We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to research a company anytime you have to pay money upfront.
Some customers of an Upstate based graphics business found that out the hard way. Just a little digging shows they don’t have a license to operate in South Carolina and that’s just the beginning.
If you pay more than $1000 for printed T-shirts in August, you’d think you’d get them before the leaves fall.
The Better Business Bureau even called Duncan Howard Dawkins, the owner of Triple A Marketing in Spartanburg, two months ago to help customers who paid and never got the goods.
“He did tell us that he was going to ship the T-shirts out right away. And then once we began calling again because we heard from the consumers that he hadn’t sent anything, we received no response. So that’s when we started delving a little deeper into their business practices,” said Courtney Beaty with the BBB.
She says any attempt to contact Triple A Marketing by mail didn’t work either because the P.O Box on the invoices had been closed for at least two years.
Part of the reason for the now “F” rating with the BBB is that the Triple A Marketing, and another company owned by Dawkins called Affordable Photography are not licensed with the state.
And then there’s the failure on the part of the company to resolve at least 4 complaints.
We spoke to Dawkins by phone:
7News: “It’s not just the customers who haven’t been able to get in touch with you. The Better Business Bureau hasn’t of late, either, is there a reason for that.”
Dawkins: “I don’t know, I’ve had some phone issues, so?”
7News: “You’ve had some phone issues?”
Dawkins: “Yes ma’am.”
7News: “Can you understand the concern of people who have paid you upwards of $1000 and haven’t seen the product.”
Dawkins: “I would love to see that list so we can justify them.”
7News: “So you do want to make it right.”
Dawkins: “Oh yes, of course.”
Beaty also dug into his past and found a number of fraud related convictions in the Carolinas. The BBB says before you pay money to any company upfront be sure to do your research. You’d also be wise to work out a plan with businesses that require upfront payment, to pay half and then the other half when you get the goods.