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NC5 Investigates: Consumer Alert

BBB Warns Of Misleading Ads, Offers

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Kathleen Calligan, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee Kathleen Calligan, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - When you spend your money, you want to get what you pay for.

That's why the Better Business Bureau is now warning consumers about local companies to avoid.

One of these businesses is a company NewsChannel 5 first exposed more than a year ago, according to NewsChannel 5 Consumer Investigator Jennifer Kraus.

A NewsChannel 5 investigation first uncovered questionable business practices at Advancement Solutions last year. The company runs ads that tout high-paying bodyguard and security jobs. But those who've forked over several hundred dollars to the company say the promised jobs never seem to materialize.

Chris Gillespie said he's a victim of the company.

"They told us everything we wanted to hear until they got the money. And once they got the money, they wouldn't call us back," Gillespie said.

The company is now on the Better Business Bureau's list of companies to avoid.

"Most of these companies have a pattern of how they perform. They take a customer's money and then they do little more than that," said Kathleen Calligan, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee.

The companies on the list include:

  • Advancement Solutions in Nashville
  • Atlas Transmission in Clarksville. The BBB has a file full of complaints from customers who say the business quotes one price when you drop off your car and then tries to charge much more when you come back to pick it up
  • International Tesla Electric which has an office in Franklin. It sells products that it claims will get you free electricity and save you gas, both of which the BBB says have never been proven to work
  • Petals Decorative Accents in Portland has had ongoing problems delivering what customers have ordered and the BBB says it has refused to give refunds.
  • Sewing Style in Dickson, according to the BBB, has charged customers' credit cards for products, but never delivered the items.
  • Phoenix Turf, also known as Greenscapes of Nashville, has collected customers' money for landscaping and lawn work. But, the BBB says the company has failed to do the work.
  • Innovative Accounts Management in Brentwood says it will collect debts from overdue accounts. The BBB though says the company has repeatedly neglected to turn that money over to its clients.
  • Jones Memorials, also known as Half-Off Stones.com here in Nashville, has sold grave markers for hundreds, even thousands of dollars, but customers say the business never delivered the headstones.
  • Global Tel Link also in Nashville which provides phone service for inmates at jails and prisons in the area rounds out the BBB's list. Customers complain the company has repeatedly overcharged them.
  • "These companies end up on our list because they're not interested in changing how they do business," Calligan said.

    And many of these companies, she said, including Advancement Solutions have unhappy customers outside of Middle Tennessee.

    That's something that truly bothers the head of the local BBB.

    "That really puts a bad reputation throughout the country about how we do business here. So, we're going to be relentless as these businesses are. And their business performances, we're going to tell everything that these are not companies you can trust," Calligan said.

    Read more information on the companies the BBB says you should avoid

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