GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A consumer alert that concerns your Christmas list: Dozens have turned to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) after the toys they paid good money for were never delivered.
One such customer reached out to 13 ON YOUR SIDE, which took action on his behalf with a deeper look into what the bureau called a "pattern of complaints."
The accusations of fraud and unfair dealings pointed to a townhome on the south side of Grand Rapids.
The address had been provided to the Better Business Bureau by a customer.
A 13 ON YOUR SIDE crew knocked but didn’t immediately receive an answer.
Another address listed under Treasure Trove Toys' website was fictitious, according to the BBB, which clarified its status with the US Postal Service.
Its phone number, meanwhile, appeared to have been disconnected when 13 ON YOUR SIDE attempted to reach out Monday.
Dozens of complaints against the online retailer on the bureau’s website cited past or ongoing fraud on the company’s part.
The BBB said it had taken:
- 72 similar complaints within the last year, many of which detailed purchasing an item, yet never receiving an order.
- 20 of these complaints stemmed from transactions within Michigan’s borders.
- An investigation revealed only 9% of those claims had been resolved, according to the Better Business Bureau.
Jack Mekelburg spent several hundred dollars on a set of popular Funko Pop! Toys from a website he stumbled upon by way of a Google search.
That was nearly a year ago.
He said Treasure Trove had been dodging his calls and his emails.
By the time he realized he’d likely been scammed, Mekelburg’s credit card company had more bad news: It was too late to seek a refund.
“How do you live with yourself running a business like this,” Mekelburg said during a Monday phone call. “Basically stealing money from people without ever delivering… it’s a shame.”
13 ON YOUR SIDE filmed stacks of what appeared to be outgoing packages on the townhome’s doorstep.
When questioned, a worker, who emerged from inside, claimed he had never heard of Treasure Trove Toys and that he worked for another toy retailer: Planetary Toys.
A search of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs database showed Planetary Toys, LLC was listed at that address when it formed in June of last year.
Its formation coincided with the period of time during which complaints against Treasure Trove first began to escalate.
It remained unclear Monday whether the retailers were in any way linked.
13 ON YOUR SIDE forwarded its own findings in addition to those of the Better Business Bureau to the Office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Monday.
Her office said it had only received one such complaint to date, but urged anyone who felt as though they’d been the victim of a scam to reach out to the Consumer Protection Division online or by phone at 877-765-8388.
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