CREATED Jun. 4, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Many of us do our shopping online these days. But one valley woman says she's learned the hard way, it's important to know who you're doing business with.
"We finally found an engine after 6 months," says Angela Melancon.
She says she was thrilled when she came across RisingSunEngines.com.
"I was looking for a 1999 Mazda Miata engine. So I Googled that, and they came up," says Angela.
Her sister's car engine blew up back in July of 2012. And after months of taking the bus, while trying to find a replacement, Angela finally found something for her sister back in December.
"We read everything on the website. Called them up and the guy said oh yeah, not a problem," says Angela.
An invoice shows the price for the used engine with shipping was $2,010.
"He said we could send him a cashier's check, money order or do a personal check," says Angela.
Angela sent this cashier's check. Tracking information shows, it was delivered to the California company on Dec. 28, and even signed for. But to this day, Angela says she's still waiting to get the engine, and her sister is still without a working car.
"She still had to pay the registration on her car and keep the insurance on it and stuff like that. So that's extra money that she had to spend for something she can't even use," says Angela.
It turns out, Angela missed a few red flags when choosing Rising Sun Engines.
The first step you should make when doing business with any online company, do some research. Contact 13 learned, Rising Sun Engines has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.
"The BBB has received over a 140 complaints against Rising Sun Engines," says Katie Robison with the Southern Nevada BBB.
She says many of the complaints are just like Angela's. People report paying for used auto parts and never getting them.
Angela admits she never did her homework.
"I kick myself because I'm usually pretty good at researching things. But I was just so thrilled we finally found an engine," says Angela.
Another important rule, "When working with any online company you want to pay with a credit card. Paying with a credit card offers the consumer recourse," says Katie.
That's because federal law requires that credit cards let shoppers dispute questionable charges. Many credit cards cover the charges, if a company fails to deliver the merchandise or service.
"Paying by money order, wire transfer, check, does not offer the consumer any recourse," says Katie.
Finally, know your rights. The Better Business Bureau says if a product isn't shipped on time, you have the right to cancel your order and get a refund. You can even reject merchandise you find to be misrepresented or defective.
As for Angela, she has a message for Rising Sun Engines.
"Either make good on what you promised, refund the money, or turn yourself in. But I don't think he'll do any of the three," says Angela.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line. We tried contacting Rising Sun Engines in California, but like the Better Business Bureau, we weren't able to get any response from the company.
Along with the BBB, Angela has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Remember, the FTC does investigate deceptive and unfair business practices.