Injunction Granted in Shoe Store Case
State Seeks to Make it Permanent
By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, September 9, 2008
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- An Internet shoe store based in Hampton is under fire by the state for taking money from customers without delivering any of the goods.
The New Hampshire's attorney general office sought and was granted a preliminary injunction in Merrimack County Superior Court on Aug. 18 against Myshoestore. com to stop it from accepting money from its customers.
According to the lawsuit, the company is accused of immediately charging the consumers' credit or debit cards for ordered shoes despite the items not being in stock.
The company later failed to fill the orders and on numerous occasions even failed to give a refund. Several consumers who did receive a refund via check saw it "bounced" when deposited.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Lauren Noether said the state filed suit against the company to not only stop it from defrauding others, but also to try and get the money back for more than 400 customers who purchased shoes but received nothing in return.
Noether said the goal is to make the preliminary injunction a permanent one. The injunction also bans the company president, or any Internet business in which he has a leadership role, from accepting money from customers.
Myshoestore.com, also known as Lord John's Footwear.com, first came to the state in 2005 based out of Greenland. In 2007, the company moved its headquarters to 881 Lafayette Road.
The company vacated its Hampton location in June, and posted a message on its Web site later that month stating it had "ended its business operations."
Noether said the state began investigating the company after receiving a number of complaints by both the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau and the Better Business Bureau of New Hampshire.
Several consumers have posted warnings about the company on Web sites warning of scams including ripoffreport.com.
One consumer detailed a six-month e-mail correspondence with the president of the company over when he would receive his refund.
For the first three months, the president is alleged to have said "that he would research why the refund hasn't arrived," and the last e-mail states "our business has endured some difficult financial times and we will be forced to close."The president could not be reached for comment and he did not appear at the hearing on the injunction.