Sunday, September 24, 2006

Have You Ever Ordered from Hometown Candy or Jordan Almonds?

There are some great candy webstores out there. And there are also that are not so great. I’ve been contacted twice in the past month regarding HometownCandy.com, which is run by the same company that runs JordanAlmonds.com and ebulkcandy.com. (I’m not doing any linking here where not necessary.)

The complaints I’ve heard are from people who place an order and never get their candy. Their credit card is charged but then nothing is shipped and of course their emails and phone calls go unanswered.

First, JordanAlmonds and ebulkcandy are not completely secured. Sure, when you put stuff in a cart and check out at either site, it is a secure page (that’s when you see the https:// in the address). But there are also prompts on JordanAlmonds to input your credit card on unsecured pages and on ebulkcandy. Bad form. You’re opening yourself up to someone else sniffing out your credit card number and other personal info.

Now, I haven’t ordered from either of these companies so I cannot testify one way or another personally. But here are the Better Business Bureau listings for them:

HometownCandy.com - 1 complaint which is unresolved. HometownCandy is not a member of the BBB.

JordanAlmonds.com - 7 unresolved complaints this year. Not a member of the BBB.

Former businesses:

EBulkCandy.com -  52 complaints, 4 resolved in Morrisville, PA. It’s not clear if this site is still in operation. It’s up, but doesn’t appear to have been updated this year. The have had several different locations, and each one has its own file with the BBB. Ewing, NJ (28 complaints, 2 resolved), Hamilton, NJ (1 complaint, unresolved), West Trenton, NJ (18 complaints, 3 resolved)

Also, go to Complaints.com and check any one of those business names.

Alexa and a domain name search reveals that ebulkcandy’s domain is held in the Czech Republic by the same contact info as HometownCandy but doesn’t show a direct relationship to JordanAlmonds (except for an address in NJ in common).

Now, for the record, just having complaints filed at the BBB does not make the company bad. Lots of large companies have complaints lodged against them (sometimes people go there first, without contacting the company directly). The key is whether or not the company is a member of the BBB and further, if they respond to and resolve the complaints. Volume has a lot to do with it as well. Even when you have 99.9% satisfaction, if you have 100,000 transactions a year you might have 100 unhappy people ... and if 10% of those don’t get a resolution through you, they’re gonna go complain elsewhere. It’s not just complaints that are important, but resolutions.

If you’re looking to buy something online and you feel a little odd, check around. It’s your money and your candy. Running a candy store is not rocket science. You put up a list of what you have, people order it and you send it out to them. There are lots of ways to screw it up (send the wrong thing, charge the card wrong, send it to the wrong place, pack things improperly), but lots of ways to fix it if you do make a mess. The fact that there are so many choices out there means that you can make informed choices.

The first thing to check for is a real address (usually found on their “returns” section), a real phone number and names of the people who run the company. Membership in the BBB, a Yahoo! Trusted Sites seal, a well organized site that uses the latest in web design and technology. Google the company and see if they have complaints against them. If you’re worried about it, move along, there are plenty of places to get candy.

So, if you’ve ever ordered from one of these companies, what was your experience. Good or bad?

UPDATE 2/22/2007: I got this email earlier today:

I have been asked by our Compliance Department to send you the following response regarding the complaints made against Hometowncandy.com:

Please be advised that as of February 1, 2007, Net Atlantic, Inc. terminated all Internet services to Ebulkcandy.com (a/k/a Jordonalmonds.com
and Hometowncandy.com) because of their failure to properly address unresolved issues brought to our attention.

Net Atlantic, Inc.
Compliance Department

This does not mean that the websites are gone, the obviously found other internet service, but it’s an interesting approach, getting the service provider involved.

UPDATE 4/9/2007
: To everyone who has commented, I recommend contacting the New Jersey Attorney General and their consumer affairs department:

http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/comp.htm - (Use the OCP complaint form.)

Since I’ve never ordered from them, I’m unable to file a complain on behalf of a third party.

Also, there is a website called Consumerist.com that helps people get the word out about bad companies. I’ve contacted them, but I’m not able to offer a first-hand experience. Check them out and see if they can give this issue wider exposure. Try this site as well: www.ripoffreport.com.

UPDATE 7/2/2007: Some commenters have noted that the NJ Consumer Affairs office refuses to investigate, saying that it is a federal matter. If you’d like to file a formal complaint, direct it to the Federal Trade Comission, which investigates mail fraud (and now covers internet transactions).

This should be the correct form (do NOT enter your Social Security Number in this instance, as that item is only needed when they’re investigating credit report scams or identity theft. You can read more about the rules governing internet commerce on this page.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:54 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyNewsShopping

Comments
  1. I ordered Blackjack gum from Hometown Candy and they never shipped my order. They charged my credit card right away, and it took a month of me trying to contact them to get in touch. They finally did refund my credit card.

    Comment by Lisa on 5/29/08 at 3:35 pm #
  2. I also got scammed!  My wedding is in a week and I ordered the almonds months ago.  They said that they would wait to send them just before the wedding so they would be fresh so I didn’t complain when they did not arrive right away—but now I realize that they are never coming.  I am filing with the FTC now.

    Comment by Samuela on 6/21/08 at 3:51 pm #
  3. Yeah, I just got suckered too. I called my bank, and they are investigating. They say it will take 2 billing cycles to take the charge off the credit card, but in the mean time, it isn’t earning interest.

    Is there a legitimate bulk candy store out there somewhere? The favors for my wedding may not happen if I can’t find one.

    Oh, if anyone is interested, I think they stopped pretending to be a candy company to the banks…

    This under my transaction history tipped me off:
    HOPEWELL VALLEY RIDING 609-7300227 NJ

    Yeah…

    Comment by Jen on 6/24/08 at 5:50 am #
  4. I was a victim back in 2006. I continue to get the updated blog entries and am shocked that this is still going on. I am attaching a link that you may find interesting. Eric Keller, amongst several others are being sued for financial fraud associated with AOL as of May 2008. I wonder if we could email the plantiff’s office (Hong)and tell him about this blog. He is already familiar with Keller’s actions and may have some interest or advice on where to go from here. It sounds like Keller is doing business under yet another name ‘HOPEWELL VALLEY RIDING 609-7300227 NJ’. Anyway, its just a thought.
    Here is the link (cut and paste it): http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2008/comp20586_colburn.pdf

    Comment by Jennifer Cupak on 6/24/08 at 7:19 am #
  5. I too got scammed!  I feel like such an idiot after reading all of these posts.  I order 9 pounds of Jordan Almonds on My 20th and it is now June 29th and I still haven’t received them.  I am getting married in less than two weeks and do not have the Jordan Almonds.  I am going to file with the FTC as well.  We have to stop this A-hole!

    Comment by Jessica on 6/29/08 at 7:05 am #
  6. I have been scammed by Hometown Candy which has other names.  I was livid and posted on here before about them. I see they are still in business and cannot believe it. For those interested in bulk or other candy I can highly recomment candyfavorites.com. I have ordered several times from them and they are legit and customer focused and offerr good deals via email once you buy from them.

    Comment by T B on 7/01/08 at 3:19 am #
  7. Forgot to include another great place on line to buy candy. This large corp recently bought Brachs.
    http://www.farleysandsathers.com/default.asp

    Comment by T B on 7/01/08 at 3:27 am #
  8. I ordered Brachs Jelly Beans from Hometown Candy and was sent a reciept for my order. This was supposed to be a gift for my father. Approx two days after I placed the order I sent an e-mail asking when my order was shipped and recieved no response. My father never got his order, so I again sent an e-mail asking about the order and again recieved no answer. I finally called this morning and after about 20 rings some answering type machine came on. I did leave a message but “now” my inner self is sending warning bells out. I decided to check the internet to see how Hometown Candy was rated and found this site. (Like many of you out there, too late) I decided to check my credit card statement online and the charge that showed up on my card was not for Hometown Candy but for: “HOPEWELL VALLEY RIDING Academy 609-7300227 NJ” I checked them out on the web and the number showing was their phone number and guess what… their number was disconnected. I have disputed the charge on my card and I am now trying to decide what my next step should be.

    Comment by Hilde Jones on 7/01/08 at 7:37 am #
  9. After numerous phone calls and e-mail complaints as well as filing a dispute and complaint with my credit card company I recieved two e-mails at the same time, one from Hometown Candy and the other from Anne Butler (AKA)Hopewell Valley Riding Academy on July 9, 2008. What I find most curious is that now Hopewell has a web page and on this web page it states that you can order candy from Hometown Candy.“In addition to offering candy for special riding events and parties, HVRA Enterprises offers candy online via HometownCandy.com. A percentage of candy sales made via this website are donated to Saddlebred Rescue.” FYI their contact info is now:
    HopewellValley Stables
    HVRA Enterprises, LLC
    P O Box 31
    Blairstown, NJ 07825
    (908) 362-5802
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    The e-mail that I recieved form Hometown Candy stated that they didn’t have the jelly beans or taffy that I ordered in stock and that my card would be refunded. Now here comes the funny part in the bottom of this e-mail it states: “PLEASE NOTE:
    Your charge and your refund will appear on your statement as either Hopewell Valley Riding Academy, LLC or HVRA Enterprises, LLC.”

    I really believe that they are weaving a web of deceit that continues to change as the word gets out. Not only is the candy business thriving but they are now wrapping themselves into a “non-profit” charity group, which I find appalling at best. I am going to continue with searching any and all information out on them.

    Comment by Hilde Jones on 7/11/08 at 4:47 am #
  10. Guess my name is being added to the list of people scammed by this company.  What I can’t understand is some of these letters date back more than 2 years and this compnay is still scamming people.  I hope there can be an end to this soon!

    Comment by Nancy on 7/28/08 at 12:25 pm #
  11. I filed a complaint with the FBI and Visa, so we’ll see what happens, if everyone does something hopefully this can be taken care of!!! Anyone wanna call a news station? lol… We can have one of those undercover reports confront these dirtbags! haha

    Comment by Tara on 7/28/08 at 5:56 pm #
  12. I almost fell victim as well.  I placed an order for about $200 in June, and they charged my credit card immediately.  I needed the order by mid-July for my wedding, and noted in the order that I wanted it by July 1st.  Come July, I didn’t get any emails or notifications about my order & started to worry.  I tried emailing & called, no responses.  Then I found this site, and my heart just sunk to read about so many others who went through the exact same experience.  So I called my credit card company to file a dispute & told them about the bad reviews I found on the internet as well as BBB.  They gave me back the credit right away.  And 2 days later after the dispute, I get a email response from hometowncandy saying my order is “enroute”.  I asked for shipping tracking info, and another 2 days later, I get the tracking info which shows it got shipped AFTER the fact.  So they obviously lied to me in the first email response, and my candy wasn’t even shipped out yet.  I did get the candy a few days later, but half was missing.  The more expensive candy was missing, of course!  I had to email AGAIN about the rest of my order, which again took 2 more days for a response.  I finally did receive my entire order, which was way overdue!  I guess I was one of the lucky ones to even receive some candy, but hope we can put a stop to these scammers soon!

    Comment by NRN on 8/06/08 at 7:49 am #
  13. As of August 09, nothing has changed. Not knowing of this site or any previous problems, I ordered a small amount of candy, $39.00. After two weeks I E Mailed and no response. Tried phoning, getting a recorded message. My credit card company credited my account, so nothing lost. The interesting thing is my credit card was charged to the Hopewell Valley Riding Academy.No doubt about it, that site is a scam.

    Comment by Ken Atkins on 8/23/08 at 6:23 am #
  14. Am glad I found this section I too never received my candy After 3 weeks contacted them and was told it was being shipped the next week or would I like to cancel It had taken so long I went ahead and canceled as we do Candy buffets and need a place more dependable . Have received 2 e-mails stating my refund was being credited back but nothing yetContacted my bank today and there is hope for my $200.00 I hope for a good outcome for all of you

    Comment by Pamela Luks on 9/02/08 at 1:44 pm #
  15. I wish I had known about this site before I placed my order.  I ordered the Kits and BBBats, which I can’t find anywhere.  The order was &63;.51, I sent them a check on 4/21/08.  The check cleared my account on 5/1.  I tried to call but no answer.  I sent an email to trace my order.  No answer.  I filled a complaint with BBB.  They didn’t get an answer either.  What can be done to this company to get this stopped? Can anyone tell me how to get my money back?

    Comment by Beth Barina on 9/19/08 at 7:51 am #
  16. I was initially unable to place an order because of difficulty with the website.  I then received an email, on 08/19/08 stating only checks or money orders could be used as payment. The email included my original order and instuctions to make the check or money order out to HVRA enterprises,LLC.and mail the order to the company. I sent a money order and never received the order of Jordan Almonds. I have tried to call and email the company with no response. I am now trying to contact the person mentioned in #209’s comment.  I am also filing a complaint with NJ Attorney General and FTC. One good thing though…they gave me a 5% discount on my order for my inconvenience!

    Comment by MSoto on 9/25/08 at 11:20 am #
  17. It’s just amazing how this Candy company has been ripping off the public for years and nothing is happening to them despite the numerous complaints with the Attorney Generals office in PA and NJ. Just because I lost $47 with this lousy company, the NJ Attorney Generals office did not want to help me at all. There are so many vicitms every year after year, but no one can see a problem with this place. Who is the Attorney General working for anyway????? Hometown Candy???? Seeing no results from the many complaints, I wouldn’t doubt it.

    Comment by Jo Dominguez on 9/25/08 at 6:02 pm #
  18. Gee!What a conincident. Today, I received a letter from Consumer Affairs in NJ and it was about an update in regard to my complaint about “Ebulkcandy” aka Hometown Candy,from 2005. They tell me that Mr. Eric Keller who is the owner of the company, has been arrested in both NJ and PA and was convicted and sentenced in NJ and PA and will begin his sentence later this September. They also tell me that my case will remain open in case there is a chance of getting my money back. Don’t worry, I won’t be holding my breath! But what goes around eventually comes around. I hope Keller enjoys himself.

    Comment by Jo Dominguez on 9/27/08 at 5:10 pm #
  19. Fantastic news! I’m glad to see he’s off to jail. According to the SEC complaint, his residence is in McLean, VA. I also live in the Washington region and have been through McLean many times. To those who aren’t familiar with that location, McLean is ALL million-dollar homes. Except for Potomac, there is no more upscale place to live in the DC area. Apparently he’s been living very well off of selling nothing. Wish I could make money out of thin air like that, but I’ll keep my normal house if it means I don’t have to trade my mansion for a cell with a toilet that faces the guard booth.

    What’s perplexing is how he thought he could get away with it. Didn’t he think people would start complaining if they paid up and received nothing? I mean, my comment number will be #219. There has to be a less obvious way to defraud people, don’t you think?

    Comment by R on 9/28/08 at 1:10 pm #
  20. Lets see….over 2 years later and people are still being scammed? I recently made a purchase through JordanAlmonds.com for my wedding. I first had tried to use my credit card, but the site seemed to crash. I got an email the next day saying that I needed to place the order by mail with a check as their server was down and that there would be a 5% discount. SO…stupid me did just that. My check was processed on 9/24/08…it is now 10/8 with no response via email or phone from them and no almonds. My wedding is 10/12….so I guess I’m outta luck…I did file a complaint with the FTC though. I’m not sure if the bank can do anything since it was a personal check. Now I’m wondering if the “server” being down was an identity theft scam…

    Comment by Tara on 10/08/08 at 6:56 am #
  21. Tara, please contact me regarding the NSF check. I have a few questions and may be able to help. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Comment by Greg on 10/09/08 at 5:41 am #
  22. Tara, please contact me regarding the check. I may be able to help. mistake on the earlier entry. my email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Comment by Greg on 10/09/08 at 5:42 am #
  23. same here.  ordered 9 lbs. or jordan almonds on october 9, 2008 and was told there was a problem with processing credit cards so we would need to send a check.  we did, and it was cashed immediately.  now almost three weeks later and no almonds.  any advice for people who paid by personal check rather than credit card?

    Comment by Joe on 10/29/08 at 10:40 am #
  24. I had recieve my first order of Jordon almonds and decided to order some more a month before my wedding.  the candy never showed up.  when I emailed them saying I need to cancel my order because I would not have them in time they sent me an email stating a full refund…that was 8-31-08 and it is now 11-1-08 and no refund.  even after attempting to contact them through email three additional times. and my credit card company says it is too far out to do anything on there end.

    Comment by Priscilla Bottasso on 11/01/08 at 8:00 am #
  25. Joe, send me an email. I can help with the bad check. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Comment by Greg on 11/12/08 at 5:48 am #
  26. WARNING!!!! If you used a credit/debit card to pay for your order call your cc company/bank and have a fraud alert placed on the account. My card number was used to make 4 unauthorized online purchases a few months after my transaction with these people. I am not the only person that this has happened to. Go to this address and scroll to the last comment -  http://www.complaints.com/2008/july/7/www.jordanalmonds.com_176529.htm

    I ordered back in July so I was able to use a debit card for the purchase, and since I became suspicious early on, I was able to reverse the charge within the 60 day time limit to get my money back. Now, my bank’s fraud alert department called because of suspicious activity. I was able to get the card cancelled so that they can’t use it again, and once the fraudelent charges post to my account I can get them reversed as well.

    I’m sure the reason they no longer accept online payment is because those charges can be reversed if done within 60 days. For those of you who mailed a check, GOOD NEWS!!!, you can, and should, file a complaint with the US post office. Mail fraud is a Federal offense, and since you had to mail the check, it qualifies as mail fraud. The post office does take these complaints very seriously.

    Now regarding this Eric person being convicted and sent to jail, I have been doing some research since the bank called, and there is another name connected with these companies - Anne Butler. I have read other posts that identify her as an owner as well, so they may not be out of business yet.

    I have tried to go to both the HomeTownCandy and JordanAlmonds sites, but I get an error page. Their websites have been shut down in the past by their hosting company pulling the plug on them, but they just moved to a new hosting company. The same way they just keep changing their business name, location and who prcesses the online payment (PayPal, SkipJack, Hopwell etc.)

    Hopefully, the mail fraud may be the final and fatal mistake that gets them shut down permanently.

    Comment by Betty on 11/12/08 at 10:02 am #
  27. I ALSO ORDERED FROM HOMETOWN CANDY, LATE SEPT. OR EARLY OCT. 2008 PAID BY DEBIT CARD AND I NEVER RECEIVED MY MERCHANDISE.

    Comment by ROGER A. FRIEDLAND on 11/14/08 at 12:31 pm #
  28. Lucky for me, I found this site before I ordered from jordanalmonds.com back in March. I was reluctant to try any other company, but an overwhelming desire for Jordan almonds got the best of me on Wednesday—I placed an order with NutsOnline.com and received my five pound order early this afternoon.  Just wanted to let you folks know that if you’ve got a hankering that must be satisfied, or need favors for your event, you can order from this company with confidence. And no, I’m not in their employ—just a very satisfied customer.

    Comment by Helen M on 11/14/08 at 2:30 pm #
  29. Just saw this blog… four years ago, I ordered from Hometown Candy. Was charged the (correct) $72. but the product was never received.  I tried calling (only an answering machine), faxing (no response), and e-mail.  To the latter, they responded twice that I would receive my order shortly, then stopped bothering to answer.  I placed a complaint (I believe I have an FBI internet fraud case number), but never heard any resolution.  Now four years later, I find myself on the Hometown Candy e-mail list!!!  I responded that I would NOT be their best word of mouth (and why) and to take me off their list.  Initially, someone e-mailed back their apology and that they would make good the previous order.  THIS IS DEFINITELY THE SAME COMPANY SINCE THEY SAW MY PREVIOUS ORDER SOMEWHERE IN THEIR RECORDS, AND HAD THE CORRECT $ AMOUNT!  However, again, they seem to have decided not to follow through.  At least, I seem to be off their mailing list now…  I can’t believe they are still allowed to do business!

    Comment by Heidi on 11/18/08 at 8:42 am #
  30. I order from home town candy in Oct. 2008.  They never sent candy and never charged credit card. Never got comformation email. What should I do?  I tried calling the company and all i get is a machine saying mailbox is full?  I wrote several emails with no response.

    Comment by Chris L on 11/18/08 at 5:33 pm #
  31. JordanAlmonds/Hometown candy got me also-Sept/08 sent email same thing couldnt do it on line so sent a check $254.00 it was cashed QUICKLY SEPT30/08 just got rembursed on 11/13/08 western union.It took 1 letter to my Attorney General and 1 letter to NJ Attorney General and phone calls emails both of no response ATTY<GEN is who saved the day…...BAD FOLKS

    Comment by Ray Kelsey on 11/19/08 at 5:34 am #
  32. Ray, please contact me regarding the check you sent to Jordan Almonds.  MY email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Comment by Greg on 11/19/08 at 5:51 am #
  33. LakeLand Bank of New Jersey is the bank this scum uses.To all of you who either used credit card check money order or what ever get ahold of your attorney general of your state and the state of New Jersey.Turn this guy in he will pay you back just dont give in.GOOD LUCK RAY

    Comment by Ray on 12/09/08 at 7:44 am #
  34. I have just recently (5/5/09) placed an order with this company for my daughters wedding and like all of you have heard nothing. I checked with my bank last week and had not been charged as of then. Do you think this company is still able to make charges? I can’t imagine why they are still allowed to have a website. When I pressed the place order now button after entering my debit card info it said problem has occurred with this website. Do you think I need to contact my bank and alert them to this?
    Thanks for any help you have.

    Comment by Dawn on 6/07/09 at 8:54 pm #
  35. I know who the guys are.  They are not malicious, just inept at management and disorganized, hence all the partially filled orders, and partially resolved complaints with BBB>

    Comment by Guy on 8/04/09 at 9:22 pm #
  36. Hey Guy - if you know the people running the biz, tell them to STOP!!! I never received my candy, no communication, Nothing!! But they did fight with my Credit Card Company when I wanted my Refund. If you dont know how to run a Biz, either get help or Dont Run the Biz. Taking people’s hard earned money and not supplying the goods is just plain Wrong.

    Comment by Jill on 8/05/09 at 3:31 pm #
  37. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their bad experiences.  I started to order some candy and stopped to check out reviews.  Because of all of you I will not order from this company. I previously have gotten candy from oldtimecandy.com and oryans.com with no problems but the prices were a little less with hometown candy.  Apparantly thats how they “get you.”

    Comment by Dennis on 10/21/09 at 8:03 am #
  38. Hometowncandy.com is a scam site—charged my credit card and never delivered, responded to e-mail or answered their phone.

    A letter on my complaint that the BBB sent to the company this week was returned as undeliverable.

    Also, I called the Ewing Township police on this outfit, and they expressed zero interest. Possibly this company has found a corrupt municipality to operate it.

    Comment by EdC on 12/04/09 at 3:45 am #
  39. My order to hometowncandies.com never even went thru—each time you would click ‘ad to cart’ there was ‘error parsing’ message. Afte multiple trys called both the phone numbers from the website…both disconnected…guess they are gone for good reason!

    Comment by Kent Heizer on 10/20/10 at 6:00 pm #
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