- Report: #2323
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Montgomery Ward
Montgomery Ward535 West Chicago Ave. Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.
Montgomery Ward FRAUD in service contracts
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Montgomery Ward sells a service contract on most items in its Electric Avenue. VCRs, TVs, camcorders, film cameras, digital cameras, stereos, etc. This contract may be called the "Silver Service" contract or the "Peace of Mind Ultra Protection" contract. It will be hard-sold to you for 1, 2,3, or five years at the time you purchase something from Wards.
The contract brochure sure looks impressive. You would THINK that you are covered for repairs for 1, 2, 3, or 5 years--and the "Ultra" service contract brochure promises "You Have Our Ultra Guarantees...Free Replacements and No Lemons! If we can't repair your product, you get a replacement product of comparable value at no charge. Let's face it. Even the best products occasionally break down. If your product breaks down because of defective parts or workmanship more than twice in the first year you own it, we'll replace it free. Absolutely no more lemons!"
Wow, that looks impressive, doesn't it? A reasonable person would think that, say if you bought a product and the five year plan, you are covered for a full five years no matter what happens, in the normal use of that product. But Wards IS NOT REASONABLE, WARDS IS A FRAUD.
AFTER you make your purchase, on the back of your register receipt, in VERY LIGHT GREY PRINT, is this: this is a DIRECT QUOTE: "This low cost service protection, if purchased, will provide for a one-time replacement or substitution based on a comparable product with like features and benefits of the covered product as a result of normal product use, for the time period indicated on the sales receipt. No cash refunds will be given for a substitution. This contract is limited to a one-time replacement only. Product Replacement consitutes fulfillment of this agreement and releases Montgomery Ward from all future obligations."
You won't even see that until you get home, and you'll need good eyesight.
In my case, I have been defrauded by Montgomery Ward on a $379.99 VCR plus the service contract I purchased on the same receipt. I had the original one in for service three times. The first time they kept it for about 30 days, and did not repair the problem (eating tapes) AND returned it with a defective timer caused by them! I sent it in a second time, they again kept it for about 30 days, and they did no repair at all! I sent it in a third time again they kept if for about 30 days, and it came back with the front all scratched up and I refused to accept it--I demanded a replacement. They had to special-order a replacement which took, you guessed it, about 30 days. When it arrived, the CLERK rang something through the register, still on my Wards charge, as a return of the first VCR, a refund of the service contract, a purchase of the new VCR, and a purchase of the new service contract, to a total of ZERO. Of course.
After a few months, the second one had the very same problem of eating tapes. I sent it in for repairs, they kept it for 30 days, and sent me a notice that repairs would be $300!!!!!!!!!!!!! They claimed it was not under warranty! (In fact it was STILL WITHIN THE MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY if nothing else, yet I still had months to go on the Wards "Ultra" service policy--I THOUGHT.
I refused to pay anything and I demanded my money back. I've been fighting with Wards ever since about this. The problem I have is that I have honestly misplaced, or perhaps discarded, the receipts for the exchange and all the previous service orders on the original and replacement unit. Guess what?---Wards can't seem to find all of the paperwork. No exchange credit/charge ever showed up on my Ward statement--there's nothing there at all. I would expect a credit for the originals and a charge for the replacements, but my Wards charge statement shows nothing at all. The service center cannot find the repair orders which led to the exchange, of course.
So without my paperwork, which I misplaced somewhere along the way with all the trips to their ^&%$^%$ service counter, I am SOL.
Consider this a WARNING to not buy anything at all from Montgomery Ward!!
For a most extreme example of their intentional fraud: On January 1, you buy a $500 VCR and the five year service contract, $150, total $650. You bring your VCR home, and it eats tapes. Jan 2 you return to the store, they don't have a replacement, they send it out for service. On Feb 1 you get it back, get back home, and find that now it eats tapes AND the timer doesn't work. You return it on Feb 2. They send it out for service. Mar 1 you return to the store to pick it up only to find that it has been scratched and dented; you refuse it and demand a replacement. 30 days later, April 1, you get the new one and they jimmy their register with a credit and a charge. You get home and find that your neew VCR eats tapes. You return it to the store Apr 2, the store sends it to the service center, and on May 1 you get a $500 repair bill. What happened to your $150 five year service contract? You DON'T HAVE ONE. The unit was REPLACED DUE TO DAMAGE BY THE WARDS SERVICE CENTER, and therefore your service contract is over, done with, gone. And you never had a single day where the VCR worked.
This quite a scam. It is no wonder that A MONTGOMERY WARD SERVICE CENTER WILL NOT REPAIR ANYTHING COVERED BY THEIR OWN SERVICE CONTRACT. They just waste your time, give you a "new" lemon, and get themselves off the hook. What a trick.
I do not think this is legal and I will contact the FTC. This is a nationwide FRAUD which may affact hundreds of thousands if not millions of people.
Please contact me if you have ever been given a runaround like this by Montgomery Ward.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/24/2000 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Montgomery-Ward/Chicago-Illinois-60671/Montgomery-Ward-FRAUD-in-service-contracts-2323. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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