Countless frustrated consumers say they got a bad product and were inundated with unrelated sales pitches after placing orders for a popular brand of children's slippers.
Susan Kedzior is among them.
The Niles mother ordered a pair of Stompeez for her 3-year-old son, Mason, and said she was almost immediately disappointed.
"We open them up and he's so excited. He pulls them out of the package and puts them on," she recalled. "And within an hour they're broken."
But while she couldn't find a customer support number on the Stompeez website, she did find something else: plenty of others complaining of similar problems.
"All these other people had complained that these slippers had broken, you know, pretty much immediately after receiving them," she said. "I realized it was a much bigger problem."
To make matters worse, the disappointing delivery was preceded by an odd phone call about her order.
"We need your shipping address," Kedzior said the caller told her. "And I said, 'Well, I see that it's already been through the process and they're already being shipped. So why do you need my shipping address?'"
What the caller wanted was her credit card, Kedzior explained, so an order for a gas card could be placed. It's an incident reported by scores of other Stompeez customers. In fact, one customer said she couldn't answer her phone for two weeks because she got so many calls from the company pitching other products.
"So that was odd, coming from a children's item and website, and then to have this gas card scam going on. I was not happy with that," the mother said.
A Stompeez spokesperson acknowledged shipping and quality issues in the past but said the company was under new leadership and had changed factories in China. The spokesman added that not a single defective slipper had been reported since those changes were made in September.
Additionally, Stompeez' CEO said she is aware of the complaints and asked her telemarketing team to "tone it down." The company said it also now offers a 60-day guarantee.
Young Mason also received a new pair of "Growlin' Dragon" Stompeez made from the new manufacturer.