Posted: 8/17/2018

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In an age where social media is a vast platform to reach all kinds of users, many boutique businesses are using Instagram and Facebook to advertise their goods. Unfortunately, many scammers and dishonest companies also use social media to con consumers.

swimsuit scams

In an age where social media is a vast platform to reach all kinds of users, many boutique businesses are using Instagram and Facebook to advertise their goods. Unfortunately, many scammers and dishonest companies also use social media to con consumers.

Sponsored ads and posts often offer free merchandise. The problem with these offers is that they are hardly ever “free”.  If you have to pay shipping and handling fees, that isn’t free. And in some cases, the business advertising the product or merchandise doesn’t deliver.

Folsom & Co has been the subject of negative reviews and complaints for offering free bikinis to Instagram users and not delivering. Upset shoppers have turned to BCA and other outlets with similar allegations. They ordered bathing suits advertised by the company, expecting delivery in 2 to 4 weeks.  The promotion was for a free swimsuit if the shopper agreed to pay for shipping. Instead of receiving their swimsuits, consumers received automated replies from the company claiming Folsom was overwhelmed with contacts and to wait 2 to 3 days for a response. Attempts to get a resolution from Customer Service failed. Fortunately for the consumers that filed complaints with BCA, the company responded by apologizing for the delay and issuing refunds. Others have not been so fortunate.

If you do an Internet search for feedback on Folsom & Co’s offers, you’ll find unhappy YouTube reviews and blogs about issues others have experienced with their “free” swimsuit promotion. You may also watch promotions similar to what occurred with the swimsuit fiasco. On the company’s very own Facebook page, you’ll see comments from shoppers asking where their orders are. One Facebooker says under a recent photo of a woman modeling a bikini that Folsom & Co posted, “So no sign of my package, postal service tracked number and said it hasn't entered the country, it's now been 51 days.” Another asks, “What next steps do you plan to follow aside from not answering my emails?” Still another states, “Gimme a break. My watch arrived a million weeks after ordering it and it doesn’t even work. Shady company.”

Shopping with retailers you are not familiar with is risky. There has been an increase in pop-up companies that create websites, offer too good to be true deals, and disappear after taking consumers’ money. Before shopping online, do your homework. The first thing you should do is check the business’s background and reputation. You can do that by always remembering to check their BCA report. If in doubt, hit up our Ask the Experts forum and we’ll give you our opinion on the offer and some valuable advice and resources to help you. Or contact us and let one of our knowledgeable, friendly customer service reps assist you. For more tips to help you when shopping online, check out BCA’s Online Shopping Guide.

Scammers and con artists often excel at their craft. They use misleading tactics to lure you in. Shopping smart and doing some research before agreeing to an offer can save you disappointment and money down the line.

 

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About Business Consumer Alliance

Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.

Tags: scams

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