Five On Your Side Helps Local Woman Fight For Refund Money
Posted January 15, 2003 1:51 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — Many advertisements claim to help people make money or save money.
Consumer experts said some are legitimate, but many are questionable.
One Wake County woman said it pays to be skeptical.
Heather King runs her own horse business. She said she loves it, but never enjoyed doing the taxes.
In April 2002, she listened to a radio program about easier taxes.
Robert Beddington, president of Las Vegas-based National Audit Defense Network, was offering a free tax strategy book.
"I wish I had never done this, and I will probably never do it again," said King.
When she called to get the book, the representative pitched a $1,400 tax strategy package.
The package included tapes, pamphlets and audits of her last three returns.
The representative told her the company would refund her fee if the audits did not uncover at least $3,000 in mistakes.
"I thought it was a win-win situation," said King.
She decided to buy the package.
Three months later, the National Audit Defense Network told King they did not find any mistakes. So she asked for her refund.
"That's when the agent on the other end said: 'You should have done that within the first 30 days,'" said King. "Then I was livid."
King said she felt it was unfair because the National Audit Defense Network took three months to return results.
"That's when it started to get real ugly," King said. "No one would call me back after that."
King decided to call WRAL's Five On Your Side for help.
They uncovered nearly 600 complaints against the National Audit Defense Network from the
Nevada Attorney General
In 2002, the state of Nevada and the
Federal Trade Commission
filed suits against the National Audit Defense Network.
The company reportedly "misrepresented" its refund policy and did not disclose all conditions.
When Five On Your Side called the National Audit Defense, representative Larry Smith agreed to refund King's money as a "fair, good-will act," saying King "did not comply" with the agreement.
However, King received her check and said instead of teaching lessons, she learned one.
"I thought for sure there was no way I could lose," she said. "And they caught me."
Kathleen Delaney with the Nevada Attorney General's Office said sales of this kind are usually closed based on the guarantee.
She advised consumers to avoid making purchases based on a "money back guarantee." If there is any uncertainty, do not buy the product.
Five On Your Side Producer: