Cases Worked‎ > ‎

2016 Cases

Elder Financial Abuse

North Miami Beach/Miami-Dade County

A funeral home salesperson took advantage of an elderly woman who was not competent. The daughter who discovered the abuse and became her mother’s representative alerted Seniors vs Crime to the problem and requested assistance. Fact-finding revealed the salesperson returned on several occasions to sell the woman funeral arrangements and like related additions for over $46,000. The volunteer researching the case discovered the funeral home was part of a large corporation located in Texas. When contacted, they took steps to remedy the problem by firing the sales representative and returning over $15,000 the elderly woman had already paid out.

 

Loan Settlement

North Miami Beach/ Miami-Dade County

A 77-year-old man cosigned a loan for his son. When the son stopped paying the loan the bank turned to the father and he was forced to pick up the debt. This caused him to lose property he depended on for income. The son then began to make some payments to his father but again, as in the bank loan, the payments stopped. The volunteer working the case began mediation and a figure and payment schedule were negotiated. As of the time of this posting, all is in order.

 

Vehicle Safety

West Palm Beach/Palm Beach County

A gentleman asked for help in resolving an issue with an unsafe vehicle. The dealership claimed the problem could not be addressed without charging for the repairs. In fact finding, the volunteer learned the manufacturer could give the dealership the permission to remedy the defect without charge. It would be a slow process and there were going to be hurdles. After opening the case in March and correspondence with company general counsel, CEO and National Traffic Safety Board the vehicle was serviced at no cost to the complainant saving him over $2000.

 

Appliance Replacement

West Palm Beach/ Palm Beach County

A couple was trying to resolve a problem concerning their refrigerator for over two years. When the Seniors vs. Crime volunteer became involved, he discovered the dealer was blaming the problem on the warranty company. The volunteer sent a letter to the manufacturer describing the issues and the length of time. The Seniors vs. Crime volunteer began fact finding in August and the issue was resolved in December. The manufacturer supplied a check to the couple for $2,000 for the purchase of a new refrigerator.

 

Family Loan

Coral Springs/ Broward County

A senior citizen had made a loan to family member with an agreement for repayment. The family member refused to make any repayment and ignored all the pleas from the elderly complainant. The volunteers made every attempt to convince the debtor over an extracted period to resolve the matter. Eventually, this person refused to take their phone calls and would not discuss the matter. A letter was sent to him with a last ditch argument for resolution. He answered this letter and a payment schedule was accepted by him to satisfy the loan.

 

Return of Items Ordered Through the Mail

Okeechobee/Okeechobee County

A couple requested help from the volunteers in a case where attempts to return items they had purchased were requiring unreasonable fees. The volunteers reviewed the return policy and found a discrepancy. When the manufacturer was contacted, they reviewed the issue and alerted the couple this was misunderstanding and explained the return procedures and actual cost. All parties were in agreement and this case was resolved to satisfaction.

 

Identity Theft Recovery of Missing Funds

Cooper City/ Broward County

An 80-year-old man was the victim of identity theft. His bank, which held his credit card, had investigated his account and they reimbursed the account for the illegal charges. However, the senior believed there were charges that had not been counted by the bank. The Senior vs Crime volunteers reviewed the man’s statements and asked the bank to reopen its investigation. The bank agreed and another $651.93 was found and returned to his account.

 

Overbilling by a Nursing Service

Delray Beach/ Palm Beach County

A complaint was received claiming a nursing service had overcharged an elderly man. An immediate review by volunteers revealed a difference between actual hours and billed hours. When presented with these facts a refund of $361.00 was issued.

 

Auto Dealer Warranty

Delray Beach/Palm Beach County

A man purchased a vehicle from a local dealer and purchased a dealer warranty. On a trip north, the customer experienced difficulty with the auto. While in New York State, the passenger door became unhinged and had to be repaired. Upon his return to Florida, Seniors vs Crime office as asked if they could help. When the volunteers interceded on his behalf, the dealership reimbursed the complainant for the $700.00 repair.

 

Auto Dealership Complaint

Lakeland Office / Polk County

An elderly complainant bought a used automobile from a dealer. Within four days, she decided that the vehicle was not suitable. She went back to the dealership, exchanged the vehicle for a newer model, and paid an additional $1,000. When she returned to her home and had a chance to review the contract, she noticed that she had been overcharged for the transaction. She could not get the dealership to rectify the problem, and she subsequently contacted Seniors vs. Crime. The Lakeland Office made contact with the dealership, and they refunded $1,130.

 

Pool Renovation Complaint

Lakeland Office / Polk County

A homeowner signed a contract to have his pool area renovated for $24,500 and paid a deposit of $8,187. After several weeks, the homeowner had another estimate done from a contractor for half the price of the previous contractor. Since the work had not been started at that time, the homeowner attempted to cancel the contract. The contractor agreed to cancel the contract, but would only refund the homeowner $1,613. The homeowner contacted Seniors vs. Crime. The Lakeland Office intervened and was able to get an additional refund of $7,350.

 

Air Conditioning Complaint

Lakeland Office / Polk County

A homeowner became acquainted with a man who offered to sell her a vacuum cleaner. She did not need a vacuum cleaner, informed him she needed to replace her air conditioner. When he returned to draft the contract, she noted that she had been making payments on her water softener that were too high. The salesman then offered to refinance her payments to assist her. She later discovered that the refinancing agreement would be $2000 more than the original amount. She contacted Seniors vs. Crime and the Lakeland Office was able to get the company to pay off the additional $2,000.

 

Timeshare Complaint

Lakeland Office / Polk County

A married couple had purchased a timeshare in the past and decided to trade it in for an upgraded new one. They agreed to pay an additional $12,000 for “points” to upgrade the timeshare. They later attempted to use the timeshare, but discovered that their “points” had no value. When the Lakeland Office contacted the company, the couple received a refund of $9,451.

 

Lemon Law Complaint

Sun City Office / Hillsborough County

A complainant indicated that he purchased an Oreion Reeper automobile from a dealership. Over a period of time, he had to replace a steering wheel, fan and a fuel pump. The dealership refused to cover the repairs, indicating that the vehicle was sold as a used vehicle even though it had only six miles on the odometer.  The Sun City Office contacted the DMV, which confirmed that it was a new vehicle. The complainant was assisted in filing a complaint under Florida’s Lemon Law.

 

 

Looking for Love Complaint

Sun City Office / Hillsborough County

One of her church members advised an elderly woman that she should go on the internet to look for a male companion. She was able to make contact with a man who said he was a retired Major General. This general asked a friend of his to have this lady send him money for a ticket to Tampa. She sent $1,300 to the mutual friend to purchase the ticket. She went to the airport to meet the General, but he never showed. The woman then contacted Seniors vs. Crime. The Sun City Office contacted the mutual friend, who felt guilty that she had been used in the scam and offered to make restitution. She agreed to make monthly installments and as of this date she has paid off $200.

 

Damaged Furniture Complaint

Sun City Office / Hillsborough County

A married couple came to the Sun City Office complaining that they had purchased a piece of furniture from a large retailer. They wanted a $316 credit for the damage and an invoice that had not been provided to them. Initially, they had a confrontation with the store manager and could not get the matter resolved. They requested Seniors vs. Crime’s intervention to get them a meeting with a corporate representative of the company. The Sun City Office arranged a meeting with the regional manager at another store where they discussed their dissatisfaction with the local store manager’s handling of their complaint and received their $316 credit as well as a copy of the requested invoice.

 

Car Dealership Woes

Volusia County / South Daytona

Mr Jones purchased a car from a dealer with the understanding that he was to be financed for 72 months at zero interest. After signing the paperwork, going home and looking over the contract, he discovered that he had financing for 77 months at the interest rate of 1.99%.  He contacted Seniors Vs Crime, who contacted the dealer.  In speaking with the dealer, the sleuth was able to negotiate a refund of $1336. The gentleman was not happy with that amount and advised that he would go to the head of the car dealerships on his own without further SVC help.

 

Walk-in Tub

Volusia County / South Daytona

Mrs. Jones was having problems bathing and contracted with a company to install a walk in tub. She gave the man a check for $1,100 and a credit card charge for $1,500. When the man came to install the tub, it was determined that there was a drainage problem.  Mrs. Jones wanted a refund, so she complained to the Attorney General's office, who in turn referred the issue to Seniors Vs Crime. We contacted the company and negotiated a refund of her money, $2,600.

 

Fee for Unused Propane

Seminole County / Altamonte Springs

Mr. Smith purchased a newly built home in Seminole County that had a propane gas fireplace, and a pool/spa gas heater.  Included with the home was a buried propane gas tank. A gas company provided propane and would send bills annually for the tank rental.  From time to time, they would order propane. Recently they received a notice that they would be billed a "no usage fee" because they had not ordered gas since 2010. He received no paperwork regarding the propane tank.  A sleuth contacted the gas company, and upon explaining the situation, the company agreed to void the bill for the "no usage fee."

 

Reimbursement from Unused Contract

Seminole County / Altamonte Springs

Mrs. Smith who is 81 years old and lives in Connecticut had a security service contract with Company A. Company B went to her home and sold her their company’s service. They removed the existing company’s equipment and processed the account.  She was receiving two bills, one from each company.  In addition, she dutifully paid both.  Her son in Florida found out she had been paying the bills for over two years. He then contacted Seniors Vs Crime. Several sleuths worked on the case, dealing with the son and company A's office. We finally informed the son that his mom is responsible for the payoff of the contract from Company A.

 

Yard Word Not Done

Duval County / Jacksonville

A 94-year-old woman, partially blind, was approached by a man who offered to do yard work for $500.  She wrote him a check, which he cashed, but never did the work.  We were contacted by the woman’s daughter.  We referred the case to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office JSO Economic Crimes.  They began a full investigation and an arrest is imminent.  Unfortunately, we were not able to recover the $500, but the family was satisfied the scammer will be arrested.

 

Travel Company Upscaling

Duval County / Jacksonville

An elderly woman (76) who is not in good health and not wealthy, attended a meeting hosted by a travel company.  They presented their travel products in a well-designed presentation.  She signed up for the package.  On her first trip, she was disappointed with the amenities and complained.  She was told that she was on the “Bronze Plan” and to upgrade her accommodations, she would need to sign up for the next level. She did, and was upgraded to a better room.  On her next trip, the same thing happened, so she signed up for the 3rd level.  At that point, she was in debt to the company for $60,000.  She eventually paid $5,000, but could not afford the remaining $55,000.  That was when she contacted SVC.

The travel company is incorporated in Mexico, but has a US office in Miami.  Our sleuth contacted the office and spoke with their representative, multiple times.  It was agreed our client would write a letter of explanation and request to withdraw from the travel plan contract.  This letter would then be presented to their Board for approval.    The Board eventually voted to allow her out of the contract.  Once they have her request for a release in writing, they will formally release her from the contract.   We expect receipt of that release after the Holidays, and will continue to follow-up.  Upon completion, the final savings to our client will be the $55,000.

 

Septic System Overflowed

Duval County / Jacksonville

Our clients, a couple working through a real estate agent, purchased a house that was listed by another agency.  The listing agent told them the house was on city water and sewer, and the inspection report did not refute that.  The couple moved in.  Shortly thereafter, the septic system, which was either unknown or undisclosed by the listing agent, overflowed.  The couple was not able to obtain any satisfaction on their own.  The case came to SVC.  Our sleuths contacted the listing agent on behalf of the owners and were able to negotiate the installation of a new septic system, a $6,500 cost.  The homeowners were not charged this fee.  The realtor paid it.

 

Cheated by Roommate

Nassau County / Fernandina Beach

An elderly gentleman who was legally blind and hard of hearing was brought to our office by his caregiver. This gentleman's roommate, currently in jail, had apparently gotten his debit card and fraudulently withdrew $860. With the assistance of several Senior Sleuths and cooperation from his bank, we were able to get his money back, get his old card canceled and a new one issued. Since this client was living solely on Social Security our assistance was greatly appreciated.

 

Gutter Installer

Nassau County / Fernandina Beach

One of our residents came to our office seeking help in recovering money she paid to a gutter installer who never did the promised work. Although this person did not get a signed contract, she did take a picture of the perpetrator's van with his logo and phone number on the side. This picture enabled us to call him and persuade him to return our client's $1000. She was very pleased, as she had tried repeatedly to get the money returned herself to no avail.

 

Home Alarm System

Nassau County - Fernandina Beach

This gentleman came to our office seeking help in getting his home alarm system contract canceled. It had an automatic renewal clause. However, our client had put them on notice not to renew. His attempts to have the contract canceled and his money returned were futile...until we intervened. The contract was canceled retroactively and the client's money was returned. Fortunately, this person was a good record keeper; and we had times and dates, which helped convince the alarm company to cooperate. 

 

 

Auto Transport Carrier

Putnam County / Palatka

In March of 2015, we received an 800# message to return from our Regional Director.  Upon returning the call, we received a complaint from a lady in South Florida concerning an auto transport carrier she had contracted with to transport her car from New York to Florida for the winter.  She had signed a contract with a broker who took her $200 deposit and quoted her the rate of $650, leaving a balance of $450 due at time of pickup, including pickup and delivery dates for transporting the car.  Since the SVC sleuth investigating the case was in that business for 15 years, he decided that we should look into this case since that particular business is known to have many unfair practices.

Upon reviewing her complaint, we realized that this lady had her “ducks in a row” and had everything documented to back up her complaint.  The Broker portrayed himself to be transport carrier.

The carrier did not show up on the scheduled pickup date.  When the carrier finally showed up with her car in Florida, they demanded an additional payment of $750 before they would leave her car.  She had no choice, but to pay the additional charge.

Over the course of the next few months, we received five more complaints from friends of our original complainant who had also contracted with this Broker.

Some of the complainants had put up their deposit and had cancelled the contract with the Broker after hearing our victim’s story.  The way the contract read, the deposit does not become non-refundable until the transport is actually assigned to a carrier.  The jobs are listed on a common brokerage board of vehicles to be transported by the Broker and the transport carrier has to call the Broker to get the details on the load and accept the job.

Even though these jobs had not yet been assigned to a carrier, the Broker refused to refund the deposit and threatened to sue the victim.  We had also been contacted by one of the transport carriers who had attempted to pick up one of the cars and contacted the owner to make the arrangements.  This was long after the victim had cancelled the load.  The transport carrier alleged that the Broker had forged the victim’s name on the paperwork the carrier had been provided by the Broker.

At that point, we felt we had enough information to “bubble it up” to the OAG since these cases involved interstate transport.  Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in getting any of their money back, but hopefully the OAG’s office will have more success.  The OAG assigned our issues to one of their offices in South Florida for handling.

 

Auto Dealership

Putnam County / Palatka

On June 1, 2015, our client came to us and requested our assistance with a dispute with a local auto dealership.  He had visited the dealership on May 29, 2015 to look at new cars.  He test drove a Mustang and told the salesman that he had $5,000 to put down on a new car and would have to finance the balance.  He proceeded to sign the appropriate paperwork and went home.

He was to return the following morning with the $5,000 down payment, but realized after returning home that he really could not afford the car payment.  The next morning, which was a Saturday, he called the dealership and told him he didn’t feel he could afford the car and backed out of the deal.

The salesman informed him that he had until 4 PM that afternoon to come in with his deposit and pick up the car or they would sue him.

We sent the dealership a letter requesting their side of the story and asked that they rescind the contract since our client did not feel he could afford the car payment.  They agreed to do so and we were able to conclude the case on his behalf successfully.

 

Durable Medical Equipment

Putnam County / Palatka

An elderly lady with many medical issues came in over a dispute with a medical equipment sales and rental company.  She wanted to purchase a nebulizer as prescribed by her physician.  She went to the company on April 22, 2015 to purchase a portable nebulizer and was advised by the sales person that her insurance co-pay would be $100, which she paid. 

Five months later, she got a bill for the rental of the nebulizer.  She called and complained to the company that she had purchased the machine and did not rent it.  They wouldn’t even talk to her about it.

We sent a letter to the company and they agreed to rescind the original deal and refund the $100 she had spent on the nebulizer, which she agreed to return.   As it turned out, the machine had quit working so she was very happy to get her money back and get rid of the machine.

 

Hot Water

St. Johns County / St. Augustine Beach

An elderly couple who resided in un-incorporated St. Johns County came into the office with the following complaint. Both are on social security fixed income and own their home, which was several years old. They invested in a new hot water heater for their aging home approximately 2 years prior. When making this investment they wanted an energy efficient hot water tank to save on their fixed monthly budget. They chose a GE brand hybrid tank, which has a condenser type recovery unit on the top of the tank, which greatly increases efficiency. With the purchase of the hot water tank came a 3-year unlimited warranty. The hot water tank was however expensive, but the couple purchased it with the impression of substantial monthly savings. The purchase price was approximately $2,800. The couple advised much detail about how two months ago the hot water tank stopped working and they called the local plumber who installed the tank. The plumber examined the tank and found a broken part in the recovery condenser.  A call was made to GE to order the part. A few days later, the replacement part came in and the plumber was called to install it. This is where their problem began. The part would not fit. The plumber who was advised by GE that the original part was no longer being produced and this was the best possible substitute part they could provide made a call to GE. The plumber told the couple this part would not fit at all and would not correct the hot water tank problem. The couple in the meantime were without hot water in their home for about 2 months as they made an unlimited number of phone calls to GE customer service trying to get their hot water tank replaced which was included in their warranty. The couple were unable to purchase another tank since all of their funds had been expended on the purchase. Upon taking on the case, St. Johns SVC made three phone calls to GE. Immediate attention was given the complaint including a phone call from the GE Vice President of Sales to the sleuth. After providing the details of the complaint to the Vice President, she immediately contacted the senior couple.  Two days later, they had a brand new hot water tank installed in their home at no cost to them. The couple came into the SVC office the following week in tears to thank us for getting hot water back into their home.

 

Estate Sale

St. Johns County / St. Augustine Beach

A 94-year-old senior decided to sell her home and move into an assisted care living facility in St. Augustine. The assisted care facility was much smaller than her home requiring her to limit the amount of belongings that she could take with her into the new living quarters. The senior decided to contract with an estate sale company to sell her belongings and she moved into her new apartment. Several months later the senior had received only a small amount from the estate sale company for her belongings that had been sold. The senior advised our office the estate sale company had not sold the items at the agreed upon values and she refused to sign a final release form for the amount the estate sale company was offering her to close out their sale contract. The SVC sleuth made contact with the estate sale company on behalf of the senior client and after several weeks was able to obtain a settlement amount in excess of what had been offered the senior client. The unfortunate part of this story is the senior client had become quite ill with terminal cancer and was now hospitalized. The senior’s son, who was now in charge of her affairs, was very thankful for all of the efforts of the SVC in bringing this matter to a successful conclusion for his mother.  

 

IRS/Lottery Scam

St. Johns County / St. Augustine Beach

Scammers contacted an elderly client and claimed to be from the IRS Awards Department indicating she had won a $2.5 million lottery and that they were holding the funds until taxes were paid on the prize. The client believed they were legitimate and sent them $180,000 from her savings as instructed. The prize money did not come as promised and in fact, the scammers re-contacted her to advise there was a delay in the release of the funds. At this point, she became suspicious and contacted the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office who took on the criminal case. The Sheriff Office Detective requested our assistance in getting her compromised credit accounts and identity theft issues protected from further damage since she was overwhelmed by the various procedures. The scammers attempted to revive her trust by sending her payments of over $16,000 in cash.  After talking to the Sheriff’s Detective and us, she realized not to trust them anymore. We completed our case by finalizing reports to the FTC, Credit Bureaus, and the IRS on her behalf. The scammers in this case apparently operate out of a Caribbean Island and are very knowledgeable about how to manipulate the elderly. The Sheriff’s Detective advised Federal Law Enforcement Agencies are also involved with the investigation.  

 

The System Does Work

Flagler County / Palm Coast

This is a story of a “landscaper” and two ladies ages 94 and 73. Both these ladies gave this man a total of $3,100 to do work around their garden landscaping which were never started. The “landscaper” had a long history with the City of Palm Coast Tax and Code Enforcement Department with dissatisfied senior complaints against the individual. However, since the “landscaper” was not licensed there was not much that the City could do regarding the complaints. The two ladies attempted to address their complaints with the landscaper and after two months contacted our new Senior Vs Crime Program in Flagler County. The two ladies were patient as numerous correspondences took place between our office and the “landscaper” without much success. Assistance was offered and provided for the two ladies in pursuing criminal actions against the “landscaper” by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. When the “landscaper” became aware of pending criminal Charging Affidavits, he returned the cash amounts to both individuals. Both ladies were extremely happy to receive such outstanding assistance from the SVC Office and the recovery of all of their funds.  They had thought all hope to recover those funds was gone forever.

 

Like A Fire Dogs Spotted Coat

Flagler County / Palm Coast

A senior client and his wife came to the Flagler SVC Office to complain that they had an extensive painting and stucco repair job done on their home. There was white paint showing thru the darker paint that had been applied as well as some of the stucco repairs were falling off the home. The clients described the poor paint job as - “like a fire dogs spotted coat”. All efforts to get the painter to come back and inspect the poor job went unanswered. Contact was made with the painter by our office and a meeting set at the substation conference room with the client and painter. Both parties attended the meeting and after informal mediation, the painter agreed to return to the client’s home and address their complaints about the job. After all was said and done, the painter repainted the whole house and repaired the stucco at no cost to the clients at a savings of $3000.

 

The Not So Weatherproof Doors

Flagler County / Palm Coast

A senior client from Palm Coast purchased custom exterior doors for his home this past summer from a local building supplier in Flagler County at a premium price. Included in the sale was installation and a warranty. The client had to wait an extended period to receive the doors because the order was a custom order. Upon receipt of the doors, they were promptly installed and the order paid for. Then a problem began. The first rain shower came and flooding took place all over the client’s interior carpet floors from the doors extensive leaking. The client contacted the building supplier who was slow to send out a representative to investigate the complaint. The representative reported to the company that the doors appeared all right and the flooding must have been from something else. As time went on each rainstorm brought more flooding to the interior of the client’s home. The client contacted our office who in turn contacted the building supplier. After numerous telephone calls from our office to the building supplier, they decided to conduct extensive testing of the door seals and found them defective after all. The building supplier replaced all the door seals and damaged carpeting at no cost to the client, which came to several hundred dollars. The client reported all flooding had stopped and was pleased with the outcome.          

  

AC Troubles

Orange County / Orlando

Mrs.  Bell, 81 years old, was having trouble with her AC and her daughter and son in law were in Michigan. She called a company out to fix the AC.  When the man advised her that the problem was bad and that it was dangerous for her to be in the house.  He advised her he could fix it and the cost would be $6,010. Mrs Bell gave him a deposit of $2,000. The next day two men showed up and worked on it from 9:00 am until 2:00pm. Later that evening they called and requested the balance of the money due - $3451. The daughter in Michigan paid the balance on a credit card by telephone. Upon their return from Michigan, they found a hole in the wall and the panel on the floor. She called Seniors Vs. Crime who contacted the company.  The company advised no permits were filed, but they would fix the wall and any problems with the AC. The daughter filed for permits, and after the work passed inspection, she requested a refund of the charge for the permits. A check of $149 for the permits was received.

 

Misrepresentation of Vehicle

Orange County / Orlando

Mr. James advised he had purchased a 1970 Nova on-line. The ad specified that it had a new engine, new stereo for the AM radio, new trunk mat, a spare, and a new carburetor.  It did not have any new items. He sent a complaint to the company he purchased the vehicle from, but got no response. He contacted Seniors Vs. Crime.  Our sleuth called the company and spoke with the manager who finally agreed to refund $500 if Mr. James would send a letter advising he would drop all claims regarding the sale of the vehicle. Mr. James did so and received a check for $500.

 

Refund of Postage

Orange County / Orlando

Mr. Johns ordered ski equipment on-line to be sent to his Michigan vacation home. Instead, the company sent them to his Florida home. A neighbor saw the package and reshipped it to Michigan paying $25 in postage. He was requesting a refund of that amount from the company.  A senior sleuth contacted the company and a refund of the $25 was sent to Mr. Johns, who received it a week later.

 

Moldy Mobile

Wildwood / Lake County / Manager Ed Kelly

Client purchased a mobile home and had it for two days and experienced several mechanical issues and took it back to the dealer, who kept it for eleven weeks. When the Mobile Home was returned to the client the mechanical issues were fixed but the living area had issues with mold and mildew. Apparently the vents on the roof were opened while the vendor was fixing the mechanical issues and rain seeped in causing the damage. The vendor was trying to negotiate with the client to take another Mobile Home until Seniors vs. Crime became involved and the client received his entire purchase price back a refund of $83,895.48.

 

Unfinished Lanai

Wildwood Office / Lake County

Client hired a contractor to enclose the Lanai. Work was not completed and the company kept making excuses. Seniors vs. Crime became involved and company completed work for a Realized Gain of $8,500.

 

Contractor Too Busy

Wildwood Office / Lake County

Client hired a construction company to do work at his residence in April of this year.  Work was not completed and the vendor kept making excuses why he couldn’t complete the work. Seniors vs. Crime intervened and the work was completed to the client’s satisfaction for a Realized Gain of $21,180.

 

Unfinished delivery

Wildwood Office / Lake County

Client hired a moving company to transport her goods from Iowa to the Villages. The client tried numerous times to contact the company who would not return her phone calls.  Seniors vs. Crime called the vendor and the furniture was delivered to the delight of the client for a realized gain of $8,000.

 

Sorry She Couldn’t Make it

Wildwood Office / Lake County

Client, who is from Canada rented a house in The Villages and sent a $500 deposit to the vendor. The next day the client injured her knee and needed surgery and cancelled the contract. The client was expecting to receive $400 back with a $100 cancellation fee but the vendor said that he was only willing to refund $250 to the client unless someone else rented the home during the time the client had reserved and he then would refund her $400 total. Seniors vs. Crime called the vendor who said that this was common practice and he has been doing the same thing for years with no complaints. Seniors vs. Crime recovered $390 for the client. $100 was deducted for the cancellation and $10 was deducted for cashing a foreign check.

 

Truck Is Like New

Wildwood Office / Lake County

Client had paid a vendor $3500 to have his 1965 Chevrolet pick-up restored. Vendor had the truck for one year and wouldn’t return it. Seniors vs. Crime called the vendor and the client received his restored vehicle back.

 

Expensive Plumbing Job

Ocala Office / Marion County / Sandy Belinsky Assistant Manager

Received complaint from a son who lives in Connecticut regarding his parents here in Marion County who believed they were overcharged for installing a new kitchen faucet and a new fill valve and supply line on a toilet and included a five year warranty on faucet and two year warranty on related labor for a cost of $697.52.

The receipt did not show the breakdown of the individual items.  This did seem excessive to us and when we contacted the plumbing company, the owner said everything goes by the “book price” and the plumber showed the price list in the book to the clients who agreed.  I would suppose the son in Connecticut monitors the bank account and contacted the Attorney General.

After the plumbing company owner consulted his book and the receipt, he generously agreed to refund $350 to the customer and did it within two days.  Everyone was happy with this but the son was suspicious on how we accomplished this so quickly as he works for Medicare and is used to red tape.

 

Rats Just the Start of This Problem

Ocala Office / Marion County

Sounds in the attic prompted a call to a nationwide pest control company.  Rats were building a nest and had entered through an opening in the eaves, which they repaired.  Being up in the attic the pest control people suggested the clients get more blown in insulation as theirs had settled over the years, for a cost of $2450.

Two men appeared later on and with a large hose with duct tape on it, tried to blow the insulation containing a type of boric acid for pest control up in the attic through the home opening which was located in the laundry room/office.  During the application, the duct tape blew off and spewed insulation and boric acid powder all through that room and it went into other areas of the house nearby.  Also somehow while walking up in the attic cracked part of the kitchen ceiling and loosened the chandelier in the dining room.  One of the insulation guys stepped on one of the ducts and broke open a large hole which allowed debris to enter the home also.

Being very upset with this, the clients called the pest control company who sent out a nationally known cleaning company.  The cleaners arrived with no id and no shirts showing they worked for this pest control company as they were subcontractors.  A poor job of cleaning was done.  The clients began having skin conditions and breathing problems which they did not have prior to the insulation experience.

A few days later one of the cleaners approached the clients and said he needed money to pay some small bill and asked if he could do some work for them.  They agreed on something in the yard for $40 and took him and his bicycle to get the $40.  They got his name and checked on his arrest record and found a lengthy one.

Now they are concerned about the “cleaning” company with no ids.  Many phone calls were made to both the cleaning company which had no written contract with the pest control company and calls also made to the pest control company, which resulted in the ceiling being fixed, the chandelier rehung, and a payment to the client of $5920.  Except for the health problems they are happy now as they hired another company to replace all the air ducts. 

 

Mobile Home Sales Problem Solved

Ocala Office / Marion County

Client decided to purchase a new mobile home and went to a dealer to see the models.  She saw something similar but too small and one for her would need to be ordered for $55,069 with a down payment of $13,000.  She negotiated that down to $10,000 paid by a check from her son for $2,500 and a cashier’s check for $7,500 from her.  The sales person upset her with his aggressiveness and by the next day she had decided to cancel the contract and her son put a stop payment on his check for $2,500.

The sales manager had not ordered the new home yet, everything was on paper, but he did not wish to cancel the contract.  He told us he would “like to consider returning some portion of the money but not all of it” as she had signed the contract.  Talking to him was like speaking to one of the candidates running for office as he refused to directly answer any of our questions and constantly beat around the bush on issues.

Client went down to see the dealer and she said he had a complete turnaround and agreed to take $100 for his troubles and refunded her the $7,400.  She was very happy as to how this turned out.

Fraudulent Internet Sale

Ocala Office / Marion County

Client purchased a used engine from the internet.  He lives in Mississippi and the engine was ordered from a home business in Marion County.  He wired $1,600 to a bank account in the state of New York.  When the engine was delivered by an unmarked truck it was not the one he ordered.  The truck driver did not give him any paperwork showing that the customer would not accept the wrong engine and drove off.

In searching on the internet for the owner and his partner of this used engine company, several other instances of this activity for other persons were shown on ripoffreport.com.  This was enlightening and lead us to believe it was more of a scam.  One of the Senior Sleuths spoke to another officer from the county and it has been found there are several other cases and the scammers have moved out, giving a non-existant address in another local community.  The county officer asked us to contact the client and have him go to his local police department and sent the info the Marion County Sheriff’s office, which is being done.  Case was closed as “transferred to another agency.”

 

Bad Circuit Court Checks

Sumter Office / Sumter County /Bryan Lifsey Manager

A 77 year old female client came into the Sumter County Office with what we thought would be a ‘typical’ check overpayment scam. She had advertised a Hide-A-Bed for sale, received a full-price offer over the internet which she accepted, and the ‘buyer’ sent her a $1,420 check as payment. That was much more than the listed sale price so they buyer wanted their overpayment refunded in money orders. Our client recognized that something was not right and brought all the paperwork, including the check, into our office. What was unusual was that this check was written against the State Bank of Southwest Missouri on a check that appeared to originate from the Green County Circuit Court Clerk.

Just in case, we contacted the Green County Court Clerk and, of course, the check was fraudulent. Court personnel were rather perturbed that someone was using their good name to forge checks and asked us to send them all the material we had relating to this incident. They intended to get to the bottom of this scam. The client was agreeable so we were more than happy to oblige and did so. We closed our case as transferred to the Green County Circuit Court Clerk. Our client did not lose any money and later advised us that they successfully sold their bed to someone locally for cash.

 

Landscaper Issues

Sumter Office / Sumter County

As reported last year, in early 2015 the Sumter County Office began to experience an inordinate number of complaints against a particular large landscaping company in our area. This pattern continued into 2016 with the Sumter County office recording 56 cases against this company while other offices in The Villages also recorded large numbers of cases. Since we had previously established a good working relationship between our office and this business, we continued our 2015 effort into 2016 and have resolved the vast majority of these cases with either monetary recoveries or realized gains through corrected landscaping work. As of year-end 2016, there are only two (2) open cases within our office against this company. During 2016 we recovered over $55,000 in money or realized gain from this company. The company remains in business in our area but the volume of complaints has fallen off significantly.

 

Construction Lien Kerfuffle

Sumter Office / Sumter County

 Our 61 year old male client had contracted with a local, licensed contractor to remodel his lanai. The work was done to his satisfaction and he paid the contractor in full. A month later he received a $2,205.32 construction lien on his home from the roofing subcontractor.

He came to our office for assistance. We contacted the general contractor who was able to provide proof that he had paid the roofing subcontractor in full for our client’s roof. Next we contacted the roofing subcontractor.

In response to our questions about the lien, we got the telephone equivalent of the ‘deer in the headlights’ stare. After a week or so of dodges, the subcontractor confessed that this particular general contractor owed them money. When they received payment for our clients work, they applied the credit to older debts owed the contractor. Under some pressure from our office, they agreed that their ‘creative accounting’ was inaccurate and released the lien on our client’s home.

 

Unlicensed contractors

Sumter Office / Sumter County

We were contacted by our clients’ daughter. She thought her 75 year old mother, who lives alone, had been cheated out of $8,800 by two contractors. Her mother had paid the general contractor $3,200 for gutters and under-trailer insulation work on her trailer. She had also paid a roofing contractor $5,600.00 for a new roof on her trailer. The daughter claimed that the little work that was done was shoddy and neither she nor her mother could get either contractor to return to complete the work. Our client was contacted and gave us permission to work through her daughter on these issues. When looking into these two contractors, we found that the general contractor’s license had been revoked because he was delinquent in filing reports with the Florida Department of State. The roofing contractor’s license had been revoked upon the death of the licensee so we were not sure why anyone was using his license. We were unsuccessful in contacting either contractor so we contacted the Lake County Code Enforcement Office and worked with them. After investigation, they issued citations to each contractor for unlicensed construction activity. Our client and her daughter had to hire someone else to complete the substandard work done by these two contractors.

 

Credit Card Interest On A Zero Balance

Sumter Office / Sumter County

Our 75 year client came to the Sumter County Office out of frustration. He had received a credit card bill for $2.31 for interest but his balance was zero! He could not get anyone at his bank or the credit card company to even listen to him over such a piddling amount. He had paid his balance in full and cancelled the card in early July, 2016. He got an August statement showing a zero beginning balance, no purchases, and $2.31 in interest charges for purchases made in July. To protect his good name and credit, he paid the bill but now wants an explanation and his money back. We contacted the bank for an explanation. They could offer none and agreed to send him a check for the erroneous $2.31 charges that he paid.

 

Fake Passport Exposes Catfish Scam

Sumter Office / Sumter County

Our 82 year old female client was referred to this Office by AAA when she tried to purchase an overseas airline ticket for her “boyfriend”. Her story was that she has been in an online relationship with “Bill” for many months but has never met him in person. Over these months she has sent him in money orders, almost $50,000 – all overseas. He recently asked for $5,000 for bail in Egypt where he was arrested.

She planned to send him the money but, thinking ahead, figured he would also need an airline ticket to leave Egypt. She had a copy of his passport so she went to AAA to purchase his airline ticket and was going to send the $5,000 and the ticket to him together. AAA advised her that the passport was a fake and sent her to us. We explained catfish scams to her and she saw the light.

As an aside, she got three texts from “Bill” while she was sitting in our office. We took her copy of the passport to the Passport Clerk at the Sumter Count Court Clerk’s Office who confirmed that it was fake (several factors led to this conclusion). They will pursue the fake passport issue with the U.S. Department of State. We convinced the client NOT to send the $5000.00 she had in hand to “Bill” and let her know there was nothing we could do about the $50,000.00 she had already sent overseas via money orders. We closed our case as transferred to the U.S. Department of State, Passport Control Office.

 

Bad Investment

Citrus Office / Citrus County / Lee Alexander Manager

The complainant came to our Office in October to seek assistance with a financial issue she was having. A year prior she had signed up for what she thought was an investment but actually turned out to be an insurance policy that was paid in advance. The complainant stated she had tried to get refund but the company refused. The case was assigned to Don Dittemore who is a retired investment broker. He was able to contact the assigned agent and negotiate a resolution which recovered $527,000 of the initial $530,000 payment. The $3,000 was kept to cover the 12 months of coverage that the complainant had received during the life of the policy.

 

Overcharging For Ultraviolet Light

Citrus Office / Citrus County

The complainant came into our office in August to seek assistance with an issue he was having with a local air conditioning company. He had them install an ultra-violet light on his system, however, they had charge him $2,100 for the product and he felt that was too expensive. We contacted the air conditioning company and spoke to them regarding the industry standard value of such a product and the company agreed to return $1,750 to the complainant.

 

Reluctant Painter

Citrus Office / Citrus County

The complainant came into our Office in March seeking assistance with a problem she was having with a painting contractor. The complainant stated she had paid the contractor $1,200 in advance and that he had only showed up one day and done some minor work. When he did not return she tried for three weeks to get a hold of him without success. When she finally did get a hold of him he gave her reasons as to the delay and continued to stall doing the work. As a result, she came to see us. After a few phone calls and a couple conversations the contractor finally came out and completed the work to the satisfaction of the complainant resulting in a realized gain of $4,375.

 

Landscapping Not Done

Leesburg Office / Lake County / Richard Hunnicut Manager

A landscaper in Lady Lake would not refund our client’s $500 for bi-monthly trimmings and clean-up. This was part of a total $775 agreement, of which $275 was paid in advance for the initial trimmings and clean up. Landscaper was contacted several times and agreed to refund the unused portion.  The $500 was refunded in two stages - $300 and then $200. Client received and was very satisfied.

 

Car Dealer Overcharges

Leesburg Office / Lake County

Local used car dealer overcharged on a car sale. The sticker price was lower than contract price due to unexplained charges on the contract. There were duplicate charges for delivery on the contract and the clients wanted $2,637 refunded.

We contacted the dealer and learned the business had been sold.  In the meantime, the " New” general manager seemed sincere in wanting to make this right. We advised the clients to go back and talk with the new general manager.

Our clients came in the following week with a thank you card and advised they had received a refund of $1988, and were quite satisfied and appreciative of our assistance.

 

Time Share Hustle

Marion Office / Marion County / Don Henry Manager

Our complainants were the owners of a Time Share and were contacted by the sales department of the club owner. The complainants were offered an additional time share for an additional $6,617. The complaints were told the time periods available and they were agreeable.

After purchasing the second time share the complainants discovered this time share was in a location they did not want, and at times she and her husband would not be available.

Calls were made to the time share sales department in attempts to cancel this sale to no avail. They were told that any cancellation had to be made in the first 10 days after the signing of the contract. The complaints stated they had attempted to cancel during the first 10 days, and were given the "run around" by the salesman.

The Marion (The Villages) Office made contact with the time share sales department and over 2 months of negotiations were able to have the complainants $6,617 returned.

 

Another Timeshare Hustle

Marion Office / Marion County

ln another time- share case, the complainant went to a "Meet and Greet' at a local restaurant, which she thought was arranged by the company she purchased her original time share from. She went there to sell that original time share. She was met by a sales person who she thought was from the company she had previously purchased a time share from. Her intentions were to sell the time share she had. The sales person said he could do this.

She was told it would cost her $5,548 in administrative, legal, and other costs.

She was given papers to sign, These papers were actually agreements to sell her old time share, for $4,900 given as a credit and purchase a new tIme share for $ 5548, which the complainant paid by using her credit card.

When the Marion (The Villages) Office contacted the vendor, they were told the salesperson had recorded the conversation with the complainant and that the complainant knew exactly what she was doing, and the vendor will never return any money.

Fortunately the complainant had not given the salesperson the title for the original time share.

The complainant was advised to contact her credit card company and start a "Dispute Resolution Process"" The credit card company declined the complainants request.

After conferring with Department of Business and Professional Regulation it was discovered that the vendor was not licensed to sell time shares in this state. Since the vendor was not licensed in this state, the Department advised that they had no authority over this company.

Over a three-month period, Seniors vs. Crime conducted continuing negotiations with the vendor.

After the vendor would not provide a copy of the tape and was advised that taping a conversation without permission is a crime in Florida it was found that there really was no tape.

After being asked by the vendor "Well, whats your next move?" and telling them we would contact the Federal Trade Commission, the vendor decided to refund our client $5,548.

 

Shall We Dance?  Costly Tango Lessons

Clermont Office / Lake County / Dave Linderman Manager

In brief, the victim of the reported scheme is the 71-year old mother of our client, who is an attorney in her own state of residence, and more important, a concerned daughter. 

Following the death of our client’s father in 2013, the mother joined with a number friends of similar circumstance to take up ballroom dancing with a local center established in 1995.  Over the months and years that follow the development of the reported scheme, the group joined with the owner/instructors, on annual ship cruises and other events to promote the business and dedication of each client to the their enjoyment of dance. 

This relationship was very successful, and exceedingly profitable for the business, on a case-by-case basis, of course. 

Our client became concerned when her mother was scheduled for knee replacement surgery, and the business owner/instructor, asked that she sign an 80-lesson contract to ensure her standing, and his income, while she was away.  The client filed with this Office in November, citing her concern of exploitation of an elderly person.  Once the check history was revealed by the mother, it became painfully clear to our client that the documented expenditure of some $200,000 from 2014-2016, was alarming.

 Each half-hour session at the rate $54.00, the cruises and other sponsored activities, were under detailed contracts and upheld by an attorney.  Our investigation revealed no complaints, anywhere, plus a long-standing business relationship within the Community. 

Once our client, with her mother, summarized the investment they agreed to end their relationship with the business. 

Without disclosing the investigation by this Office, our client set about to cancel the remaining contract totaling $7,634.  Funds have been returned to the client.  The case has been closed with satisfaction.  A brief is being prepared for the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau detailing the scheme, as there appear to be multiple victims over several years of operation.

 

Water Heater Leaked

Gainesville Office / Alachua County / John Caravella Manager

Complainant reported purchasing a new $5,000 water heater for her home.  Soon after installation, the water heater began to leak and the vendor refused to communicate in any way with her so the complainant contacted Seniors vs. Crime.  Shortly after this office reached out to the vendor about the complaint, the vendor immediately made contact with the complainant.  In short order the vendor replaced the hot water heater without any further cost to the complainant.  This case file was closed within one month as a $5,000 realized gain for the complainant.

 

Unfinished Pool Now Finished

Gainesville Office / Alachua County

Customer contracted during January 2016 for immediate installation of a swimming pool valued at $13,565.  By May 2016 installation had not begun and the vendor sought a new contract to extend the installation date.  The vendor began installation, but left important aspects of the job unfinished with no apparent desire to complete the job.  The vendor further refused to hook up the pool’s filter system as of July 2016 after having been paid in full in May.  The customer informed the vendor of her intent to contact Seniors vs. Crime to resolve all issues.  Upon her so informing the vendor, the vendor quickly responded to her home and immediately finished all contracted work and arranged for a permit final inspection.  The pool passed inspection and the customer was finally satisfied after threatening involvement of this Seniors vs. Crime office.  This case file was closed as a $13,565 realized gain for the customer.

 

Suspicious Car Deal Voided

Gainesville Office / Alachua County

Complainant stated she was interested in a new car purchase for her daughter.  She went to a dealer on a Friday and picked out a new car, but only wanted it “held”, not purchased, until later in the day so that her husband could inspect it and approve a purchase.  Complainant stated she was presented with an electronic signature pad (Docupad) to place the vehicle “on hold” for her husband.  She stated she electronically signed a number of documents to hold the vehicle and continued on to her job.  Her husband later went to the dealer at which time he was given keys to a used vehicle by the sales person along with signed documents showing that his wife had purchased the vehicle for which he was being given the keys.  Her husband protested, but the sales person stated the sale was final.  He left with the car.  On Monday she returned the vehicle and keys to the dealer; however, the dealer would not void the “sale” so she contacted Seniors vs. Crime.  This Office reviewed the documents and found a contract sentence that addressed placing a “Deposit” on a vehicle and then queried the dealer’s possible manipulation of electronic signatures.  The dealer voided the “sale” without further comment and $28,867 worth of financing was voided.

 

Customer Charged For Unordered Extras

Gainesville Office / Alachua County

Customer bought a new vehicle and later noticed the sale contract included extras and warranties the customer did not want or order.  The dealer told the customer that extra services and warranties could not be cancelled and refused to help or discuss anything further with the customer.  The customer then contacted Seniors vs. Crime.  This Office reviewed all the sale documents and determined from past case files involving this dealer that it has the ability to cancel extra services and warranties.  A documents review also showed that the vehicle listed on the sale documents by VIN and stock number did not exactly match the vehicle in the customer’s possession.  With assistance from this Office, the customer filed a claim with the dealer’s bond company after which the dealer reached out to customer to resolve all issues.  The customer no longer owned the vehicle, yet the dealer and customer agreed to settle for $7,500 of the original $8,300 claimed against the bond company.  The customer was very satisfied with the recovery, assistance and guidance from Seniors vs. Crime.

 

Landscape / Handyman Company

Escambia Office / Escambia County

A man came into the office and advised that he had hired a company on 1-21-2016 to replace his pool liner. He paid $3,425 for the work. The company did not replace the liner but only removed the light and the steps. The man made repeated attempts to contact the company to come out and finish the job.

We attempted to get in touch with the company several times by phone and letter but were unsuccessful. The man said he was so frustrated that he was not going to pursue it any further. The office manager explained that he could pursue other avenues. If the contractor had done it to him, he had probably done it to others. He contacted the Department of Agriculture and a case was opened. The Escambia Office furnished the Department of Agriculture with all information we had developed.

 

Contractor Dispute

Escambia Office / Escambia Office

A complaint against a contractor she had hired to fix flood damage caused by a broken pipe she had to her house. She wanted the damage fixed so she could sell the house. After the contactor fixed the water damage, he asked if she needed some more remodeling done. The contractor said he had a license to do home renovations, fire and water damage. They agreed on $17,000 for the remodeling and a contract written. After 9 months of barely working on the house the contractor offered to place a contract to buy the home. He offered $100,000. The woman agreed. All work stopped on the home and several closing dates came and when.  Our manager told her that she should think about filing a complaint with the DBPR and possibly the county building Dept. She said she would think about it. 

On 11-17-2017, the manager was following up with the woman and she told him that she had signed an agreement to settle for $5,000 back. She was very happy and thanked us for all our help.

 

Hotel Problem

Escambia Office / Escambia Office

A man came into the office on July 27, to file a complaint against a hotel that would not refund his deposit. The man had made a reservation with the hotel through a third party booking site in May. The stay was for one-night.  When he arrived at the hotel, the room was in filthy condition. Upon complaining to the night management, the man was advised he would receive a full refund of his $73.00. After numerous calls and messages, he came to us for help. We were able to get to the Coordinator, Executive Customer Relations Reputation Management. She agreed to refund the base price for the room $58.52 exclusive of taxes. The Man contacted us on Spept.26 to let us know he received his refund. He thanked us for helping him even though it was a small amount.

 

Mortgage Company Gone Wrong

Tallahassee Office / Leon County

We had an older female come to us with issues with her new mortgage company.  She never had a problem until a new company bought out the mortgage.  She always carried her own insurance and pad taxes without using escrow.  They started charging her for insurance and saying she had not paid her taxes.   She came to us when two of her monthly payments had been returned without being applied to her mortgage.  When we called we found out the new mortgage company had done a modification without her knowledge and started foreclosure proceedings.  The Attorney General’s Office got involved with this and as of this date the court hearing was held but we don’t have the judgment yet, however she is still in her house and now the mortgage company is accepting her monthly payments.  There is also a class action lawsuit against this mortgage company still pending.

 

 

Get Well Seminar Taking Money and Risking Health

Tallahassee Office / Leon Count

Three individuals came to us indicating they had been to a seminar to allow people to stop taking medicines and achieve health naturally, however with a huge price to buy into the plan.  The individual running the program offered a “plan” to get healthy.  The three individuals indicated there was a lot of pressure to sign up and they were not allowed to look over the contract.  The individuals doing the sales part would distract them from reading the contract and tell them, they did not need to read it.  One couple bought into the plan for over $7,000, which they had to finance through the company of the individual pitching the get-well plan.  Another individual put the charge for the plan on her credit card.   Both had serious repercussions to their health and almost ended up in the hospital.   They could not contact anyone from the company for help and came to us.  This is another case the attorney general took over to investigate as this individual was having the get well seminars not only here but also all over Florida and the United States.

 

Can You Hear Me Now

Tallahassee Office / Leon County

We had an individual come to us for help with her cell phone bill.  She had switched contracts but then gone back with the original company.  She had tried to 6 months to get the bill straightened out and could not.  Her initial payment to buy out the old contract and phone had been misapplied to her new contract when she returned.  She then paid for the old contract buy out but it still left the initial payment.  This was applied to her new billing cycle with the new contract so she was having a credit each month, but was being charged a late fee.  After numerous calls to the cell phone provider and speaking with numerous individuals we finally made them understand, she could not have a late fee every month if she had a credit against the account.    The woman was issued a credit for all the late fees issued against her account. 

 

New Car Contract Discrepancy

Tallahassee Office / Leon County

An older woman came to us with a problem with the amount she paid for a new car.   She had all the invoices and the amount shown appeared to be different on the sticker from what she was told she owed.  She felt pressure to sign and did pay what they told her she owed.  She later came in asking us for help as she had tried to contact the sales person and then later the manager and no one would return her call.  We called and spoke with the general manager regarding the issue and he checked on this and indicated that if she would come out to the dealership that day he would issue a refund for the amount that was in question.  She went out that day and received the $267.00 check for the difference.

 

 Car Problem

Crestview Office / Okaloosa County

Client purchased used auto from a dealer in Ft. Walton Beach on 12/27/14 with 7000 miles. Car was returned to dealer with 13000 miles on it with transmission problems. Dealer explained that this is a problem known to the dealer and the car manufacturer. Problem continued after replacement of clutch. It took five trips back to dealer.

In August 2016, the Crestview Office opened a case on the complaint. We worked with client and local dealer. The dealer was very helpful and contacted the manufacturers engineering department. Engineer and dealer worked by phone on several solutions and none fixed the problem.  In September 2016, the engineer came to Crestview to work on the problem. The engineer ordered a new transmission sent to the dealer and installed in the car. The car remained at the dealer for the entire time. A rental was furnished to the Client at no charge.  The car is now performing well. The Crestview office assistance helped to get a new transmission for the client at no cost to her. The cost of a new transmission and installation would have been $4000.00.

 

 Dental Clinic

 Crestview Office / Okaloosa County

We were able to recover $3,519.17 for client from a dental surgeon's office located in Freeport, Florida.  A woman claimed that she had incurred additional charges from another dentist after she had work done on her teeth at a Dental Clinic due to them having done a root canal and left it exposed for far too long before completion of the crown.

 

Contractor Problem

Crestview Office / Okaloosa County

We were able to recover $21,635.00 for a woman. A builder took a deposit from her for $21,635.00, but she never moved into the home that she had contracted with them to complete for her.  She waited several months for the completion of the home only to find that they had sold the home to someone else and when she asked for a refund of her down payment, she was informed, that she had forfeited the money by not moving forward to move into that home. After two phone calls to the management offices of the builder, they advised that they had just mailed a refund for $21,635.00 to the woman. The Client confirmed she had received of her check. She was very grateful for all our help.

 

Concrete Contractor

Navarre Office / Santa Rosa County

Client called the office, on Jan. 19, for help with a concrete contractor. We sent him the paperwork and opened the case. Paper work was received on Jan 26. We contacted the contractor the same day. The contractor indicated that he would stop by the clients’ house with the money the following Monday. The client indicated that the contractor did not show. We contacted the contractor. He told us that he was going to deposit a check from another job and call the client to set up another time to pay him. On Feb 2, the client called to say that he had received his check for the full amount ($1120). The thanked for all our help.

 

Refrigerator Warranty

Navarre Office / Santa Rosa County

Client filed a complaint through the Attorney General’s Office about a company that would not honor his warranty. The stainless steel refrigerator was purchased directly from the manufacturer at the end of 2015. The doors started to rust. The client called the company. The company said that they would order a new set of doors. After 10 weeks, the client still had not received the doors. The company checked their records and said the order was never placed. The company placed another order, and stated the doors would be there in 2 weeks. In March, the second set of doors also started to rust. He contacted us for help in June.  We contacted Customer service at the manufacturer to get the client resolution.  The manufacturer called the client in the beginning of July to replace the refrigerator.

The client called us to express his thanks. (Realized gain $1000).

 

Boat problems

Navarre Office / Santa Rosa County

In 2013, our client bought a new boat. He had problems right from the start. He contacted the company where he bought the boat. He brought the boat back there many times. He continued to have problems. Our client requested his money back. In April of 2016, he filed a complaint with the Attorney Generals’ Office. We contacted the client to have him fill out paperwork. Received paperwork in May. We contacted the company. They sent us all the correspondence they had from the client. At the end of May, the client called to say he was willing to meet with the company representative. In June, the client called us to say he had accepted the company offer of $5000 for the boat.  He wished he had come to us sooner. He was very thankful.

 

Car Dealership Problem

Navarre Office / Santa Rosa County

Client filed complaint through Attorney Generals’ Office. Client purchased used car from dealership on June 8, 2016. Thirty minutes after leaving with the car, the check engine light came on. Client notified the dealership. On June 13, 2016, the client returned to the dealership for repair. Four hours later, he was told the car was fixed. I had to pay $176 for a part. Client drove car about 20 minutes when light came on again. Client returned to dealership the same day. Service Dept. stated that after another diagnostic the problem was a stored code that they cleared. On June 14, 2016, client left for Atlanta, Ga. After driving for 2 hours, the check engine light came on again. Client again called the dealership again to let them know of the problem. Client also stated he was not satisfied with the vehicle due to this constant problem. The client told the dealership that he was rejecting the vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act. We contacted the dealership on behalf of the client on June 26, 2016. On August 4, 2016, the client called to say the dealership had replaced the car. (Realized gain $16,474)  The client was very grateful for our help.

A man came into the office and advised that he had hired a company on January 1, 2016 to replace his pool liner. He paid $3,425 for the work. The company did not replace the liner but only removed the light and the steps. The man made repeated attempts to contact the company to come out and finish the job.

We attempted to get in touch with the company several times by phone and letter but were unsuccessful. The man said he was so frustrated that he was not going to pursue it any further. The Manager explained, there were other avenues he could pursue. If the contractor had done it to him, he had probably done it to others. He contacted the Department of Agriculture and a case was opened. The Escambia Office furnished the Department of Agriculture with all information we had developed.

 

 

 

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