Buyer Beware: BBB Warns Consumers To Do Their Homework On Online Companies

BRYAN - A Bryan woman is warning fellow senior citizens to be careful who you do business with online.

She ran into trouble while looking for a place she could rent to own.

News 3 found out that customers have filed numerous complaints against the company with whom she dealt.

70-year-old Ginger Pagel of Bryan is looking online for a rental home she could possibly buy someday.

"Seems like a good option rather than just paying straight rent where you can build up property value for yourself and family," said Ginger Pagel.

But she's frustrated after dealing with HomeStarSearch.com.

It's a website that offers listings of rent to own properties for people with credit problems or need help finding a home.

She'd get a 10 day trial for $1 then it jumps to $50 a month.

She decided not to sign up. Now she says the company will not leave her alone. They've sent emails and called numerous times, asking again and again if she's still interested

"A credit repair program. I've never heard of that," she said on the phone as the company called while we were with her.

Rent To Own Network and HomeStarSearch.com share a Beverly Hills, California address.

HomeStarSearch has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau with 20 complaints.

"It may not be a scam," said Bill McGuire President and CEO of the BBB of the Brazos Valley.

He says consumers should always be careful online.

"Consumers just need to be aware that there are options that maybe don't cost as much money to get involved with, so if they do their research. Take time to do the research and they'll find some other options that they can choose from and maybe one of those would be free," McGuire said.

"If they start asking for money, if they want my business they can provide the money. It's money honey," said Ginger Pagel.

A lesson learned she wants others to know.

The Better Business Bureau recommends you do your homework before committing to a website such as this.

It also recommends doing business in person, or with someone locally if possible.


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