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Consumer Rights/On getting a refund from a merchant



I'm hoping you can help.  Last month I purchased an ABS pump motor for my Lincoln that was sold to me as a junkyard part with no guarantee.  It was sold as a final sale item BUT I was told by the merchant the item could be rebuilt and was even given the name and number of the rebuilder.  My mechanic installed the part and it proved to be not functioning.  I called the rebuilder and was told they don't rebuild that part anymore.  I made at least 50 phonecalls trying to find another company to rebuild this part with no luck.  Today, I called the merchant to find out if I could return the item.  They had told me no because it was final sale.  I called my credit card carrier who then called the same retailer and was denied again.  I would be fine with this had I not been told incorrect information up front.  Is there anything more I can do?  I don't think it's fair I should be out the money and stuck with a component that is useless.  Thanks in advance.

- Karl

Hello Karl,

First, the problem is that we ive in a world dominated by lawyers and the law, which already puts the consumer at a disadvantage and in answer to you question, is it fair? The answer is no. I deal with unfair situations all the time in which a person is unfortunate enough to get their vehicle stolen, only to be victimized by their insurance carrier as well.
The car is stolen, the victim reports the theft to the insurance company. The insurance company will use every tactic possible to investigate the claim and deny it, because according to them the vehicle is impossible to steal. They even have a forensic locksmith that will infer insured involvement because purportedly, the insured's key was the last one used.
The insured gets victimized again, by hiring an ignorant arrogant attorney (not all are that way, but many are) to chase ghosts and use his/hers legal strategy on issues involving the theft methodology of the vehicle, in which they have no clue as what they are talking about. The judge is ignorant and leaves these issues up to the ignorant attorneys to present in front of an ignorant jury.
In the mean time no matter if the case is won or lost in court, the insured's name is marked for life as committing fraud on a database accessible to all insurance companies. In other words, to prevent from paying a claim, the insured is charged and convicted by the insurance company without due process!
My job serving my clients under Power of Attorney is to right the wrongs here, and no, I am not an attorney, but 18 years experience in the court system as a very successful effective rebuttal expert, has given me the understanding of how screwed up our court system is in civil and criminal matters, and in my opinion, attorneys have made the consumer's world very difficult.

Arm chair quarterbacking your issue, you did not know, but at the time you bought this component, what you should have done is even though it was a final sale, had the stipulation placed on the receipt that if this component could not be rebuilt by ABC rebuilders, it could be returned to the seller and a full refund should go back to the purchaser including any shipping charges. This way, you would have it in writing which damn lawyers require for any litigation. I do not know what you paid for this bad component, hopefully not too much, but unfortunately, it will have o serve as a lesson learned.

When entering into a contract, which is what you did here, always look at the best way to protect yourself. They protected themselves with the final sale invoice and no returns. You can protect yourself by stipulating your terms in writing. If they won't work with you, you don't do business with them.

When I was young in Chicago, I bought a car. They told me that as soon as  signed the papers, they would make arrangements for replacing the tires and radio. I signed the papers and asked; When do I come in for the tires and radio? The answer was chilling, but it carried through my life. "You have nothing in writing stating we owe you tires or the radio, so you get nothing!"

It won't do a lot of good, but might make you feel better. You can notify the BBB and any consumer fraud agency in New York. They might look into it, and they might not.

Its too bad that we can trust no one any more, but that is just how it is.

It makes it difficult for me doing business across the US because our business is 100% Interne based. There are many scammers out there and the only thing people can rely on from me is my stellar reputation and my word. My ethics are based on Honor, honest and integrity and I have been fighting fraud successfully for 24 years.
In fact, it humbled me the other day, yet made me realize just how good I am at defending insureds ripped off from their insurance companies. A vice President, General Counsel (Head attorney of a prestigious law firm in NYC reached out to me to defend one of his relatives against an insurance company that denied their theft claim on a vehicle that still has not been recovered. It's interesting that insurance company defense firms have played our courts on hear say, speculation purported to be fact with no factual basis on the physical evidence.
The reason I went into what I do, is not to minimize your issue, but to illustrate that there are so many getting screwed by unscrupulous people.

I truly feel sorry about your situation and I have given you options you may or may not thought about. However, I hope this has served as a lesson to you when you purchase anything, whether it is a part, a car, a house. Caveat emptor--buyer be ware. Cover your butt and have everything that i in the conversation be put in writing. This guy could have called the rebuilder and found out they no longer serviced this component. Or, possibly he knew and just wanted it off the shelf.

Good luck o you and God Bless  

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Rob Painter


I am not an attorney, nor can I give legal advice. I can however answer questions related to stolen vehicles when the insured is denied payment due to misrepresentation. My goal is to sort through all the puported facts in order to determine the truth as to how the vehicle was last operated. I work for insurance companies and against them when their "Forensic Expert" did not do his job in an unbiased manner. Commonly these theft insurance denials are based on the information supplied in the "forensic" report on the vehicle. In most cases conclusions inferring the insured's key (proper key)was used last, based on net opinion with no basis. I scrutinize these reports as to what theories were or were not ruled out.


I have served as a consultant/expert for plaintiff & defense attorneys since 1998 in 14 different state jurisdictions as well as federal court. I was also the defense expert in a USAF court martials in which we prevailed. I do not take full credit for the prevailing side. It is a joint effort by the client attorney and my extensive knowledge on auto theft, forced entry, forensic ignition analysis, transponders, vehicle fire origin and cause etc.

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