Consumers should be on the alert for Interstate Food Service, LLC, a door-to-door meat seller operating in the Cincinnati, Dayton, Lima and Chillicothe areas, according to multiple complaints recently filed with BBB against the business.
Interstate Food Service, owned by William Rucker sells boxes of assorted beef steaks, chicken seafood and pork door-to-door. In the last year the business has not answered many of the complaints filed by consumers at BBB.
Some of the complaints we have received concern the quality of meat sold by this business. Interstate Food Service’s brochures claim to sell tender, good-tasting and high quality cuts of meat. However consumers tell BBB the meat they received is tough, bad-tasting or made from low-quality cuts.
A consumer residing near Lima, OH complained that the pork he purchased from the business was, “Not good. It’s not spoiled, but it is not at all tasty and very, very, tough. I even cooked it in my pressure cooker and it still was not tender or tasty.”
He tried to get Interstate Food Service to replace the meat since they guarantee on their brochure to replace or exchange the product for any reason, but the business ignored his request.
Consumers are not only complaining about the quality of meat, they are claiming they were overcharged as well.
Interstate Food Service sold a Dayton consumer $160 of what was supposed to be 30 lbs of steaks and a box of chicken. He thought he would be getting a bargain, but when the business shorted him whole boxes of meat, he didn’t get the deal he’d been hoping for. He counted up all the meat the representative had placed in his freezer only to find that it was 18 lbs of steak, not 30 lbs, and the box of chicken was completely missing.
Interstate Food Service eventually returned his money, but that was after months of frustrating phone calls. He tells BBB he was surprised to get any money back and he still doesn’t believe after the way they treated him that Interstate Food Service is a legitimate business.
Errors by the business have caused financial hardships for some area consumers. According to a Fairborn, OH consumer on food assistance, she purchased $145 of meat from Interstate Food Service in January. The business mischarged $345 instead of $145 on her SNAP card. The error left her with only $62 for her and her two children to use on food for the rest of the month.
She told BBB how hard it was to manage that month, saying, “I would never buy meat from anyone but a grocery store again. I had to find food banks to feed us for the month.”
Thankfully, she disputed the charged with SNAP and was able to get her $200 back.
Although buying meat from door-to-door meat sellers may sound like a good way to stretch your dollar, there are many factors you should consider before making such a purchase. One of those factors should be, ‘Does the business has a good track record answering complaints at BBB?’.
According to their BBB record Interstate Food Service doesn’t make the grade. In fact they have an F rating with BBB due to unanswered complaints and a pattern of poor business practices.
BBB invited the business to meet with us to discuss what they can do to improve their business practices, however the business did not respond to our invitation.
When considering buying meat from a door-to-door salesman BBB recommends that consumers:
Do your research. Ask the salesmen for written material about the company and let them know you are going to research them first before doing business with them. Check the company’s Reliability Report with your BBB. Many communities have licensing and permit requirements for food vendors and for selling door-to-door; confirm with your city or county government that the seller is in line with the law.\
Don’t fall for empty promises. The seller might claim to offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, but many complainants had no way to contact the seller if they were dissatisfied. Additionally, the seller might claim that the meat is a higher grade than it really is.
Never pay with cash. When paying by check or credit card you have at least some way to protect your money—such as canceling the check or reporting it as fraud to your credit card company. If you pay with cash and are dissatisfied, you’re at the mercy of the salesman.
Know your rights. If you decide to make a purchase, ask for a dated cancellation form and a dated receipt. Note that the Federal Trade Commission Cooling-Off Rule gives you three business days to cancel the purchase. Saturday is considered a business day.
Report the bad guys. If you feel that you were ripped off by a door-to-door salesmen, file a complaint with your BBB. Also report any unlicensed salesmen to the appropriate city or county authorities.
You should know that SNAP users can dispute charges. If you are a consumer on food assistance, anytime you are overcharged or disagree with a purchase put on your SNAP card, call the phone number on the back of the SNAP card and appeal the charges.
Consumers with questions about purchasing meat can contact the USDA’S Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.