consumer pays for a purchase but then cancels the order, how
quickly should they receive their money back? If you said within a
week, you might be surprised to learn it hardly ever happens that
Valerie of Stafford, Va., purchased a mattress at Mattress
Warehouse but, after frustrating delays in having her order
arrive at the store, she canceled the order. Keep in mind she had
paid for the mattress but never taken delivery.
"The salesman told me it would take about a week to get my money
back," Valerie told ConsumerAffairs.com. "Based on that promise, I
went out and bought a mattress at their competitor's store for the
same price and took the mattress home that day."
But Valerie's refund didn't arrive a week later, as
"After a week, I called the corporate office, who told me it
could take another three weeks before I get my money back," Valerie
said. "Seriously? They get to hold my money for two months and I
get absolutely nothing in return?"
It is, indeed, a bad deal. Some businesses hate to write checks.
It seems to us this is a fertile area for the newly created
Consumer Financial Protection Agency to look into.
Credit where credit is due
Many consumers are in need of solid, objective advice when it
comes to dealing with their credit, but you must be careful where
you seek that advice. Hanley of Phoenix, Ariz., said he was taken
aback when Consumer Credit Group called to offer its help.
"No one should have to pay $995.00 to help clear their credit,"
Hanley said. "I notified my banking institution and had my account
closed. I collected as much information as I could from them just
Any company asking for a large fee in advance to help you with a
credit matter should make you wary. Reputable agencies do not keep
the first month's payment, demand a contribution or charge high
fees. You should also avoid any agency that advertises on
television, solicits you by phone or s ends you spam.
To get good advice about credit and debt matters, look for an
agency that is a member of the National Foundation of Credit
Counseling, a 50-year-old organization with strict
Junk mail overload
Thomas of Meansville, Ga., has had it with all the fliers,
catalogs and sales pitches crammed into his mail box each day.
"I still receive unwanted mailings from businesses that I have
repeatedly contacted demanding they quit sending there
solicitations," Thomas said. "I have phoned, emailed, written, and
recorded for way more than the average six months of time to be
removed. I want it stopped. No more junk mail!"
Thomas isn't alone, and in fact some environmental groups
encourage consumers to opt out of these mailings to conserve paper.
Global Stewards has a handy "how-to" guide on
their website for those who are interested.
A timeshare, really?
Why would anyone buy a timeshare, you ask? Left to their own
devices, they probably wouldn't.
"My husband was told that he won a vacation, but that he had to
go listen to the pitch and he was not going to be pressured to buy
anything," Alehandra, of Los Angeles, told ConsumerAffairs.com.
"Well they accompany you to the restroom, they even accompany you
to the bank. I did not get a chance to discuss it with my husband
because we were being watched over by the sales guy from Pacific
Monarch Grand Vacations."
Alejandra said she and her husband were told one thing, but the
contract said something else. They thought they were being offered
a week's stay at a Las Vegas resort, but it turned out to only we
one or two days.
"I think $2,300 a year is a major rip off for 1- 2 nights every
two years, Alejandra said.
An of course, that doesn't include maintenance fees. If you are
ever tempted to purchase a timeshare, stop and consider that you
could rent a suite in a very nice luxury hotel for less money. And
in Las Vegas, we wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't buy a condo
for the same price as a timeshare, considering how that real estate
market has been hammered.
Here is what's on consumer's minds today: Refunds, Credit Repair, Junk Mail, Timeshares, Credit where credit is due and Junk mail overload....