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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Dallas and Northeast Texas
Baseball Uniform Business Has Teams Crying Foul
May 30, 2014

Unlike baseball, it generally takes more than three complaints for Better Business Bureau serving Greater Maryland to call a company 'out.' But with dozens of complaints in the pipeline and with ties to an owner with a history for failing to address customer concerns, BBB is sharing reported business practices and background information on Team Uniforms 123, LLC of Millersville, Md.

"We have 29 pending complaints and counting," said Angie Barnett, president/CEO of BBB serving Greater Maryland. "We've documented a pattern of allegations from teams in more than 20 states that started their season without uniforms ordered and paid for with Team Uniforms 123. The company has failed to address BBB's concerns."

Before Team Uniforms 123, another Anne Arundel County company, Sports55was taking online orders for teams across the country. According to BBB records, the business was begun in 1999 and earned a similar pattern of unanswered customer complaints. Teams would place custom orders, along with payment in full, but would not receive uniforms until into or after the busy spring season. Sports55 had an F rating with BBB and was placed on "off limits" status by the Military Control Board at Ft. Meade. By December 2013, company officials contacted saying ownership by Kelly Burke and John Eberl had been transferred to Mary Wohlstein and the company name was changed to Team Uniforms 123.     

While Team Uniforms 123 expressed interest during the transfer of ownership to resolve previously unanswered and unresolved complaints, it failed to do so. Mr. Eberl, who was the complaint contact for Sports55, was to assist with promised resolution. In February of this year, BBB received notification that all business relations between the two companies had been severed and that past complaints would be left unresolved.

Uniform Tips for Teams from BBB:    

  1. Start With Trust® at bbb.orgSearch millions of North American businesses in BBB's database. Not only will you find Accredited Businesses that have been vetted by BBB for a history of reliable, responsive and ethical behavior, but also a wealth of trusted information - both positive and negative - on companies that run the rating spectrum.
  2. Ask for references and contact them directly. References should be recent and comparable in scope and service provided. This may also help weed out new businesses. Don't settle for "years" of experience. You want to know the business has proven operational, management and customer service expertise.
  3. Read the terms and conditions. A business is not obligated to provide service above and beyond stated terms and conditions, so don't skip this step! Are there delivery guarantees in place? What happens if your order is late? Are refunds offered? Oftentimes, there are no refunds with custom orders, so delivery guarantees and BBB Business Reviews are that much more important.  
  4. Look for complete company contact information. A P.O. Box is not a substitute for a verifiable, physical address. Is there an email address or simply a contact form?  Is there a phone number - call it. Does someone answer or does it simply go to voicemail? 
  5. Understand risks associated with offshore orders. The quality of the materials and fabrication, extended shipping periods, and the limitations of U.S. consumer protections.
  6. Is the website secure? Are transactions encrypted? While it's become increasingly obvious that even mammoth businesses and government agencies are vulnerable to hackers intent on cracking protections, there​'s no excuse to avoid reasonable precautions.
  7. Is your privacy protected and what information, if any, does the business share with third parties?