December 5, 2006
Clayton, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon wants to close down a St. Louis Internet business that he says took payment from consumers for lingerie and other accessories but failed to deliver the items for weeks or months, if ever. Nixon's lawsuit against Jennifer Lutke, owner of Doxy Lingerie, is asking the St. Louis County Circuit Court for consumer restitution and an injunction to stop her from violating Missouri consumer protection laws.
Doxy Lingerie, whose primary business address is 11990 Charter House Lane, sells lingerie, costumes, garments and other accessories from its Web site. Many of the items sold are marketed for time-sensitive events, such as lingerie for honeymoons or costumes for Halloween parties. Consumers rely on Lutke's advertisements that all merchandise would be shipped in a timely manner.
Customers who ordered merchandise online with a credit card were told that their orders would be shipped within 24 to 48 hours or the next business day if the item was in stock, and within two to 14 days if the item wasn't in stock. Consumers were also given an order number and told that they could track their order online.
Nixon alleges that while the consumers' credit cards were generally charged the next business day, they would be forced to wait weeks or months for their orders, making the purchases worthless for those who bought the items for specific events. Many orders never arrived at all, or arrived with items missing. Consumers were unable to track their orders online, weren't able to speak to anyone by phone at the company and had email messages inquiring about the status of their order unanswered for days, if ever.
"There are many consumers across the country who sent payments to Doxy Lingerie but who don't have merchandise, refunds or answers," Nixon said. "We are asking the court to shut down this business and order restitution for these consumers."
The Attorney General's Office and the St. Louis Better Business Bureau have received approximately 90 complaints from around the country so far about Doxy Lingerie, with some consumers saying they paid more than $300 for merchandise. Despite claims on the Web site of a "No Hassle, 30-Day, Money Back Return Policy," these consumers have not received their merchandise or a refund, Nixon said.
Nixon is asking the court to grant a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctions prohibiting the defendant from advertising and operating any business in the Missouri.
The lawsuit is also asking the court to order Lutke to pay restitution to compensate any consumer who suffered a financial loss in the case; to make payment to the Missouri Merchandising Practices Revolving Fund in an amount equal to ten percent of the total restitution paid; to pay the state civil penalties of up to $1,000 for every violation of state consumer protection laws; and to pay for the costs of the investigation and prosecution of the case.