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The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a public warning against using

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a public warning against using digital payment services like Venmo or Zelle, especially when negotiating transactions with service providers. This caution comes in the wake of a surge in complaints against 1st Call Pet Cremation, a Las Vegas-based company.

This pet cremation service has been accused of mishandling pet remains, causing distress and dissatisfaction among its customers. Issues raised center around inconsistent services and questionable handling of pet remains.

Digital payment platforms offer fewer buyer protections compared to methods like credit cards or bank transfers. This can leave consumers vulnerable in service delivery disputes like the ones plaguing 1st Call Pet Cremation.

Investigations conducted by the Nevada Attorney General’s Office link these misconducts to a now-defunct business. Evidence shows pets thought to have been cremated were discarded over 100 miles away in Utah. This scandal has shattered trust and caused immense distress for grieving pet owners.

Since June 2023, BBB has been recording complaints against 1st Call Pet Cremation.

Digital payment pitfalls in pet cremation scandal

These complaints sharply rose in August 2023, with customers questioning the authenticity of the ashes they received. This casts a great deal of suspicion over the company’s operations and ethics.

The company, which officially closed on October 31, 2023, had reportedly advised its former subcontractors to hold onto pet remains, including pets in storage freezers. More than 1300 pounds of pet remains were subsequently discovered in Utah and a freezer in Las Vegas.

Despite the company’s claim of BBB accreditation, BBB’s website has actually labeled them as an F grade business and clarified they were never accredited. Over the past year, 19 out of 20 complaints recorded by the BBB were about clients not receiving their pets’ remains or questioning their authenticity.

The BBB advises affected customers to use credit or debit transactions for added security, as some victims made payments through Venmo or Zelle. Customers have reported communication difficulties with the company, with many not receiving any response at all.

The BBB and investigator David Charns encourages affected consumers to file formal complaints and inform local law enforcement. As investigations unfold, further updates are expected.

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