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Online clothing store complaints: Be careful where you shop

Posted at 10:38 PM, Mar 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-06 00:38:18-05

They look like great deals for trendy clothes showing up in your social media feed. Some of these ads have millions of likes, but many of the websites also have hundreds of complaints.

Those complaints have been filed with the Federal Trade Commission. Many shoppers say they never got their order, or they can't return what they call "poor quality" clothes.

Kelly Schwartz bought four dresses on Bellelily, spending more than $70. Only one was delivered.  

"I tried it on, and it was literally like a shirt. I don't even think my child could have worn it, it was so small," she said.

That was more than a year ago. The other three dresses never showed up. Schwartz eventually stopped trying to get her money back.

"I was just frustrated, and I gave up," she said.

When Schwartz ordered from Bellelily, there wasn't a lot of input yet on social media. Now people are weighing in, warning other consumers. Comments range from "poor quality" and "not true to size" to "will not return anything!"

ABC15 sister station TMJ4 bought clothes from four companies, all with an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and the most complaints filed against them with the FTC.  Sizing and quality ended up being issues with all the items.  

The FTC has received more than 650 complaints about Rosegal in the last three years. The clothes TMJ4 tested were made of low-quality fabric.

TMJ4 then tested SAMMYdress. It has more than 730 complaints filed with the FTC. The $13 shirt wasn't long enough. The $17 jeans were not much better.

A $16 blouse from Dresslily was not made of the best fabric and is too short in the sleeves. And the seams were off on the $22 dress. The FTC has close to 500 complaints about Dresslily.

Schwartz ended up filing a complaint with the BBB, which said it's seen a big increase in these types of reports. Schwartz hopes people do their research before they checkout.

One of the main complaints about these websites is that it's impossible to return anything for a refund. Three out of the four websites TMJ4 ordered from are owned by the same company out of China. TMJ4 was told their money would be refunded, and they don't have to return the clothes. 

Customer care managers for Rosegal, SAMMYdress and Dresslily said, "we take pride in resolving each customer's issue to their satisfaction."  They also said items on the websites are from third-party sellers, and the products have thousands of ratings from happy customers.

The company Schwartz filed a complaint against did not respond to our questions.

How to file a complaint:

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Response Center: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)

Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker