BBB offers the following tips to prevent from being scammed following a recent investigation involving a local marketing company, promising advertising services their clients say aren't being delivered:
• Always check a business out with the BBB before you buy.
• Don’t succumb to high-pressure techniques, such as notices that the price is good for one day only.
• If advertisers claim to have affiliations, check out those affiliated.
• Try to verify the business’ true identity.
• Ask for references. Make sure the company that wants your business has satisfied customers. Read contracts carefully and make sure you understand what you are signing.
• Make sure all verbal agreements are specified in contracts before signing.
The BBB says in the last year, 20 companies have paid the company “Stay Local El Paso” (www.staylocalelpaso.com) more than 26-thousand-dollars altogether. Several of those businesses have filed complaints with the BBB after they say there was no evidence their ads were ever distributed at Fort Bliss. Based on the information received on June 25, these complaints are now being processed.
Businesses said they were approached by Johnny Mills, who heads the company and may also go by Johnny Ray Mills. Companies say Mills offers advertising packages anywhere from $100 to $10,000 to advertise their companies on his website. Mills allegedly also claimed he would include their flyers in welcome packets for incoming soldiers at Fort Bliss.
Business owners said they signed a 'vague' contract with Mills. In our experience, Fort Bliss normally doesn't allow this type of business on post.
Mills told the BBB he never promised business owners flyers on Fort Bliss -- the deal was only to list ads for companies on his website, even though Mills uses Fort Bliss' logo on the contracts he signed with clients.
The investigation is still being conducted.
You can check a local company’s BBB Business Review by going to www.elpaso.bbb.org or by calling 915-577-0191.
Furthermore, if you feel you were scammed, the BBB urges you contact police and also call or visit our office.