“Venice Shore” T-shirt shop know as “Custom Shirts LLC” to the Stat of California is coming under fire for what customers and nearby merchants describe as an operation resembling a “bait and switch” scam where you buy a custom tshirt, and the shop charges your credit card for $300-$600 after you leave for “options” incurred during the making of the shirt. They take your credit card up front and charge the excessive charges later – after you have left with your merchandise. The shop was busted in 2013 for selling counterfeit merchandise. Brand name cell phone covers were confiscated and the employees were arrested. For the past several months complaints have been pouring in to LAPD from customers that buy what they think is a $25 tshirt, and get charged several hundred dollars after the sale for apparent “custom options”, the costs of which were not fully or clearly disclosed at the time of the sale. Unfortunately this is not a criminal case and LAPD can do nothing. It is a civil case, and when you are a tourist…how likely are you to come back to California to prosecute? Today’s victim who did not want to use her real name was charged $500 for a t-shirt she thought would cost $35. Her only recourse was to refute the charge – but even that isn’t always a full protection from your card being erroneously charged. If you have been ripped off by this boardwalk merchant you are urged to contact the LA Department of Consumer Affairs by clicking here. All the forms for suing the retail party that you believe ripped you off are at this site. “This give Venice Beach a bad name, we have a hard enough time as it as trying to run retail stores down here – we don’t need this kind of negative activity,” said a female store manager from an adjacent shop. “We have had a few customers come in and ask us if we are aware of what they are doing, and how can they get away with it… good question.”
Buyer beware! $500 for a t-shirt in Venice is really quite a preposterous notion.