Post-Tribune http://posttrib.suntimes.com Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us webmaster@suntimes.com (Editor) http://posttrib.suntimes.com/csp/cms/sites/STM/assets/img/logos/posttrib.gif Post-Tribune http://posttrib.suntimes.com 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ The Fixer thanks Sun-Times readers ]]> Lead story image

Dear Readers: After seven wonderful years of writing this column, I’m leaving for a new opportunity in consumer reporting with another organization.It’s bittersweet, because being “The Fixer” has allowed me to get to know Sun-Times readers in ways I never did as an ordinary reporter. I was right there with you, getting frustrated over your inflated bills, your missing refunds, your broken appliances, lopsided car contracts and lost luggage. That includes one reader’s bag I managed to locate three and a half months later, untagged, in a warehouse in Cozumel, Mexico. When I was able to get your money back, … ]]> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 06:32:14 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/16855988-452/the-fixer-thanks-sun-times-readers.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/16855988-452/the-fixer-thanks-sun-times-readers.html <![CDATA[ One misplaced decimal point   creates an explosive headache ]]> Lead story image

D ear Fixer: I don’t know where else to turn. On June 30, I purchased $190.04 in fireworks from Johnny Rockets Fireworks in Highland. I paid with a credit card. But when I got my credit card bill, I saw that I was charged $1,900.40.To my horror, I realized I had signed a credit card slip for an extra $1,710 due to an apparent error with the decimal point. I admit I signed for the incorrect amount. I called my credit card company and Johnny Rockets to try to remedy this error. The credit card company says that I signed … ]]> Thu, 27 Dec 2012 06:18:34 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/16610383-452/one-misplaced-decimal-point-creates-an-explosive-headache.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/16610383-452/one-misplaced-decimal-point-creates-an-explosive-headache.html <![CDATA[ Nuwave moves on refund ]]> Lead story image

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 … ]]> Sun, 04 Nov 2012 23:52:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/16143656-452/story.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/16143656-452/story.html <![CDATA[ Long ride to Harley warranty refund ]]> Lead story image

D ear Fixer: I purchased a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from Chicago Harley in May 2008. I also purchased a full warranty that was good until May 2014. I sold the motorcycle on Feb. 4, 2012, and also canceled the warranty on that date. The Harley-Davidson service center told me I would get a refund of $888 for the remainder of the unused warranty plan.I contacted Chicago Harley and they said they would send me a check for the remainder in six weeks or less. Well, now it’s October and I have yet to get my check. I have been in contact … ]]> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 06:45:06 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/16132655-452/long-ride-to-harley-warranty-refund.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/16132655-452/long-ride-to-harley-warranty-refund.html <![CDATA[ Let your fingers walk from  this ‘yellow pages’ scam ]]> Lead story image

Dear Fixer: I work for a college. A couple weeks ago, a representative from Yellow Pages called to demand payment for some advertising services. They said the fee for listing our company information on the Yellow Pages website for the past two year came to $400.The caller said the offer had been accepted two years ago by my supervisor over the phone. She went on to say that we had to confirm the listing for an additional two years before their offer expires, and that we are still liable for the $400 balance. She turned what I expected to be … ]]> Sun, 28 Oct 2012 23:54:01 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15998382-452/let-your-fingers-walk-from-this-yellow-pages-scam.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15998382-452/let-your-fingers-walk-from-this-yellow-pages-scam.html <![CDATA[ Bill for cancelled service has customer seeing red ]]> Lead story image

D ear Fixer: I have a receipt showing I switched service on two phone lines from T-Mobile to Cricket on Sept. 8. Both of the contracts were over, so I was free to go. Now, T-Mobile says I owe them $90.35 for the billing period of Sept. 10 through Oct. 9 on one of the lines. They claim the number wasn’t switched over until Sept. 10, after the new billing cycle started. Calling them got me nowhere. After waiting on the line for 30 minutes, the person on the phone just kept saying it is their “policy” to do this … ]]> Tue, 27 Nov 2012 11:04:16 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15965493-452/bill-for-cancelled-service-has-customer-seeing-red.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15965493-452/bill-for-cancelled-service-has-customer-seeing-red.html <![CDATA[ Rebate gremlins strike again, this time on iPhone deal ]]> Lead story image

Dear Fixer: I’m a divorced father of three. On July 2, I went to a local Verizon store to shop for four iPhones for myself and my kids. The salesman there said I was in luck — because I am a Comcast customer in good standing, I qualified for a $50 rebate on each line, for a total of $200. The rebate was to be paid with gift cards. The salesman got us all signed up for the phones. He told me I would get an email soon and would get the gift cards in 30 to 45 days. The … ]]> Tue, 20 Nov 2012 11:21:13 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15835776-452/rebate-gremlins-strike-again-this-time-on-iphone-deal.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15835776-452/rebate-gremlins-strike-again-this-time-on-iphone-deal.html <![CDATA[ She says bus caused up to $9k in damage to her viola, but CTA offers just $1,500 ]]> Lead story image

Dear Fixer: On April 29, I was riding the No. 6 bus from Hyde Park to downtown with two colleagues. We are musicians. We were on our way to a conference, with our violas in tow. We were in the middle part of the articulated bus. As we neared downtown, someone needed to get by, so I lifted my instrument to the side to let them pass. Just then, we went around a corner and the turntable on which we were seated started to move. I felt the side of the bus touch my arm, which was around my instrument’s … ]]> Tue, 13 Nov 2012 06:38:40 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15701853-452/she-says-bus-caused-up-to-9k-in-damage-to-her-viola-but-cta-offers.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15701853-452/she-says-bus-caused-up-to-9k-in-damage-to-her-viola-but-cta-offers.html <![CDATA[ British Airways sets speed record in fixing priest’s non-refundable dilemma ]]> Lead story image

Dear Fixer: I was to attend an international meeting in Rome from Sept. 12-21. I made my travel arrangements with British Airways. Unfortunately, I entered the hospital on Sept. 4 with acute bronchitis. I was released on Sept. 7, and my doctor advised me to cancel my trip. My ticket was non-refundable, but I thought that maybe I can use it at another time. I contacted British Airways and was told to have my doctor send a letter. That letter was sent. However, each time I called — one time waiting on the phone for 30 minutes before a human … ]]> Thu, 01 Nov 2012 06:30:56 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15425040-452/british-airways-sets-speed-record-in-fixing-priests-non-refundable-dilemma.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15425040-452/british-airways-sets-speed-record-in-fixing-priests-non-refundable-dilemma.html <![CDATA[ Transferring points  turns into a nightmare ]]> Lead story image

Dear Fixer: In June 2009 I purchased two TVs from Best Buy through a telephone order. My deceased husband had a Best Buy Reward Zone card, and the person who took my order on the phone said I could use that card to get points for my purchase. (I didn’t have my own Reward Zone card, and she couldn’t enroll me during that call.) She told me that after the order was complete, I should open my own reward account, cancel his and have the points transferred over. So that is what I did. The problem is that Best Buy … ]]> Wed, 24 Oct 2012 06:49:45 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15309566-452/transferring-points-turns-into-a-nightmare.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15309566-452/transferring-points-turns-into-a-nightmare.html <![CDATA[ Waive fee? Get it in writing ]]> Lead story image

D ear Fixer: I attempted to make reservations online for my wife and 4-year-old daughter to fly to Japan in October on American Airlines, using frequent flier miles accumulated in two of my other children’s accounts. The problem is that the website would not let me pay the fees for the reservations with my credit card, because my name was different from the names on the frequent flier accounts. (We all have the same last name, just different first names.) My daughter and son whose names are on those accounts both have special needs — one is a high-functioning autistic … ]]> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 06:46:25 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15168162-452/waive-fee-get-it-in-writing.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/15168162-452/waive-fee-get-it-in-writing.html <![CDATA[ Deflated by overdrawn fees ]]> Lead story image

Dear Fixer: I was on my way to take my son to his doctor’s appointment when I got a flat tire. Luckily — or so I thought — I was two blocks away from an NTB tire shop. I had my flat tire fixed and bought another one because it needed to be changed, too. The total bill was $198.88. I gave them my debit card. The gentleman waiting on me ran it through, but there seemed to be some sort of computer malfunction. He tried several times, after which I asked if it was OK to write a check. … ]]> Wed, 03 Oct 2012 06:35:25 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/14880407-452/deflated-by-overdrawn-fees.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/14880407-452/deflated-by-overdrawn-fees.html <![CDATA[ Romance scams one of the oldest, cruelest tricks around ]]> Lead story image

Dear Readers: In this column we hear about a lot of problems that are unfair and annoying, but not necessarily life-or-death situations. Today, we bring you a story of a fraud that could happen to anyone who falls in love. And it has an ending that can never be fixed. The scam started innocently enough, in early 2010, at a group meeting for people overcoming addiction. Elizabeth Kelleher of Northbrook, Ill., was there, having struggled with divorce and other issues. She was vulnerable, said Chicago attorney Louis D. Bernstein, who later represented her family. Also at the meeting was a … ]]> Thu, 27 Sep 2012 11:38:31 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/14718274-452/romance-scams-one-of-the-oldest-cruelest-tricks-around.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/14718274-452/romance-scams-one-of-the-oldest-cruelest-tricks-around.html <![CDATA[ Women’s Workout World steps up for stroke victim ]]> Lead story image

Dear Fixer: I joined Women’s Workout World in August 2011. My membership was payable on a month-to-month basis. The month after I joined, I went into the hospital for routine hernia surgery. There were some complications and two days later, while still in the hospital, I had a stroke that affected my vision. I was unable to drive, but I continued to pay my monthly membership fee of $19. My ophthalmologist was not very encouraging as far as me being able to drive again, but my neurologist was more so. I kept paying my $19-a-month fees for the next nine … ]]> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 11:01:55 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/14689141-452/womens-workout-world-steps-up-for-stroke-victim.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/14689141-452/womens-workout-world-steps-up-for-stroke-victim.html <![CDATA[ Car heat poses threat ]]>

Dear Readers: Our normally glorious summer weather is supposed to return this weekend, so it’s a good time to remind you all of something that, unfortunately, can bring a chill to any sunny day: Each year, dozens of children die after being left behind in hot cars. There is a way to fix this. More on that in a sec. Just this month, from Aug. 2 through 7, eight children in Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and New Mexico died of heatstroke in hot vehicles, according to the not-for-profit safety group KidsAndCars.org. The national total for all of 2011 was 33; in … ]]> Thu, 13 Sep 2012 06:25:28 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/14415011-452/car-heat-poses-threat.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/14415011-452/car-heat-poses-threat.html <![CDATA[ Trilogy of terror finishes series on awful customers ]]> Lead story image

D ear Readers: We’ve really enjoyed reading your submissions for most obnoxious customer. (And we’re relieved to have not seen ourselves in these stories.) Here is the final installment: From M.N.: Back in the day, I tried my hand at waitressing. There was one jerk I’ll never forget. There were four or five people in his party. I brought their sodas with the requisite amount of ice. They said there was not enough ice. I brought more sodas with more ice. This time, there was too much ice. (The water had the same ice problem.) Then the guy asked me … ]]> Thu, 30 Aug 2012 06:32:53 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/14062182-452/trilogy-of-terror-finishes-series-on-awful-customers.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/14062182-452/trilogy-of-terror-finishes-series-on-awful-customers.html <![CDATA[ Reader can call out — but no one can call in to his business ]]>

Dear Fixer: My problem is with Cricket Wireless, my phone provider for almost three years. When I initially opened the account, I brought over my business line, which I have used for almost 22 years for my sand-blasting business. For the first two years, we had no problem at all. They have a fantastic service at a very reasonable price. So much so that we carried four phone lines plus the business line with them. After the first two years, my business got slow and our phones were put on hold for a two-month period until we caught up on … ]]> Fri, 17 Aug 2012 06:52:30 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/13764409-452/reader-can-call-out-but-no-one-can-call-in-to-his-business.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/13764409-452/reader-can-call-out-but-no-one-can-call-in-to-his-business.html <![CDATA[ Avoid the yo-yo: Never sign a blank contract when seeking car financing ]]>

Dear Fixer: Your recent column about “yo-yo” car sales caused me to think of the last two auto purchases I made. Both cars were new. I have excellent credit. I signed installment contracts at both dealerships and both “reputable” dealerships wanted me to sign an additional contract with different or nonexistent credit terms. The first dealership wanted me to sign a blank contract. The second one wanted me to sign a contract showing that I would pay cash. When I questioned the first, I was told that this was just their routine and that the same figures would be entered … ]]> Thu, 09 Aug 2012 09:40:22 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/13647037-452/avoid-the-yo-yo-never-sign-a-blank-contract-when-seeking-car-financing.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/business/fixer/13647037-452/avoid-the-yo-yo-never-sign-a-blank-contract-when-seeking-car-financing.html