McFARLAND (WKOW) -- The Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin is issuing a warning about a McFarland-based janitorial supply company whose customers say have not received items they have paid for.
Harris Supply Industries, which does business as Wholehog Janitorial, sells floor machine products and related equipment parts and supplies.
The BBB has received a total of 22 complaints from consumers in 16 states as well as five negative customer reviews since its file opened in October, 2017, according to a BBB news release.
Complainants come from 16 states and say that items ordered and pre-paid have not been delivered and they have not been able to reach the company. Payments range from $20 - $1000.
To date, all complaints have gone unanswered by the company, according to the BBB.
Because of the pattern of complaints and the company’s refusal to respond to them, Harris Supply Industries has an “F” rating on its BBB Business Review.
“Shopping online is the way to shop nowadays, no doubt about it. More than two-thirds of Americans shop online on a regular basis and BBB processes more than 10,000 complaints every year concerning Internet shopping,” says Jim Temmer, BBB Serving Wisconsin CEO/president. “While it’s convenient, if you’re not careful you’ll end up without a product and a lighter wallet. Bottom line, you really have to do your research before doing business.”
More from the news release:
In addition to receiving complaints, the BBB has received more than 665 inquiries from consumers throughout the country since October, 2017.
As of February 28, 2018 mail sent to the company at 4719 Farwell St., Suite 5, McFarland WI 53558 has been returned by the Post Office marked, “Unable to Forward, Return to Sender.”
The Federal Trade Commission’s Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule “requires sellers who solicit buyers to order merchandise through the mail, via the Internet, or by phone to have a reasonable basis to expect that the sellers can ship within the advertised time frame, or, if no time frame is specified, within 30 days. The Rule also requires that, when a seller cannot ship within the promised time, the seller must obtain the buyer’s consent to a delay in shipping or refund payment for the unshipped merchandise.”
A company in Oregon states, “We placed an order on 9/1/17 and they charged our credit card $574.88 but after three months we still have not received our order. We have called dozens of times but only get voicemail. We have left voicemail messages and have emailed them three times. To date, we have not had any of our messages returned.”
BBB Serving Wisconsin has referred this case to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
The BBB offers the following tips when making an online purchase:
Before you buy, search for company and product reviews and complaints. Check out the company with BBB at www.bbb.org to see the company’s rating and complaint history. Also, make sure you’re using a secure site. The URL address of the website should start with https, instead of http. The added “s” means that any data you input is encrypted and secure.
Double check the company’s address. The company should list its full contact information. Make sure it lists an address, and check that address through a reverse search, Google, and Google Maps. Be sure to call the company and have a personal conversation with someone.
Make sure your computer virus protection is up to date. Anyone can create advertisements and claims on social media or online that look like great deals. But once you click on them, you could be opening the door to malware on your computer. Also, watch for look-alike websites. When shopping online, make sure to use only legitimate websites. Watch out for URLs that use the name of well-known brands along with extra words.
Pay with a credit card. A credit card offers more consumer protections for you if there is a problem with the purchase. Also, consider it a huge red flag if the website asks you to pay for your purchase using pre-paid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfer. These payments cannot be traced nor reversed. Also, make sure you receive confirmation of sale or a tracking number within a couple days of placing your order.
If you have a complaint against Harris Supply Industries or Whole Hog Janitorial, click here
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBBon Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.