Online shopping has really skyrocketed over the past few years, especially amid the COVID pandemic when heading to the store to browse your options in-person was either not possible or not particularly enticing. But as we all know, there are some downfalls that come with online shopping. Since you can’t see or touch what you’re buying in reality, you run the risk of purchasing items that aren’t up to snuff quality-wise or don’t arrive as advertised. Even worse, you could also be scammed out of money and never actually receive what you bought at all if you’re not shopping at reputable websites. And with that in mind, if you’re in the market for some home or party products these days, there’s one online store experts say you should avoid at all costs.
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Experts are warning consumers about buying home products from Cranehast.com.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) sent out a warning in late April about retail website Cranehast.com. The warning explains that the BBB has received eight complains, four BBB Scam Tracker reports, and 100 inquiries regarding Cranehast.com.
According to the Cranehast website, the company claims to stock hand-picked “fun products.” Many of the consumers who issued reports say they discovered the retail website while looking through search results for home products like dining tables, air purifiers, and work benches. However, when you actually go to the site, none of these products show up, and it appears that only drinking straws are being sold on the actual website. “Although these products are advertised, BBB discovered [non-straw] items are not listed or searchable on the site,” they explained in the warning.
Consumers say they have ordered home products from the site but never received them.
Despite the main website only selling what appears to be paper straws, some customers have been able to place orders for home products with the company though they never received them, according to reports sent to the BBB. The Cranehast website says that orders are shipped through USPS within three business days of purchase and should typically arrive within two to five days after being shipped.
Multiple consumers report that Cranehast.com sent them fraudulent tracking information after they tried requesting refunds from the company for undelivered products. The shoppers realized they were given false tracking information because, despite buying large products like furniture and appliances, the tracking information was for packages that weighed very little.
“The package that was supposedly delivered only weighed 3.20 lbs,” one consumer said. “The bench that I ordered weighs over 25 lbs. The original post has since disappeared off of the internet.”
They also say there is no way to contact the company.
According to the “About” section on Cranehast’s website, their customer service is available to help customers 24 hours every day. However, on the “FAQ” page, Cranehast indicates that customers can email their customer service or call a customer service number Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST.
Despite the contact options, consumers who attempted to reach out reported that they discovered the phone number was not in service and emails were returned as undeliverable. The BBB says that through an investigation, it “confirmed that the email address displayed on the website is inactive and the telephone number is not set up to receive calls.”
Cranehast is not registered as an official business in the state it claims to be based in.
The BBB says it has confirmed that “Cranehast” is not officially registered as a business with the Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation, despite the website listing the company’s address as Baltimore, Maryland. The specific address listed is also invalid, the BBB confirmed.
According to the BBB’s investigation, the business number connected to the Cranehast website is also connected with Draenat.com, a website with a similar layout that advertises colorful elastic bands for sale. However, the BBB says that an internet search for this website reveals an “unconfirmed scam report” about a clothes dryer never being delivered.
“Based on these concerns, BBB was unable to verify the legitimacy of this business,” the BBB warned in regards to Cranehast. “Websites like Cranehast.com show that online purchase scams will continue to be a major risk for consumers, even as in-person shopping becomes more accessible. Scammers are using digital technologies like online payment platforms and advertising to reach more victims and make more money.”
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