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Some Consumers Say Head Of Chicago Playground Fashion Line Is Back To Taking Money And Failing To Send Clothes

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A local fashion designer vowed to fix the problems exposed by the CBS 2 Morning Insiders – from poor communication to unfulfilled orders – but now, more customers are saying he's back to his old ways.

CBS 2's Tim McNicholas set out to find what consumers can do to protect themselves.

Chicago Playground is a clothing company run by an Instagram-savvy designer who has picked up shout outs from celebrities. That is how Danicia Williams and Paul Montague both heard about the business.

"It all seemed pretty straight forward," Williams said.

"I saw the product. It looked legit," added Montague.

They both paid hundreds of dollars for jackets from Chicago Playground in late May. And they were repeatedly told over the past few months the jackets would ship soon – but they never arrived.

"Here I am – I think it was May 24, and today is August 16," Montague said. "And it was just – always a story, always a problem, always an issue: 'Oh, it's coming. Oh, we missed it.'"

As their frustrations grew, they found other people commenting about similar stories. Then they discovered our reports on frustrated buyers who were shut down in their quest for answers.

"He's hawking these pages to where if you say anything negative, it's like you're deleted so fast." Nyasa Henry told us earlier this year.

Earlier this year, Chicago Playground owner Rodnell Harris met with us and vowed to fix the problems. Then, we surprised him with a Zoom meeting with more upset customers.

"And then when I started getting pushy about it, I was blocked – first on Facebook and two Instagram pages," Kenneth Harrell told Harris in the Zoom meeting in our March report.

"I definitely would like to apologize by that, brother," Harris replied to him.

Those customers in our earlier stories demanded refunds on the spot.

"You can send me my $400 right now, because I don't trust that I'll get it 24 to 48 hours," Tika Harris told Rodnell Harris in our March report.

And that worked — he paid up. But this time around, Rodnell Harris didn't pick up the phone or respond to our interview requests.

"I am not letting this go," Montague said. "This is crazy. It makes no sense."

Montague wound up using a little-known tool for consumers — a formal complaint to the Illinois Attorney General's Office. He is hoping they can investigate and then step in to help him get a refund.

"How long does this have to go on, before – I don't know, is it the Attorney General or the police – someone does something about it?" Montague said.

As for Williams, she turned to her bank.

"My bank refunded the charges after they did an investigation,": she said.

The money's back is, but the frustration never left.

We reached out to the Illinois Attorney General's office and learned they have fielded four complaints about this company, including Montague's.

Unlike Williams, Montague paid with Cash App -- complicating that bank dispute option.

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