Getting a refund in tough economic times

June 5, 2009 6:53:57 PM PDT
This economy is forcing a lot of consumers to ask for refunds, forced into it when they find they can no longer go through with a purchase.

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It isn't just the banks and car companies -- many of us are running into financial trouble. So it is nice when a company comes through.

Hellen Ciudad-Real signed up for some laser treatments at American Laser in Santa Rosa.

"So I called the manager at American Laser and asked her to cancel the contract because I couldn't afford it at the time; I just couldn't. She said she would go to bat for me and get me a refund," said Hellen.

So far, so good. American Laser was helping her out, cancelling the contract. She would still be charged for the treatments received, but the rest would be refunded in 8-12 weeks.

"I e-mailed her every month for four months in a row and then I sent her a final request for a credit, if not I would seek a different way of getting my money back and she didn't respond at all to that last e-mail," explained Hellen.

There was eventually more back and forth, then Hellen received this: "Your refund has been denied." So she wrote back, "I have contacted 7 On Your Side." And she did, and we went to work.

She then heard back from the company agaom. They said, "We found that a mistake was made."

"They talked with you, 7 On Your Side, for sure, and agreed that there was an error made and they would be crediting us," said Hellen.

Here is what the company told us: "We appreciate KGO-TV bringing this issue to our attention. We have refunded Mrs. Ciudad-Real and apologize for the delay in refund processing."

We appreciate American Laser taking care of this. They did not have to cancel the contract. The lesson here is in this economy you may be better off paying as you go, rather than signing long-term contracts.

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