For Immediate Release - Nov. 12, 2010 – More than 1,200 consumers across North America have filed Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints against California-based Dealer Cost Car Audio, many claiming they never received merchandise ordered through the company’s website.
Among them is a Brecksville man who spent nearly one year trying to get a 12” subwoofer he purchased for $299.00. Although he was told he would get the item within five to ten days, it took three months for Dealer Cost Car Audio to deliver a subwoofer, however it was 15” instead of the 12” item that was ordered. “I spent at least six months contacting them to get the right part,” the consumer told BBB. “The company was reluctant to talk to me. Every time I called, I was put on hold for at least an hour.” Dealer Coast Car Audio eventually sent the consumer a mailing label to return the subwoofer, which he did. He was then told the 12” version was on back order and would take months to be available. Finally, in February of this year, the Brecksville consumer agreed to accept the 15” subwoofer. He told BBB it took six weeks to arrive. “I’m not happy that I couldn’t get the product I wanted. I was afraid the company was going to go out of business and I would get nothing. I never had an experience like this with a company.”
Dealer Cost Car Audio has an “F” grade with the BBB in Los Angeles, Calif., the lowest grade possible.
Of the 1,285 complaints filed with the BBB in the past 36 months, nearly 800 have been processed this year. The 2010 complaints have come from 48 states and several foreign countries. Dealer Cost Car Audio responds in most cases by shipping orders, or issuing credits or refunds as requested. Over 400 complaints, however, remain unanswered.
BBB records in Los Angeles show Robert Jones as manager of the company. The company’s address is listed as 3337 South Bristol Street, Suite 211, a mailbox at an AIM Mail Center in Santa Ana.
The company’s website sells stereo receivers, amplifiers, speakers, TV sets, radar detectors, security equipment and other automobile-related merchandise.
“Why pay retail when you can pay dealer cost!” the site says. The site promises “trustworthy and secure ordering” and a “great buying experience. We guarantee to exceed your expectations, the way a great buying experience should be.”
The BBB offers the following tips when considering buying from an online merchant:
- Do your homework. Check the BBB for a Reliability Report by going to www.cleveland.bbb.org or by calling 216-241-7678. It also can sometimes be helpful to do an Internet search of the business.
- Be wary of businesses with no address other than an untraceable mailbox. While there are responsible businesses that do not have physical locations, many businesses with records of poor customer relations choose to post only a postal box address on their websites.
- Pay by credit card whenever possible. That way, you have a better chance of getting your money refunded if you do not receive your order.
- Avoid businesses that will only accept payment by wired funds.