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Woman Hits Sour Note After Trouble Refunding Musical Equipment

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Almost everyone returns merchandise at one time or another. As long as it is not used or opened, you expect a refund. When a Raleigh woman did not her money back, she called Five On Your Side for help.

Marlene Cameron's party plans involved more than just a stereo and James Brown records. In August, she bought $383 worth of lights, a fog machine and other accessories from Mars Music in Raleigh.

Within a week though, Cameron decided to hire a disc jockey and take all the equipment back.

"[I] never used it. Never used it. The boxes were unopened," she said.

A manager said Cameron would get her refund within 14 days, but she did not get one, so she went to the store twice and called the store and the corporate office several times. She said she was repeatedly told someone would get back with her. No one ever did, she said.

"I felt I was just getting brushed off again," Cameron said. "I felt like that by talking to managers they would respond and get back with me, but that was not the case. That's when I called Five on your Side."

Five On Your Side called Mars' corporate office. Spokeswoman Christine Chalovich called the refund delay "pure human mistake." She said Cameron's information never got to the right person. Chalovich immediately issued a check and sent it to Cameron overnight.

"I was happy. I mean very happy, but it still bothered me that I had to go through this to get the check. I wonder what would have happened if I didn't call Five On Your Side," Cameron said.

Now, Cameron said she can gear up for her party.

"It's going to be the party of the year," she said.

This week, Mars Music announced all of its stores will close after Christmas. This case is a example of when using a credit card can really be a benefit. Refunds on credit card purchases are generally credited immediately while check purchases can take awhile. Cameron paid by check.


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