Below is a copy of a letter sent to the FTC about
12 March 2005
PO Box XXXX
Cedar Crest, NM 87008
Division of Credit Practices
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580
RE: BankOne Cardmember Services, P.O. Box 15298, Wilmington, DE, 19850-5298
On January 29, 2005 I contacted my credit card company (Bank One) to dispute a charge to my account (last four digits: XXX). That information is quoted below in italics:
The name of the merchant: Outwest Stoves and Spas
The dollar amount.: 1564.42
The transaction date.: 11/27/2004
On November 27, 2004 I purchased a Country CA-160 Insert Wood Stove from Outwest. On December 9, 2004 the stove was installed.
At the end of the installation, the installer mentioned several problems that he stated should be addressed:
1. The unit was a used unit. It had been previously installed in another home. When it would not fit there, it was then installed in my home. I support the use of used products; however, I do not believe I should pay new retail price for a used item. The condition of the stove was not mentioned to me at the time of the purchase.
2. Smoke exits from the top of the stove while the unit is heating. The installer stated that this is not normal and if it continues it should be repaired. He hoped that after a day or two of operation the problem may resolve itself. As of the date of this letter, the problem continues.
3. The faceplate of the unit leaves a 2-3 gap above the unit and the fireplace. According to Dennis DXXXXX, East Mountain Bernalillo County Building Inspector (505-XXX-XXXX) this installation does not meet building codes as a person could insert their arm between the stove and fireplace. When I asked the County about the installation, they stated that a building permit was required and that no record of such a permit existed.
I have contacted the company on numerous occasions via phone, fax, and visiting the store (12/13/2004,12/18/2004,1/20/2005). At no point has the company returned my calls/faxes/visits to remedy the problems.
A fair resolution would be refund of a portion of the purchase price (i.e 15% or so) to adjust for the condition of the stove or be provided a blower or other equipment of comparable value, the smoking problem fixed, and the faceplate replaced with an appropriate sized piece.
Attached please find my recent inquiry to the Better Business Bureau which seems to suggest I am not alone in having difficulty with this particular company.
As of March 12, 2005 I had not received any response from the credit card company. I called their number (888-305-4016) was told that the above information was not adequate for them to process the dispute. When I asked what they needed they stated they needed the dates I contacted the company and their responses. I explained that the above information was there. They then responded that a second opinion' letter was required. I asked how a person could provide a second opinion that the unit was used prior to installation. She then asked if I had returned the item. I asked her how I was to return a 500 lb fireplace that was installed in my wall.
As can be easily shown, there is a large gap between the fireplace and the mantel. Also, to the left and right of the word Country is where the smoke continues to come out.
I am appalled at the lack of assistance First One has provided on this. I will be canceling this credit account as I will not provide business to a company that does not serve its customers. I also would hope that your office can provide some assistance in dealing with the disputed amount.
I appreciate your assistance and look forward to your response.
Cedar crest, New Mexico
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Bank One STOP! ..before you think about using the Better Business Bureau (BBB)... CLICK HERE to see how other consumers were victimized by the BBB's false or misleading information. Don't be fooled! It has been reported, when there are thousands of complaints and other investigations underway by authorities, the BBB has no choice but to finally give an UNsatisfactory rating to a BBB member business that is paying the BBB big membership fees every year. When a business is reported that is NOT a BBB member, BBB files WILL more likely show an UNsatisfactory rating, then reportedly shake down that company to become a member of the BBB. One positive thing about the BBB is, either way, if a business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, you can be sure, the business is bad. But what about all those BBB member businesses that had complaints filed against them? Consumers never get to hear about them. What about the BBB advertising to the public? Is this a false and misleading perception they are giving about consumer confidence when dealing with a business? Click here to understand more of what consumers and business alike are saying about the BBB. You decide. ..Remember. The BBB membership is not earned, it's paid for!