MISSOURI (KFVS) - Residents from Missouri to Wisconsin are complaining about an Illinois pork and beef supplier that allegedly took upfront payments for meat it never delivered.
Alexander-King Farms is facing complaints from nearly 60 Missouri and Illinois consumers.
One Cape Girardeau resident was one of them.
She told the Better Business Bureau that she received nothing after paying $125 last November for 80 pounds of pork.
"It was horrible. They took our money and gave us nothing," the Cape Girardeau resident told the Better Business Bureau.
Another Florissant, Missouri woman told the BBB she paid Alexander-King Farms more than $1,700 last September for a whole processed hog and a side of beef. She said she has yet to receive any of her order.
The Florissant woman will likely have to pay a second processing fee to recover at least some of her meat from an Illinois processing house.
The complaints from Missouri and Illinois consumers are among more than 200 BBB complaints from 16 states filed against the company.
There is even Facebook page set up for the "People Against Alexander Farms" with complaints from Missouri to Wisconsin.
Most losses range from $200 to $600, however, several customers estimate they may have lost more than $1,000, according to the BBB.
The BBB says watch out for Facebook posts or Groupon offers that are still floating around. They might be for Berkshire Pork or Kobe Beef.
You might also be contacted by a local sales representative.
Alexander-King Farms has an "F" rating with BBB, the lowest possible. Almost all of the more than 200 complaints have been filed in the past four months.
KFVS tried to reach out to the company, however, their phones appeared to be disconnected.
Michelle Corey, president and CEO of BBB St. Louis, said BBB has issued previous alerts on meat suppliers, but rarely have so many consumers been affected.
"The number of unhappy consumers seems to be growing every day," Corey said. "What we're seeing may be just the tip of the iceberg."
If you are considering ordering something like meat from companies promising to deliver at a later date, follow these tips from the BBB:
- Research the business and owners carefully before paying any money. Check the company’s BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300. It is usually best to buy from an established business. Be wary of those businesses which have been operating only a short time.
- Ask for references and contact them. Look at online reviews. While some of these can be fabricated, they often can give you an idea of past customer satisfaction.
- Try to determine whether the business has an actual office and try to speak with someone there before ordering merchandise. If you have difficulty speaking to a company representative, you might want to reconsider doing business with the firm.
- Read all terms and conditions online carefully before completing a purchase. Make sure to read and understand all agreements and refund policies. Know your options in case you receive an item that was not as advertised.
- Don’t accept a professional-looking website or a presence on social media as verification that a business is trustworthy. Make sure to check other sources such as BBB.
- Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the payment.