The Better Business Bureau of Western PA is warning consumers about a pet transportation and delivery service claiming a bogus Erie address. The company, Royal Air Express, is the subject of several consumer complaints and BBB Scam Tracker reports involving the failure to deliver pets purchased online.
According to the United States Postal Service, the address listed on the company’s website, 963 Stutler Lane, Erie, PA 16501, does not exist. The Better Business Bureau also verified that the company is not registered with the Pennsylvania Division of Corporations or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as required by Pennsylvania law.
At least four complainants from four different states have reported losses ranging from $400 to $3,300 after shopping for pets online and being directed to RoyalAirExpress.com to arrange the delivery of the pets.
After confirming purchases and completing paperwork with supposed online companies such as Bichon Heavens, Joy Corgi Puppies, and Paramount Parrot Kingdom, complainants say representatives from Royal Air Express would text or email delivery status updates. In each complaint, Royal Air Express requested more money to cover unexpected insurance fees, new crates due to weather conditions, permits into the state, and/or vaccines. The payments were requested to be made through wire transfer services and Zelle.
No pets were ever delivered to the four complainants and the business has failed to respond to all communication attempts made by BBB. Following the investigation of Royal Air Express, AirPetsRelocationServices.com, a site nearly identical to Royal Air Express, was created and lists the bogus Erie address as its headquarters location. Two additional complainants, with narratives similar to the Royal Air Express experiences, have since reported losses of nearly $2,000 associated with AirPetsRelocationServices.com.
Your Better Business Bureau advises consumers to exercise extreme caution in doing business with Royal Air Express and Air Pets and to research pet sellers on bbb.org before committing to a purchase. In a recent investigative study on puppy scams, your Better Business Bureau estimates that 80% of sponsored advertising links in an internet search for pets may be fraudulent.
This is not the first time a bogus Erie address has been used to facilitate an online puppy scam. BBB has previously warned about websites selling pets such as Natty Teacup Yorkies, Precious Golden Retrievers, BreezAkita and more.
Learn how to identify and protect yourself from Pet Scams on bbb.org.