Reporting Kurtis Ming
FOLSOM (CBS13) — Hundreds of customers have been left high and dry by a large photography website, CBS13 has learned.
A company called New Century Direct has racked up over 1,800 complaints with the BBB and even more from photographers who used to order through the company’s photo supply websites LightImpressionsDirect.com and CenturyPhoto.com.
When the company wouldn’t respond after not filling orders, it was time to Call Kurtis.
The customers tell CBS13 they’ve been given excuses for months, never getting the products for which they paid.
So why is New Century Direct still taking new orders?
That’s what photographer Jim Faria wants to know.
For years he bought supplies from Light Impressions, but the $111.02 in picture frames he ordered in July 2010 never came.
When he called, the company admitted it didn’t have what he ordered, he said.
“They gave me the story that ‘I don’t think that were gonna get it,’” he said. “And I said, ‘OK, well, fine. Credit my credit card and I’ll go look for it elsewhere.’”
The company promised a refund, but he never got one.
Jennifer Harrison is also waiting for her refund after not getting photo supplies she ordered from the same company last summer.
“I’m a little ticked off,” she said. “There’s no excuse for not being able to treat the consumer right.”
Light Impressions shares its phone number with New Century Direct, a Southern California company, as well as sister website Century Photo.
And CBS13 has learned the company is still taking orders online, despite not filling older customer orders.
The company took an order from CBS13 last month.
“A lot of companies violate the FTC’s mail order rule,” said Gary Almond of the Better Business Bureau of Northeastern California.
Almond said 1,800 complaints have come in to the BBB from customers across the country.
The FTC requires companies to deliver customers’ orders in 30 days unless they give you a different time frame. Faria and Harrison both said they weren’t given a time frame. Neither were we when we ordered.
“If they were right around the corner I’d be considering knocking on their door,” Faria said.
CBS13 visited New Century Direct’s address in L.A. County last month but found an empty building, now available for lease.
CBS13 got a customer service representative to admit over the phone, “There is a problem with our bank” affecting refund checks. Representative Marie promised they’d go out in mid-November.
Faria and Harrison said they aren’t holding their breath.
“If I was the company I’d be embarrassed,” Harrison said.
Both the Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission told CBS13 they could not confirm or deny if they were investigating New Century Direct.
Because Faria and Harrison waited more than 60 days, they can no longer challenge the charges with their credit card companies. Their only remaining option is to sue in small claims court.