Buyer Beware: Fraud Committed By and Petticoat Lane Scammers

As a fraud investigator, I take honesty and fair dealings very seriously. When I make a mistake, I own up to it. When someone I’m doing business with makes a mistake, I expect them to also take responsibility and make things right. I have been defrauded by and its related brick and mortar company Petticoat Lane, and I hope to help others avoid losing money because of their lies too.

On August 28, I placed an order for a pink handbag from, the one on the left below. After further browsing on the site, I found a different bag I was interested in. I sent an email to cancel my initial order for the pink bag, and inquired as to whether the second bag  in purple (called “grape” by the manufacturer) was in stock. This second bag is also shown below, on the right, and the two bags are clearly completely different in both color and style.


This is the original bag that was ordered in pink. This is the “grape” (purple) bag that I inquired about after canceling the order for the pink bag.

I received a reply email from Phyllis at email address [email protected] (who appears to be one of the owners?) confirming that my initial order was being canceled per my request. She said that someone at the store would look for the “grape” bag (to see if they actually had it in stock) and would get back to me to see if I wanted to place a new order. No one ever contacted me, but on September 5, my credit card was charged $160 for the original order (pink bag) that was canceled.

I contacted Phyllis about this charge for the canceled order, and received the following reply from her at email address [email protected]:

I think they send you the grape as you requested after you cancelled it you still wanted the grape, anyway they will contact you on Tuesday.

This reply didn’t make sense, as the original order was for a pink bag, and she said I “still wanted the grape.” The “grape” bag was completely different in both style and color from the original (but canceled) order. Was someone confusing the two bags?

On September 9, I received the pink bag in the mail and also received an email from [email protected] (but with no name signed to it) saying the following about the pink bag they sent in error:

Send it back via US mail, we will refund your shipping, sorry for the confusion.

I did exactly as requested, and sent the bag back via U.S. Mail at a cost of $27.15. received the bag on September 12, but did not refund any money to my credit card until September 21. credited $160 to my credit card, the amount of the original fraudulent charge for the canceled order. (Remember, Phyllis even confirmed with me that the order for the pink bag was canceled and would not ship.) Where is my $27.15 for shipping charges per their instructions and promise to reimburse me? and Petticoat Lane are defrauding me, plain and simple. They will not reimburse the shipping charges even though they made the mistake in shipping the pink bag, and they promised to reimburse me for shipping fees. I have called and emailed several times, and store management refuses to honor their employees’ promises. They have said that the bag was shipped to me because I said I wanted the “grape” bag and that I’m lucky they even refunded the $160, as they normally deduct outbound shipping costs on returned items.

The problem is that they didn’t ship me a grape bag. They shipped me a pink bag, so their excuses don’t hold water.

In this case, I did everything as instructed by Phyllis and whoever else was responding to my emails. I wanted to ensure that I followed their process to get the bag back to them and get the full amount due to me. I didn’t make the mistake. They did. And now they’re refusing to make good on it and they’re refusing to honor their promises.

That’s fraud my friends. Fraud committed by and Petticoat Lane. I don’t know if this is a typical scam, or if this is just the result of poor operating procedures. Either way, the company and its management has a duty to fix their wrongs and keep their word. Do not shop with them unless you like doing business with people who completely lack integrity. Don’t trust them to follow through on what they say. Trust them to screw you if they can, because that’s what they did to me.


  1. Tracy Coenen

    And obviously my life does not depend on receiving $27 from these scam artists. It’s just the principle of it. They screwed up, they made promises, and they need to fix this. Instead, they screwed up, they lied, they lied some more, and then lied again and told me to go away.

  2. Letterman's Blackmailer

    An employee’s erroneous promise to refund the shipping charge does not constitute fraud. It constitutes a mistake on the part of that person. They have lived up to their published shipping terms.

    “We deduct for shipping charges on all returns.”

    You may not like the published terms and you have every right to complain about those terms and/or your specific experience, but calling it fraud is inaccurate and seems to be in bad faith. It undercuts the credibility of many of your other blog items that point out legitimate fraud (pun intended).

  3. Tracy Coenen

    It doesn’t matter what their published shipping terms were. This was not “a return”. They charged me and mailed out the bag in error. Their error. There is NO WAY I should have to pay any shipping charges to correct their mistake.

    This absolutely is fraud and theft as the company should be willing to live up to the promises of their employees. If the employee was mistaken, why must I pay the cost for that mistake? I had no control over that employee’s actions. Just like I had no control over the company charging my credit card and shipping out a bag on an order that was properly canceled and even CONFIRMED canceled by their owner.

  4. Letterman's Blackmailer

    You also made an error in ordering a bag you didn’t want, which got the ball rolling. It’s not like they sent it to you unsolicited. Like I said, you have a right to not like their service or terms and complain about them. It does not rise to the level of fraud. You might have a good hypothetical civil case against them, but it’s just that. A civil dispute, not fraud.

  5. Tracy Coenen

    No, I did not make an error. I ordered a bag through proper channels. I canceled the order through proper channels. I got confirmation that it was canceled. There was no error on my part, and my attempt to purchase a bag from was not a license for them to steal from me.

    They made the mistake, and I was kind enough to immediately send the bag back to them. I even fronted the money for the shipping, with the acknowledgment from them that they made an error, and a promise to reimburse me for the cost to correct THEIR error.

    The fraud is within them promising to refund all of my money and not doing so. They gave me their word and it is the right thing to do. To not pay the money that is due to me is fraud and theft, plain and simple. We’ve gone far past the point of them claiming a “mistake.”

  6. Letterman's Blackmailer

    “No, I did not make an error. I ordered a bag through proper channels”

    Ordering something you don’t want is an error whether you admit it or not. They don’t explicitly grant any right to cancel any order in their terms of service. A right to cancel is only implied. It depends on what the messages are during the ordering process and I have no way of knowing that or any inclination to order a purse.

    “…perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage”

    How did they profit? They merely recouped some of their loss. I doubt you could even win a hypothetical civil case based on this information, let alone show any kind of fraud.

  7. Tracy Coenen

    They didn’t profit but they gained an unfair advantage: they forced me to pay for THEIR mistake. It doesn’t matter that I changed my mind. I followed their procedure and instructions. I was promised that I would not be charged. After I was charged, they admitted their mistake and promised to make good on it. The facts are all that matter. And it is a fact that THEY messed up and I have to pay for it.

  8. Tracy Coenen

    They messed up. Then they lied. The lie that they would reimburse me for my cost is the fraud. And I didn’t say it rose to the level of a crime, necessarily. It can be fraud, however, and it still is.

  9. baglover

    I totally agree with Letterman’s Blackmailer. It must be some mistake but definitely not fraud. I have shopped with bagshop a few times and I have not had any problem with them.

    1. Tracy Coenen

      Yes, they initially made a mistake when they sent out a bag on which they had a canceled order, and had emailed me confirmation that the order was canceled and the bag would not be sent out.

      The fraud is in telling me exactly what method of shipping to use to send it back, telling me that they would refund the shipping cost since they had made the error, and then refusing to refund it once they received the bag back.

      Sadly, the owner Phyllis was the one who handled the cancellation and therefore knew that the bag should not have been shipped to me. Even when I sent back to her all the emails regarding the transaction, she refused to follow through. It is pathetic that they had to steal $27 from me.

  10. Anni

    I would have to side with Tracy on this one. Whether or not she made the mistake on changing her mind on the bag (which 99% of stores are able to accommodate their customers’ whims? you’d think a high-end bag store would especially strive to?).. anyway, even if she made that “mistake”, that’s not the issue here. The issue is that she has concrete evidence of a promise the store made and did not complete their agreement. I should think a written email is a contract on their end which Tracy fulfilled (thus implicitly agreeing to) by sending back the bag. So yes, I agree they needed to refund the money. So you didn’t even get the grape bag ever? That’s unfortunate that they decided you weren’t worth pursuing as a customer.. plus they picked the wrong lady to tangle with as your blog will cost them more business!! 😀

  11. Oommma

    Looking for reviews for and finding very little. Then this. I agree with those that think “fraud” is inaccurate for describing the transactions. So, I’m warned. I will make sure I actually want what I’m ordering before completing the purchase. I understand that even if I contact them immediately telling them I’ve changed my mind there is a pretty good chance that they will charge me and ship the item anyway. Additionally, I understand that I will have to eat the shipping cost if I choose to return the item I ordered in error, just as they had to eat the shipping to me. All this is okay with me because I’ve shopped online a lot and very few online sellers allow for items to be cancelled once the order is in process. When I want free shipping AND free returns I shop at Zappos.

  12. Tracy Coenen

    Agreed. It’s just a shame that the owner of Bagshop agreed to cancel my order, shipped the item anyway, asked me to send it back, promised to reimburse the shipping due to her error, and then went back on her word. Even with the emails to prove that I followed their directions exactly, they still refused to make good on this. It’s just plain dishonest.

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