Attorney General Mike DeWine has filed a lawsuit seeking restitution for consumers harmed by C.O.O.L. LLC, PMK Customs LLC., and owner/operator Andre Scott, of Maple Heights. Consumers paid for but did not receive products or refunds from the shoe customization companies, according to the lawsuit.
"Consumers deserve to get the performance and quality products they pay for," DeWine said.
Currently, there are 16 U.S. and international consumers who have filed complaints with the Attorney General's Office against the companies for losses totaling more than $6,100.
C.O.O.L., doing business as Pimp My Kicks, and its successor PMK Customs solicited consumers online with offers for custom-designed athletic shoes. The designs were created in-house solely by the defendants or in consultation with consumers. Customization costs were typically $300 to $400 a pair, not including the cost of the shoes, which they also offered for sale.
The Attorney General's lawsuit seeks restitution for consumers harmed by the defendants, injunctive relief, and penalties.
A copy of the lawsuit can be found on the attorney general's website.
DeWine offered the following tips to keep in mind when shopping online:
* Research a company using several sources, including the Ohio Attorney General's website and the Better Business Bureau. Be especially cautious when reports indicate that a company failed to respond to consumers' complaints.
* For orders requiring customization, be wary when full payment is required upfront.
* If possible, use a credit card for online purchases. Credit cards typically offer stronger protections than other forms of payment if something goes wrong.
* Keep copies of all records, such as emails, electronic receipts, etc., associated with the purchase.