BBB serving Mainland British Columbia is warning consumers to be wary about using one of three local online businesses that are amassing numerous complaints and have stopped responding to BBB communications.
Storehouse Products dot com, Hobbies Discount dot com, and Score Discount dot com appear to be owned and operated by MC Publishing and Consulting Ltd., which is registered in BC and lists Michael Yap and Carmel Stoesz as directors. The majority of complaints are from American consumers with just a handful from Canada. All three businesses have an ‘F’ rating with BBB and each has dozens of filed complaints.
“Most of the complaints deal with consumers not receiving the product they ordered, and if they did, many claim they are of very poor quality or not as advertised,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “All three websites have the identical look and feel, just the logos are changed. Hobbies Discount and Score Discount are registered businesses in BC, Storehouse is not. All are generating a lot of complaints and consumers are losing their money.”
BBB has learned that the owners of Storehouse dot com recently rented space at a Vancouver business collective but were kicked out after failing to pay their bills. Hobbies Discount, at one point, gave BBB a mailing address that was simply a freight forwarding address in Portland, Oregon. Other issues with these websites pertain to misleading advertising, using the BBB logo illegally on the checkout page, and a phone number that leads nowhere.
“The marketplace is now such that anyone can start an online business fairly easily, develop relationships with suppliers and become a third party reseller,” adds Kelly. “These are independent sellers who may not even have permission from legit brands to sell their products. Just because you can set up shop, doesn’t mean you know how to run a business.”
Storehouse Products website is now redirected to what appears to be a new website; Ninja Discounts dot com.
BBB wishes to highlight the need for vigilance when shopping online as online shopping scams have become the leading complaint on BBB Scam Tracker.
Tips when shopping online:
* Don’t just rely on a Google Search for an item, use reputable websites.
* Look for the lock icon and https:// in the URL.
* Read all terms and conditions when it comes to refund and return policies.
* Contact your credit card service provider for potential charge back to your account.
* Consult BBB for complaint history, reviews, and BBB Accreditation.
* If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.