BBB: Hearthware and its NuWave Ovens

January 23, 2014 11:25:50 AM PST
The Better Business Bureau in Chicago is alerting consumers about Hearthware and its NuWave Ovens, typically purchased via infomercials.

The Libertyville-based company received 1,291 complaints from consumers in all 50 states as well as three different provinces in Canada have been filed against this company with the BBB, in the past three years.

The BBB says there have been 331 complaints against the company in the past 12 months, 18 from Illinois.

A review of consumer complaints shows a pattern of allegations and complaints. This company currently has an "F" rating with the BBB.

''I called late at night after the commercial for the NuWave Oven. They sent a cooktop instead, I sent it back right away and they charged $121.18 for shipping and handling and would not refund those charges,'' said Doreen Burton, a Hearthware consumer.

Burton said that when she called to complain, a Hearthware employee said the tape would be sent out, but she never received the tape. She also never received a refund for shipping and handling.

"The single largest number of complaints allege that consumers were charged either for free products or in exorbitant shipping and processing fees associated with products they thought were free," explained Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

Bernas said there has been a distinct pattern of complaints, which the company has not corrected.

In addition, Bernas also noted that other complaint topics include: faulty product, difficulty in returning or receiving a refund, misleading advertising practices, and difficulty in contacting the company with emails and phone calls unanswered.

To help avoid problems with purchasing products advertised through infomercials, the Better Business Bureau recommends consumers take these steps:

  • Avoid becoming caught up in an urgent sales pitch. Many times sellers use phrases like "for a limited time," "order now before prices increase," and "in short supply." Take your time to consider the purchase.
  • Research the company and product. Read Business Review on the company and check its BBB rating.
  • Compare products and pricing. Search online to compare products and pricing from other manufacturers and sources.
  • Read and understand the fine print. Make sure you understand purchase and return policies, restocking fees and exchange options.
  • Review seller's privacy policy. Will your name and other information be sold or used to solicit for other offers.
  • Obtain a delivery time. Request purchase confirmations and tracking numbers. Be suspicious if the business cannot supply this information.
  • Pay by credit card and retain receipts. This allows you to more easily dispute charges. Check your billing and financial statements regularly for only authorized transactions.

The BBB also recommends buyers immediately notify sellers if items are disappointing, damaged or do not arrive as anticipated.

For more information about purchasing products and registering complaints, visit bbb.org


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