Sometimes a problem needs fixing twice
By Stephanie Zimmermann March 11, 2011 7:36PM
Contact The Fixer
Are you being given the runaround over a consumer problem? Tell it to The Fixer at www.southtownstar.com, where you’ll find a simple form to fill out. If you don’t have a computer, you can mail a brief description of your problem, along with your name, address and telephone number, to: The Fixer, SouthtownStar, 6901 W. 159th St., Tinley Park, IL 60477. Please don’t send original documents. Because of the large volume of submissions, The Fixer cannot make personal replies. Letters are edited for length and clarity.
Updated: November 24, 2011 3:34AM
Dear Readers: Sometimes a fix is quick; other times we need to remember, to paraphrase Louis Pasteur, that our strength lies solely in our tenacity.
(That old “Hang in there, Baby” poster with the kitten dangling from a tree works well, too.)
That’s what we were thinking when we heard again from Fixer reader William Beck, of Crystal Lake.
In December, we wrote about Bill’s “Twilight Zone”-esque saga, in which he couldn’t locate his lost shares of Motorola stock. Until The Fixer took on Bill’s case, we’d never dreamed that a stock account could simply disappear. But Bill’s money was firmly in a black hole, having somehow vanished when the brokerage firm Bear Stearns collapsed. Bill was at his wits’ end, having been bounced from person to person in his quest to find the stock.
The Fixer didn’t have it much easier. Our search took us from the state treasurer’s office to Motorola to Morgan Stanley to Chase Bank, where someone finally determined that the stock was being held at BNY Mellon.
We connected Bill with an executive at Chase who walked him through the process to get the account back under his control and order replacement stock certificates.
Everyone at Fixer HQ was elated — Bill’s stocks would soon be back home!
But then, of course, it got gummed up, and Bill got stuck in BNY Mellon call-center limbo. Meanwhile, Motorola’s stock price was rising and Bill wanted his money.
So The Fixer went back and bugged a managing director at BNY Mellon. After about a month, the fix was back on track. BNY Mellon worked with Chase to free Bill’s shares and just last week they sent him a check for the cash value.
And now, to paraphrase Frederick Pabst: It’s time for a beer.
Dear Fixer: I was a good friend and caregiver to Jeanette, an elderly woman, for a little over five years. She resided in a rental apartment in Orland Park.
She passed away Dec. 13 at the age of 87.
The lease for the apartment had expired on Sept. 30, 2008, and all tenancy thereafter was assumed to be on a month-to-month basis only. Jeanette and another resident in the building told me they had not had a lease for two years.
After Jeanette died, I called her landlord (and owner of the building), Krzysztof Mscisz, on Dec. 29. He said he did not have to return the $800 security deposit because he was not given a 60-day notice. I told him I had paid $1,100 to have the apartment cleaned, including the carpets.
The landlord indicated he would return the security deposit only if he were able to rent the apartment before the end of January. We had three friends who called several times about the apartment, with no returned call from Mr. Mscisz.
My attorney wrote him a letter regarding the security deposit. He wrote back claiming that there were cigarette burns in the carpeting, and he had to have the carpeting replaced at a cost of $1,200; therefore he did not feel he needed to return the security deposit. I called the service that did the cleaning, and they told me there were no cigarette burns. Also, when I found the apartment for Jeanette in September 2005, the carpets were not in good condition, and it now is five years later.
Linda Caulk, Orland Park
Dear Linda: You told Team Fixer that you not only were Jeanette’s longtime caregiver, you also were the executor of her will. And this didn’t sit well with you.
You said the landlord also claimed that Jeanette’s walker had damaged the carpeting. But you told us Jeanette only used her walker outside the apartment.
We went to bat for you and reached out to the landlord, and in the meantime, you also filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court. We never did hear back from him, but soon after, he contacted you to offer to refund the security deposit.
You refused it, however, deciding instead to press on with the court case because “he needs to learn from this.” Please keep us posted on what happens in court.