The BBB discovered that Zapencki is still operating his business, despite being ordered not to by Wisconsin’s Attorney General. In 2012, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen banned Zapencki from engaging in any business in the state that involves accepting advance payment for future goods or services, according to a consent judgment.
Thirty-one businesses in four states have filed complaints with BBB against Fun Maps within the last three years.
Complaints received are from businesses in Michigan (2), Illinois (5), Indiana (8) and Wisconsin (16). All allege they paid Zapencki $150-250.00 in advance, in full for advertisements on caricature maps that never materialized. Nearly all the complainants state phone messages to Zapencki went unanswered.
Complaints filed in 2011, 2012, and 2013 have gone unanswered by the company.
On November 18, 2013 the BBB contacted Zapencki by phone and was told the money collected “is gone” and that the company is out of business. Zapencki stated he had “every intent to deliver” (the maps) but couldn’t afford the total cost of the printing and couldn’t get a loan. Instead, he used the money for living expenses, he told a BBB investigator.
The owner of a Michigan jewelry store states, “I’m a small business owner and I work hard for my money and I’m not happy about being taken. This man is spoiling business for other salespeople that may stop at my business. They won’t get my business because I’m afraid I’ll lose my money just like I did in this case.”
“After the enforcement action by the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office last year, Edward Zapencki simply began selling in neighboring states as evidenced by our complaints,” says Ran Hoth CEO/President of Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin. “The BBB always recommends not paying in advance or in full for any product or service, until it is delivered and to your satisfaction.”
The BBB recommends businesses with complaints against Edward Zapencki and Fun Maps file a complaint with their state’s Attorney General’s office, and offers the following tips:
- Never pay in full for a product until it is received and to your satisfaction.
- Never pay in cash. Always pay with a credit card to receive the most protection in case you don’t receive your product.
- Check with the BBB. Always check on a company with bbb.org before doing business.
- Keep a copy of your contract and receipt as proof of payment.
- Request a business card. Make sure you know the company’s name, address and phone number as well as the full name of the salesperson you are dealing with.