By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller
For the past three weeks, Treasure Valley residents driving on Fairview Avenue were teased with the banner that claims 20 ribeyes for $25, describing the beef is from Omaha, NE.
The company, Lagniappe Steaks Inc., 8820 Susan Ave. Suite 1B, Albuquerque, NM 87123, has taken up a spot on the corner, selling meat from the back of a freezer truck. The company has an “F” rating with the BBB, and has had 2 complaints in the last 12 months with the product. Neither was resolved.
The name on the sales receipt is from Midwestern Beef, 10622 Prospect Ave. NE RM 332, Albuquerque, N.M., (BBB has two locations with two different addresses) and the product box states it’s from Omaha, Neb., from Angusland Farms (BBB has four different locations on record).
Boise city officials have issued a temporary merchants license to the company, and the Central District Health has inspected the facility, but still calls to BBB questioning the product and sales price are fielded.
BBB purchased the product – steak size is 4 oz., four to a package, five packages to a box. No grade is provided, but is stamped USDA Inspected Beef. The sales rep urged an upgrade from the sales product sought.
Here are tips when buying from a roadside vender:
Listen carefully and be aware of high pressure sales tactics. Some unscrupulous sellers will put pressure on you to close the deal at that moment, and even make special offers to entice you. Listen to their tone. Are they increasing in volume as they speak to you? Are they ignoring you despite saying you are not interested?
Stand strong. If you decide during the presentation that you are not interested in making a buy, simply walk away. Find a way to end the conversation quickly to avoid long, drawn-out pressure sales pitches.
Verify the person and the company. If you are interested in buying, get return policies in writing including price, warranty and all conditions. Verify that they have all permits from the governing city or county. Ask for a business card and contact information. Look the company up yourself and check to verify this person is an employee. Also, take the time to check out the company’s BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org.
Know your rights. The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a place that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.