The Washington State Attorney General’s office has resolved a lawsuit against Western By Design, LLC (DBA 1880 Western Wear), an online shopping company based in Colville, Wash., for violations of the Consumer Protection Act. Better Business Bureau assisted with the investigation based on a pattern of complaints concerning consumers paying for products which were never delivered, or refunds never issued as promised. Consumers also alleged they were unable to get a hold of this business to address these issues.
The lawsuit resolution involves refunds to approximately 117 consumers nationwide.
1880 Western Wear sold western clothing and apparel online, and has recently closed the business. Consumers reported waiting for over a year to receive ordered items or never received their items at all. Many requested refunds when their order was not fulfilled as promised, but the business had a “no refunds” policy five days after an order was placed.
Below is an overview of the Consent Decree between the Washington Attorney General and 1880 Western Wear:
In the Consent Decree, the defendant agreed to:
Refund consumers money for items they paid for, but never received;
Pay $25,000 in civil penalties if all provisions of the Consent Decree are not met; and
Follow injunctive measures if the company reopens, or the defendant opens a new business including but not limited to:
Ship purchased goods within the specified number of days;
Post an “Order Cancellation” and “Shipping Time “ policy on the website;
Respond to customer complaints within 72 hours; and
Restrain from making any misrepresentations in the context of their business activities, including but not limited to misrepresentations about delivery dates, delivery status, refunds and availability of goods.
Consumers nationwide may be entitled to a refund
By May 11, 2015, the defendant must provide the AGO a list of all known consumers that purchased any products from 1880 Western Wear from Jan. 1, 2013 through Sept. 20, 2013.
The AGO will send a letter by USPS mail to these consumers informing them they may be entitled to a refund. The letter will include a claim form the consumer can fill out to request a refund for items paid for, but never received. Consumers will have 45 days from the date the notices are sent to submit a claim.
Within one year after the 45-day claim period, the defendant will send refund checks to all eligible claimants that will cover the cost of any undelivered goods, including sales tax, delivery charges, etc. Refund amounts will vary depending on the original purchase price.
Assistant Attorney General Brooks Clemmons was lead on this case.
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