Visually impaired Redwood City man left homebound for 9 months when scooter repairs stall

ByMichael Finney and Randall Yip KGO logo
Monday, February 6, 2023
Shortage of scooter repair parts leaves Bay Area man stuck at home
An 82-year-old remained largely homebound for nine months while he hassled over the stalled repair of his only mode of transportation.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- It was like the height of the pandemic all over again for a Redwood City man. The 82-year-old remained largely homebound for nine months while he hassled over the stalled repair of his only mode of transportation.

You can hardly tell, but Giacomo Messina says he is partially blind.

He lives with macular degeneration, which causes his vision to be blurry.

Joining his friends for a game of bocce ball is a highlight of his week.

MORE: Traveler faces nightmare after flight canceled and airline denies refund

A California man was denied a refund from an airline after his flight was canceled. Here's how 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney helped.

"The first year I started playing, after a year, I had a championship," Messina said.

Messina immigrated from Sicily in his late 20s. He didn't take up bocce ball until he got to the United States.

"I'm half blind but still better than regular people," he said.

For nine months his wife says Messina couldn't play bocce ball or leave his home by himself. His eye condition meant he had to give up his driver's license.

MORE: Rental scam victim gets happy news as Wells Fargo agrees to reimburse some funds lost via Zelle

A scooter he had purchased through Amazon broke down six weeks after purchasing it.

The seller, Spinlife Wheelchairs and Scooters, promised a replacement part that didn't arrive until 7 On Your Side got involved.

"My husband can't go to bocce, and he's just sitting home and the scooter is in the garage in pieces," said his wife Maria.

"April, May, June, July, August -- until last month," he said.

MORE: EDD takes tax refund, garnishes wages of man who reported unemployment fraud in his name

Some ordinary citizens are paying the price as the California EDD tries to reclaim money given to scammers.

In December, the couple contacted 7 On Your Side.

Amazon agreed to give the couple a complete refund on their $3,000 scooter.

They used some of that money to take their scooter to an e-bike repair shop.

Messina is now running around again on his scooter.

MORE: Missing cabinet doors leave homeowner stuck in middle of remodel

Amazon says it's glad that he's "up and zooming around the neighborhood."

Maria said 7 On Your Side works.

"You know I always wondered, do they really do this kind of stuff? Do they really help people? And they sure do, because they helped us," she said.

Maria said she's grateful to Amazon as well for providing a complete refund.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

7OYS's consumer hotline is a free consumer mediation service for those in the San Francisco Bay Area. We assist individuals with consumer-related issues; we cannot assist on cases between businesses, or cases involving family law, criminal matters, landlord/tenant disputes, labor issues, or medical issues. Please review our FAQ here. As a part of our process in assisting you, it is necessary that we contact the company / agency you are writing about. If you do not wish us to contact them, please let us know right away, as it will affect our ability to work on your case. Due to the high volume of emails we receive, please allow 3-5 business days for a response.

READY TO CONTACT 7 ON YOUR SIDE?

EMAIL US AT 7OYS@KGO-TV.COM


Please note the address uses the letter "O", not zeros. Be sure to include your full name, email, street address, and phone number.
Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live