Alert Issued Regarding Online Pet Retailer

Better Business Bureau Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties is issuing a warning to consumers regarding a pattern of complaints concerning Corona, CA online pet retailer Paw Prime, which is also operating under the newly created name Affinity Pets.  Presently, there have been two complaints filed against this company by residents of Alabama.

BBB recently opened an investigation against Paw Prime due to a pattern of complaints, and an inability to get a response from the company’s owners.

Paw Prime currently has 110 total customer complaints, with 106 of those going unanswered, 56 negative customer reviews, and zero positive or neutral reviews.

Since January 2017, consumers shopping through Paw Prime have reported an estimated $3,000 in loses.

Consumers allege in the complaints that the items they order are either never received, or they receive incorrect or defective items. When consumers attempt to reach the company, some are left with poor customer service, while many others are left high and dry with no response at all from the company.

Due to the volume of complaints, the pattern of complaints, and the amount of complaints unanswered, Paw Prime currently has an “F” rating—the lowest possible rating in the BBB system.

Paw Prime has also been operating under the newly created website Affinity Pets, which shares the same location and customer service email address as Paw Prime, sells some of the same products, and has a very similar looking website.

The company’s website lists their hours of operation and customer service hours, accompanied by an email address. The only phone number listed is on their Facebook page. The number listed (855-239-1PAW) is no longer in service.

BBB has made several attempts to reach someone to resolve these complaints, and Paw Prime has repeatedly ignored our efforts.

When shopping with online retailers, take into consideration the following tips before making a purchase:

  • Check with the BBB. Before shopping with any retailer, check with BBB. You can view their rating on our website and read past customer reviews and/or complaints.
  • Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections; it’s easier to dispute charges that you didn’t approve. Debit cards, prepaid cards or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card. Also, before you enter your credit card information, make sure the website is in HTTPS form and includes the lock symbol.
  • Read terms & conditions. Read all terms and conditions carefully before completing a purchase online. Make sure you read and understand return and refund policies. Know your options in case you receive an item that was not as advertised.
  • Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation page or email confirmation until you receive the item and are satisfied. Be sure to know and understand the return policy and keep this documented with your purchase records.
  • Protect personal information. Read the websites privacy policy and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If a site doesn’t have a privacy policy, that’s a big red flag that it may be a scam.
  • Don’t be fooled. Almost anyone can create a professional looking website. Don’t rely on that, or presence on social media as verification that a business is trustworthy. Also, if the company’s website only lists an email address as the only point of contact, proceed with caution.
  • Know the 30-Day Rule. The Federal Trade Commission’s 30-Day Rule requires that a seller ship the merchandise as promised, or within 30 days of the order, unless specified elsewhere on the website or in a mutual agreement with the consumer. If the business is unable to ship within the promised time, or within the 30 days, the merchant must inform them by mail, email or phone with a new shipping estimate, and allow the customer to cancel their order and receive a full refund.

When looking to purchase products or services online, always research the company beforehand on BBB.org.

Source: BBB.org,  BBB Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties and Federal Trade Commission: United States Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov – not subject to copyright protection. 17 U.S.C. 403.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to https://www.bbb.org