SEATTLE – A Vashon-based company named PeoplePeople that sells cheese, candles and posters online is being sued by the state for failure to deliver.
“PeoplePeople hasn’t been very people-friendly,” Attorney General Rob McKenna said. “The company has received numerous complaints for failure to deliver merchandise, issue refunds or respond to consumer inquiries.”
The suit, filed today in King County Superior Court, is the result of an investigation by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection High-Tech Unit. It accuses PeoplePeople, Inc., and its president, Andrew Edmond, of multiple violations of the state Consumer Protection Act.
Among the allegations:
- Failure to deliver purchased items.
- Failure to respond to consumer complaints. In some cases, a disconnected telephone number was listed on shipment documents. Other times, consumers left multiple messages but did not hear back from the company.
- Charging unreasonable fees. Defendants charged a 15 percent restocking fee for returned orders, regardless of the reason for return. Consumers who returned broken goods, wrong merchandise, or items shipped long after the promised delivery date were still charged a restocking fee.
- Misrepresentations, including: failure to deliver promised refunds or replace items damaged during shipping; failure to honor cancellation requests; and claiming that they will reply to email inquiries “in 4 to 24 hours” but never responding.
PeoplePeople conducts business under approximately two dozen names and markets products on multiple Web sites including www.discountcandleshop.com, www.cheesepeople.com, www.cheesesupply.com and www.postersupply.com.
The Attorney General’s Office began receiving complaints about the company in late 2003 and has tallied at least 70 complaints, including some received by the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. Attempts by the Attorney General’s Office to mediate consumer complaints were largely unsuccessful due to the company’s failure to respond.
Kristin Alexander, Public Information Officer, Attorney General’s Office, (206) 464-6432, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paula Selis, Assistant Attorney General, (206) 464-7662
Katherine Tassi, Assistant Attorney General, (206) 389-3974