AG office investigating Ionia’s affairs after customers say they never received items, refunds

IONIA, Michigan — An Ionia-based online store is facing allegations of illegal business practices from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

On Wednesday, the attorney general’s office sent a notice of intent to Heather Helsel and her business, One Stop Diva Shop. He described the number of unfulfilled and pending orders listed in consumer complaints about the store as “worrying and unacceptable”.

According to the letter, One Stop Diva Shop allegedly knew it could not supply certain products within a reasonable time, failed to promptly refund customers, and committed other violations of the US Consumer Protection Act. State.

Recent complaints from the Better Business Bureau of West Michigan prompted the investigation by the attorney general’s office.

“Most people were spending $50 to $100 apiece for some of the products sold on this website,” Katie Grevious said. “For some people that’s a lot of money and you can’t just lose that kind of money.”

Grevious is a Communications Specialist at the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan.

The letter said that in the complaints received, customers across the country placed orders but did not receive the products after waiting several months. It also says people have had trouble reaching the store for order status updates or refunds. If someone from the company responded, supplier or vendor issues were often cited as reasons for order delays.

“In this case, there was no clear terminology on what type of refund they were going to receive, nor did they receive their products,” Grevious said. “It’s part of Michigan law. You need to know what you are providing and that if you promise it will be delivered within a certain time frame, you need to follow up on that or you need to let those customers know. »

In January, FOX 17 troubleshooters began looking into One Stop Diva Shop after receiving messages about issues with the store.

“I was still mad at how this all happened,” said Rhonda Foate, who lives in Macomb Township, Michigan.

Last November, Foate bought clothes and wine covers at One Stop Diva Shop. It totaled $75.

After no shipping updates for three weeks, Foate demanded his money back in an email to Helsel.

Helsel cited problems with suppliers, but promised to ship items from Foate soon.

By mid-December, nothing had been shipped to Foate. She disputed the charge with her credit union and is waiting for the money.

“I would never buy from a boutique site again,” Foate said. “It’s a shame because I know there’s a lot out there that are for real, but I would never do it again after that. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

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Kelly Bacheller also disputed three of her orders with One Stop Diva Shop after saying she hadn’t received most of the shirts, shoes and other products she bought in November.

Bacheller lives in Oregon.

“It’s just frustrating,” Bacheller said. “You think, ‘Oh, I work hard for my money, and if I want something and I pay for it, you expect to get something in return.'”

FOX 17 troubleshooters have been in touch with Helsel since January. Despite repeated attempts to get her version of the allegations, Helsel claimed she was unavailable.

In February, FOX 17 traveled to Helsel in Ionia. After a few knocks, she finally walked out, but said she didn’t have time available for an interview.

FOX 17 reached out again on Wednesday after receiving the Attorney General’s letter. Helsel said she needed to talk to her attorney.

According to the letter, Helsel told an investigator from the Attorney General’s Office that One Stop Diva Shop took off quickly when it opened in the fall of 2021 and that Helsel had problems getting products delivered from vendors when a consumer walked by. An order.

He said Helsel said it was trying to process unfulfilled orders, but people had received refunds through their credit card companies or banks. She also told the interviewer that she had satisfied customers who received their orders.

Helsel has 10 days to respond to the letter. If she doesn’t, the attorney general’s office has threatened to take legal action or invoke legal process for a formal investigation. Must provide all open orders and POS data for One Stop Diva Shop sales from September 1, 2021 to March 9, 2022.

The One Stop Diva Shop website is no longer operational.

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