American Cellars Wine Club?
American Cellars Wine Club is the flagship wine club of the brand Vinesse. They have participated in a number of rewards and points clubs (like the Delta Frequent Flier program or the American Airlines program), so their name is fairly well-known across many shoppers. They offer both wine clubs as well as sales of wine by the bottle. Their website says that they are “one of the largest and most respected wine clubs in the country.” They are not the same as Cellars Wine Club, which we have reviewed often and positively in the last month.Visit American Cellars Wine Club and Save $69 Today
What Do Shoppers Say about American Cellars Wine Club?
I’ve been in the online shopping realm for a long time and know the difference between real reviews, spam, and paid placements. As far as the quality of the wine, I found this comment on Chow.com:
I just received 6 bottles via UPS, 3 reds and 3 whites, all 2008. The chard is comparable to 3 buck chuck, the cab has the body of a light burgundy, and the sangiovese is basically grape juice. The other 3 I will be giving to the relatives whose names I can’t quite remember.
As for their business practices, we found 14 complaints on Ripoffreport.com alone. They range from May 2009 to June 2012. Most of them revolve around credit card charges for allegedly unauthorized purchases, cancellations that were not processed, and irregular shipping fees/schedules.
The Better Business Bureau in Santa Barbara gives them a B+. Their score was lowered because of 41 complaints filed against them, most notably “Advertising/Sales Issues” and “Problems with Product/Service”. The BBB didn’t lower their score considerably given all of those claims, so they must consider it to be an acceptable number of claims based on the volume of sales and the way that American Cellars Wine Club resolved the claims.
Other wine club review sites vary. Some flat out say that they will not recommend American Cellars Wine Club because they have heard so many complaints. Others still give them a positive review, but each of those that we found did include links that would give the reviewers a commission on purchases. (Disclosure: We do use affiliate links on our site but would never positively review a product we felt was bad just to make money. It’s not worth our reputation.)
Should You Buy From American Cellars Wine Club?
If you are ordering the club just to get the travel points or whatever rewards are being offered, set your quality expectations accordingly. Also be sure to read all of the fine print on the offer and watch your credit card carefully.
What if you are ordering it because you are truly looking for a great wine club?
Given the amount of negative feedback about American Cellars Wine Club online and the availability of other wine clubs that have virtually all positive reviews, we do not recommend American Cellars Wine Club at this time.
We suggest you consider Cellars Wine Club instead of American Cellars Wine Club.
If you are interested in a wine club for yourself or a as a gift, we invite you to take a look at our Top Red Wine Clubs, Top White Wine Clubs, and Top Mixed Wine Clubs. Most of our reviews include information such as shipping costs, how easy it was to cancel, the quality of the wine, and how the club compares to other clubs.
Have you had any experience with American Cellars Wine Club?