INDIANA – Better Business Bureau serving Northern Indiana has issued a warning for consumers about trading card company Panini America out of Irving, Texas.
BBB has received hundreds of complaints from consumers, including at least three in Northwest Indiana, claiming the company never made good on autographed cards offered as part of upgraded boxes of trading cards. Instead of hand-signed cards, consumers received a redemption certificate to be redeemed for an autographed card at a later date. According to consumers, the redemption cards have never been fulfilled, leaving them without the cards and Panini America with their money.
A Valparaiso man said he’s been emailing the company for nearly a year after not receiving his autographed card.
According to the consumer: “I have been emailing customer service for almost a year and have not received one piece of communication back and I have never received my order. I have submitted a product redemption code for an autographed card. I have done all the steps asked of me. I have been very patient, but I have been emailing for over a year to customer service to find out why I haven’t received my product or a replacement product and not one response. Then when I do the “contact us” via the live chat, it’s a dead link.”
BBB notified Panini America of a pattern of complaints, alleging the company fails to honor promised fulfillment and delivery of products after receiving redemption cards from its customers. This pattern of complaints has remained unresolved, and BBB has seen a recent spike in complaints of this nature. To date, BBB has processed 237 complaints in the last three years. There have been an additional 20 received this month that are currently pending closure.
Panini America Inc. currently has an “F” rating with the BBB for failures to respond to consumer complaints.
Use BBB’s tips to protect yourself when online shopping:
- Research before you buy. Use BBB.org and shopper reviews to do your homework before purchasing. Watch out for phony reviews, too.
- Be careful purchasing sought-after products, especially during the holiday season. The risk of online purchase scams rises during the holidays as more people are making online purchases, and scammers lure in victims by offering the most popular products of the season at great prices.
- Use secure and traceable transactions and payment methods. According to BBB’s research, those who paid with a credit card were less likely to lose money. Be cautious when paying by digital wallet apps, prepaid money cards, or other non-traditional payment methods. Visit BBB.org to learn more about payment types and how to use each safely.
- Report unsatisfactory purchase experiences to BBB. If you are unhappy with a purchase, file a complaint at BBB.org/complaints. If you never received what you paid for, consider reporting it to BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker) to help other consumers avoid being scammed.
If you spot a scam, whether you’ve lost money or not, report it to BBB’s Scam Tracker at BBB.org/ScamTracker and the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Your story can help other consumers avoid similar scams.
BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB services to consumers are free. BBB provides objective advice to businesses and consumers, BBB Business Profiles on millions of companies, charity reviews, dispute resolution services, scam alerts, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information.