Media contact: Janet C. Hart, APR, CFEE (704) 927-8617 office
Top 12 Businesses Combine
for 366 Unanswered Complaints in 2009
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Better Business Bureau announced its 2009 ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of worst rated businesses in the area. In
2009, consumers filed 16,251 complaints with the BBB against businesses in the
Southern Piedmont area of NC and SC. The top 12 businesses with the most unanswered complaints have earned a
place on the BBB’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list.
there are businesses in our area that do not respond to consumer complaints in
a timely manner, if at all,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. “Businesses making
this list have earned the BBB’s worst possible distinction,” Bartholomy added.
the most unanswered complaints from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2009 include:
Weight Loss Centers –
(BBB status: out of business) – Franchise owner, Rick Rex of Mooresville, NC
(704) 799-1783 – Instead of losing weight, customers lost money when L.A.
Weight Loss abruptly closed all 10 Southern Piedmont locations (Charlotte,
Mooresville, Hickory, Gastonia and Rock Hill) on Dec. 11, 2008. Customers lost
thousands of dollars that they had pre-paid for weight loss services and
pre-packaged food products. L.A. Weight Loss has 205 unanswered complaints in
2009 and 222 total complaints in the last 36 months.
Link to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/weight-control-services/la-weight-loss-centers-in-mooresville-nc-103092
2. Happy Holler Gardens – (BBB Grade F) – Owners, Pixie and
Curtis Raduege of Rutherfordton, NC (828)-289-5681 - Happy Holler Gardens has
left a cross country trail of unhappy customers who purchased bulbs, seeds and
plants over the Internet that they have not received. Happy Holler Gardens has
22 unanswered complaints in 2009 and 25 total complaints in the last 36 months.
to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/nurseries-plants-trees-etc/happy-holler-gardens-in-rutherfordton-nc-216559
3. NRS – (BBB Grade F) – Judith Nye, Concord, NC at (704) 464-6550.
NRS is a debt collection agency and complainants nationwide allege that NRS has
sent bogus collection letters notifying them that they owe $189.99. If not
paid, NRS added a $300 fee and continued to aggressively pursue collections.
Consumers who contacted NRS disputed the debt and could not get information
about what company the money was supposedly owed to. Instead, the consumers were allegedly
threatened by NRS employees who used profane language and unethical collections
practices. NRS has 20 unanswered in 2009 and 21 total in the last 36 months.
to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/collection-agencies/nrs-in-concord-nc-214947
4. Peak Fitness – (BBB Grade F) – Jeff Harley, President,
or Marti Williams, Customer Service, Davidson, NC at (704) 896-5521. Peak
Fitness’s parent company, Fitness Management Group, filed for bankruptcy
protection in July, 2009. Complainants allege that they have encountered
difficulty in canceling their memberships and stopping or getting refunds for
payments deducted via auto-drafts from their bank accounts. On May 28, 2009,
Peak Fitness and its owners entered into a Preliminary Consent Judgment with
the NC Attorney General. Peak Fitness agreed not to sell memberships or process
payments until they have secured bonds of sufficient amount to meet these obligations. Locally, Peak Fitness has 17 unanswered
complaints in 2009 and 222 total complaints in the last 36 months.
to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/health-clubs/peak-fitness-in-davidson-nc-102426
5. First Warranty Group – (BBB status: Out of Business) – Clyde
Tenburg, Cornelius, NC at (704) 895-1206 – Complainants allege that they bought
vehicle warranties and then had trouble getting First Warranty Group to pay
claims. Headquartered in Florida, First Warranty Group is owned by Intercontinental
Marine Service Corporation (IMSC) which issued motor vehicle service agreements
in FL, TX, NC and OK. In 2007, IMSC surrendered its Florida insurance license. In 2009, the company was
ordered into receivership for purposes of rehabilitation. The company's
existing policies were not cancelled and will continue. The company will also continue
to process and pay claims to the extent possible, but it will not write any new
or renewal policies. At this time, it is estimated that the company has
approximately 10,000 in-force policies in FL, NC and other states. Effective
August, 2009, the company offices in Florida were closed. Locally, First
Warranty Group has 15 unanswered complaints in 2009 and 86 total complaints in
the last 36 months.
Link to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/warranties-extended/first-warranty-group-in-cornelius-nc-110853
6. Another Choice Services – (BBB Grade F) –Owner, Justine Gladden,
Monroe, NC at (704) 226-1588. Another
Choice Services is a door-to-door magazine sales business. Complainants are
located in NC, SC and GA and they report non-delivery of magazines and
difficulty contacting the company for refunds. Another Choice Services has 14
unanswered complaints in the last 12 months and 28 total complaints in the last
to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/magazines-sold-door-to-door/another-choice-services-in-monroe-nc-124041
7. Urban Souls, LLC DBA Anointed Souls (BBB Grade F) – Owner, Jerimiah McGill, Charlotte, NC at (704) 631-7037 – Urban Souls
is a door-to-door magazine sales business. Complainants are located throughout
the southeastern U.S. and they report non-delivery of magazines and difficulty
obtaining refunds. Urban Souls has 14 unanswered complaints in 2009 and 14
total complaints in the last 36 months.
to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/magazine-sales/urban-souls-in-charlotte-nc-2143168. KiS Golf – pronounced KISS - (BBB status: out of
business) – David Rogers, Trustee – Middle Tennessee Bankruptcy Court (615) –
377-7722 - KiS Golf filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 15, 2008 leaving customers out
thousands of dollars. KiS Golf sold membership packages which included travel
opportunities, custom-made golf clubs, and reciprocal play at golf clubs. The
average price paid or financed by customers ranged from $4,800 - $19,000.
Although Kis Golf has gone out of business, customers who financed their golf
packages, still have to pay thousands of dollars to the third party finance
company that financed the deals. KiS Golf has 13 unanswered complaints in 2009
and 34 total complaints in the last 36 months.
to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/golf-instruction/kis-golf-in-concord-nc-126305
9. Traffic Talk – (BBB Grade F) – Owner unknown, Mount
Gilead, NC (910) 435-6235. Traffic Talk sells customized auto parts and
complainants allege problems with non-delivery of product orders, problems
obtaining refunds and issues with poor customer service. Traffic Talk has 13
unanswered complaints in 2009 and 63 total complaints in the last 36 months.
to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/auto-customizing/traffic-talk-in-mount-gilead-nc-114446
10. Young’s F-Body - (BBB Grade F) – Owner, Tony R. Young,
Sr. of Charlotte, NC - (704) 271-9713 – Young’s F-Body specializes in
performance and restoration, parts and service for 1982-2002 models of
Chevrolet Camaros and Pontiac Firebirds. Complaints focus on delivery, refund
and customer service issues. Young’s F-Body has 12 unanswered complaints in
2009 and 80 total complaints in the last 36 months.
to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/auto-parts-and-supplies-new/youngs-f-body-in-charlotte-nc-121141
11. Nation High School - (BBB Grade F) – President, Stephen
O’Neal, Charlotte, NC at (704) 727-8505 or 1-(888) 727-8505. Nation High School
is a privately-run, online study program.
Complainants allege misleading sales practices and state that they have
not received the diplomas they paid for. Nation High School has 11 unanswered
complaints in 2009 and 23 total complaints in the last 36 months.
to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/schools-home-study/nation-high-school-in-charlotte-nc-218555
12. Beacon Financial Group - (BBB Grade F) – “Fred Bailey” (fake name)
at 1- 866 859-8352. Using
a fake contact name and a fake Charlotte address with telephone numbers in
Canada, Beacon Financial Group is an advance fee loan scam that guaranteed
consumers loans in exchange for a fee for ‘insurance’ or ‘collateral’ on the
loan. Consumers paid the fee which ranged from $1,000 - $3,000 via wire
transfer to Canada, but then did not receive the loans as promised and have not
been able to obtain refunds of the fees paid. Beacon Financial Group has 10
unanswered complaints in 2009 and 28 total complaints in the last 36
to BBB report: http://www.bbb.org/charlotte/business-reviews/advance-fee-brokers/beacon-financial-group-in-charlotte-nc-213301
check out a business and get a free Reliability Report online by visiting the
BBB website at www.bbb.org or by calling the
BBB (toll-free in NC and SC) at 1-877-317-7236.