Q. In September 2010, I had taken flowers from my brother-in-law’s funeral and sent them to Keepsake Rosaries to have two rosaries and a wristlet made. I have not received any of the items. I have left countless messages and emails. The owner provides only automated email responses and never returns phone calls. My frustration is beyond words right now.
Doreen Quinn, Holbrook
A. There is no doubt this is an absolute mess. Keepsake Rosaries, which operates from Garnerville, N.Y. and takes orders via a website, has a long list of consumers dealing with the same issues.
Attempts to resolve this were met with phone calls that didn’t go through and emails bouncing back with messages that the mailbox was full. A note on the website reads: “Thank you for your continued patience, we are working very hard to get orders out quicker.”
But there’s no evidence that’s the case. The business, which, unfortunately, is built around preserving memories of loved ones, seems to collect money – and religious items – from customers and then cut off contact.
Keepsake has had an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau since at least 2010. Claire Rosenzweig, chief executive of the Better Business Bureau serving Metropolitan New York, said her organization hasn’t had any better luck dealing with this outfit, with 60 complaint letters going unanswered. She said she hopes that consumers seeking to place an order with Keepsake check the company’s complaint history on BBB.org.
“We try to get people to understand this is a resource available to them” Rosenzweig said. “If we have a company where there are just no responses, we post it so people can see it.”
She added her office would look into the matter further. The Better Business Bureau can only mediate disputes and publicize its experiences with businesses.
Consumers who’ve placed orders with Keepsake can file complaints with the attorney general’s office or consumer affairs office to see whether government intervention might shake something loose. The more people that complain, the better that a government agency might take on the case.
Meanwhile, Keepsake should have the decency – if it can’t do the work – to return customers’ keepsakes and give them back their money.
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About the author
Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com