Another Thompsons Cigars Encounter


Professor of Herfology
OK, I read all the posts on here about the 250 Club, pros and cons, and I thought I'd share my personal experience with this company:

Backstory: I ordered the 12-Cigar sampler with case from their site and it shipped to me without any problem whatsoever. I was pleased and figured on giving them more business. I get a phone call soliciting me to join the 250 Club and while I was a little hesitant, I figured, "Why not, it can't be ALL bad." However, I did require them to say on the phone that I had the right to cancel my membership at any time.

SO, I made another order and requested a Powerhouse Sampler with cutter, thinking I'd change up my 250 Club order every time and build up a nice little stockpile of sticks. This is where it got a little confusing for me.

Emails to and from Thompsons to follow ...


Professor of Herfology
Dear Mr. Vita,
Thank you for your email. The Powerhouse sampler and cutter set is not eligible for the cigar club. Please reply with a different selection so we can update your account. You may cancel your club membership at any time you wish. If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to reply to us.

Thompson Cigar


Professor of Herfology
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Jeof Vita to info

Nowhere on your site is information made available as to what IS and what is NOT eligible for the cigar club. Please indicate what items you consider eligible as it was never made clear to me that this club had limitations and exceptions.

Please be aware that if the answer is not satisfactory in any way, I will seriously consider cancelling my membership to this club as is my right as noted in the copied email below.

I was warned that this club had a history of "bait and switch" tactics. I sincerely hope that that is not in fact, the case.

Once I have a clear answer as to what items ARE and ARE NOT eligble for the club, I will make my decision on whether or not membership in this club is worth maintaing. Until I have an answer, please DO NOT SEND my current selection as I have no interest in it at this time. Once I have an idea of the items from which I have to choose, I will make a proper selection.


Professor of Herfology

Dear Mr. Vita,
Thank you for your email. We do not have a special list or notation for club eligible cigars. We are currently offering over 85% of our 10,000 plus cigar inventory for the club. Most of our ten packs, limited stock cigars, samplers, all accessories and promotions are not eligible for the club. If you are interested in a particular brand's eligibility, feel free to email us or call our Club department at 1-800-757-2582. Please note that our club is not a bait and switch tactic. If you have any other questions or concerns
please feel free to reply to us.

Thompson Cigar


Professor of Herfology

I made my first purchase (Item 988003 12 Cigar Case Sampler Spb, Box Of 12 $29.95) from Thompson from the very same set of items from which I selected the Powerhouse Sampler & Cutter Set. Both items were located under the "Special Offers" heading on the website.

When contacted about the 250 Club, I was told that the selection I made would be the item that was shipped to me at an interval of 7 weeks. I find it contradictory that my first sampler purchase is designated "eligible" while my subsequent choice is not. According to you, NO samplers are eligible which directly refutes what I was told on the phone. This is the very definition of "bait and switch".

Effectively immediately, please CANCEL MY MEMBERSHIP in the 250 Club.

I will be instructing my credit card company to refuse any charges from Thompson Cigars should my cancellation request fail to be honored in a timely fashion.

Please do NOT contact me at home or at my place of employment for any further solicitations. By law, Thompson Cigars is obliged to comply with this request.


Professor of Herfology

Dear Mr. Vita,
Thank you for your email. If you carefully read our previous email, we
stated that MOST of our samplers are not eligible for the cigar club. The
Powerhouse happens to be one of the many that is not eligible for the club.
We have canceled your club membership as you requested. If you have any
other questions or concerns please feel free to reply to us.

Thompson Cigar


And thus endeth my saga ... now granted, I was operating with a keen eye towards getting roped into a bad deal so my response was probably short of polite and I most likely gave them a very short lease with which to operate. However, as the saying goes, "You only get one chance to make a first impression" and my first impression was not a good one.

To their credit, they responded quickly and let me out of the 250 Club without a fight. I'm not saying I won't order anything ever from them again ... but the short stay with their club left much to be desired for me.


Lowland Gorilla
Here is a funny story for you (also give you a bit of insight into the japanese mindset).

My local cigar store had a big sign up, it read like this "Cigar club -10%" and a bunch of stuff in japanese (which i don't know how to read).

Sounds great so when i'm there buying some sticks i ask the lady at the counter how much discount i would get on this purchase if i became a member of the club. She tells me that i would get no discount.

being confounded, i ask her if it's because i pick the premium sticks that i won't get a discount. She says "no, there is no discount on cigars. Only discount on accessories". Well there is a limit as to how much accessories i can buy so i decide not to become a member.

Later at another store i ask if i could get discount on the cigars if i buy a couple of boxes. They again say no -but this time they are a bit more verbose. It turns out that the government fixes the tobacco prices nationwide in japan, and there are no increases nor discounts which can be made by any retailer. I'm not entirely sure why this is so, but the government in japan makes all sticks the same price irregardless of vendor.

I thought it was interesting (and it did explain why sticks almost always seems to be between US $12-20 wherever i go).
I have ordered from thompsons a few times and never liked them. They are rather impersonal and seem to have a big company feel to it rather than the friendly feel of other suppliers. I hate their descriptions in their catalogs, they are very misleading and they make it very difficult (especially for the newbie smoker) to differentiate between a cheap thompson brand cigar and a fabulous premium. The way they market their products just doesn't seem like it would be appealing to the experienced smoker, although i'm sure there are plenty who shop with thompson. I'm not a big fan of their gimmicks and how they lure you into a sale with their Fantastic offers and free gifts of their awesomely terrible humidors and leather cases that proudly bare the incredibly bland "thompson" logo.... But we all have our preferences. The first quantity of cigars I ever required was 100 sticks, 4 bundles of 4 types of thompson brand cigars in a humidor that my unknowing mother purchased for me for my 18th birthday. As a young lad I also recall her purchasing one of their samplers for my father who was rather displeased with the quality of their brand of cigars. :hn oh, thompson. you silly silly bastrid.


Grumpy Old Man
I guess like a lot of people, Thompson's was my first venture into mail order cigars. However, when I found out that I could get cigars at the same price or less at my local B&M, my orders from Thompsons came to an abrupt halt. It really sucks when you factor in Thompson's shipping costs!


In my office at the Bing
Thompsons is like a fatal attraction.

As soon as they get you they never leave you alone.

They real you in like a hungry fish then dont leave you alone at all ! Ever !


Mountain Hound
I have been receiving Thompson's catalogs by mail for years, but always had trouble with their descriptions. Cigars I know sucked were described so well that I thought it must be me. In reality, I couldn't try anything new through them since the description would unlikely match reality, and using them for the product I knew I liked never seemed like enough incentive with all of the bad experiences I heard about from fellow BOTLs. In the end, with JR, CI and all of the truly reputable dealers, Thompson's never got a cent of mine. Lucky I guess.

Scott M

Word to the wise...don't let Thompsons happen to you!

That 250 club has REALLY got a bad rap...deserved, though. Bought my first humi from them, (it's actually pretty decent). I was young and inexperienced. Got the phone call and politely refused their least 10 times.

The catalog; their writers need some award in the best fiction category. It really comes off as someone TRYING to sell ice to an Eskimo. Hard sell's just a little too hard.

There's other vendors that get my money now...when I have some!

Scott"moneytalks, :BS walks"M


Young Ape
funny....this topic comes up on every cigar board out there.

just last week on another board....some guy who wants to try candella wrappers for the first time is all jacked up about IGUANAS.

now to be fair....i have never smoked an iguana....but if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck....well we can just assume....

so me and a bunch of other FOG'S are urging this guy not to order from thompsons....and are suggesting all kinds of DECENT candella wrapped sticks that will be much more representative of a good cigar.

of course....the allure of thompsons and their master copy writers won out over experienced cigar smokers......the guy ended up buying the iguanas...and regretting it!



No longer a community member.
Never have bought from Thompson, but continue to get catalogs and the occacional phone call to try and get me to join. I've looked at the catalog but never really found anything in it to get me to buy. Now that I see the trouble others have gone thru i'll just keep my money away from them.

Grinch OUT!!!


More cigars Sanchez!
What an adventure Jeof. Is it me, or is pretty much all these "discount clubs" way overhyped and never feature the smokes you would want or give you the ole bait-and-switch?

That's what I keep hearing and seeing. None of the ones I've seen are worth it.

:ms NCRM

El Gato

So many times I've had newbies ask my opinion of Thompsons. I guess they must be great advertisers because all the newbies wanna know about them.
Long story short, turn them on to the better mailorder houses quickly. The less business those Tampa monkeys get the better.
A ripoff is a ripoff no matter how you dress it up. The lipstick is definitely on this pig when you read their catalog. You would think the cigars are direct from Fidel's personal humi from the descriptions. Don't let fellow herfers be fooled, spread the good word.


The Screamin' Eagle \m/
I'm in the UK and I get spam from Thompsons. I think it's just they spam the hell outta everyone, so it's an easy access name.. you've seen 4 gazillion times in their spam folders...

Ninja Vanish

Evolving Lead Gorilla
Moglman said:
always had trouble with their descriptions. Cigars I know sucked were described so well that I thought it must be me. In reality, I couldn't try anything new through them since the description would unlikely match reality,

This is not uncommon practice. In fact, you can pick up any catalog...LL Bean, Sears-Roebuck, Thompson, It doesn't really matter which catalog you pick up. They actually have teams of what they call "Copy Writers" whose job it is to write descriptions about the products for the catalog. No company in it's right mind is going to downtalk a product that they are trying to sell. If you look, these are all very subjective descriptions anyway. What you may think is a sucky cigar may not hold true with another person. (I'm not trying to say you have bad tastes, just that we are all different.) I'm not trying to take Thompson's side here, just don't let the fact that they try to make their products sound good make you think that they are trying to somehow seduce you into buying an inferior product. That is just the way things work in their line of business.

I'm sorry to hear about your unfortunate run-in with the 250 club. I am always very weary of things online or over the phone which require me to give them my telephone number. I hate getting unwanted telephone calls from companies. Hopefully they will get their act together.

Oog Oog

Maturing Primate
Guess I've been lucky! Although I haven't had many encounters with Thompson's, all that I have had have been good. Only sampled one thing I didn't care for and they took it back and credited my account promptly.

They do know how to make just about anything sound good! I've often looked for things I found interesting in their (or any) catalog at a local B&M before I step up to a box or bundle buy anyway, which may be my saving grace...


Lowland Gorilla
I always enjoy reading the Thompson's catalog where they state things like "these won't last long" or " our limited supply will be gone quickly so order now" yet the same cigars keep showing up time, after time, after time, after time, after time in their catalogs. Many times it's for name brand cigars that you can find anywhere, anyday and usually at a better price...