BBB warns about SOE Gear of Camden, Tenn.

BBB-logo-300px-wideAs a leader in advancing marketplace trust, the Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning about a group of businesses operated by or affiliated with James E. Jones of Memphis.

BBB first issued a press release on one of Jones’s businesses, 1stChoice Home Services, in October 2013. The company offered carpet and duct cleaning services that were often sold to consumers through social media and coupon sites. BBB received dozens of complaints from consumers in 11 states who alleged missed appointments, misleading advertising, poor service, and difficulty reaching the company to resolve problems. Jones failed to answer many of the complaints.

One consumer who engaged the company to clean her air ducts said they showed up with a leaf blower and a shop vac.

Since that time and after extensive investigation, BBB has concluded that Jones and his associates have done or are doing business under a variety of other names, including but perhaps not limited to Service Medics, Sounds Like Service, Fortitude Home Services, and The Mold Guys. Just this week, BBB tied him to a new company called TruClean Home Services.

Evidence includes documentation provided by consumers who responded to an ad from one company, but were provided an invoice or receipt with a different company name.

Jones’s companies have generated a total of 130 BBB complaints in the past six years, 13 of which remain unanswered. Others were not resolved satisfactorily.

Jones’s businesses have F ratings with the BBB for failing to respond to or resolve customer complaints.

Additionally, Service Medics has used the BBB Accredited Business Seal without authorization. This use of the BBB trademark constitutes trademark infringement and is a violation of the trademark rights of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. None of these companies are accredited by the BBB.

BBB reminds consumers to follow some simple, common sense rules when dealing with a company they haven’t done business with before:

  • Check the company’s record at Read the text of consumer complaints and reviews. It only takes a moment and it might save you from doing business with a company that doesn’t treat its customers fairly.
  • Do your homework before you buy. Check the company’s website for a physical address and phone number. Call and talk to the merchant for more details before buying. If buying from a group buying site, compare the coupon price with the company’s regular prices and those of their competitors. Ask about deadlines for redeeming the coupon and find out who to contact if you have a problem.
  • Ask about the company’s refund policy. There’s no such thing as a standard refund policy. Find out if the company will refund your purchase price or issue a credit if there are problems with the goods or services you’ve purchased.
  • Remember that a coupon offered on a group buying site doesn’t equate to the company being a reputable business. What looks like a great deal may turn out to be not-so-great if the company doesn’t fulfill its promises.

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