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Better Business Bureau ®
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28 counties covering Western Pennsylvania
BBB Hot Topics: December 2012
December 21, 2012

Pittsburgh, PA – December 27, 2012 – The Better Business Bureau of Western PA’s Hot Topics is a monthly alert regarding companies across all industries that are currently targeting Western Pennsylvania consumers. The Hot Topics list and information is also available on the BBB website under the News Center.

According to Warren King, President of the Better Business Bureau, “The BBB’s goal in creating Hot Topics is to help educate and protect the marketplace from businesses targeting local consumers.”

The following report is based on your BBB’s research as of December 27, 2012 and includes information received at our office on companies marketing to local Pennsylvanians. Click on the company name for an updated BBB report. Please take into consideration the importance of the practice and total performance of the company. To access over four million companies nationwide, visit www.bbb.org.

1. American Entry Exchange – Prize promotion scheme

An F rated company, American Entry Exchange received 71 out of 90 complaints with BBB in the last 12 months. Consumers allege they received a “Rapid Notice” letter from the company stating they had won a prize of $2,536,092.23. After paying a $20 transfer and processing fee, consumers claim to never receive the prize money. The company responds to most complaints by removing requested names from their mailing list and issuing refunds. In September 2012, BBB sent certified correspondence to American Entry Exchange requesting voluntary cooperation in resolving their pattern of complaints, but BBB has not received a response. Read BBB’s tips about prize promotions.

2. Big State Industrial Supply Inc. – Tool and industrial supply

Based out of Riverside, California, complainants of Big State Industrial Supply Inc. allege misrepresentation of the quality of merchandise and unethical collection practices. Some complainants report being harassed for payment of merchandise that was returned, shipped without authorization or never received, as well as receiving unwanted solicitations. In some cases, the company responds by indicating orders are verified prior to shipment, reiterating their refund policy or threatening to report negative information to credit reporting agencies or use other means of collection. Check out BBB information on unsolicited merchandise.

3. Nicols & Grant LLC – Collection agency

Nicols & Grant LLC, also known as N & G Capital, has received 70 complaints with BBB since January 3, 2012. Of these complaints, 30 are serious in nature, one remains unresolved and two received no response from the company. Complainants assert that the company makes harassing phone calls to their home, place of employment and sometimes to family members regarding alleged or false debt claims. Some complainants also report being threatening with lawsuits and jail time, as well as not being given any proof of the alleged debt after requesting further information. For information on your rights regarding debt collection practices, visit www.bbb.org.

4. Tummy Tuck Slimming System – Television advertisement

Out of 137 complaints filed with BBB since August 2011, 129 of Tummy Tuck Slimming System’s complaints were closed in the last 12 months. The majority of complaints are regarding billing and collection issues. In many cases, the company issues a complete refund to the consumer, deems that no product return is necessary and/or responds by explaining its offer terms and conditions and product cancellation instructions. BBB is reminding consumers to read all disclosures and fine print prior to making purchases, especially through home shopping services, and to be aware of their mail order rights.

5. US Public Yellowpages – Directory Publisher

BBB’s business review for US Public Yellowpages was opened in October 2012. Since then, 260 complaints have been filed with BBB. Based on a pattern of complaints, businesses allege receiving invoices of $599.99 for a listing on US Public Yellowpages that they never ordered. In some instances, the company responds to complaints stating the bill has been cancelled. In other instances, the company maintains the services were ordered and claims they have audio files authorizing $599.99 in services, which many businesses claim as being doctored. Discover information on how bogus billing schemes work.

6. World Law Debt – Debt relief services

An F rated company, one of World Law Debt’s contacts is listed as the President of Clear Your Debt and a managing member of its parent company, Orion Processing, which also has an F rating. Complainants of World Law Debt allege that the company accepts payment for services to negotiate debt, but does not render the agreed services or contact creditors to begin negotiations. In February 2012, BBB requested clarification from the company regarding its principles, associations to other debt negotiation or settlement companies, marketing and sales practices and disclosures with consumers, among other information. The company has not yet responded to BBB’s request. View BBB’s tips on debt negotiation.

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BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free Business and Charity Reviews and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB offers dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 114 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Visit www.bbb.org for more information about BBB.