Laptop Deal Zaps Chatham County Woman's Wallet
Posted December 23, 2003 4:54 a.m. EST
CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. — When a Chatham County woman thought she was getting the runaround from a computer company, she contacted Five On Your Side for help.
Anne Allen uses her desktop computer a lot, but it is not exactly portable. In August, she decided to get a basic laptop and went to I Gotcha Back Computers in Chapel Hill. Owner Carl Davis put together a package she wanted, so she wrote a check for $428.
"For what he was going to put on the laptop and for what I wanted to spend, I thought it was a good deal," Allen said.
Davis told her the laptop would be ready in a few days, but when she went to pick it up the following week, no one was there. Since the business was in the process of moving, she checked both locations. Over the next few weeks, she repeatedly left phone messages and visited, but she got no response.
Allen finally got an appointment with Davis. When Allen arrived, she said Davis told her the laptop still was not ready.
"He said, 'Come back in two hours and I'll have it ready for you,'" she said. "[I] went back in two hours. He wasn't there."
Allen said she was furious because he had her money. In late September, Allen again talked to Davis on the phone. This time, she said he offered to have an employee meet her with the laptop, but the meeting never happened.
"I just kept giving him the benefit of the doubt and then I just got fed up and I decided I was going to let somebody else see if they could handle it," she said.
Allen called Five on Your Side. Five On Your Side found out Allen is not the only one waiting on Davis. A couple of notes were stuck in his store door. One said, "I need 3 laptops.. or the money you owe me... It's been three months." Another one said, "I'd like to collect the $150."
When Five On Your Side called Davis, he had many excuses for Allen's delay, including he "just got out of the hospital" and that Allen "caught us in the midst of moving our warehouse." He finally agreed to refund Allen's money.
Davis sent Allen a money order for $428. Allen said she is just disappointed it had to come to this.
"In today's business, your word still means something and if it doesn't, you shouldn't be in business," Allen said.
"I Gotcha Back" has an "Unsatisfactory" record with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General's Office has also received complaints about the company. As for the notes in the door, Davis said he did not see them. However, one of the people who wrote has since gotten his money back.
Two weeks ago, Carl Davis said he wanted to schedule an interview with Five On Your Side, but he did not call Five On Your Side to schedule a time.