ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Chicago and Northern Illinois is alerting consumers about Hearthware, Inc. and its product the NuWave Oven, which is typically sold through infomercials. This company is located at 1795 Butterfield Rd. Suite A, Libertyville, IL 60048, according to BBB records. In the past three years, 1,291 complaints from consumers in all 50 states as well as 3 different provinces in Canada have been filed against this company with the BBB. There have been 331 complaints in the past 12 months, 18 from Illinois. A review of consumer complaints shows a pattern of allegations and complaints. This company currently has an “F” rating with the BBB.
Doreen Burton, a consumer from Forest Park, IL recently purchased a Hearthware product. “I called late at night after the commercial for the NuWave Oven. They sent a cooktop instead. I sent it back right away. They charged $121.18 for shipping and handling and would not refund those charges. They did not tell me how high this charge was going to be. I called and complained and the person that I talked to said he would send me a copy of the tape where I agreed. I never got the tape and I never got a refund for shipping and handling.”
"The single largest number of complaints allege that consumers were charged either for free products or in exorbitant shipping and processing fees associated with products they thought were free,” explained Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford office of the Better Business Bureau. "This is a distinct pattern of complaints, which the company has not corrected. In addition, other complaint topics include: faulty product, difficulty in returning or receiving a refund, misleading advertising practices, and difficulty in contacting the company with emails and phone calls unanswered."
To help avoid problems with purchasing products advertised through infomercials, the Better Business Bureau recommended consumers take these steps:
• Avoid becoming caught up in an urgent sales pitch. Many times sellers use phrases like “for a limited time,” “order now before prices increase,” and “in short supply.” Take your time to consider the purchase.
• Research the company and product. Go to bbb.org to obtain the Business Review on the company and check its BBB rating.
• Compare products and pricing. Search online to compare products and pricing from other manufacturers and sources.
• Read and understand the fine print. Make sure you understand purchase and return policies, restocking fees and exchange options.
• Obtain a delivery time. Request purchase confirmations and tracking numbers. Be suspicious if the business cannot supply this information.
• Pay by credit card and retain receipts. This allows you to more easily dispute charges. Check your billing and financial statements regularly for only authorized transactions.
The BBB also recommends buyers immediately notify sellers if items are disappointing, damaged or do not arrive as anticipated.
For more information about purchasing products and registering complaints, visit www.bbb.org