Angel Baby Bedding’s Customers Complain Of Delayed Orders- UPDATEby Nick LaFleur on May. 24, 2010, under alert, Life, scam, Tips
Angel Baby Bedding may use a cherubic, winged infant as its company symbol, but customers say its business practices are anything but heavenly.
Better Business Bureau says consumers may want to consider alternatives before dealing with Angel Baby Bedding and its owner, Laura Barton Helvey, of Farmington, Mo. Helvey says on her website that she has operated the online business since October 2005.
Despite Helvey’s online promise that “we will do what is the best for our customers,” consumers tell BBB that they have waited months for orders that never arrived. They also said they have been unable to speak with Helvey or anyone else at Angel Baby Bedding for help in addressing their concerns.
BBB has received more than 40 complaints against the business from more than 20 states and Canada. Most of those complaints occurred in the past 12 months. Angel Baby Bedding has an “F” grade with the BBB, the lowest grade possible, for failing to respond to customer complaints.
Kim States, BBB President, said Angel Baby Bedding’s customer service record “leaves much to be desired. A business’ communication with its customers is critical to its success, and when that breaks down, both the customers and business suffer.”
A woman from Alberta, Canada, said she ordered a bedding set from Angel Baby Bedding’s online store in late November of last year, more than three months before her baby’s due date. The cost was $485 Canadian. As of last week, she still had not received the items. She wants a refund. “I don’t want it and I don’t want to be charged for it,” she said of the order. She said she recently ordered the same items from another online business and received them in a few days.
In an e-mail response to BBB, Helvey said customers who have filed complaints will be receiving packages “within 4-7 days. We have a late shipment and customers cannot read a ship policy to save their lives.” She said she has felt “no reason for me to jump on the complaints via BBB when I am e-mailing the customers as well.
“Getting customers’ e-mails done, packages out, etc. creates a larger priority than 10-20 complaints out of over 3,000 orders for the last 12 months.”
On her website, angelbabybedding.com, Helvey says the business sells a variety of products worldwide, including nursery accessories, baby feeding items, baby health care items and baby furniture.
“Finally an Online Baby Bedding Store Better than the Rest,” says the site. “We are not shy in saying that we will do what is the best for our customers, and our customer service team is the most knowledgeable, polite and helpful team in the online baby bedding industry.”
The website describes Helvey as a wife and mother of two living in rural Farmington. “I like people, I enjoy doing good for people and giving them a break,” she says on the site.
But several customers said their dealings with the business have been anything but smooth.
A woman from West Bend, Wis., who is expecting a baby in May, said she paid Angel Baby Bedding $229 for bedding products on Jan. 16. As of last week, she had not received her order. She said she has phoned and e-mailed the business an estimated 20 to 25 times in recent weeks, but never has spoken to anyone with the company.
Eleven weeks after ordering, she placed the same order through another online company and received her products in three days. “How are they still operating?” she asked of the business. “It’s been very frustrating, very aggravating. This is something I shouldn’t have to deal with.”
A new mother from Fort Wayne, Ind., said she paid $135 for a crib set and several other items in early December, in advance of her baby’s birth later that month. She said she was told in an e-mail to expect the items in either two to three weeks or four to six weeks, depending on the items’ availability. She said she was told in a Dec. 16 e-mail that the items would be shipped in two to three days. The same two to three-day shipping schedule was repeated in e-mails sent on Jan. 5 and Feb. 22. As of last week, she still had not received her order.
She said her baby is now four months old and she no longer needs the set. Paypal has rejected her request for a refund.
The BBB offers the following tips for consumers ordering products online:
- Do your homework. Shop only with companies you know to be reliable. Ask family, friends and neighbors for recommendations.
- Read all policies and restrictions carefully before ordering.
- If at all possible, pay with a credit card, so you can challenge the charge if it becomes necessary. Never wire transfer money or send cash to a company you do not know.
- Make sure to get a working phone number from the company in the event you need to contact it later. If a phone number is listed on the site, try calling it first to make sure you can get through to a live person.
- Check with the BBB for a Reliability Report on a business by visiting www.tucson.bbb.org or by calling (520)888-5353.
UPDATE: BBB has recently changed Angel Baby Bedding’s grade from an F to a C.