Seller shipped wrong item

Dear Consumer Ed:  I responded to a classified ad from a Georgia-based seller for some red bamboo and paid the seller by check. The guy sent me the wrong plant (not even bamboo). When I called to request an exchange, he told me he would ship the correct plant to me and hold my check until I confirmed receipt. I’ve been waiting three months and haven’t received the correct plant. Furthermore, the guy cashed my check after promising to hold it and now refuses to refund my money. What can I do?

Overpayment Scams

Dear Consumer Ed:  I posted an item for sale online and received an email from an interested buyer, saying he wanted to send me a certified check. He said the check will cover the cost of the item plus the expense incurred by the person who will pick up the item on his behalf. I am being asked to deposit the check and then wire a portion to the person picking up the item. Do you think this is a scam?

Store lost my chainsaw I dropped off for repairs

Dear Consumer Ed:  I brought a chainsaw to a store for service. When I went back to pick it up, the store told me it had been lost or stolen. The owner offered to give me another used saw or a discount on a new saw. I am concerned that if I get another used saw, it may not be in the same condition as mine. I think the owner owes me my saw or a new one. What is the owner legally obligated to do?

Camp cancelled but won't refund deposit

Dear Consumer Ed: I put a deposit down on summer camp for my kids six months ago. Now camp has been cancelled for health and safety reasons due to COVID-19, but they won’t give me a refund. What do I do?

Is there a legal limit on restocking fees?

Dear Consumer Ed:  Is there a legal limit on restocking fees?

Furniture store refusing to give refund

Dear Consumer Ed:  I purchased a leather loveseat from a furniture store. Within the first week the leather started to fade. When I reported the problem to them, they said I could exchange it or get a store credit. I don’t want to buy any furniture from them because the quality of their products seems to be poor. I just want my money back.  Can they refuse to refund my money?

Jeweler charging customer for damage it caused

Dear Consumer Ed:  I recently took my fiancée’s engagement ring to a jeweler to get it re-sized.  A week later I got a call from the jeweler saying that one of the diamond baguettes had broken, and that I would need to pay $480 in cash to get the ring back. What can I do to make the jeweler fix the damage they caused?

Don't I have 3 days to cancel a sales contract?

Dear Consumer Ed:  We were recently talked into purchasing some expensive cookware following a very persuasive demonstration at a neighbor’s house.  We put a significant amount of money down and signed a contract to pay the rest. As soon as the cookware arrived, I realized I had made a mistake.

Can a merchant charge a restocking fee if merchandise was defective?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I bought a fender for a 1969 Chevelle from a parts store. I got the correct part, but it is defective and won’t line up correctly with the side of the car.  When I went to return the part, the parts company charged me a restocking fee.

Can grocery stores sell meat if package's vacuum seal is broken?

Dear Consumer Ed:  Can grocery stores sell meat in vacuum-sealed plastic packages if the seal is broken?  I’ve noticed several big name stores that will offer manager’s specials for such products, but I thought it was illegal to sell them if the vacuum seal is broken.