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A money-back guarantee with loopholes

Ronald Cook is regretting his decision to buy a kitchen item by phone.

Cook ordered a NuWave oven over the phone and was told it was guaranteed. If he was not satisfied with the product, he could return it for a refund.

Cook thought the infrared oven sounded like a good way to cook food quickly while reducing the amount of fat. So, he ordered one.

When the oven arrived, however, Cook was disappointed in its performance.

“It doesn’t do what it says it does,” he complained.

NuWave promises a money-back guarantee, but Cook was disappointed to find that the return policy did not include shipping, handling or postage for the return.

When he complained to the company, he was told that they would only return the money he paid for the oven itself. That meant he would not be reimbursed for the $39.60 he paid for shipping and handling or the $14.03 it cost to return the oven.

Cook said if that was their policy, he should have been told on the phone or it should be on their website. He wanted to tell his story to remind others to be sure they know all the terms, including full disclosure of return policies, before buying a product.

Another Parkland resident returned home after several days away to find one number on her Caller ID that showed up several times each of the days she was away.

That night, the phone rang and it was the same number. She answered and the person on the other end asked if she would take a survey.

“They asked if I buy groceries, where I buy them, whether I buy name brands or store brands,” the resident said. “It wasn’t a very long survey.”

Then the caller read off the resident’s address and phone number and told her she would receive a package in the mail. All she would have to pay would be the postage.

“I said, ‘no thanks,’ and hung up, ” the resident said. “I suspect it was a scam.”

The caller never identified where she was calling from. When a reporter tried to call the number, it was a fake.

The resident was wise to follow her instincts.

“They probably would ask for a credit card number to cover the costs if she agreed to pay postage,” said Dan Taylor, a U.S. postal inspector who investigates scams.

If someone sends you unsolicited free items, you are not responsible for the postage.

Have you had either of these issues happen to you? Please share your story in the comments section.

The Daily Journal has made a commitment to keep readers abreast of scams that hit our area. If someone tries to make you the victim of a scam, fill out a scam report at or call us at 573-431-2010 and tell us what happened. We will include your story in our scam alert series to prepare others who may find themselves in the same situation. The Daily Journal will run Scam Alert stories in the Weekend paper.

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