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Nuwave moves on refund

THE FIXER HAS SAVED YOU

$1,420,653

D ear Fixer: I bought the Nuwave Precision Induction Cooktop after seeing their TV commercial. I bought it along with the Nuwave Oven Pro.

They came fast, the next day. I tried both, but the Nuwave cooktop, which uses magnetic energy, wouldn’t work with my cookware.

So I boxed it up and started calling the phone number on the invoice. It took two weeks to get someone to answer my call, and I had to act like I wanted to purchase something in order to do that.

I was transferred around until I finally got someone to give me instructions to return the cooktop. (I kept the oven.) I mailed it off via the U.S. Postal Service, insured and registered. It was delivered the next morning, Aug. 30, at 9:52 a.m.

The problem is I have not received my $99.99 back. I have called and emailed to no avail. It looks like they are hoping I will just go away.

Beverly Affeld, Hebron, Ind.

Dear Beverly: Well, considering these folks got $49.90 from you for shipping and handling on the two products — and you spent another $8 to mail it back to them — The Fixer agrees that you’ve waited long enough to get your money back.

We got in touch with Hearthware Home Products, the Libertyville distributor that handled your order, and soon heard from Kristyn Fuller, who does marketing for the company. She was able to get the right people to investigate.

They’re putting the refund back on the card you used for the purchase. Let us know when you see it post.

More Yellow Pages scams

Dear Fixer: About your column on the Yellow Pages scam, I just wanted to add that in our case, we received a bill that contained what looked like an order form signed by someone in our company.

The bill went to a different person, but luckily they brought it to my attention, as it was a forgery of my signature!

We did not pay it, but I think if we were a bigger company, it would have just gone through.

Dave S., Tinley Park

Dear Dave:

These Yellow Pages scammers are craftier than we thought. We’ve heard of them calling ahead to get names to drop in their pitch and sending solicitations that look like invoices. But forging the signature of a company official is pretty brazen.

Listen up, small businesses, schools, churches and nonprofit organizations: If these phony Yellow Pages people try to shake you down for something you didn’t order, don’t fall for it.

COSTLY LESSON: A consumer’s tale of woe

Sometimes you can tell when a business is teetering and about to shut its doors. But the spa that Fixer reader A.S. paid money to seemed like it’d be around forever. It had even offered a special on an online daily deal site.

A.S. missed the daily deal — for a body wrap treatment — so she called the business directly to see if they’d privately offer her the same price. The owner, a woman, was sympathetic and quickly agreed. A.S. paid her $199.99 over the phone and made an appointment.

All was well until she arrived for her treatment and found the doors locked and the business gone.

“The company disappeared into thin air,” A.S. wrote The Fixer. “The email address and phone number no longer exist.”

If she’d bought a coupon for the service through the daily deal site, A.S. would be protected, as the site promises to make good on deals gone bad. Likewise, if she had paid by credit card, she could file a dispute and have the charges reversed.

But A.S. paid by debit card, and the money has already left her bank account. Unfortunately, collecting money from a broken business is nearly impossible.

What is a Costly Lesson? It’s an UNFIXABLE problem that cost someone a lot of money but holds a valuable lesson for the rest of us. If you’ve got something to warn the rest of us about, e-mail it to szimmermann@suntimes.com with Costly Lessons in the subject line. And don’t worry — with Costly Lessons, we leave out last names to prevent further embarrassment.



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