DETROIT – The Better Business Bureau issued a warning this week about gift cards being mailed to consumers around the country from an online company.
The BBB referred to the cards as being part of "part of a questionable marketing scheme by Mother's Lounge LLC."
According to the BBB, Mother's Lounge is a company in Pleasant Grove, Utah that sends gift cards from its various online businesses.
They come from a "Jenny B." The BBB thinks Jenny B. is Jeanette Pierce, the owner of Mother's Lounge and the other online stores.
The cards have been sent to consumers in the U.S. and Canada in an envelope that appears to have lost its return label, when it never had one in the first place.
The BBB said it is likely a marketing tactic meant to make the envelope look more like mail from a friend.
The envelopes have a card congratulating the recipient on their pregnancy and gift cards to several businesses. Customers have complained to the BBB that using the cards sometimes makes the items bought more expensive to ship than normal.
The BBB said Pierce didn't respond to questions.
Customers have also complained to the BBB that products from the businesses were lower quality than they expected.
Gift card safety tips from the BBB:
- Read the fine print. Search the card's packaging and the card itself for any fees, expiration dates, and terms and conditions. Some organizations charge service fees, or will limit the gift card to "in store only" purchases, making it useless for online shopping.
- Start with Trust. It's important to buy from sources you know and trust. Visit bbb.org to see a business' BBB Business Profile and find trustworthy BBB Accredited Businesses. Make sure to look up the business at BBB.org to view its rating, complaint history and reviews from past customers.
- Examine the card and packaging for tampering. Make sure the packaging hasn't been tampered with, and check the back of the card to make sure that the PIN number hasn't been exposed and no protective stickers have been removed.