Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Help Me Howard: Chair
Cyber shopping may be convenient, but making returns isn't always easy. For one South Florida mother, a gift she got to help care for her special needs daughter didn't quite fit, so when the company made it tough to return, she sought out Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- A soft kiss and a gentle hello. Gloria may not show it, but she knows her mother is there.
Arlene Lopez: "It's like having an infant forever, and infants are, how would you say lovable."
Gloria needs lots of love. She suffers from a neurological disorder.
Arlene Lopez: "She doesn't walk, talk, she can't even sit up by herself."
It's a challenge Arlene is able to handle. A single mom caring for her six -year -old son as well as her special needs daughter by herself.
Arlene Lopez: "She's such a pleasant little girl, doesn't complain about anything."
And she probably gets her inner strength from her mother whose daily tasks would be impossible for most people.
Arlene Lopez: "Giving her a bath, even changing her in her bed because she is still in diapers. I tend to have back spasms from time to time as well."
Her co-workers recognize that and wanted to help her by buying a $300 bath chair for Gloria.
Arlene Lopez: "By having the chair, she's somewhat elevated, and it makes it easier for me and for her, so that she's not sitting in the water."
She explains it calmly, but when she saw the chair she was overwhelmed.
Arlene Lopez: "They really, really surprised me. I cried like a baby when I got there."
But then Arlene opened the box.
Arlene Lopez:" This right here is an adult chair. It's way too big."
Arlene Lopez: "If I were to put her in here, she'd sink right through the hole."
Gloria needed the smaller child size bath chair instead.
Arlene Lopez: "I just put it back in the box, and I wrapped it up."
Then, Arlene's co-workers contacted the online store to make the exchange.
Arlene Lopez: "They kept putting her on hold. They would transfer her to somebody else."
For weeks, Arlene's co-worker tried to return the chair, and then got some bad news.
Arlene Lopez: "By the time the company actually answered her, the time expired to exchange it. So now they want a restocking fee along with another fee."
More than $150 to exchange the chair, a lot of money for a mom with a special needs child.
Arlene Lopez: "I don't have the money myself to do it. I'm struggling as it is."
And looking at a chair she desperately needs but can't use, has left Arlene feeling helpless.
Arlene Lopez: "I was so highly upset. I mean, it just tore me up inside."
But then, she did what she does every day when Gloria needs her, she didn't give up. She went to work, and turned to the people known for helping, Howard.
Howard Finkelstein: "I have bad news for the family. Bizchair.com does not have to do anything. Their documents clearly state the return policy. But in cases like this, good companies can makes exceptions. Let's hope they do so after we talk to them."
When we contacted Bizchair.com, they did say Arlene's coworker was sent an e-mail stating the company's return policy, and the coworker missed the deadline. But after we explained Gloria's situation, they thought about it and did a wonderful thing. Not only did they give Arlene back the money to buy a new chair, they told her to keep the adult chair and donate it to a family that needed it.
Howard says that's impressive.
Howard Finkelstein: "Bizchair is the kind of company you want to do business. Too often we hear about the bad ones, most of which are good and deserve to be recognized when they do the right thing.
The new chair will make it easier to bathe Gloria or as easy as it can be for this special girl, and her special mom.
Arlene Lopez: "Having a child like her, especially now being a single parent is very challenging for me. But she's brought me a lot of patience.
Patrick Fraser: Now Arlene has the adult chair used to shower a person who needs assistance bathing. If you know someone like that, give us a call and we'll actually bring the chair over to you. The number is (305) 751-6692 ext. 2533.
Got an unusual situation needing unusual help. We aren't as strong as Arlene, but contact us, we will try to find the perfect fit for your legal problem.
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