BBB names Dirty Half Dozen
CHARLOTTE — A company that sells wigs online heads the Better Business Bureau’s mid-year 2011 Dirty Half Dozen list of worst-rated area businesses.
Others include a talent agency that recruits models, a discount furniture store, a job training company, a law office that specializes in mortgage modifications and a security company with offices in Concord and Charlotte.
In the first half of 2011, consumers filed 6,292 complaints with the BBB against businesses in the Southern Piedmont of the Carolinas. The top six businesses with the most unanswered or unresolved complaints are included on the BBB’s Dirty Half Dozen list.
“The business practices of these six companies range from deception to disregard, and this type of customer service is unacceptable to customers and to the BBB,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy.
“Customers expect and should receive, at the very minimum, a response from the company when they are unhappy with the products or services received.”
Here’s the Mid-Year 2011 Dirty Half Dozen:
• Katour Line Enterprises (BBB grade F), Charlotte — Katour Line Enterprises sells wigs and hairpieces via an online website. Customers from 17 states filed complaints with the BBB after ordering but not receiving wigs that cost an average of $150. After the BBB contacted Katour Line about the complaints, the company responded with a letter stating that the company was changing ownership, and consumers would need to challenge the charges with their credit card companies in order to obtain refunds. Katour Line has seven unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2011 and 26 total complaints in the previous 36 months.
• Talent Solutions Group, LLC (BBB grade F), Fort Mill — Talent Solutions Group holds model recruiting events throughout the country where they sign up prospective “models” who pay an average of $250 to $350. Consumers from 14 states filed complaints with the BBB when they were unable to obtain a refund after canceling within the “three day right to cancel” timeframe stated on their contract. Talent Solutions Group has seven unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2011 and 33 total complaints in the previous 36 months.
• Discount Furniture & Mattress Warehouse (BBB grade F), Charlotte — Consumers from Charlotte, Pineville, Mint Hill and Gastonia filed complaints against Discount Furniture with the BBB after they had problems obtaining refunds after receiving damaged products or incorrect product orders. Discount Furniture has five unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2011 and 10 total complaints in the previous 36 months.
• World Wide Consulting Services (BBB grade F), Charlotte — World Wide Consulting Services sells job training and placement services to individuals for an average fee of $700. Consumers from 14 states filed complaints with the BBB alleging that job interviews and job placements did not occur as promised in the company’s sales pitch, and they have not been able to obtain refunds from the company. World Wide Consulting has three unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2011 and 18 total complaints in the previous 36 months.
• Law Office of Charles Oldham, PLLC (BBB grade F), Charlotte — The Law Offices of Charles Oldham provides mortgage modification services to homeowners in danger of foreclosure. Complainants state that the company included a money back guarantee that they could get their mortgage modified for an upfront fee averaging $2,500. Customers from 14 states filed complaints with the BBB on the basis that the company did not perform the services as promised and they have been unable to obtain refunds from the money back guarantee. Two of their 15 complaints were filed by N.C. residents, which may violate the state’s Debt Adjusting Act of 2005, which prohibits companies from charging N.C. residents an advance fee for this type of service. The Law Office of Charles Oldham has three unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2011 and 15 total complaints in the previous 36 months.
• Guardian Security, Inc. (BBB grade F), Charlotte and Concord — Guardian Security sells alarm system monitoring services. Complainants from the North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia allege that Guardian Security’s sales representatives gave them the impression that they were with ADT Security and went door to door to houses with ADT Security yard signs. Complainants state that Guardian Security said they needed to discuss changes to their ADT Security monitoring service and signed the homeowners up for a new monitoring service. Homeowners filed complaints after they were double-billed by both ADT and Guardian Security and then learned that Guardian was not affiliated with ADT. Guardian Security has three unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2011 and 17 total complaints in the previous 36 months.
Consumers can check out a business and get a free BBB Business Review online at www.bbb.org or by calling the BBB (toll-free in the Carolinas) at 1-877-317-7236.