A local online face mask supplier is being dubbed a "scam company" by angry customers after using social media influencer Jimi Jackson for a promotion but as-yet failing to deliver the goods.
Masks.co.nz is one of many online retailers that has sprung up during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a range of mask designs mostly all from brand 'Faceshield'.
Last month Jackson touted the company on his Facebook page, offering a 10 percent off discount code and reminding followers of the importance of wearing masks.
"Yo, what's up homies, if you don't have your mask sorted which you should, go to masks.co.nz, use the code 'JIMI' to get your 10 percent off, and then you'll have yourself sorted," he said to over 1 million followers in the now-deleted video - still available on the masks.co.nz Facebook page.
But one disgruntled customer who used Jackson's discount code told Newshub she ordered three reusable masks totalling over $50 over a month ago and was still awaiting her masks.
"I have not received the product and looking at their Facebook page posts, other people are saying the same thing," she said.
"Preying on Kiwis during a pandemic is so wrong, and if Jimi Jackson is getting financial gain from a company he endorsed that is scamming people then that might be of public interest.
"It's stolen money. I would never have brought off them if he hadn't endorsed the company."
Jackson told Newshub he was "so sorry" for his involvement and "gutted" to hear about the unhappy customers.
"I did a deal with them but then my lawyer said the contract was dodgy so I took the post down the next day. Haven't heard back from them since," he explained. "Thats all I know...so sorry!"
Other dissatisfied customers expressed their disgust on Masks.co.nz's Facebook page.
"Have not received masks I ordered over a month ago. Ordered after Jimi Jackson endorsed this company with a discount code, in which I used," wrote one customer.
"It warned of delayed postage but over a month and yet still no track and trace delivery code. Do not purchase off this company! It is a scam and taking advantage of a pandemic to steal your money!"
"Absolutely rubbish company. Over a month and no product and no refund. Useless customer service responses resort to rerouting your emails to spam," wrote another.
"No responses to emails. No tracking details. No idea how to run a business."
"We ordered our masks over a month ago and spent more than $100. Nothing has arrived and the tracking information is unhelpful," added another. "This individual has used the COVID-19 situation to exploit us all. It is disgusting."
In a statement to Newshub, a spokesperson for Masks.co.nz iterated that in multiple spots on their site it states orders are "being shipped directly from our international supplier", and pointed to their lengthy estimated delivery timeframe.
"We have an estimated time frame of 7 - 60 days for delivery as stated in the shipping policy. If for any reason it goes over that timeframe, we are happy to refund customers in full and let them keep the product when they arrive," the spokesperson wrote.
They also included a screenshot to the site which warns customers that due to a "high influx of orders" customers may experience shipping delays - especially with the majority of orders being shipped from countries like India, Taiwan and China.
The mask supplier has previously come under fire for using the official Government COVID-19 branding, including distinctive yellow and white stripes and black text, for advertising discount codes on flyers posted around the community.
After a photo of one of the posters spotted at a Dunedin bus station was posted on Reddit, commenters questioned whether the move was "even legal".