I responded to an ad on Craigslist.org in Valdosta, GA for a "brand new in box" trampoline for $200 that I wanted to purchase for my toddler aged son's birthday. I was emailed back right away on 9/18/2010, and the woman stated that she would put it aside for me, as I was about to have surgery on the 21st, and that my husband could meet her in Lakeland, GA, as she lives in Douglas, GA.
The woman claimed her name was "Andrea" and that she and her husband run an overstock store, and sell on Craigslist. So we purchased the trampoline on the 21st, and when we got around to opening the box a few days later, we realized that it was missing the mat that you jump on, and the safety netting, (all listed on their ad as included) so the trampoline was totally unusable. We contacted this woman right away, and she stated that she had "no idea" that the parts were left out of the box, but that she would call her husband right away and get back to me ASAP.
Then she continued to make up excuses why she could not meet us to give us the missing parts, such as stating she was out of town, then she continued to state she was out of town for weeks. She also stated that she could not return our calls because she was in the mountains and did not have cell phone service. She claimed to have emailed us "3 times" during this initial period, but we never got any messages. She then stated that she would have her 19 year old son meet us if we could not wait for her to get back into town, and we replied that we would love to get the parts ASAP. We emailed her all of our phone numbers again, and waited to hear from him.
She then emailed us that she had passed on our contact info to her son. Then she stated that her son had car trouble, and would try to meet us, but that he was relying on his girlfriend to transport him to and from work. Then she claimed she would finally be back in town on Sunday Oct. 17th, and we could meet her then. Well, we have emailed and called her many times since then, and no answer on any phone numbers provided or emails. It's been well over a month now since we purchased this trampoline, which is only the metal shell and the springs, and we are out $200 that could have been used to get my son another trampoline. She has ignored us for weeks, and always had an excuse. She won't return our money, and she won't give us the parts that are "in her shop".
I did some research and found that this woman owns a store in Douglas, GA called Baby Bella Miya, and it is registered to the cell phone number that she gave us, and that she has contacted us on before. When we confronted her about this store, she was very rude and claimed to know nothing about this store, and did not know what I was talking about. But clearly her phone numbe is listed as the number for the store "Baby Bella Miya" in Douglas, GA. She has given us a couple of different names, but by looking her up using her cell number and home number, I know her husband's name is Brent Minix. She says her name is Andrea, but on her email signature it says "Alex & Brent Overstock Deals". So I am still not certain what her name is.
We know the make and model of their vehicle, their home address, and their last name now by looking them up online. They use the email address: email@example.com, and their store in Douglas, GA uses the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. They seemed to be very nice and always responded to our emails and calls prior to us purchasing the item, but once we started asking for the missing parts, they stopped communicating and when they did, it was always an excuse why they could not meet us to give us the parts.
I reported them to the FTC military branch, and have the original craigslist posting ID and have reported them there as well. I just want to ensure that they don't continue to scam other families. They won't return the missing parts, they won't respond to emails, they say they were out of town prior to October 1st, and said they would be back this week, over and over. I hoped to get our money back, so that we could purchase another trampoline for our son, but after over a month with still nothing from them, we went out and got another one for him yesterday. I won't give up on this however, and will be involving law enforcement, as I don't appreciate someone out there scamming military families, and other families.
They had 2 listings on craigslist for the same exact trampoline, both posted in mid September 2010. They told me they had one left when I contacted them. I did some research on this trampoline in stores if you buy it new, and found out that the parts come in two boxes. I bet they sold one box to one person online, and the other box to us. I hope that the other people who got scammed will also report them. I hope that they will stop stealing from people, and my husband has been in the Air Force for 15 years now, and we just cannot let this go, and just let them take our money and never honor their many promises to delivery our missing parts.
We hope to see law enforcement get involved and at least get our money back. I just want to warn others in all ways possible, so that you do not fall victim to their online ads and scams. They appear to be very nice people, but have not attempted to return our money or our parts. I am hoping that craigslist customer fraud dept can help to prevent them from ever posting their ads online again. They live and work in Douglas, GA, but they post ads for other towns as well in surrounding areas. Be careful. They sure had us fooled.