5 On Your Side

Promotional Discount Proves Troublesome For Cary Woman

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DURHAM, N.C. — For many people, the hard part about remodeling a home is the expense, especially when you get an extra bill that you weren't expecting. When that happened to one woman, she called Five On Your Side.

Vijaya Bapat bought Corian countertops from Sears for more than $13,000. When the salesman called a few days later, she said she was certain she made a good choice.

"He said, 'Oh, we have good news for you. There is a promotion going on that I forgot to tell you,'" she said.

The promotion entitled Bapat to an $812 discount.

"Obviously, I was happy," she said.

Bapat charged the final amount to her Sears credit card and paid off the bill within three months.

"The work was completed, the check were paid and I thought, 'Ok, that's done,'" she said.

However, it was not done. Bapat started getting letters asking for payment of an outstanding bill. Ironically, it was the exact same amount as the promotional discount -- $812.

Bapat said she called and faxed proof of payment and the discount to Sears numerous times, but got nowhere.

"Now I'm writing a letter to everybody to make sure that everybody has it because each time they are telling me, 'Oh, it was somebody else that should do it, not us," she said.

When a collection agency started calling, Bapat called Five On Your Side. Five On Your Side called Sears, which referred us to Citigroup, the company that handles the credit cards.

Citigroup simply said "there was a breakdown in communication" and immediately cleared the account. Citigroup said it will also send out written assurance that Bapat's account is cleared.

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