NOVEMBER 26, 2008

They want it now, but won't give it back quickly
       With the holiday season coming, keep watch of your money. It goes out of your wallet pretty quickly but it can take quite a while for you to get it back.
       Over the past couple months Iíve needed to return products or even pay in advance for services and I found it odd the money leaves my bank account or credit card account almost immediately, but when it comes to being credited back to me, that can take several weeks.
       Case in point: I am having new windows put in my house. The salesperson came to the house in September and took my credit card number for the deposit Ė the deposit was charged to the account that day Ė but I was in a panic when I still hadnít heard from the company by November.
       Yes, I understand window companies can be busy this time of year, but it almost felt like a ďtake your money and runĒ situation and I got worried. My credit card is charged and I hear nothing about a followup appointment for installation. It was up to me at that point to harass the company to be in touch and keep me informed about whatís happening with my $4,000 windows. (Turns out I wonít be getting them until mid-December.)
       I ordered a product from an infomercial and returned it. I know my credit card was charged the day I placed the order, but even sending the item back using one-day mail service, I still didnít get a refund for several weeks. Again, when they want my money they take it right away, but for some reason they canít give it back to me as quickly. For the record, the original shipment arrived the same week the order was placed, so that four to six weeks for shipping and processing thing is probably if you live up north in an igloo.
       My cellphone company overcharged me and the payment was made on my credit card. Rather than giving me a refund, they applied the credit to my cellphone account and not my credit card. Is this their way indirectly refusing to give back my money?
       Perhaps itís time to hide the plastic this holiday season and refuse to charge or even acknowledge my credit cards. Sorry, American Express, I will be leaving home without you.
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