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West Allis packing and shipping business closes, people's products never make it to destination

Posted at 5:28 AM, Oct 20, 2021

WEST ALLIS — In late August, Carol Bieber paid about $30 to have a handmade military quilt packaged and shipped to her brother in Virginia.

"It is a quilt of valor, and many women around the United States make these for veterans," Bieber said.

Her brother served in the Air Force for 20 years and she wanted to surprise him with a special gift.

Bieber dropped off the quilt at a business called Wrap and Ship in West Allis.

"A lot of work went into it and I was so excited to give this to my brother," she said.

The quilt never made it to Virginia.

"I went to the post office to get some stamps and I just asked them about it and the woman said, 'Oh, this place is closed.' And I said 'no, I was there on Monday' and she said, 'it closed Monday.'"

Bieber connected with the owner on Facebook. There was a lot of back on forth, but that didn't result in her getting her quilt.

Then she filed a police report. Within about a week, an officer called saying they had it.

"When I got it back, it was okay, it was taken out of the package, it had the smell of smoke on it. It's aired out, it's pretty good now," said Bieber.

Court documents show not everyone got their items back.

One customer told police their candles dropped off at Wrap and Ship never made it to their destination, and that they saw a posting on Facebook marketplace advertising the same candles being sold by the owner for $20.

West Allis police declined an interview with us but provided this statement: "West Allis police are investigating complaints surrounding this business and potential thefts on the part of the business owner. These are open, active investigations at this point. We do not have a timeline regarding possible charges."

Since the owner hasn't been charged, TMJ4 News is not releasing their name, though we did try and contact them. We haven't received a response yet.

Bieber doesn't plan on trying to ship out the quilt again.

"I'm going to wait until my brother visits and I'll give it to him then," Bieber said.

"I'm just happy all that work didn't go to waste," she added. "You just got to put it in perspective. There's so much bad going on in the world. This is a small thing."

The Better Business Bureau shares the below tips on what you can do if a business closes and you haven't received your goods or services:

"Collect receipts, proofs of purchase, and any other documents such as warranties and manuals. These materials will help you prepare for your request for a resolution.

Check with the bank or credit card you used to make the purchase(s) at the now-closed company. You may be able to dispute the transaction(s) due to failure to receive goods or services. Credit cards offer more consumer protections on purchases than debit cards do, so it's generally better to do your shopping, particularly for big-ticket items, with a credit card.

Try to contact the company to complete the transaction or resolve the issue. Some closed companies will offer an email, website, or phone number to contact for more information. Check with your BBB to see if they have information about the company, or search for the company on BBB.org. If the business has a physical address, check to see if there is a notice posted with information on where to turn for help. Also, look at the company's website and social media presence for information.

If the company has not filed for bankruptcy, the business is still obligated to fulfill your order for goods, services, or a refund. Closing a business doesn't relieve the owner of that responsibility. While it can be a time-consuming and expensive option, a consumer may choose to take the company to court.

For returns: if you have a warranty for an item you bought at the store, look into whether the warranty was issued by the manufacturer or by the store. If the manufacturer issued the warranty, it will most likely honor it. When a company goes out of business, its warranties and services often die with it, unless other agreements have been made.

If you have unused gift cards for a closed business, bankruptcy filings will likely determine if and how they can be used or claimed. Read more on gift cards and bankruptcy."

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