In January I sent an $8.50 check to Flora Boutique in New York City for one dozen scented silk roses. They were advertised at $5 a dozen. I was also to receive a free designer vase valued at $5. The roses "look like real roses . . . they have the fragrance of real roses (guaranteed for one full year) and they'll inspire love and romance just as real roses do," said the advertisement.
I did not receive the roses. - G.D., Salt Lake City.Another complaint about Flora Boutique:
On Feb. 1, I sent a check for $13.50 to Flora Boutique for two dozen artificial roses. They were to be a Valentine's present for my wife. The company cashed my check, but I haven't received the roses. And I have misplaced the address. - J.H., West Bountiful.
The bad news is that Flora Boutique is one of many mail-order firms affiliated with a man named Ben Buxton that were deemed a scam. The good news is that the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York has been appointed to issue cash refunds from a refund account that was established by court order.
The BBB was appointed refund administrator by the U.S. attorney and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Among the products sold by the various companies: lottery-winning systems, 100 designer earrings for $10, gold "flash" chains for $1, navigator-style LCD watches and scented silk roses.
Anyone who feels he has money coming from these firms should file a claim no later than July 30, 1991, by writing to BBB of Metropolitan New York, P.O. Box 767, Madison Square Station, New York, NY 10010, Attn: Buxton Restitution Fund. Include a copy of your cancelled check or other proof of payment.
Buxton did business under many names, including:
Astrology Society of America
Astrological Jewelry Center
Buxton Jewelry Ltd.
Church of Miracles
Harvard Square Lottery Symposium
Gail Howard/Special Report Office
Holy Land Fellowship
House of Fatima
House of K
House of Miracles
International Marketing Associates
International Reports Publishing (IRPI)
Lourdes Water Cross
Lucerne Beauty Clinic
Marie Carmen Gallo
Miracle Entitlement Program
Mystic Crystal Center
National Lottery Research Systems
Norvell Astrolgy Research
The Odds Predictor
$1,000 Distribution Center
Slim for Life
ULS Lottery Search Committee
Win With Palmer
Pools Computer Centre
Flora Boutique Silk Roses