Want Ad Mistake
Help Me Hank: Want Ad Mistake
Dave Weidlich probably wouldn't say he was born to be wild, but he says a good run on his bike is as good as it gets.
"Unless you get on a motorcycle, you can't describe it."
And soon he realized this baby wasn't tough enough to take him where he really wanted to go.
"I'm looking for something where I can get on and pack it and go for a ride maybe up to the Canadian border or some where."
So it was bye-bye bike, Dave put it up for sale in an ad magazine. Deal was, he'd pay the magazine 10 percent commission after the bike was sold. So Dave was pretty baffled where he got a bill before his ad even ran.
"My initial thought was, well this must be a mistake."
The magazine told him they'd called to verify Dave's phone number and got this recording...
"The customer you are trying to reach is not available"
They explained that magazine policy requires paying a penalty for having a disconnected phone. Dave explained back that there was just one problem with that.
"I don’t have a disconnected phone. I never have in my life."
Dave's phone, a cell phone, was just off. As soon as the ad was in the paper he said that he'd planned to turn it on.
"As long as the public doesn't have the magazine and they’re unaware that I even have the ad, why would I even think about standing by to receive a phone call for it?"
But the magazine told him to pay up or hit the road and more than money was at stake.
"If you don't pay it, you can't advertise in the magazine any more and you're still subject to the late charges and fees."
The battle over the bill needed a little turbo charging.
"I e-mailed ‘Help Me Hank’ today from the office."
We found the magazine’s rules do say that a fee will be charged for a disconnected phone, but remember Dave's cell phone wasn't disconnected, it was just off. Ours was on.
The magazine double-checked and turned out that their salesperson mistakenly thought Dave’s phone was a landline. And when they called Dave back -- this time, the call went through.
"She told me I would not be responsible to pay that amount of money."
Soon after Dave traded his bike for this big BMW and now is all set to head out on the highway.
"It’s a sense of freedom and a good way to keep your mind off things that might be bothering you."
Those want ad papers can really work, but remember each one has its own rules, including some non-refundable commissions! If you’re fighting a consumer battle, maybe I can help.