Chicago, IL-December 16, 2009 – Peel Inc., an internet distribution company selling a variety of products ranging from coffee to posters, under multiple names and Web site addresses, has received more than 1,360 Better Business Bureau complaints in the past year from 49 states; currently, the company has 897 pending complaints with the Better Business Bureau. These complaints have earned the company an F rating from the BBB.
Consumer complaints to the Better Business Bureau allege undisclosed or unauthorized charges, lack of clearly disclosed shipping and/or membership fees, and deceptive advertising. Consumers further allege receiving multiple orders of merchandise that have not been ordered and/or authorized, and subsequent difficulties obtaining refunds.
“Peel Inc. has an extensive track record of leaving unhappy customers behind,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Consumers absolutely need to take the time to read the policies and terms of a company, and then research the business with an unbiased organization before making any purchase. At www.bbb.org consumers can check BBB Reliability Reports for free.”
Hillary Schroeder, a consumer from Chicago said, “I placed my order online with Seattle Coffee Direct through a Web site. I did not look them up with the Better Business Bureau first. I learned my lesson. When I did look them up I was shocked to see how many complaints they had. I ordered five pounds of coffee for $5.00 and was charged $38.00 for two pounds of coffee. When I called to complain they told me that just by signing, I automatically signed up for another $38.00 shipment of coffee every three business days. I did not sign up for this! I cancelled and asked for a refund. They told me to return the product and I did by certified mail…I finally got the refund after I filed with the Better Business Bureau.”
Many complainants also allege purchasing posters from posterpass.com at a particular price, then being charged a much higher price along with allegedly unknown fees for the transaction.
Bernas notes that while the company is resolving their complaints, there is an ongoing pattern of complaints concerning their business practices.
The BBB offers the following advice to shoppers on how to help prevent billing issues and other unexpected surprises when shopping online and in a store:
- Read all policies, agreements, guarantees, and instructions before signing.
- Do not be pressured into signing an agreement before you are ready.
- Make sure you understand all terms and conditions.
- Make sure all oral promises are put in writing.
- Be wary of vaguely worded provisions, exclusions or limitations which could pose a problem later.
- Be cautious when there is contradictory information in any agreement.
- Never sign a contract with sections left blank.
For more advice on Peel Inc. or online shopping, visit www.bbb.org