A Waco-based company has become the target of an investigation by the Better Business Bureau, which claims hundreds of consumers nationally have lodged complaints against All Things Country, a family-owned enterprise that sells Western-themed merchandise through its website.
Almost 450 complaints have surfaced in 46 states and Canada over three years, with more than half coming the past year, according to a BBB press release. Most issues involved customers not receiving merchandise they had paid for, according to the press release.
“Communications with All Things Country came to a halt beginning in 2017,” the press release states. “Within the last year, letters, phone calls and consumer complaints have gone unanswered. Currently, 159 consumer complaints have yet to receive a response from the business.”
All Things Country is a registered limited liability corporation with a mailing address in Waco, and its registered agent has a local address, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office. Tiffany Watson is listed as manager and director, and Matthew Watson is also listed as a director, according to the Secretary of State.
Texas Attorney General’s Office officials said they have gotten 10 formal complaints about All Things Country.
The phone number listed on the company website no longer is a working number, according to the BBB and calls placed by the Tribune-Herald on Monday. As of Tuesday, the “About Us & Contact” page of the company’s website, allthingscountrywestern.com, was blank.
Under “Most Popular” the website has links to “Purses,” “Wallets,” “Rebel Flag Items,” “Lingerie” and “Belts.”
The company responded to questions the Tribune-Herald posted to a form on its website via an emailed statement.
“We have always strived to serve our customers with integrity and honesty,” the email states. “Over the last two years All Things County has been plagued with events that have hit us emotionally and financially, which caused problems in our inventory and elongated shipping times dramatically. We have been working with our payment gateway to get back (on) track in order to go out of business in good standing with all our customers.
“We would also like to sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and want to reassure everyone that has placed an order with us will receive the product they ordered, or a refund.”
There was no response to followup questions about the identity of the person responding or the nature of the difficulties the company has encountered in recent years.
“We opened an investigation into this case due to the number of complaints we had received from around the country,” BBB Waco regional director Adam Price said by phone. “The main issue now is that the business is not even responding any longer. That has become frustrating for consumers.”
Price said there “probably are a lot more victims out there” who have not filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton said he has no record of the department receiving a formal complaint about All Things Country.
The BBB placed an order with the company Oct. 3 for a Camo Leather Realtree Wallet, for a total of $43.30. It promptly received a confirmation email saying the order would be processed in six to 10 business days, according to the press release.
On Dec. 1 the BBB received an email update stating the item had been shipped. Several days later, it got a package containing the wrong item, the press release states.
“Instead of the $43 camo leather wallet, BBB received a $20 Bronze and Silver 12 Gauge Shotgun Stretch Bracelet with a tag labeled ‘Costume Jewelry Made in China,’ ” according to the press release.
The BBB unsuccessfully tried to contact the business to request a refund. All Things Country apparently has continued operations, the BBB said.
“Consumers who have not received products or a refund from the company should consider disputing the charge with their credit card companies,” the BBB press release states.