BBB Issues Warning About Online Retailer

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BBB is warning consumers about products from POWR Co., an online retailer of cell phone accessories. Consumers report that the products are hard to work and even harder to return the defective items.

The company, has an F rating, the BBB’s lowest possible rating, and has received 43 complaints from consumers since January 2019.

The company has not responded to any complaints filed through BBB.

A consumer from Raleigh, NC wrote: “I bought what was advertised as a ‘wireless’ phone charger, but when it arrived, it would not work unless it was plugged in – hence not truly wireless.”

Most of the complaints involve the purchase of wireless chargers, and most of the complainants say they’ve lost between $40-$165 apiece.

Consumers have told BBB that: Their purchased items were never received; The products they’ve purchased are defective; They’re asked to return defective products at their own expense; The company doesn’t honor its warranty; and they’re told by customer service that they are using the products incorrectly. In addition, consumers say that they’re not able to reach customer service in order to meet the 30-day return period on its website. The company’s website, www.powr.co, lists the company’s address, which is a UPS store, and several email addresses, but no phone number. Many consumers state they purchased the products after seeing the company’s Facebook advertisements.

In April and May, BBB Serving Wisconsin asked POWR Co. to substantiate the claim on its website that its product, “POWR Premium Wireless Car Charger” is the “#1 rated car charger in the world.” According to BBB’s Code of Advertising (COA), businesses must substantiate objective advertising claims.

In addition, because the company is constantly offering products on sale, with previous prices listed, the BBB asked for substantiation that the products were offered at the former or regular price. “Former” prices must be actual prices at which the advertiser has openly and offered the product for sale, for a reasonably substantial period of time, in regular course of business, and in good faith, according to the COA.

To file a BBB complaint against POWR Co., go to www.bbb.org/complaints and report it to bbb.org/scamtracker.

BBB offers these tips for online shopping:

Research before you buy. Check out a company’s profile first at bbb.org to see the company’s BBB rating, complaint history, customer reviews and more.

Look for contact information. Search the company’s website for a physical address, phone number and email address so you’ll be able to reach the company later if there is a problem. If the website doesn’t have any contact information, you may want to choose a different company.

Pay by credit card. If you pay by credit or charge card online, your transaction will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. If the product arrives defective, or doesn’t arrive at all, you can dispute the charge on your credit card and temporarily withhold payment while the creditor investigates them.

Check out the terms of the deal. Can you return the item for a full refund if you’re not satisfied? If you return it, who pays the shipping costs or restocking fees, and when you will get your order? A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule requires sellers to ship items as promised or within 30 days after the order date if no specific date is promised. Many sites offer tracking options, so you can see exactly where your purchase is and estimate when you’ll get it.

Keep detailed records. Print or save records of your online transactions, including the product description and price, the online receipt, and the emails you send and receive from the seller. Read your credit card statements as you receive them; be on the lookout for charges that you don’t recognize.