Help Me Hank: Payback Plan
As a working mom, Marisa has deadlines she's expected to meet. At the office, clients don't want to be kept waiting.
"There's a lot of trouble! Yeah I might, might not be working there."
At the daycare center she can't keep her daughter waiting.
"They charge me an arm and a leg and then they're not happy."
So when Marisa's car broke down and she submitted repair reimbursement forms to her car warranty company, she figured they wouldn't make her wait either.
"I expected it to go smoothly and be no problem and have my money within a reasonable amount of time..."
She'd followed the rules on the warranty pamphlet, she paid $500 up front for car repairs and they were supposed to pay her back. But when? Days, then weeks, went by.
"It was very, it was really frustrating."
Marisa's warranty woes went on for four months. She was spending time, spending energy and losing money.
"At one point I was just dialing extensions hoping I could get somebody to help me."
But no response and still no check. Then Marisa thought of a payback plan.
"I e-mailed you guys and you guys responded right away."
So how long is too long to wait for reimbursement? We discovered Marisa's warranty paperwork doesn't say anything about time and the state’s consumer affairs director warns that the law doesn't require it.
Beth Lindstrom, Dir., MA Office of Consumer Affairs
"There is nothing in statute, there are no rules or regulations that stipulate how long a company can take to reimburse you."
But experts say that if that time is not reasonable, you should fight back.
"The consumer has to empower themselves."
So we empowered ourselves to call the warranty company to check on Marisa's check.
Officials there explained a glitch in their accounting software had delayed repayments. Somehow that got fixed and this check soon arrived in Marisa’s mailbox. Marisa’s warranty Wait was over.
"I was ecstatic, I was like finally four months of stress and I finally you know I've got my money."
Experts say if you're considering an extended warranty, there are several key questions to ask.
If you’re fighting a consumer battle, maybe I can help.
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