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AG Nessel Issues Notice of Intended Action Against Grand Rapids Toy Business
December 16, 2021
LANSING - A website that markets toys and collectible figurines faces action by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel after the Better Business Bureau (BBB) collected nearly 90 complaints against the business.
The Department issued a Notice of Intended Action (NIA) against Planetary Toys, LLC d/b/a Treasure Trove Toys Thursday afternoon for allegedly violating Michigan's Consumer Protection Act.
The Consumer Protection Team first began looking at the business Monday afternoon following an inquiry from WZZM in Grand Rapids.
"The complaints demonstrate that the website routinely charges consumers for purchases, but then fails to send them the items purchased," the NIA states. "Some consumers indicate that while they did receive an item, it was not the item they ordered but rather a less valuable item-such as an ordinary toy as opposed to a special edition toy. Very few complaining consumers have received a refund. The website listed an invalid address (622 Jefferson, Grand Rapids, MI 49508) and disconnected phone number. While you attempted to explain away these issues to our Office's investigator, this Office remains concerned about these business practices."
The Department found probable cause to believe the business is engaging in the following unfair trade practices:
- causing a probability of confusion or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;
- representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;
- advertising or representing goods or services with intent not to dispose of those goods or services as advertised or represented;
- advertising goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity in immediate conjunction with the advertised goods or services;
- representing or implying that the subject of a consumer transaction will be provided promptly, or at a specified time, or within a reasonable time, if the merchant knows or has reason to know it will not be so provided; and
- failing, in a consumer transaction that is rescinded, canceled, or otherwise terminated in accordance with the terms of an agreement, advertisement, representation, or provision of law, to promptly restore to the person or persons entitled to it a deposit, down payment, or other payment, or in the case of property traded in but not available, the greater of the agreed value or the fair market value of the property, or to cancel within a specified time or an otherwise reasonable time an acquired security interest.
"My office will not stand for consumers getting scammed out of their hard-earned money, especially around the holidays," Nessel said. "It is our hope Planetary Toys will recognize the seriousness of this NIA and adjust expectations set by the Treasure Trove Toys website accordingly. We will take additional action to protect consumers if necessary."
To educate consumers on ways to protect themselves from scams this time of year, AG Nessel launched her holiday scams webpage.
There are countless online individuals and small businesses using websites to re-sell products purchased online. Some of these re-sellers have the goods shipped to themselves, then they send them along to the buyer. And others use drop shipping-where they simply order the product from a third party that then ships directly to the buyer. You can learn more in AG Nessel's consumer alert on the topic.
While such businesses are legal, consumers need to understand they are paying more, and problems can arise. This is especially true now when re-sellers who take advance orders, or drop shippers who rely upon another entity's promises, are experiencing the same supply chain problems as the rest of us.
Consumers who are having trouble getting hold of a desired last-minute gift because of supply chain issues may be turning to unknown websites hoping for some holiday magic that the re-seller may not be able to deliver. Since such re-sellers can be anywhere in the world, no agency can hold them all accountable, and consumers need to do their homework before spending hard-earned dollars.
BEFORE YOU BUY
- Research the product and the seller.
- Do an online image search of the product and any other images the seller has posted to see where the product is coming from, how much it really costs, and who else is selling it. Watch this video to learn how to do that.
- Compare prices for the same or similar products from other sellers.
The Department provides a library of resources for consumers to review anytime on a variety of topics.
Your connection to consumer protection is just a click or phone call away. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General's website, or if you have questions call 877-765-8388.