San Leandro company accused of sending customers products they didn't order

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- A company that lists a San Leandro address is being accused by dozens of people of sending and billing many of them for products they didn't order.

Accusations against Nutritional Inc. have surged in the last few months. One of those people who says he's been targeted is a veteran ABC7 News reporter.

"OK, this is the 'Nutritional Youth Miracle Repair,'" Howard Hernandez said as he read the label.

That's the supposed benefit of a nutritional supplement Hernandez received in the mail, even though he says he didn't order it. Hernandez says the fountain of youth is of no interest to him and he does not want to pay for it.

The same thing happened to Elizabeth Roman of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

"I just received a package in the mail. Just a package with two different supplements and I had no idea where they came from," Roman said.

Roman received two charges to her credit card, each for under $8. The good news -- the federal regulators say if you receive something you didn't order, there's no obligation to pay for it.

"My question was how did you get my account to begin with? I didn't place this order. And that was pretty disturbing," Roman said.

The Better Business Bureau has identified the company as Nutritional Inc. It's received more than 80 complaints about the company -- more than half since August. Nutritional Inc. lists its address as in San Leandro. The company appears to be renting a private mailbox from the UPS store there.

It's not known how Nutritional Inc. chooses who to send its products to, but one is a familiar face to ABC7 News viewers: longtime reporter David Louie. The package he received had a Nutritional Inc. return address. Inside the package, not a nutritional supplement... but earbuds. The package came in a white box similar to what you might see with an Apple product.

"This is bizarre. This is a bizarre situation," Louie said.

"Yeah, that makes me suspicious that it's not an Apple product because there is no Apple branding at all. No copyright, no notice," he said.

Why would Nutritional Inc. send David earbuds? The company's own website features nothing but nutritional products. We reached out several times last week to Nutritional Inc. customer service line. It said someone would get back to us, but we have yet to hear back.
The Federal Trade Commission says it's seen companies send out products just to get tracking codes. Those tracking codes can then be used to publish "verified," but still fake reviews on sites such as eBay and Amazon.

Those caught in the middle want to stay clear of this whether they're getting earbuds or nutritional supplements.

"I said I don't want anything to do with it. I don't know what's in them, and frankly, I don't want to know," said Hernandez.

"There's still a big mystery here that I'm hoping Michael can get down to," said Louie.

The BBB has given Nutritional Inc. an "F" rating. The bottom line, you're not obligated to pay for anything you didn't order, and be sure to shut down your credit card -- which everyone in this story has done.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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