Shoes don’t fit, but bills keep filling up mailbox
Updated: May 8, 2012 4:07PM
Dear Fixer: Last spring, I ordered a pair of shoes from the Mason Shoe Company in Monroe, Wis. The shoes did not fit, so I returned them the next day with a check for $7.95 that they requested.
That was on June 23. I thought that was the end. The next month I received another bill. I called and was rudely told it was some sort of stocking fee. I’m not even sure what the exact language the lady used was. I mailed them a second check for $13.99 on Sept. 16.
They have continued to send me new bills every month. They now say I owe them $67. I simply refuse to pay these amounts — the bill is now more than the shoes I ordered!
Dear LaVerne: We’re wondering — did you order shoes or apply for a juice loan?
Team Fixer found that apparently, there were some unpaid charges associated with Mason Shoe Co.’s financing plan that got out of hand. Your shoe purchase was $64.95 and you did return the shoes within the 120-day window for returns.
But the Mason customer service rep we spoke with said there was a shipping and handling fee (on top of the $7.95 you sent in the beginning) that was never paid.
Accounts that aren’t up to date get zapped with a monthly late fee of $10 plus a finance charge of $1. So, even after you sent them that $13.99, you were still behind, and each month the account was racking up another $11.99 in late fees and finance charges.
The good news is that after we stepped in, the company agreed to make a one-time adjustment to your bill to wipe out your bill, which at that point had grown to $77.
Your story is a cautionary tale for anyone considering a payment plan for anything, be it a rent-to-own appliance or zero-interest furniture. There’s usually something awful lurking in the fine print.
Dear Fixer: Are there any free document shredding services in the Chicago area? Thank you. I love reading your column.
Dear Nubia: You can shred to your heart’s content (well, up to 10 boxes full of stuff) at the big annual free “Shred It and Forget It” event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23 at the United Center, parking lot E. The event is sponsored by the Better Business Bureau, along with the City of Chicago, Chicago Police Department, FBI, Federal Trade Commission, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, and United States Postal Inspection Service.
This is a great way to safely get rid of old, unneeded personal and financial documents. You can also bring old or broken TVs, monitors, laptops, PCs, servers, data storage devices, printers, fax/copy machines, cell phones, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras, and game consoles for recycling and safe disposal.
Save on phone bills
The nonprofit Citizens Utility Board will hold six free phone bill clinics this month to help consumers potentially save hundreds of dollars each year.
Attendees should bring their phone bills for a personal analysis. Here is the schedule and the phone numbers to register:
Morton Grove Public Library, 6140 Lincoln Ave., 1 p.m. April 23, (847) 929-5101
Wilmette Public Library, 1242 Wilmette Ave., 10 a.m. April 24, (847) 256-5025
Niles Public Library, 6960 Oakton St., 1:30 p.m. April 24, (847) 663-1234
Glenview Public Library, 1930 Glenview Rd., 1 p.m. April 25, (847) 729-7500
Naperville Public Library, 200 W. Jefferson, 6:30 p.m. April 26, (630) 637-6328
Cary Public Library, 1606 Three Oaks Road, 10 a.m. April 27, (847) 639-4210
For more information, visit CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
Today’s lesson begins with a confession. The Fixer got a digital video camera as a gift in December 2010 and didn’t take it out of its box till last month.
Fixer readers Ed and Sandi weren’t quite that slow, but their delay did prove costly.
Last May, they bought a decorative box frame to commemorate their daughter’s coming graduation. It had room for the diploma and the mortar board tassel and would look great on a wall.
But as luck would have it, their daughter didn’t get her degree till September. When they attempted to mount the tassel in the frame, they found it didn’t fit. The frame also looked cheap and was falling apart.
They went back to the store but were told they couldn’t return the frame because too much time had passed. Also, the store no longer carried that item. Like many retailers who have toughened their return policies, the store would not budge.
At least it was only a frame. The Fixer has heard from others who have bought expensive items, and for whatever reason waited until after the return period to open them. Items like a digital video camera, which luckily for The Fixer, is working just fine.
Contributing: Mike Nolan.
Getting the runaround about a
consumer problem? Tell it to The Fixer
where you’ll find a simple form to fill out.
Or, you can mail a brief description of your problem, along with your name, address and telephone number, to: The Fixer, 3701 W. Lake Ave., Glenview IL 60026.