Online buyer beware: Expensive returns could cost you

Investigations

CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — Toni Miller is usually the one doing the selling at her shop, Pass it On Consignment, but this time she’s the customer.

She thought she was getting a good deal when she clicked on a Facebook ad that popped up in her news feed.

“It looked like a great bargain,” Miller said.

It turned into a three-month battle to get back her money.

“I paid $142 for the blouses and I went through Pay Pal,” she said.

First, it took almost a month for the clothes to show up. When they did, it wasn’t worth the wait.

“They were horrible. There are a lot of strings, flimsy material, no manufacturer’s label,” said Miller. “I went back on Facebook to try to find the company and could not find the company but found a review group and there was a whole bunch of really bad reviews.”

She also found something else that threw up a red flag.

“There were about seven or eight different names for this company,” Miller said.

She wanted a refund. The company told her to send back the clothes.

“So, I took my clothing to a UPS store and cheapest quote I could get to send the clothing back was for $200,” she said.

The packaging the clothes came in had a New Jersey return address, but the company wanted the clothes returned to China.

“I was very confused,” Miller said.

“There are stores in China that are setting up shop and making themselves look like they are locally based, but if you read the fine print, you’ll find it says all return items must be mailed overseas at the buyer’s expense,” said John Sancenito, president of INA, a Harrisburg-based investigative and security service.

​​​​​​​Sancenito says before people purchase anything from an advertisement on social media, they should do some research on the company.

“Does the company have a website? Is it a legitimate website? Check the addresses on their website,” he said. “Read the reviews of the company and find out what other consumers have experienced.”

That’s something Toni wishes she would have done first.

“From the reviews online, there are probably 25 or 30 people who have gone through the same thing I have, ” she said. “I won’t let it happen again.”

Sancenito also suggests that people pay with a credit card, so they can dispute a charge directly with their credit card company.

Pay Pal refunded Toni’s money after she filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s office.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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