ENGLEWOOD, Fla. - Your credit card usually provides extra insurance when you buy a big ticket item because you can challenge the charge on your card if you don't get what you paid for. A local disabled Vietnam veteran bought a new mechanical bed but never received it. He expected his credit card company to help and when they didn't, he made a "Call for Action."
For Englewood resident George Christos a mechanical bed wasn't just a luxury, it was a necessity.
"I am getting at least four to six hours of sleep now, where I was getting two before," he told WINK.
George spent four years in the Navy and fought in Vietnam. He says effects from Agent Orange have made sleeping painful.
"I had gone to a retailer here in Venice and purchased a $5,000 mechanical bed," he recalled.
Anxious for a good nights' sleep, George waited for his bed. And waited. And waited.
"I didn't receive anything," he said.
When the company didn't deliver on their promise, he turned to his credit card company to make the situation right.
"I called my credit card provider, Bank of America, and they reversed the charge... and I said now, OK, this was a dispute, and I need to go purchase a bed elsewhere. No problem. you're protected by Master Card, you've got nothing to worry about, you can sleep good tonight," George explained. So he went out and bought another bed.
"I go to Bed Pros and spend approximately $8,000, purchase a mechanical bed, they deliver it the next day."
Two weeks later, he says he received a surprise.
"Bank of America charges my card for $5,000 again. I called them up, what's going on? Retailer pushed back."
The retailer told the bank the store has a no refund policy. But now the mattress company is out of business, and George is still out $5,000 for a bed he never received.
"Bank of America let me down. All these commercials that they run on TV saying that 'you're protected'.... you've got nothing to worry about. There's no fine print down there that's yes you do have something to worry about," George said.
We contacted Bank of America. While they can't speak about specific customer situations, they did send us this statement:
"Generally speaking, in merchant disputes, Bank of America works on behalf of our customers but we also have to follow card association guidelines in placing a charge back to a merchant.
In some cases, when a merchant has a "no refund" policy, and offers only a store credit, the bank cannot process a chargeback."
However, there is still hope for George and others like him. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act established the "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau" to investigate credit card complaints on behalf of consumers. You can call 1-855-411-2372 to file a complaint or you can file one online by clicking on this link.
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