By STEPHANIE ZIMMERMANN, ABC News Fixer
Dear ABC News Fixer: I have been trying to stop smoking for some time. I stop, start, stop and start again. I recently saw a TV show about electronic cigarettes and decided to purchase one.
The company selling them online offered a free trial. The initial charge to my credit card was only $4.95 for shipping and handling.
After I got the product, I was supposed to charge it by plugging it into my computer or into a wall outlet with an adapter – but I was not sent an adapter. I tried charging the e-cigarette and it never worked, and it still does not to this date.
I contacted customer service and was told they would send me the adapter plug as long as I continued the trial. Then I found out I was charged an additional $109 to my credit card and would be charged more money each month for replacement cartridges. I immediately had them cancel my order.
Now I’m being told that since I did not cancel within the trial period, I cannot get a full refund. Their terms and conditions state that you can receive a refund, but only if the kit is received with an authorization number within 30 days. The rep refused to give me an authorization number, and my 30 days will be up soon. I would just like a refund for something that did not work. Help!
– Cassandra Faulkner, Omaha, Neb.
Dear Cassandra: These “free trial” offers can be a bit tricky – more on that in a sec – but you had a different problem: The product apparently was defective from the start.
That seemed like a pretty good reason to ask for your money back, and the ABC News Fixer did just that.
Got a consumer problem? The ABC News Fixer may be able to help. Click here to submit your problem online. Letters are edited for length and clarity.
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Paul Menser, BizMojo Idaho
Matt McFarland, CNN