BBB Business Review
This Business is not BBB accredited
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This business is not BBB accredited.
Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.
To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that lowered the rating for Universal Adcom include:
- 215 complaint(s) filed against business
- 1 complaint(s) filed against business that were not resolved
Factors that raised the rating for Universal Adcom include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Response to 215 complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||61|
|Total Closed Complaints||215|
Additional Complaint Information
The company requests customers with complaints or concerns directly contact Lola at (817) 633-3300.
Complaints to the BBB in this reporting period have been filed against UAC, D&L Map Service, Hometown Productions, Premier Map, Premier Impressions, and Fanfare Sports Marketing.
Complaints allege the company billed for orders not placed; misrepresented its affiliation with a school, chamber of commerce, or other civic organizations; made harassing and deceptive sales calls; non-receipt of product and poor quality product; and refusal to remove from calling lists. It should be mentioned that the majority of complaints to the BBB report multiple complaint issues. For example, a customer may complain they received a bill for an order not placed, the product received was poor quality, and the business refuses to remove them from the solicitation call list.
BILLED FOR ORDER(S) NOT PLACED
In the current three-year reporting window, the BBB has received numerous complaints from consumers reporting the company has billed them for orders not placed. A few customers reported being billed for multiple orders not placed. When customers contact the company to dispute the charges, company representatives state an order was placed and cite a date of birth or mother’s maiden name as “Proof” that an employee of the business placed the order.
Although some customers admit providing personal identifiers, other consumers deny ever providing identifying information to the company. When customers insist no orders were placed, company employees indicate the company will make negative reports to credit bureaus and take collection and legal action. Many clients that paid money for orders not placed to avoid collection action received additional bills for subsequent orders not placed.
Several customers allege receiving sales calls but did not place an order with the company. However, after receiving the sales call, the customer received the “Order Confirmation” sheet.
COMPANY RESPONSE TO BILLED FOR ORDER(S) NOT PLACED COMPLAINTS
The business response to the BBB regarding such allegations is, “An internal investigation has been conducted related to the subject matter…Please be advised that this account is cancelled and has been taken to a $0 balance.”
Another common complaint lodged is that the company misrepresents itself as affiliated with a school, chamber of commerce, police department, fire department, local newspaper, or other civic organization to generate sales orders. During the sales presentation, customers are led to believe that if a purchase is made, all proceeds will benefit the school or other civic organization being claimed by the sales representative. Some complainants report the representatives identified themselves as students of the local school to make a sale. Believing that placing an order will benefit a school, civic organization, or will be distributed by the civic organization, an order is placed. Later the consumer finds out the school received little or no proceeds and the business was not affiliated with the organization as claimed .
COMPANY RESPONSE TO SALES TACTICS
In response to BBB complaints that the company misrepresented its affiliations,the business denied any wrongdoing by the company. In a few of his responses to the BBB, the business supplied copies of “Distribution Agreement(s)” and “Partnership Agreements” signed by chambers of commerce, civic organizations, and schools as evidence his company acted in compliance with the agreement and the organization was aware that the company was selling advertising. Based on review of a Distribution Agreement, it appears that prior to selling maps and magnets to businesses, sales representatives approach the local chamber of commerce, police department, civic organization, etc., ask if they can provide free maps and/or magnets at the location for the community. If the organization agrees, the representative produces a Distribution Agreement to be signed. The Distribution Agreement form states, in part, “This DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT shall in no way be considered as an endorsement of the map and no persons name will be used in the sales presentation. However, Hometown Productions will mention that the free maps can be obtained at your location.” Based on the Distribution Agreement, the civic organization is led to believe it will simply be a pick-up site for free maps of the county and magnets with emergency numbers listed.
Partnership Agreements appear to be contracts between the business and a school. According to a Partnership Agreement provided to the BBB by the company, a representative approaches a school and offers “FREE” spirit items. If the school agrees to receive the “free” items, it enters into a “Partnership Agreement” and selects up to four free items and the quantity of each item it would like. The agreement also states, the business “will call on businesses in the community to coordinate sponsorship of the selected items, providing companies with targeted marketing outreach. Support will make the spirit items available to the school affiliated organization cost free with the understanding the school, organization, club, group or its registered agents will keep 100% of the PROFITS from the sale of selected items to assist with fundraising activities. Many consumers and school districts did not receive the items and/or proceeds or the product was of poor quality.
Other complaints center on company representatives contacting a business to verify and update information. According to customers, sales representatives act as if they are verifying the company’s contact information but are using the verified information to place an order. The customer later receives a bill.
Finally, customers complain company representatives call stating they are advertising vendors the company has worked with in the past. Believing they are ordering a product from a company with whom they have a previous working relationship, they place an order.
POOR QUALITY AND NON-RECEIPT OF PRODUCT
Poor quality products and non-receipt of products are common complaints lodged against the company. Specific complaints include maps with parts of the city missing, major roads missing, the wrong state listed, businesses listed on maps for another county, multiple misspellings of the customer name and the business name, and inaccurate telephone numbers. Some complaints have even reported receiving a product with another company name listed.
In addition to poor quality products, customers complain of non-receipt of ordered products. Despite not receiving the product, the invoice appears as do calls to collect money.
Complaints against the company include billing for orders not placed, misrepresenting its affiliation with civic organizations, deceptive sales calls, non-receipt of products, and poor quality products. To date, the company has not eliminated the underlying causes of customer complaints.
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||10|
Type of Entity
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Business ManagementMs. Lola Willingham, Director of Company Relations
ADVERTISING SPECIALTIES ADVERTISING/MARKETING AGENCIES PROMOTIONAL/MARKETING PRODUCTS