YOUNGSTOWN — With cook out season fast approaching, the Better Business Bureau advises consumers to be cautious when dealing with door-to-door meat vendors.
American Prime Wholesale LLC of Mineral Ridge, Ohio, has, in the past, falsely displayed the BBB logo in various ads and in areas of a MySpace webpage, implying BBB accreditation.
They also claim to sell the Omaha Steak brand, and at times have implied that they are another Mahoning Valley company with a similar name. The Better Business Bureau has attempted to contact American Prime Wholesale LLC about their claims, but company management has not returned BBB phone calls.
Consumers have filed complaints regarding product quality and the company has not been responsive. The BBB has received confirmation from Omaha Steaks corporate office that this company is not an authorized seller for their products.
This company currently has an F rating with the BBB.
The BBB has contacted MySpace and Omaha Steaks who have had limited success in assisting in the removal of these misrepresentations, however, on April 1 the BBB again contacted the company and left a detailed message regarding this press release, and the BBB logo has since been removed.
The BBB urges consumers to verify the company they are dealing with and not to be pressured into an “on the spot sale.”
The BBB offers the following tips to consumers, before making a purchase from a door-to-door salesman:
— Ask for literature and take plenty of time to read it. Reputable companies will have a local sales office with a published price list that includes the address and phone number of the company.
— Contact your Better Business Bureau for a Reliability Report on the company.
— If you decide you don’t want to purchase the product, the Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives you three days to cancel purchases that are made in your home or at a location that is not the permanent place of business or local address of the seller.
If you decide to cancel the contract, be sure to send the company a certified letter with notice of your contract cancellation.
— Never pay with cash or give out banking information before checking out the company.
— Carefully read every document before you give your consent and be sure to keep a copy of the contract for your records.
— Ask to see a vendor’s permit. In Ohio, salespersons are required to have a state license or permit to sell products or services door-to-door. Ask to see the salesperson’s vendor’s license.
For more information, contact the Better Business Bureau at 330-744-3111 or www.youngstown.bbb.org.