5 On Your Side

Online Payment Does Not Add Up For Wake Woman

Posted March 10, 2005 5:39 a.m. EST

— Even though paying online can be very easy, you can still make a mistake. If you send money to the wrong place, you expect it to be returned right away. However, one Wake County woman found out that it is not as easy as you think.

In September, Evelyn Larson thought she transferred $1,000 to her investment account, but the setup information was wrong. So instead, the payment routed to Hecht's department store, where she had a zero balance. She figured it out in November and called Hecht's.

"When we contacted them, they said, 'Oh, we'll mail you out a check,' and the check never came," Larson said.

Larson called Hecht's again and found out the check was sent to the wrong address. She gave them the correct one. Still, she did not get the check. Again, she called Hecht's.

A representative promised to look into it and call Larson back, but no one did.

"Every time, I would call they said it takes time. It takes time. A trace takes a long time," Larson said.

Three months after her first call, Larson was tired of waiting.

"I ended up calling about 12 times, so I don't understand after 12 calls why they can't get it correct," she said.

Larson called Five on Your Side, who later called Hecht's.

"I was at my wit's end. I'd just had it with them," she said.

Customer Service Director Dianah Greeves sent a new check overnight, but again, it went to the wrong address. Finally, after another call from Five On Your Side, Larson got her $1,000 check.

"It feels good. It feels good. I mean I'm sorry I had to call Five On Your Side. I didn't know what else to do," she said.

A representative for Hecht's told Five On Your Side the problem was "miscommunication" and "human error." She said a stop payment was put on the misdirected checks.

Larson said she has since double-checked all of her accounts to make sure they are routed to the right place.