BBB warns about Chicago-based diabetes test strip buy-back scam

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Diabetic west suburban resident Keith Zrout says he's a victim of a scam by a Chicago company that promises to pay cash for the unused diabetes test strips patients have, then doesn't.

Zrout said he never got the $160 he was promised for selling four boxes of the medical supplies.

"They promise you they pay the best," Zrout said. "They say 'we're better than anybody else.'"

On Wednesday, the Better Business Bureau issued an alert warning consumers about the online business after the group says its investigation has found similar allegations by hundreds of other customers nationwide.

Operating under the name, the BBB has rated Surplus Diabetic Supplies L.L.C. - which has two addresses on Chicago's North Side - its worst grade of "F".

"Over 244 complaints were filed with the BBB in the last three years, the majority of them, the lion's share, alleged that they did not receive any money, and they did not receive the money as promised within 24 hours," said Better Business Bureau CEO & President Steve Bernas.

Here's how the consumer watchdog group says some consumers say they were scammed. In their complaints, they say they sent their unused extra diabetic testing strips to the business with the understanding the business would pay them sometimes up to $40 per box within 24 hours.

Instead, they say there was no payment after the shipment was received and the company didn't respond after being contacted about the status of the payment.

In a statement, spokesperson Jeff Shields wrote: "We acknowledge that our payments are delayed but we are making payments daily and working vigorously to make sure all our customers are taken care of as fast as possible."

In the email, Shields blames "new ownership" and "numerous instances of fraud on their bank accounts" for the problems.

Meanwhile, after nearly 5 months, Zrout finally got his money but is warning others like him to be careful. "If you're going to do this, check out the company."
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