August 13, 2018

CT BBB: Mo. furniture scammers tabled

The Connecticut Better Business Bureau says watchdogs have forced the shutdown of a Missouri furniture maker who fraudulently collected money on undelivered pieces from consumers in Connecticut and other states.

The BBB in Cromwell said Friday that Rough Country Rustic Furniture and a retail affiliate suspended operations last week under pressure from hundreds of angry consumers and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.

According to the BBB, Hawley on July 31 sued Rustic's husband-wife owners, Joseph Victor Ross and Ashley Nicole Dillard, and their companies, Rough Country Rustic Furniture and Rustic Concealment Solutions LLC. The latter marketed furniture with compartments for concealing weapons.

BBB said its affiliates nationwide received more than 1,600 consumer complaints and negative reviews, including from at least 15 Connecticut consumers who complained the vendors took their money but failed to deliver what customers' ordered.

One Connecticut customer remitted $2,400 to Rough Country last September for items that were not delivered, BBB said. Consumers also griped that the owners failed to provide promised refunds, or did not respond to calls and emails.

Missouri officials estimate at least $450,000 was taken from at least 514 customers who did not receive what they ordered, the BBB said. It said it continues to draw more than 100 complaints monthly about the pair.

The Missouri lawsuit seeks to permanently ban Rough Country and Rustic Concealment from accepting any money for unprovided goods and to reimburse complaining customers, the BBB said.

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