How to Deal with eCrooks or
Internet Con-Artists (Continued)


C) Beware of Footwear Ordering Terminology

1) "Custom Made" - only includes shoes made according to a design that you provide and/or exact personal (not "standard women") foot measurements that you provide. Nothing else qualifies as "custom made". Custom made shoes can take several weeks and even, up to six months to receive.

Because custom made shoes are personalized and only of value to you, they must usually be billed or paid at the time you place the order. So, you must rely on the honesty of the Internet retailer and hope that they will deliver.

2) "Hand Made" - A "Hand Made" pair of high heel shoes is NOT the same as a "Custom Made" pair. All high heel shoes and boots are made by human hands to a large extent.

3) "Made to Order" - means that the shoes will be made in your "standard women" size, only if you order it. In this case, you should call to find out exactly how long it will take to make and exactly when you will receive it. Also, ask when you will be billed for it. You can try to get all or part of the payment deferred until the date that the order is shipped to you.

4) "Back Order" - If the pair of shoes in your "standard women" size was available or in stock, then it has been sold out. Unless, another pair(s) has already been ordered from the manufacturer, it is similar to a "Made to Order" pair.

D) What You Can Do If You Do Not Receive Your High Heels.

1) Demand an immediate refund.

2) Try to get an exchange for merchandise that they can deliver immediately. Getting something might be better than a total loss.

3) File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. You can do this online by clicking on (BBBOnLine is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Council of Better Business Bureaus).

4) If the retailer in located in the United States, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - Bureau of Consumer Protection. You can do this online by clicking on Furthermore, while you are at this FTC website, read about the ongoing fraud cases.

5) If the retailer in located in the United States, file a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC). You can do this online by clicking on

Between May 8, 2000 (the birthdate of the IFCC) and November 3, 2000, the IFCC received 19,490 complaints. 64.1% of the complaints were related to auction fraud, 22.3% were related to non-delivery of goods/services, and 4.6% were related to credit/debit card fraud.

6) Also, if the retailer is located in the United States, file a complaint with the Attorney General in the state where the retailer has its headquarters in. You can locate the name and address of the state attorney general by searching Yahoo! at for "attorney general" and the name of the state.

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This report was written by J.J. Leganeur, author of All About Wearing High Heels .

Last updated on April 2, 2001.