JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a Jackson, Missouri man whose online businesses were under scrutiny in 2015 has created a new site.
According to the BBB, consumers reported in 2015 they never received merchandise ordered from Jody Williams' sites.
Now, they say he created a new site, discountcigarettemall.com, which offers a variety of items from clothing to electronics to cigarettes.
BBB advises extreme caution when dealing with Williams, who told BBB he is in the process of legally changing his name to Boris Casio Escobar.
Williams' former sites, Cigar Lovers Paradise; Apple Refurbishing; Microsoft Refurbishing; and Sparked Fashion, have an "F" rating with BBB, the lowest possible. His new business is not registered with the Missouri Secretary of State.
According to the BBB, Williams said those earlier businesses were his first attempts at e-commerce and that consumers can now be confident when buying from him.
Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said consumers should consider steering clear of Williams' new business.
"Mr. Wiliams' track record of not delivering to consumers shouldn't be ignored," Corey said. "Unless he satisfies his previous customers, shoppers in the market for merchandise listed on his site should think of buying from another seller."
Williams registered discountcigarettemall.com on April 3. The registration information lists Williams' address in Jackson as the business headquarters.
According to the BBB, the website's address is nearly identical to that of a United Kingdom-based business which sells discount cigarettes. A logo on Williams' site also looks similar to the one used on the United Kingdom site.
BBB could not find any affiliation between the websites.
As of April 7, Williams told the BBB he had made just one sale. He said he is the company's only employee but plans to hire additional help in the future.
He told BBB he is promoting the site through Facebook and by other "direct marketing" avenues. He also has promoted a Facebook page called discountcigarettemall.com that was established on April 3. That site has a rewards program and claims anyone who spends at least $75 will receive a $10 gift card to a well-known national retailer.
Williams posted on Facebook that he will donate five percent of all sales to the American Red Cross. He told BBB he has spoken with officials with the St. Louis Red Cross and was in the process of getting the approval to put Red Cross branding on his website.
Officials with the Eastern Missouri Region of the Red Cross told BBB they spoke with Williams but denied his request to use their logo.
In addition to promoting his new business, Williams offers his Facebook followers the chance to buy pornographic videos of him.
According to the BBB, on April 9, Williams wrote on Facebook he is "going to start building my own porn website. I believe it will be a good next business ventures (sic)."
Williams' Facebook posts are made under the name Boris Casio Escobar. He told BBB he has a June court date that will finalize his name change.
The BBB found Williams set up a shop called "Lease ville" on Spreesy.com in March 2017. The site offered one product, an iPhone 6s plus, available for lease. An official with spreesy.com told BBB that Williams' site had not made any sales.
BBB warned consumers about Williams twice in 2015. In a May warning, consumers told BBB they ordered cigars or refurbished smartphones from sites Williams operated, but got nothing. Another warning about Williams was issued in June when he launched two new sites.
It appears Williams has used several other aliases, including SR Jody Williams, Jostence O., Jostence Olof, Sally Benidict and Shelly Husun.
BBB offers the following tips when buying merchandise online:
- Research any business and its owner carefully before paying any money. Check the company's BBB Business Profile online or by calling 314-645-3300
- Ask for references and contact them
- Try to determine whether the business has an actual office, and try to speak with someone there before ordering merchandise
- Read all terms and conditions carefully before completing a purchase. Make sure to read and understand all warranty information and refund policies. Know your options in case you receive an item that was not advertised
- Pay with a credit card in case you need to challenge the purchase later
- Check a site's security settings. If the site is secure, its URL should start with "https:///." You may also see a picture of a small closed lock in the lower right hand corner of the screen