78ºF

Skyline Shirts: Customers complain of delayed refunds, deliveries

Better Business Bureau issues alert after receiving hundreds of complaints against Miami Gardens business

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Better Business Bureau is issuing an alert after hundreds of people across the country have complained about a South Florida-based screen printing company.

Local 10 News viewer Reagan Bohmer expressed her concerns about Skyline Shirts after ordering three custom shirts for a race last December. The college student's shirts were expected to arrive by Christmas Eve; now it is June and she is out more than $80 and the shirts never arrived.   

"Yeah, (I am) definitely more upset about the money being lost. That's gas for me," said Bohmer.

The BBB found a pattern of complaints from consumers that claim they were unable to reach Skyline Shirts through phone calls or emails in regards to status reports or tracking numbers on their order.

"If you go back into the complaints, which are 610 complaints…610 complaints against this company, that's astronomical. Every one of them is identical. It's shirts not being received," said Mike Galvin, of the Better Business Bureau.

The company did not respond to the BBB in all but 100 cases. Back in 2013, when the BBB reached out to Skyline Shirts, the company said, "We have invested in new machines and new personnel that will help with everything internally." 

In 2014, Skyline Shirts said delays were a result of a change in a shopping platform. The company said they hired four full-time customer service representatives, however hundreds of complaints remain unanswered. By the start of 2015, the BBB located in Missouri posted this warning to St. Louis area consumers:

Consumers Tell BBB: Skyline Shirts Delays Deliveries, Refunds For Months   

Skyline Shirts, LLC, has an "F" rating with the BBB, the lowest possible score. 

In Bohmer's case, the BBB told her they were unable to get the company to respond to her complaint.

"These people are not only mismanaged, but they're poor customer relations," said Galvin.

Motivated by the complaints, Local 10 News Investigative Reporter Christina Vazquez began looking into the business at its Miami Gardens Address. The only sign of Skyline Shirts were scrapped cardboard boxes in the parking lot.

Emails sent to the company by Local 10 News have yet to be returned.

State records show the company is owned by Francisco Pico.

Local 10 News Investigative Reporter Christina Vazquez visited the Coral Gables home address listed for Pico on two occasions over a span of weeks. The first time she left a business card, the second time she made contact with a woman who identified herself as a family friend. She said Pico's parents resided at that address, not Pico. Despite these efforts, Pico has yet to respond.

"They put a horrible name to anyone with a business," said Bohmer. "They should do the right thing and come clean, and give people refunds."

Here are some tips the BBB offers when buying merchandise online:

•Research the business and owners carefully before paying any money. Check the company's BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300.

•Ask for references and contact them.

•Read all terms and conditions carefully before completing a purchase. Make sure to read and understand all warranty information and refund policies. Know your options in case you receive an item that was not as advertised.

•Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the payment.

READ: ALERT ISSUED BY BBB:

"Our files contain a pattern of complaints from consumers that allege they're unable to reach Skyline Shirts through email or phone calls for status reports or to get the tracking numbers on their order. Consumers also say that once they place their order and wait the required amount of time, the order is not received by the date as promised, and in many instances their orders are received 2-3 weeks late.

November 20, 2013 BBB sent correspondence to Skyline Shirts, LLC requesting their voluntary cooperation in resolving complaints on file with BBB and providing steps it will implement to eliminate the pattern of customer complaints.

On November 20, 2013 Skyline Shirts, LLC responded to BBB's concerns stating the following:
'We are making some changes internally that will help us assist our customers better.
We have recently made some new hires. Many of the complaints are from customers that have not received our automatic UPS tracking numbers. We email them as soon as they are entered into the UPS shipping computers.

Once that happens an automatic email is generated, we have found out that many times the emails get sent to the SPAM or JUNK mail folders which is way they never received confirmation.
Also some customers are from Canada and when Customs is involved that sometimes delays packages.

We have invested in new machine and new personnel that will help with everything internally.'

On October 28, 2014 BBB reviewed the complaints on file for Skyline Shirts, LLC and determined the pattern described above still existed and the number of complaints had continued to grow. Correspondence was sent to the company on October 28, 2014 addressing the following issues:

In addition to a high number of unanswered complaints appearing in BBB files, a review of the company's website indicates that the company is advertising specific shipping dates to customers. Because of the implied shipping dates and allegations of failure to deliver items on time, BBB is concerned that the company may not be operating within the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) "Mail or Telephone Order Rule.

BBB received a response from company Owner Frank Pico on November 11, 2014, in which he stated:

'Over the recent months we have had some delays in fulfillment due to a major change in a shopping platform and algorithm we used as a source. Over the past 4 years we have attributed most of our revenue to a specific Google shopping platform. Once we made the changes in our system we were caught by surprise by the amount of orders we were getting.

Since August we have hired 4 new full time Customer Service representatives and invested in 2 more pieces of capital equipment to facilitate the demand for new orders. Our reduction plan is in 2 phases.

1.) We have identified the major issue. This will only impact sales minimally and reduce the majority of future chargebacks. The code is very intricate but in the final stages of beta testing and implementation.

2.) Most recently our customer service manager was given instruction and training on how to aggressively mitigate the underlining issues with delayed orders. All CSR staff will have a majority focus on customer service immediately and the administrative duties have been delegated to others so the focus can be on the customer experience.

This 2 part plan will help us alleviate the number of complaints being filed.'

Skyline Shirts, LLC previously responded to complaints by apologizing and expediting the consumers order, however as of October 28, 2014, BBB files indicated numerous complaints remained unanswered.

On January 26, 2015 BBB reviewed the company's complaints and noted that complaints have continued to grow and the company continues to advertise shipping dates."

Skyline Shirts' website has since been taken down. 

Click here for more information.

Follow Christina Vazquez on Twitter @CallChristinaTV

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10