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Online apparel company refuses to refund $239

Updated: January 23, 2012 3:50AM



This was originally published in the SouthtownStar on Sept. 18, 2011.

Dear Fixer: I placed an order with Elegant Family Fashions on April 27 for a ladies church suit.

I called on May 9 and talked to a woman named Yolanda about the order. She informed me that the item was out of stock. I asked for a refund and was told that it was being processed.

In June, I sent them a fax asking about the refund.

As of my July credit card statement, it has not been refunded. Also, my calls to Elegant Family Fashions have not been returned.

I called PayPal, which processed the payment, and they said that after 45 days there was nothing they could do, but they would send the company an email as a courtesy.

Please, I need your help — $239 is a lot to give away.

Mildred Holifield, Chicago

Dear Mildred: You’re absolutely right — $239 is a lot to give away. And so far, Elegant Family Fashions has been less than elegant in getting that money back in your pocket.

We first contacted the Houston-based online clothing merchant back on Aug. 8. Right away, we got a very apologetic response from a manager.

In an email to The Fixer, the manager acknowledged that PayPal had notified them of the problem and that they had found that you had a credit with them. They told us they had “no problem” giving you a refund of the money.

“We are not sure where the miscommunication took place, but around the time that Ms. Holifield placed her order with us, we were in the midst of a very busy Spring Holiday Season!” the email went on. The manager promised to contact you “ASAP” and resolve the matter “expeditiously.”

Since then, both you and The Fixer have gotten only silence from Elegant Family Fashions, despite numerous attempts to get some answers.

We are not sure where the miscommunication took place, but we’re pretty certain that this time, there is no “Spring Holiday Season!” to blame.

Let us know if you ever get your $239 back. If you do, we’ll run an update about it in the column.

Consumer’s tale of woe

Today’s tale of woe is from A.W. of Lake Zurich, who has a nagging feeling that she didn’t get her money’s worth when she hired a plumbing and sewerage company.

It started when she walked into her laundry room and found water and black dirt coming up from the pipes.

“What an awful smell,” she wrote The Fixer. “I went to flush the downstairs toilet, which is near the laundry room, and found it was filling up with water and the laundry room floor was filling up with more water and dirt.”

She quickly called the plumbing and sewerage service. A guy showed up with a camera and some cable and soon said he found the cause of the problem. He fixed it and handed A.W. a bill for $495.

“I was not informed of the pricing till after the job,” she wrote. “Should he have looked outside at the entrance to the pipe? Would it have been cheaper? I think I was taken advantage of.”

Later, her husband complained and got a $50 credit. A.W. still felt ripped off, but at least she learned one thing from this episode: Never let a service person start the job until you know exactly what he or she is doing and exactly what it will cost. (Also, make sure you know whether there’s a fee just for the guy to come out and look at the problem.)

And while we know that bubbling-up sewage can be awfully distressing, a quick Google search for complaints against a company is a good idea, too.

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.



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