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Hang it! $4,635 for blinds that don’t close

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: May 9, 2012 9:57AM



This was originally published in the SouthtownStar on May 29, 2011.

Dear Fixer: We purchased Hunter-Douglas Luminette custom blinds for our sliding doors to our new home from the JCPenney store in Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee, and they were installed in May 2010.

The retail value was almost $6,000, although we got them on sale for $4,635.

We have had installers out to fix them three times — last October, December and January — as they do not hang properly. The fabric is twisted, the panes are bent and they don’t close properly. The last time, our salesperson came out and said they would be replaced.

Since then, JCPenney announced it was closing that store. Our salesperson relocated to Algonquin, where she is now head of the shoe department.

When I called the Algonquin store in March, another employee told me the blinds were never re-ordered. Since then, I have gotten the runaround (multiple phone calls, requests for photos) and a refusal from the rep at Hunter Douglas to replace them.

These blinds were very expensive and quite a splurge for us financially, as we are both retired. We should have a product that looks right and works well, considering how much we spent.

Marianne and Ken Holliday, Elgin

Dear Marianne and Ken: When we saw how much photographic and other evidence you’d amassed — not to mention the original promise that new blinds were being ordered — we figured JCPenney would have to be blind not to see that you deserve new blinds. And guess what — after we took this to their PR folks, that’s just what they said.

You soon heard from representatives at both Hunter Douglas and JCPenney. They have ordered new replacement blinds, which will be installed at no cost to you. They’ve also agreed to give you a new one-year warranty, which we hope you won’t need.

Crummy credit cards

The website CardHub.com said consumers should avoid these cards:

Visa Black Card: Sure, you get

1 percent cash back on all purchases, airport lounge access and promises of “luxury gifts,” but it comes with a price — a $495 annual fee and 14.99 percent APR.

Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card: Interest rates range from 9.24 to 18.24 percent with no rewards and no protection from arbitrary rate increases.

First PREMIER Bank Credit Card: You have to put up a $95 security deposit for a $300 credit line on this partially secured card, and it has a 49.9 percent APR, $75 first-year annual fee and $120 subsequent yearly membership fee. Yikes!

Costly lesson

Today we hear from Bill, who thought a home-based business would bring in some extra income. As a bonus, it involved selling vacation packages, so Bill could do a little traveling.

But after plunking down almost $4,300 in fees, plus another $1,200 for a website — not to mention buying sales leads that all turned out to be worthless — Bill realized he’d been taken for a ride (and it wasn’t to a resort). He couldn’t even redeem the vacation packages for himself.

“I have tried to get my money back, but my efforts have been futile,” Bill wrote The Fixer. “This is quite a scam.”

Bill paid dearly for this Costly Lesson, but you don’t have to. Don’t grab a “business opportunity” before thoroughly researching the company and its complaint history, knowing the marketplace and taking a hard look at your ability to succeed.



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