Pittsburgh, PA – March 21, 2012 – The Better Business Bureau of Western PA’s Hot Topics is a monthly alert regarding companies across all industries that are currently targeting Western Pennsylvania consumers.
According to Warren King, President of the Better Business Bureau, “The BBB’s goal in creating Hot Topics is to help educate and protect the marketplace from businesses targeting local consumers.”
The following report is based on your BBB’s research as of March 21, 2012 and includes information received at our office on companies marketing to local Pennsylvanians. Click on the company name for an updated BBB report. Please take into consideration the importance of the practice and total performance of the company. To access over four million companies nationwide, visit www.bbb.org.
- Government Grants – Government grant services
An F rated company based out of Washington, DC, Government Grants has failed to respond to 12 out of 14 complaints and has had 3 serious complaints filed against the business with the BBB in the last 3 years. This entity is not part of any government program, but is a private, for-profit entity. Consumers have indicated that this entity contacts them via phone and asks for money to be wired to them at unknown locations to secure a grant. This is a commonly used technique to collect money without providing any service or product, and usually involves wiring funds out of the country or across state lines. Persons who have been victims of this tactic should contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
- Payday Financial – Payday lender
An F rated company based out of South Dakota, Payday Financial has failed to respond to 135 out of 186 complaints closed with the BBB in the last 3 years. Payday Financial has pending government action taken against it by the Colorado Attorney General for allegedly making unlicensed, high-interest loans to Colorado consumers. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint that alleges the company illegally attempted to garnish consumers’ wages without obtaining a court order, to collect payments on payday loans. According to Pennsylvania Law, any Internet Payday Lender who does business with consumers in Pennsylvania must be licensed. Consumers in Pennsylvania should file complaints with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking or call 1-800-PA-BANKS. Visit www.bbb.org for more information on payday loans.
- Personally Yours – Personalized merchandise
An F rated company based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, Personally Yours has had 127 complaints closed with the BBB in the last 12 months, 33 of which were not responded to and 22 were not resolved. Since February 2011, BBB has received a high volume and pattern of complaints regarding delivery and refund issues. Complainants allege either delayed or non-delivery of personalized orders by the promised delivery date and report difficulty receiving refunds. Additionally, the company’s 800 number is no longer in service. Check out BBB’s industry tips to better understand your rights regarding shopping online and by phone and mail.
- Precision Marketing LLC – Work at home opportunity
An F rated company based out of Arizona, Precision Marketing LLC has failed to respond to 5 out of 6 complaints closed with the BBB in the last 12 months. In addition, Precision Marketing LLC has had 3 serious complaints filed against the business. A related business with the same ownership is Prompt Advertising Solutions – also receiving an F rating. For more consumer tips and helpful information regarding work at home companies, visit www.bbb.org.
- U S Fidelis Inc – Auto service contract company
In January 2009, your BBB reported on this F rated company headquartered in Missouri that was once regarded as the nation’s top seller of extended auto service contracts. On March 1, 2010, U S Fidelis filed for bankruptcy protection, but the company has still had 132 complaints closed within the last 12 months through the BBB. Dissatisfied customers of the company are urged to continue to pursue refunds and settlements by first contacting U S Fidelis and the third party administrators who are managing their vehicle service contracts, the BBB and the Missouri Attorney General’s office and to also consider filing a claim with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis. View BBB tips on auto service contracts at www.bbb.org.
About the BBB System
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 116 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about the BBB System.