Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Help Me Howard: No Surgery No Deposit
You want to have plastic surgery maybe some lipo, breast enhancements, a lot of people do including one South Florida woman, but when the surgery didn't happen she asked for her deposit back and was told no. Is that legal? It's why she called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
LInda Clementson: "My husband said, 'You know what, why don't you try to do you know lipo.'"
Linda decided to get liposuction in her stomach area so she started researching different doctors and found one she liked.
LInda Clementson: "Very comfortable like 200 hundred percent comfortable."
Since lipo surgery is cosmetic, insurance doesn't cover it. Linda then met with the doctors wife who handles his finances. Agreed on a price of $5,000 with $2,450 down $750 dollars before the surgery and then...
LInda Clementson: "She agreed a payment plan of $100 a month with the balance of $1,800."
Linda says she signed a piece of paper agreeing to the surgery. She never got a copy of it and went home smiling.
LInda Clementson: "I was telling everybody in my job I was happy everybody was happy for me."
LInda Clementson: "And then everything just went down hill two days prior to my real surgery."
The first blow came with a call from the doctors office wanting the balance paid before the surgery.
LInda Clementson: "You can't get is surgery done until the balance is paid. I'm like wait a minute that is not what me and the wife discussed."
Linda didn't have the additional $2,550 and was told the piece of paper she signed said the $2,450 deposit was non-refundable. Linda let the doctors office know she was not happy, and then before she could even try to scramble to scrape up the rest of the money, she got the next blow in a call from the doctor saying he no longer wanted to do the surgery.
LInda Clementson: "Why now you don't want to do my surgery. Oh, well because I'm not feeling your vibes."
No surgery to lose the pounds, but she did lose her $2,450.
LInda Clementson: "No, I felt betrayed. I felt very angry. Mad upset."
Well Howard, Linda doesn't have her $2,450 and wont be getting the surgery to lose weight so legally can a doctor do this to her?
Howard Finkelstein: "Without the document that Linda signed I can't be certain. However, the law does not like unjust enrichment. In other words, keeping someone's money and not providing a service. Plus Linda says the doctor refused to do the surgery after their disagreement and that means he almost certainly has to give the money back."
We first spoke to the surgeon he said he was unaware of the deposit issue. That his wife handles the finances and the two of them would review the situation and contact Linda. She told us they showed her the piece of paper that said non-refundable. But the surgeon said, he would return some of the money in mid August. It didn't happen.
Then this week, the doctor sent this email to Linda saying a staff member has been instructed to give you a check for $1,800 Monday, September 16, 2013. She has been instructed by me to issue you a second check on or about September 30, 2013 for $500. As I have told you, I am a man of faith and closely follow my spirit. I hope that this helps.
LInda Clementson: "I am very happy and I am you know, very grateful that he has made that decision."
Apparently, the doctors office is keeping $150 of the deposit as a fee which is fine with Linda.
LInda Clementson: "I am very glad I called Help me Howard they did a very good job. I am very grateful for them and I love them to death."
That's nice. Thank you Linda.
Patrick Fraser: "Now if you are buying or renting something, get everything in writing. If they promise something and wont put it in writing, that tells you something. So walk away and get a copy of the signed document and put it in a safe place so that you can remember. Don't be like me and forget where you put that paperwork."
Contracted a problem that feels like its attached to your mind? Don't let it weigh on you, deposit it with us. We don't do surgeries but we can remove a headache painlessly.