Wisconsin BBB warns consumers of online hoverboard retailer

KNUTSFORD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: A youth poses as he rides a hoverboard, which are also known as self-balancing scooters and balance boards, on October 13, 2015 in Knutsford, England. The British Crown Prosecution Service have declared that the devices are illegal as they are are too unsafe to ride on the road, and too dangerous to ride on the pavement. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE — Poor product quality and unresponsive customer service from a Wisconsin hoverboard company won’t fly with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is warning online shoppers about Hoverboards.com.

The company, which uses a UPS Store located in Appleton, Wis. as an address, has received 29 complaints since February 2018, including 15 since the beginning of 2019. The BBB has not received a response from the company to most of those complaints, which has resulted in an F rating, the lowest on BBB’s scale. In addition, the BBB has received 7 negative customer reviews.

Complainants have come from 19 states:  Alabama, Florida, Georgia (4), Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina (2), New York, Ohio (3), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (2), South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington (3) and Wisconsin.

These complaints allege that the company’s products don’t work, the products are expensive to ship back to the business, and the business is unresponsive to customers’ communications. Most of the complainants lost between $150-$200.

A Shreveport, LA woman wrote: “I received my hoverboard and within two days noticed the charging port was starting to disconnect. Immediately contacted customer support with no response. Weeks (have) passed still no help! I’ve talked to someone every day with a different excuse. Someone from upper management (is) supposed to call me back every time I call and I never received the call. Currently I am calling everyday! I have mailed my hoverboard back to them to be fixed. 4 weeks have passed! At this point I want my money back!! This is now stealing! Keeping my hoverboard and my money! Not only did I pay for the hoverboard but I spent $35 on shipping to send it back to be repaired!!.”

“In many cases, parents and grandparents purchased these products from Hoverboard.com as a gift for family members who were disappointed that their new hoverboard didn’t work properly,” says Jim Temmer, president/CEO of BBB Serving Wisconsin. “Poor product quality and poor customer service are simply unacceptable.”

Additionally, the company has not responded to two requests by the BBB to substantiate the claims found on its website that it’s the “#1 Awarded Hoverboard for Safety and Reliability” and “largest UL2272 Certified Hoverboard retailer.” Reputable companies should be able to substantiate advertised certifications and superlative claims, but Hoverboards.com did not.

The company also did not respond to BBB’s request in October 2018 to address a pattern of complaints from consumers, who said that Hoverboards.com has been unresponsive to their concerns and that shipping fees are very high. In addition, it has not responded to BBB requests for basic, general information.

To file a BBB complaint against Hoverboards.com, go to www.bbb.org/complaints.

In addition, BBB offers these tips for hassle-free online shopping:

  • Research before you buy. Check out a company’s profile first at bbb.org to see the company’s BBB rating, complaint history, customer reviews and more.
  • Look for contact information. Search the company’s website for a physical address, phone number and email address so you’ll be able to reach the company later if there is a problem. If the website doesn’t have any contact information, you may want to choose a different company.
  • Pay by credit card. If you pay by credit or charge card online, your transaction will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. If the product arrives defective, or doesn’t arrive at all, you can dispute the charge on your credit card and temporarily withhold payment while the creditor investigates them.
  • Check out the terms of the deal, like refund policies and delivery dates. Can you return the item for a full refund if you’re not satisfied?  If you return it, who pays the shipping costs or restocking fees, and when you will get your order? A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule requires sellers to ship items as promised or within 30 days after the order date if no specific date is promised. Many sites offer tracking options, so you can see exactly where your purchase is and estimate when you’ll get it.
  • Keep detailed records. Print or save records of your online transactions, including the product description and price, the online receipt, and the emails you send and receive from the seller. Read your credit card statements as you receive them; be on the lookout for charges that you don’t recognize.
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