I-Team: Online deals that are too good to be true

I-Team: Online deals that are too good to be true

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The Internet offers that great opportunity to find a better price on a hard-to-find item. As soon as you see it, you want to snatch it up.  But instead, what you need to is slow down and make sure that hard-to-find item isn't really just a slippery sales technique.

It's one of those stories where the eager buyer says "lesson learned." But instead of choosing to move on, he called the I-Team from Philadelphia to warn consumers in metro Atlanta about too-good-to-be-true deals.

Dean Coletta is a personal fitness trainer who says he doesn't take lacing up lightly. Just look in his closet. It's sneaker central.  But, he still wanted another pair.

"It's a high-end Nike sneaker that's quite expensive to buy retail," Coletta said.

He found it, but wasn't willing to pay the hefty $180 price tag.  That was okay because online he found a cheaper model on the website Discount Shoes Outlet.

"At first blush, the website seemed fine and very professionally done, and no, I did not notice anything," Coletta said.

That is, except the much lower price tag on older models.  Coletta said he called the toll-free number and heard what the I-Team did when they called. Because of the high call volume, the shoe would have to be ordered through the Discount Shoes Outlet website.  

"They had last year's and the years before, and typically, it was a $95 discount down to a more reasonable price. I did order two pairs," Coletta said.

And that was the end of that. Really, the end.  Coletta contacted the Better Business Bureau to say he never received his shoes. He says he never got his more than $150 back and he says he never got to talk to anyone with the Georgia-based company.

That's where the I-Team comes in.   Discount Shoes Outlet is in Grayson, Ga.  State records show the owner is Kingsley Omesiete, Jr. His Twitter account says he's "Somewhat of a serial entrepreneur."  But, he leaves out his company's "F" rating with the BBB and his criminal record.

According to the Gwinnett Police Department, Omesiete has a record of aggravated assault and aggravated battery, as well as burglary.  

When the I-Team went out to speak with Omesiete at his company headquarters, what they found was a beautiful home situated on a quiet cul-de-sac.  A woman who turned out to be his mother answered the door.

She said she didn't know much more than the business used to operate out of her home. But, she said, her son was gone and she wasn't sure where he went.

Shortly after that visit, Omesiete called the FOX 5 I-Team.  He agreed to meet, but then abruptly canceled.  Now, the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection has an open investigation into the discount shoe salesman whose prices really are too good to be true.

Coletta said, "Well, that's good, that's good, because clearly he did not give that much concern when he operated under the disguise of a legitimate business -- out of his mom's home, no less. So, I'm glad something is happening.

Omesiete says his business struggled because of too many charge backs. Charge backs are when the credit card company is asked to review the charge or if credit is denied – or, perhaps for a technical problem.

But, Omesiete says he never went into any more detail than that. So, right now it's difficult to determine if he plans to return money to his customers.

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