Better Business Bureau warns of gift card scheme

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan is warning people about a gift card scheme that is targeting new mothers.

Gift cards are being sent by mail, saying someone named Jenny B sent it. The gift cards are intended to look like they are coming from a friend but actually are a questionable marketing scheme from a company called Mother’s Lounge, LLC, of Utah. The envelopes that the gift cards come in appear to have lost the return label but really, it was never on in the first place.

The BBB says when the mothers go to add the gift card to an order, the shipping fee jumps substantially from the original listed price, which is free. The increased shipping price takes away most of the discount.

Troy Baker, with the BBB, says the practice is deceptive and makes people think they are getting a special gift.

“We want people to do their research ahead of time. This is a company that has an ‘F’ rating with the Better Business Bureau,” Baker said. “We’ve sent them notices and requested that they change some of their practices and they’re not doing it. Their goal is to trick consumers into going to their website and it seems to be working.”

The BBB says not all women receiving the cards are pregnant.

They have reached out to the company regarding multiple complaints on the marketing scheme but have not received an explanation or response.

A statement from the BBB can be found on its website.

The BBB has some tips on what to look out for when buying or using a gift card:

  • Read the fine print to look for fees and expiration dates
  • Only buy from companies you trust and that are in good standing with the BBB  
  • Always take a close look at the card and its packaging to make sure nothing has been tampered with

For more information about how to protect yourself or to file a complaint, visit the Better Business Bureau website.

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