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Need Sign

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They had a wonderful dream of opening an elderly day care business. But to attract customers to their Margate facility, they needed a sign. A company took their money and didn't deliver. Desperate, they then called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

(WSVN) -- Some people would call it a job for Peggy and Louise. Caring for elderly people is a calling.

Peggy Hopper: "Because this is a dream that we have both have had parents that we have cared for that needed assistance and needed a place like this."

They opened Amazing Age Adult Day in Margate to give seniors a place to come during the day, and the family members that take care of them time to go get other things done.

Peggy Hopper: "If they are interested in crafts we work on crafts. If they are interested in singing we sing. If they want to dance we dance."

It's a passion for them, but it's still a business, meaning they have bills to pay, and to pay them, they need seniors.

Peggy Hopper: "What we really knew what we were missing was the big sign, the overhead sign that has been the one link that we really feel we have been missing."

A sign was important. They are on West Atlantic Boulevard in a shopping center. But, without a sign like the other businesses, potential customers told them they couldn't find them.

Peggy Hopper: "Just today someone called and said I tried to find you. I couldn't see where you were. I've been looking all over for you. I can't find you. Can you tell me where you are?"

Then they found a sign company, they thought would be perfect.

Louise Smith: "This guy who came in saying, 'oh, you guys are doing wonderful job. What a great thing. I was in the healthcare business i know what it takes."

The man wanted $3,445 for the sign. They gave him a $1,200 deposit on a credit card. Then he requested another $1,200 in cash. Then he, well then he did nothing.

Louise Smith: "One excuse after the other, and then all of the sudden it was his health."

Peggy and Louise said the owner of the sign company admitted he didn't have their money and could not refund it to them.

Peggy Hopper: "It's a huge amount of money for us. Doesn't seem big for some people but it's a lot."

They don't have a sign. They have big hearts, wanting to do nice things to help elderly people. But a sign company owner didn't treat them the same way.

Peggy Hopper: "Robbed cheated angry lots of ugly feelings."

Howard, legally how do you get your money back from a business that won't or can't return it?

Howard Finkelstein: "First contact the credit card company that you used to pay the first $1,200. Ask them to reverse the charge. For the other $1,200 paid in cash, you have to sue, but if the company doesn't have any money, you aren't going to get anything."

We spoke to Aharon Btesh who owns Signs Stat Inc. He said business was tough, but promised us he would return the money by mid May. He did not. Then he said he would return it by the end of May. He did not.

Fortunately, the senior day care got half of $1,200 back when the credit card company reversed the charge, but they still don't have the other $1,200 they gave Sign Stat.

Howard Finkelstein: "First of all, always try to pay with a credit card. It gives you a little more protection. Secondly, do your research before you sign a contract. To find a business that has been around for a long time and has a good reputation."

Peggy and Louise are in a tough spot. They need a few more customers to at least break even, and they think a sign would do that.

Louise Smith : "We are on the edge of making or breaking and that sign is so crucial so anybody that is willing to help us we are just so grateful for that."

They need that sign, and Howard mentioned to check out a company before you sign up with them. I cannot tell you how often I hear from people who sign a contract, buy something, then when they hit a roadblock, they research the company and are horrified. Go slow. Before you buy something big, check out the company.

Signs showing you are in trouble? Wanna draw some attention to the problem? Contract with us. We will take a day to care for you.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com

Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN

Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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