Questions, we get questions….

It’s been more than a year since I ran this feature. I want to hear from blog readers about what they would do.

I have two dilemmas for which I’d like your input — an email privacy issue with Sears Canada and a computer purchase problem with The Source.

Dear blog readers, please tell me what you think is fair. Since these are fairly long, I’ll post the details below.

Author: Ellen Roseman

Consumer advocate and personal finance author and instructor.

7 thoughts on “Questions, we get questions….”

  1. I am in need of some help.

    As a Christmas surprise for my parents, my boyfriend and I bought a TV from Best Buy in Markville Mall (Ontario, Canada).

    We bring it home and find a crack on the screen. We try to exchange it at Best Buy. Turns out, Best Buy has a policy where they don’t take back products with physical damage. (None of this is mentioned on the back of the receipt.)

    They tell us to contact the manufacturer Toshiba. Manufacturer tells us to complain to Best Buy. We did both and filed a complaint against the Markville Mall Best Buy store.

    Best Buy has not responded within the 48 hours they promised they would. So now we are taking the social media route and going viral with this story.

    Facebook group:

    Digg video:

    YouTube video:

    Please help us in any way you can.

    It would be greatly appreciated by myself, my boyfriend and my family.


    Shannon Kidd, Best Buy spokeswoman:

    Hi Ellen,

    Looks like the store will be exchanging the TV this evening.

    Best wishes


  2. I had an issue with Amex and I am not sure how to go about resolving it.

    Just so you are aware, I am an excellent customer. I always pay my statement by the due date and I have money saved in their Investment Savings account.

    I shop at Costco at least three times a month and on one particular day my Amex was declined. Costco only accepts Amex as credit card payment. I did not have any cash or debit card with me.

    The cashier told me to call the bank to verify details of my purchase. I called Amex to find out what was going on and they couldn’t understand why my card was declined (I had plenty of credit).

    As I was on the phone with them, they realized that there was an issue with their phone system. It took an overall 20 minutes to sort out this issue.

    As I was on way to work, I called Amex back to ask what had happened. I was told it was a issue that Amex had with the upgrading of their system.

    At that point, I was late for work and had already accumulated 30 minutes of talk time on my cell. I informed the rep that I would like to be compensated for my air time minutes that I had to use as they resolved the issue.

    The representative kindly informed that it would be best to call back the next day so they could help me with this issue (process).

    I phoned Amex back the next day only to find out that they do not compensate anyone in this situation.

    I also mentioned that I was half hour late for work (lost pay) and the representative not so kindly informed me that technology fails all the time.

    She continued to say that if everyone complained about the blackout of 2003, what would companies do back then? How do we compare a mass blackout to one company’s issues of computer upgrading failure?

    I was also told that she is a consumer as well and it is to be expected for these things to occur. I wonder what she would feel like losing a half hour’s worth of pay and 30 minutes of air time, not to mention me having to explain to my boss what had happened?

    Hopefully I was able to get my issue across. What do you think of this situation?


    Two weeks later:

    Amex has yet to respond to my complaint, after you sent it to them and they acknowledged receiving it.

    I guess it’s not in their best interest.

    Thanks for your efforts.

  3. Have you written about the scam of Google Home Biz Kit?

    An average person like me found it quite easy to fall into the trap. The name Google convinced me not to worry much and hence not do the due diligence. I was cheated of $170.

    In a time when people need to find other ways to make some income, I’m sure there’re millions of people like myself who have fallen prey.

    This article describes clearly how the scam works:

    I was surfing on an online dictionary,, and saw an ad about home biz by Google, so I clicked on that ad and it directed me to another site.

    On that site was a news article on an unemployed American housewife. She lost her job and then joined the Google home biz and made a few thousand dollars in a few months.

    In the article, there was an ad for the Google Home Biz Kit, only USD $1.99 for ordering a set-up kit, and another ad for online biz material, set-up fee is also $1.99.

    So I clicked on these ads and answered a simple questionaire. A new page popped up asking me to sign up for these two kits.

    There were no mention of any monthly subscription until I checked my credit card statement. I found that I was billed $79.90 and $79.86 by 2 companies. They had 1-800 numbers beside their names. I called these two numbers.

    Both companies said that the monthly subscription requirement is listed within the terms and conditions. I can tell this old tactic is very successful, as the reps of both companies are very “glad” to stop my subscription.

    Now they had stopped charging my card. But this scam had cost me CAD $177.99.

    I think most internet users will not know that Google AdSense doesn’t cost a cent to sign up, nor do they need any kit to set up the account. So even though I stopped the “subscription”, my account with AdSense is still on.

    Obviously, the fraudsters are using the name of Google to trap people. They are able to place the Google logo onto their pages.

    I wonder if Google is aware of this scam. I tried to email Google for an answer and didn’t get any result.

    This has the sample pages that I am trapped in.

  4. > I had an issue with Amex and I am not sure how to go about resolving it.

    “Arrogant Excess” screwed me over some 20 years ago. They declined my card at a foreign hotel causing me embarrassment in front of business colleagues. Then, when I refused to pay what they considered to be my outstanding balance they sent my account to collections. This, even though I’d sent photocopies of all payments directly to the CEO in NY (James Robinson III.) Ultimately it turned out that they’d credited my last payment cheque to the wrong account.

    I never received an apology for their pathetic behaviour, I’ve never used their cards since, and I’m resolved to post this information as broadly as possible in order to discourage others from doing business with Arrogant Excess.

  5. In November 2009 I received a rather harsh voice mail from a representative at Penningtons stating that I had spent my said gift certificate. Since I get home after 5pm, I returned the call and said politely in my voice mail, how was it possible that I spent said gift certificate if it was in my hands? The next evening any even more rude voice mail was, too bad it’s expired and we owe you nothing. The kicker is, the certificate was issued in April of 2006, it was mailed May 2006. It arrived in my mailbox November 10th 2009. I have been at my current address since September 2005. Go figure. I have to say I was extremely offended by the rudeness of the customer service rep that left me the voice mails. I consider myself to be a very good customer of Penningtons, yet to treat any customer the way, is poor business practice. Did I mention I have a big mouth? I’ve have spread the word pretty far and wide already. I know their system can show a pattern of how I spend my money and my gc, so they should know I spend my gc shortly <1mth after receiving them. Guess they just don’t care. Thanks for letting me vent, AGAIN!

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