There IS a shortage here.
The company has had a shortage of paying it's suppliers - and as a result they have a shortage of inventory to sell. Clearly they didn't have strong financial backers, or their backing has backed out. Robust sales and good cash flow can make a business think everything is great, but if the profit margins aren't good enough or costs aren't well controlled, or your financial management isn't good, it is easy for a business to be one disaster away from failure. Right now Virginia has had freezing weather for 8 days in a row. In the coastal areas no one is prepared for this kind of weather event. Virginia Beach will probably lose 5 restaurants in the next three months because they lost 3 or 4 days of business and had to throw out food that went bad. THEN the owners find out that their "business interruption" insurance has a $5K deductible... and they have no contingency reserve.
Betcha something similar happened to this supplier - and unfortunately they're dishonest enough that they hope to keep their nostrils above water "long enough" for them to get a credit extension or SOMETHING else to resolve/fix/improve the situation.
Here is the situation for those who have already paid. Call again, tell them your next calls will be as follows:
- The Attorney General of Illinois - credit card fraud
- The FBI interstate commerce credit card fraud
- your credit card provider - reporting credit card fraud
- 10 on your side (or what ever local TV station does public service news features
- BBB - (yawn) but why not
- The local prosecuter - asking about forcing their company into involuntary bankruptcy
- FTC - federal trade commission & FCC federal communications commission - interstate wire fraud
- they might want to get YOUR credit done within the next 30 minutes.
Seriously - you'd probably not get a whole lot of traction with most of these phone calls, but as someone who has filed an informal complaint with the FCC you eventually do get SOMETHING - not fast and not generous, but at least a refund. (Took me 9 months but I got $30 K that was owed our company back. Did the happy dance. Would have been a lot happier if it had been one or two months but ... whew it was better than never getting it back.)
I very much doubt that the FCC could take down the company's website, but just the slight chance that it could happen might make someone fly right.