BBB HOT TOPICS –July 2009
Below are some of the most requested inquiries by local Pennsylvanians at your BBB last month. Information is based on our research as of August 1, 2009. For updated BBB information and a current report on the companies, click on their name. To access over four million companies nationwide, visit www.bbb.org. Please take into consideration the importance of the practice and the total performance of the company.
1. Radio ads heard in the Western PA area for Neverpayitback.com - charges $2.29 -$2.78 for a 7 day trial to their service — a database of grant resources. After the 7 day trial, $29.95 - $39.95 is charged for a monthly membership fee plus monthly fees for other services not cancelled on time. Even though the website guarantees $2,500, you must apply for each grant separately and wait to see if you actually receive money from any of the grants. BBB warns that government grants are not hidden and you should not have to pay a membership fee to apply for them. For more information on government grants go to Grants.gov.
2. People’s Life Style, Inc., advertising in Erie, PA newspapers, is listed as a Work at Home Company or directory, and has an unsatisfactory record with the BBB due to unanswered and unresolved complaints. BBB file shows the company has received 39 complaints in our three year reporting period which involved customer difficulty in obtaining a refund. On January 7, 2009, a Cease and Desist order was issued against People's Lifestyles by the U.S. Postal Service.
3. AMS American Management has recently been targeting consumers in Western PA with unsolicited phone calls offering to lower interest rates on credit cards for a fee. To date, the company has failed to respond to complaints filed with the BBB.
4. Jefferson High School Online (JHSO) offers high school diploma’s based partly on life experience. BBB has received complaints from students who say they completed the company’s online test and were told it was not a valid diploma when they applied for college. More information about Jefferson High School Online (JHSO) or other “diploma mills” may be available at local colleges and vocational schools. Many colleges keep a database of unaccredited schools, such as JHSO.
5. APR Group Services has contacted local residents repeatedly offering different options on how they can help lower credit card payments. In an email received by BBB, an area consumer states that $1600 was charged to her credit card. The BBB has been unable to contact the company concerning complaint(s). We have not been able to determine a valid address and/or phone number for this company.
6. Central Prize Dispatch Services, aka National Prize Reporting Center A flurry of phone calls have been received by your Western PA BBB on this company due to an apparent mass mailing stating that a large cash prize amount is due to the recipient and will be released upon receipt of a signature and $19.00 - $19.95. Legitimate sweepstakes companies do not require you to pay taxes, customs fees, shipping or handling, or any other fee before awarding your winnings.
7. Stove Parts Plus, a local and internet based company from Osceola Mills, PA, has received a high volume of complaints in the last month and has a history of not responding to prior complaints filed against them. Complaints primarily allege customers being charged for parts ordered that were never received. Consumers are seeking refunds.
8. BBB Warning on Three Scams Targeting Job Hunters As the unemployment rate rises, so does the threat of scams targeting job seekers. Better Business Bureau warns job hunters to be extremely cautious in their search for work because scammers are out to take advantage of them and make a fast buck.
BBB HOT TOPICS ARCHIVE