Help Me Hank: Double Trouble
New walls -- check. New heating -- check. New tiles -- check.
For landlords Ana and Tey Rodrigues the to-do list never ends.
"I never see my husband. He's always here."
They remember when this third floor was just a storage space.
"There were no appliances in the apartment."
So first came the fridge -- check. Next they needed to buy a stove.
"It was just part of the list."
They went to the store appliance shopping, picked the perfect one and proceeded to checkout.
"We went to the register…"
"…rang up the stove."
Check. But not everything checked out. The cashier said in order to get the warranty, they needed to buy special connecting parts.
"So I asked them to void out the sale of the stove and put the connectors on the same receipt."
The store credit card was swiped once more.
"Then we signed again."
With the new stove delivered and in place, Ana and Tey continued hammering away at their list. But when the stove bill came Ana did a double take, they were charged twice.
"I thought, OK somebody made a mistake."
To fix it the store just gave her a whole new to-do list.
First, call the store's billing center.
"Which I did."
Then write them a letter.
"I did do that."
But the store's answer only indicated she had signed for two stoves, so insisted she must have two stoves. Ana knew she didn't.
"We got one stove. One stove and a whole lot of pain in the butt."
But soon the bills racked up finance charges, and then the collection letters started.
"Now I was really getting angry."
With her credit now threatened, Ana got an idea.
"It said Help Me Hank and I said Help Me Hank."
We looked at Ana's receipts first charge made at 12:59 p.m. Second charge adding the special connecting parts one minute later.
We told the company, just check again, your books, your delivery records, your inventory -- Ana and Tey only bought one stove.
And apparently that is just what the company did. Ana got the call she had hoped for. She got a credit not only for the stove, but the finance charges too.
"I was relieved, I felt really relieved."
Now that is checked off, but as they keep at their to-do’s, they've added one more item to their shopping list.
"Before you leave the store make sure what you signed is correct."
The key -- if a store voids a transaction, make sure you get documentation, otherwise, as you can see, there could be trouble proving you didn't buy the same thing twice.
If you’re fighting a consumer battle, maybe I can help.