Thursday, December 27, 2007
Help Me Howard: Mattress Mishap
If you've ever bought something and then found it cheaper somewhere else, this story is for you. A South Florida man says he canceled a mattress order at a store and later received a bill but no mattress at his door. Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser has more on this Mattress Mishap.
WSVN -- If this fellow looks familiar to you, it might be because of a TV segment he used to do on Channel 7.
Sonny Netkin: "I had the Sonny's Fruit Market on 79th Street. We showed the produce of the day, where it came from and how to prepare it."
Unfortunately, a decade later, Sonny would be on the news again, this time as Hurricane Wilma destroyed his houseboat.
Sonny Netkin: "When I started to sink I realized I had to get Rocky first."
Sonny couldn't save Rocky. He went down with the boat, along with fruits of Sonny's labor.
Sonny Netkin: "I've lost everything I've ever worked for in my life, all my belongings."
Which brings us to now, as Sonny is still gathering things for his new home.
Sonny Netkin: "I was in the market for a new bed."
Sonny went into a mattress store where a salesperson helped him pick out a $2600 mattress.
Sonny Netkin: "It was on a Saturday, about 11 o'clock in the morning, and I gave him my credit card, and he was supposed to deliver it the next day."
But, on the way home, Sonny spotted another mattress store.
Sonny Netkin: "The identical mattress was $300 less, so that was quite a bit."
Sonny headed right back to the first store where he says they told him they could not match that price.
Sonny Netkin: "I said, 'OK, well, just cancel it. I have no choice. I'm going to try and save some money.' With that he said, 'I will cancel the invoice, and there will be no charge.'"
Sonny bought the cheaper mattress, but the original store still billed him, so he called them up.
Sonny Netkin: "The salesman said, 'Don't worry, I'll cancel the invoice. Evidently, he did not.'"
When he kept getting billed, he kept calling the store, again and again.
Sonny Netkin: "I continue to try, and I continue to try, and they put me from one person to another person, and this has been going on now for six months or more."
Further stumping Sonny, they keep billing him for a mattress they never delivered.
Sonny Netkin: "I never received the mattress. I never received the pillows. I never received anything. I paid for nothing, and they are holding my money. I don't think that's fair. I don't think it's right."
The store's latest response: "Look on your contract, which says 'no cash refunds,'" but Sonny argues, "You didn't deliver the mattress either."
Sonny Netkin: "If I had received it, I can understand the store policy, but I never received it. He told me he was going to cancel the invoice, so there was nobody put out anywhere."
Sonny is irritated about being forced to pay for something he never got. So is he sunk, Howard?
Howard Finkelstein: "Since the contract doesn't allow refunds, if the store had not agreed to cancel the transaction, Sonny would have been out of luck and would have had to accept a store credit or a mattress, but, since he relied on their promise, they have to refund his money."
We spoke to store employees several times. One told us,"Sonny played games going back and forth, and we matched the price."
When we asked a manager why they were forcing Sonny to pay for something he did not get, he agreed to give Sonny a full refund.
Sonny went in and got his $2600 back and left with a good lesson for everyone.
Sonny Netkin: "When you make a purchase, get the store's refund policy in writing. If they tell you it's all in the receipt, read it. It's easy to walk away before you pay. It can sometimes be impossible once they have your cash in their hands."
His bed battle over, the big question is: will Sonny ever live in a floating home again?
Sonny Netkin: "It's hard to say. At my stage of life, I'm not going to live as long as I have, that's for sure, but you can't discount anything if something comes along. Sure, I would really like it."
If a store agrees to cancel a transaction, make sure you get a credit card receipt just like you get when you pay for it. Otherwise, you could run into the same problem like Sonny did. Fortunately, they had not delivered the bed, which made our job easier.
A problem delivered to your doorstep left you sleepless? Don't hit snooze. Contact us. We'll find a way to put you in a comfortable position.
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