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Facebook ads from Austin fishing tackle company has BBB investigating

An investigation into an Austin fishing tackle company has the Better Business Bureau warning consumers to beware. The BBB says it's looking into dozens of complaints that customers never received the products they ordered. (CBS Austin)

An investigation into an Austin fishing tackle company has the Better Business Bureau warning consumers to beware. The BBB says it's looking into dozens of complaints that customers never received the products they ordered.

“There was an advertisement on Facebook and it was about some fishing lures,” said Randolph Schultz, an angler who lives near College Station.

The social media ads promised free swimbait. The freebies were compared to fishing lures that would typically cost $23.

“The lures were free but we paid for the shipping and handling which was $49.99,” said Schultz. “And after about roughly six months we never received anything from them.”

Schultz complained to the BBB and he says a month later he got the fishing lures. The BBB says Schultz is one of the lucky ones.

“People were paying for products that they weren't getting,” said Jarrod Wise, VP of communications with the BBB.

The BBB opened an investigation and described the Austin-based online fishing tackle company as being in "deep water" with consumers.

“Most of the people are not getting their product that are complaining to us. Or they're concerned with being lumped into some kind of membership that they weren't really clear about. Or that they had to pay shipping charges when something said it was free,” said Wise.

Wise says the BBB has received 71 consumer complaints and negative reviews against BaitProShop in the past 12 months.

“So that's the biggest concern to us. Not really the volume of complaints but more the amount that go unanswered and most of those complaints are unanswered,” said Wise.

Schultz says he's used the swimbait and this is how he described the results.

“If you had a bowl full of fish that were starving to death I don't think they would eat them,” said Schultz.

The angler admits he was lured in once, but says never again.

“These people saying these are free and blah, blah, blah and you just pay for shipping and handling. When something sounds too good to be true you'd better leave it alone,” said Schultz.

We reached out to BaitProShop, but the company has not responded to our calls or email.

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