Having a baby should be an exciting time for any new parent.
But for customers of a baby supplies company in Christchurch it’s incredibly stressful – after the money they paid for their children’s car seats and strollers was taken by the owner, and she disappeared without trace.
“These people haven’t dealt with their problems, they’ve run from them,” says dad-to-be Colm Hamrogue.
He’s $3000 out of pocket after paying Car Seat Solutions for a stroller, bassinet and other items.
Now he and around 13 other parents want answers from Rosslyn Anderson, who was still accepting orders just days before shutting her store and going to ground.
It’s not just customers owed money – suppliers are also owed in the region of $20,000 for stock Rosslyn never paid for.
“She wanted us to supply some strollers and I said ‘no, I need a payment plan to cover your debt,” says Edwards & Co owner Warwick Edwards.
“By this stage she was overdue by a month. When I was speaking to her I said, ‘we’ve had complaints from customers’… But I never really realised the extent or depth she was into [with] the customers she never supplied.”
Attempts to contact Rosslyn have all hit a dead-end – even the lawyer she instructed to contact customers is no longer representing Car Seat Solutions.
Debt collectors visiting her home have been told she no longer lives there.
“She’s just disappeared effectively, and not taken any responsibility for deceiving people.”
Rosslyn’s business wasn’t registered as a limited liability company.
That means Rosslyn was acting as a sole trader, and she doesn’t appear to own any assets. Lawyer Anthony Johnson says that’s not good news for those owed money.
“An individual becomes liable for all the debts. If the individual doesn’t have any money, then the chances of getting back the debt are really bad.”
Customers believe they were deliberately deceived and that there was never any intention to supply their strollers – now, they’re hoping police will investigate.
“I’m just very, very angry about that,” Kirsten says.
“Clearly she’s deceived a lot of people, not just myself… I think she’s a very dishonest woman.”