Approximately 2 months ago my wife and I were looking to replace the countertops in our kitchen along with the carpet in our basement. We had a local company, Value Floors and Cabinets in Lindenhurst come out to give us a quote. We liked the look of the overall product and decided to go with them and signed the contract in our home that evening. We noticed after the representative, Jay, from Value Floors and Cabinets in Lindenhurst left that the quote didn't include the breakdown for the countertops and carpet and was very vague, so we left it at that and decided that we'd call them in the morning. I did call early the next morning to get a breakdown and I was in for quite a long day. I was told 1st that since we got such a good deal that they don't give breakdowns and secondly they never breakdown prices for their customers at all. After this conversation, I asked the person that I was speaking with that I'd appreciate the salesperson the night before from Value Floors and Countertops in Lindenhurst give me a call to discuss the situation. When I got the call back from the sales rep, Jay, I was curse at repeatedly and was told that on the contract it says there was a "No Refunds Policy" and told I was not getting my money back and at that point I told him that I wanted to cancel the order. After getting off the phone I quickly wrote a letter of cancellation for the order which my attorney and I have along with the fax confirmation. Then as I normally do every morning, I was looking at my business checking account, which my personal checking account is attached to and noticed my account was debited $3,000. Yes, $3,000. The company, even being a local one, charged my credit card for the money anyways. Immediately I called my bank, Chase Bank, and faxed them over the cancellation notice that faxed over to the Countertops company moments earlier. Immediately, the Chase claims department reversed the money right back into my account and did the right thing. Now that was mid-October. Let's fast forward to last Saturday, January 5, 2008. My wife and I took my daughter and 6 month old son to Toys R Us to buy accessories for my daughter's dollhouse she got for Christmas. As we were checking out, I paid of course using my debit card from my personal account and the card came back as declined. I again tried the card again and it came back declined, so I had to use another card. The cashier, I think just to humor me, said their system was having issues and it was probably ok. After going to Toys R Us, we went out for dinner. I tried using my personal debit card again and it also came back declined. At this point I knew something was very wrong. When we got home from dinner that same night, I checked my online account and noticed that it was debited that same $3,000 that day, which left my account in a negative balance. Hence this was why my card was being declined everywhere. I immediately called the claims department at Chase and was told to call back the next morning at 8am. I certainly did this the next morning. As I was talking to the claims rep she informed me of a few interesting things. 1st, the bank lost everything I'd faxed over the 1st time, and I mean everything. They lost the entire file. I was also told that the Countertops company sent them a letter that stated my wife and I refused accepting the countertops and carpet by not letting them in our house. This is of course a total and complete lie as we hadn't spoken with them since the day we cancelled the order. Thank god I'm an organized person and I rushed over to my office on a Sunday with my family and the woman from the claims department assured me that if I faxed everything over that day it would be handled correctly and she'd give me a call after receiving the fax. I asked her for her extension because this was obviously very important to me and she told me that no one in the claims department at Chase has an extension as it is only a call center. She did reassure me that she'd call me on my cell phone immediately after receiving the fax. I waited patiently with my family for about one hour after sending the fax and got no phone call. I called the claims department again to confirm that they received my fax and was told that the rep was on a break, apparently for an hour, and that they did receive the fax. I still was told by the other rep that I'd definitely have a response by Tuesday January, 8th, 2008. Of course no call on Tuesday. I went over to the local Libertyville branch on Wednesday the 9th to speak with them and after sitting with a banker for over an hour on the phone with the claims department, I was told the case was officially closed and there was nothing I could do. Interesting, huh? I was charged $3,000 for something that I not only cancelled, but also something I never received. It gets better. Chase is blaming the entire problem on Visa and yet the rip-off merchant, Value Floors and Cabinets in Lindenhurst, got away with the whole thing. Now as a consumer I now my rights now as I did when I cancelled the order only 14 hours after the salesperson left our house. According to the Illinois State Law or the "Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act", the consumer has a 3 day cancellation policy when purchasing goods over $1,000 from a contractor inside the consumer's home for Home Improvement or repair purposes.
The law is right here: http://www.ag.state.il.us/consumers/homeact.html
Also according to this law my wife and I were also supposed to be told about this law and furnished written documents regarding this law, which we of course never received. Anyways, it's sad to say that I'm out $3,000 right now and have Value Floors and Cabinets in Lindenhurst and Chase Bank to thank for that. As I mentioned previously. both my attorney and I have all the information you'll need to backup everything mentioned in this email. I thought I was being smart by going with a local contractor, however in the end next time I'll make a better decision and choose my contractor and my bank.