“I am extremely disappointed:” Family feels brushed off after an online art supply purchase

BURLINGTON — A Burlington family went online to buy art supplies, but ended up feeling brushed off.

Kiley Bauer is an aspiring artist. For her birthday, her mother decided to splurge and buy her an airbrush kit.

"It's supposed to be a good one. It's what the students use in the high school," explained Pam Bauer, Kiley's mother.

Pam spent $245 on the kit, which she purchased online from Chicago Airbrush Supply.

"It came with the compressor, the airbrush, the paint, the how-to kit," Pam recalled about the order.

When the package arrived, it contained only paint, primer and cleaner -- all the major items were missing.

Pam Bauer explains the troubles she had with a purchase from Chicago Airbrush Supply to Contact 6's Jenna Sachs.

"My daughter was disappointed. It was supposed to be her Sweet 16 and she hasn't gotten it," Pam said.

Chicago Airbrush Supply no longer exists online, and when Pam tried calling, no one picked up the phone. Looking for answers, Pam turned to FOX6's Contact 6.

Turns out, the owner of the website also owns an art supply store in Chicago called Genesis Art Supply -- so Contact 6 visited the store. However, the building was empty, the doors were locked and a sign outside said the store was available for lease.

The store owner next door, Dan Levine, said he thinks the company over-expanded.

"It seemed to me that they were spending a lot of money and taking a lot of space," Levine said.

Contact 6's Jenna Sachs visits Chicago Airbrush Suppply's storefront in Chicago.

Levine has been referring Genesis Art Supply customers to the store's old location six blocks away. Contact 6 visited that location as well and found another empty building.

Steve Barnas of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago says the BBB has 16 complaints against Genesis Art Supply and all of them are unresolved.

"They basically have an F-rating with us, which is the Better Business Bureau's lowest rating," Barnas explained.

Contact 6's Jenna Sachs meets Steve Barbas from with the Better Business Bureau of Chicago.

In the past, the BBB also questioned some of the company's advertising claims.

"We asked for substantiation and he basically said, 'no,' and 'what, is big brother looking at me?' Something like, 'do you get paid to do this?' And that was it," Barnas recalled.

Contact 6 did reach out the owner, Richard Goldman, by phone. He told Contact 6 that bad decisions led to the dissolution of his business and he feels bad about upsetting customers like the Bauers. Goldman has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Kiley Bauer

"I am extremely disappointed. I had waited years for my parents to finally let me get it," Kiley Bauer said about the airbrush kit order.

There was good news for the Bauers. Pam Bauer filed a claim with PayPal and was reimbursed with credit for the full amount of the order.

Kiley's airbrush kit

The BBB recommends always doing your research about an online company before making a purchase. Consumers should check the company's BBB rating and do a quick Google search to get more information. If you do decide to make a purchase, pay with a credit card when possible. It offers the most protection if you need to file a dispute.