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May 27, 2014
Stevens County Internet company lawsuit leads to consumer refunds

1880 Western Wear to refund approximately 117 consumers nationwide, at least 5 from Washington state

SPOKANE — The Attorney General’s Office has resolved a lawsuit against an Internet based company in Colville, Wash. for violations of the Consumer Protection Act.

The resolution involves refunds to approximately 117 consumers across the nation including at least 5 in Washington state. The Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Western Montana Better Business Bureau (BBB) were very involved in the AGO investigation that led to this Consent Decree.

The defendant, Western By Design, LLC, went by the name of “1880 Western Wear,” before recently closing the business. The company was an online retailer that sold western clothing wear and apparel.

There are 117 known complaints against 1880 Western Wear through the AGO, BBB and Ripoff Reports. This company has an ‘F’ rating from the BBB.

Consumers waited often over a year to receive ordered items even though some goods were ordered for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and Christmas. In one instance, 1880 Western Wear promised that an item would be ready for a wedding date, but it was not delivered in time for the event.

Some consumers felt their only option was to request a refund when their items were not delivered as promised, but the defendant had a policy of “no refunds” five days after an order was placed.

In many cases the defendant did agree to provide refunds, but often consumers waited months before receiving the money.

Overview of the Consent Decree

In the Consent Decree, the defendant agreed to:

  • Refund consumers money for items they paid for, but never received;
  • Pay $25,000 in civil penalties if all provisions of the Consent Decree are not met; and
  • Follow injunctive measures if the company reopens, or the defendant opens a new business including but not limited to:
    • Ship purchased goods within the specified number of days;
    • Post an “Order Cancellation” and “Shipping Time “ policy on the website;
    • Respond to customer complaints within 72 hours; and
    • Restrain from making any misrepresentations in the context of their business activities, including but not limited to misrepresentations about delivery dates, delivery status, refunds and availability of goods.

Consumers nationwide may be entitled to a refund  

By May 11, 2015, the defendant must provide the AGO a list of all known consumers that purchased  any products from 1880 Western Wear from January 1, 2013 through September 20, 2013.

The AGO will send a letter by U.S mail to these consumers informing them they may be entitled to a refund. The letter will include a claim form the consumer can fill out to request a refund for items paid for, but never received. Consumers will have 45 days from the date the notices are sent to submit a claim.

Within one year after the 45 day claim period, the defendant will send refund checks to all eligible claimants that will cover the cost of any undelivered goods, including sales tax, delivery charges etc. Refund amounts will vary depending on original purchase price.

Assistant Attorney General Brooks Clemmons was lead on this case.


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