November 18, 2019

Shopper vexed over missing wall plaques

Consumer Forum

Looking back through our Consumer Forum files we came across a case that was received in June 1987 from Evelyn Webber of Mapleton, who was having a problem with World Products of Clifton, N.J.

On Feb. 23, 1987, Webber sent an order for two Country Cousin plaques to World Products, enclosing a check in the amount of $7.74. The check was cashed by the company on March 10 but the order had never arrived.

Evelyn Webber wrote to the company on April 20, requesting that they send either the plaques or a refund in full. An answer came back to the Mapleton consumer a week later from World Products. They asked that she allow six to eight weeks from the date of processing for delivery of the Country Cousin plaques.

After waiting 11 weeks from the date of purchase and not receiving the merchandise, Webber wrote World Products a second letter on May 11, stating, “I feel that I have waited long enough. This seems like such an unfair way that you are doing business. Why do you advertise if you can’t supply the goods? I ordered the Country Cousin plaques because I wanted to give them as gifts. Please send me the plaques or return my money to me immediately.”

When Evelyn Webber did not receive a reply, she wrote to COMBAT about the problem.

On July 7 we wrote to the president of World Products in Clifton, N.J. We told him that Webber had been waiting 4 1/2 months to receive Country Cousin plaques. Enclosing a copy of both the front and back of Webber’s canceled check, we requested that either the merchandise or a full refund be sent to Webber within the next 14 days with notification to COMBAT. We then wrote to Webber, sending her a copy of the letter and asking that she let us know if she received satisfaction from the company.

On July 27 we received a note fromWebber in which she told us she had not heard from World Products. “I even wrote them again on my own,” she wrote. “Isn’t it strange that none of my letters has come back to me, yet they are not acknowledged. Please continue to try and recover my merchandise or a refund. I appreciate your trying not only for my benefit but for others who probably get caught in the same way.”

On July 30 her COMBAT caseworker wrote a second, much stronger, letter to World Products, reiterating Webber’s problem and enclosed a copy of our first letter to them. We stated, “If Evelyn Webber does not receive her order of two Country Cousin plaques or a refund in the amount of $7.74 within the next 14 days, Northeast COMBAT will have no alternative but to contact the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Fraud Division, the regional postal inspector, Frederal Trade Commission, Better Business Bureau, and Clifton’s Chamber of Commerce requesting their active participation in this matter. We will send you copies of the letters so that you will be aware of the contents when you are contacted by the above agencies.”

On Aug. 10 we received a letter from Evelyn Webber. She wrote, “Will wonders never cease. I received a check for $7.74 from World Products refund account. However, there was not one word of apology. Thank you so much for all you have done.”

A few days latter, a form letter from World Products arrived at our office advising us that a refund had been sent to Evelyn Webber.

Consumer Forum is a collaborative effort of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast COMBAT. Send your questions to Consumer Forum, Bangor Daily News, 491 Main St., Bangor 04401. COMBAT is a membership organization with basic dues of $10 per year. For membership information and a free copy of the COMBAT newsletter, write to the above address. Please enclose a large, stamped, self-addressed envelope when contacting Consumer Forum.

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