BBB investigation: Art Heist leaves consumers hanging

ID-1008377Consumers allege Leander-based art print website takes money, doesn’t deliver

Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin continues to receive numerous complaints about Leander, Texas-based Art Heist –, an online store that sells art prints.

Consumers allege that Art Heist debits their bank or credit cards, but it still takes several months to receive their order, if they receive their order at all. Some also complain that when they receive their order, they get a product that is inferior or not as advertised. Many consumers allege the company does not respond to inquiries asking about their items or requesting refunds.

As of Jan. 7, BBB has received 83 complaints against Art Heist. The company did not respond to 55 complaints and failed to resolve three complaints.

Art Heist responded to BBB’s concerns about the pattern of consumer complaints and gave some possible reasons for the complaints, but did not offer to make any changes to its policies that would stop the complaints from continuing.

Jeffrey Neaves of Victoria, Texas ordered an art print from Art Heist. The company charged his card immediately, but the product was not shipped for months. Neaves said his calls went straight to voicemail and the company did not respond to email or text messages. Eventually, he received an art print, but at a much lower quality than he ordered.

“He finally sent something,” Neaves said. “It was not what was described. Much less quality. The picture on the website was not as dark. The one I got is hard to make out. There are a lot of shadows. It looks like a cheap reprint.”

Cynthia Myerski of Wilkes Barre, Penn. ordered two art prints from Art Heist in June 2013. The company took payment, but she never received her order. She called the company and left messages, but never received an answer.

“I found Art Heist online. I have a picture by the same artist in my kitchen that I like. I went looking for other pictures by the same artist. The pictures were $25 apiece. I still have yet to get my money back or receive the product I ordered. I have tried to call their phone numbers, but no one answers.”

When buying art or any other merchandise online, BBB offers the following advice:

  • Do your research. Find an Accredited Business using BBB’s Member Pages, and check out the company’s BBB Business Review before purchasing anything from a website.
  • Confirm contact information is valid. Look on the site for a street address and phone number, and verify whether those are valid. Be wary if the seller’s only contact information is a post office box.
  • Pay with a credit card. It is best to use a credit card when shopping online, because, under federal law, the shopper can dispute the charges if he or she doesn’t receive the item.
  • Review refund and shipping policies. If you can’t find the terms and conditions, ask the seller through an email or telephone call to provide them to you in writing.
  • Keep documentation of your order. After completing the online order process, a shopper should be provided with a confirmation receipt.  BBB recommends printing a copy of the confirmation and any indication of the expected delivery timeframe for future reference.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit BBB.