FIXER: Some problems just can’t be fixed
BY STEPHANIE ZIMMERMANN firstname.lastname@example.org September 2, 2012 7:08PM
THE FIXER HAS SAVED YOU
Updated: October 4, 2012 6:13AM
Dear Readers: The Fixer’s got the Labor Day week off, so to kick off the party we’ve decided to run some of the goofier letters we’ve received over the years.
These are letters that never made it into the column.
And while these problems probably seemed big to those involved at the time, we suspect they might feel different today.
Don’t worry; we’ve removed the letter writers’ names so no one has to feel like a fool.
Have a great, rip-off-free holiday. See you back here soon!
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Dear Fixer: My friend purchased a small pool. Soon after, the next-door neighbor’s pit bull puppy stuck his head through the backyard fence. That was enough to scare her young girls into not wanting to swim.
The box the pool came in and the supplies were never opened. They bought the pool July 3. On Aug. 12, I called the store and they would only offer a store credit. My friend would like a refund.
Anonymous in Merrillville, Ind.
Dear Anonymous: Your friend wants money back for a six-week-old pool at the end of the summer because a puppy poked his head through a fence?
Sorry, no can fix!
Dear Fixer: Our teenage son and his friends took a pack of checks from us. The checks were fraudulently cashed, some not even signed, with mismatched signatures, etc.
We had over $2,600 stolen from our checking account. One withdrawal was posted in June; the other 30 or so checks were posted in July and August.
We contacted the bank in late July. The bank’s fraud department told us that since it was more than 30 days from the first check, we will not get any stolen funds back!
Anonymous in Bolingbrook
Dear Anonymous: If the Junior Fixers ever tried this, they’d be handing over their allowances for the next 300 years.
You can’t blame the bank for this.
Dear Fixer: The QVC shopping channel canceled my membership. I had ordered 94 items and returned 67 because they did not fit or the people I bought them for did not like them.
Can you help?
Anonymous in Crestwood
Dear Anonymous: You should be happy they blocked you. Seriously.
Dear Fixer: My uncles have been planning the trip of a lifetime to India for the past few months, and have spent a huge sum of money arranging this adventure. However, they found out last night that they will need a travel visa to enter the country. Their flight is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today.
Anonymous in the suburbs (sent at 11:28 a.m. Dec. 26)
Dear Anonymous: Oh sure, no problem! We can get you two travel visas to India in four hours’ time on the day after Christmas. Right after we change water to wine and spin straw into gold. Next!
Dear Fixer: I got stuck in a parking lot with my two kids in the 95-degree heat. The key wouldn’t turn in the minivan’s ignition.
I called the dealership and they said the ignition key-lock cylinder was broken and would cost around $300 to replace. For now, he said I could use a shoe to tap my key into the steering column.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get it fixed right away. I didn’t have $300 so I kept tapping the key as needed for the next few months.
When I took the car in to be fixed, they said the key broke off in the ignition and will cost $160 to replace. I think they should have been more careful with turning my key.
Anonymous in Carol Stream
Dear Anonymous: We think you should not have been tapping your key with a shoe all summer. Next!
Dear Fixer: Eleven years ago, I put down a $100 deposit on some eyeglasses. I changed my mind and requested a refund, but I didn’t have the receipt.
Yes, it has been a long time, and the management of the store has changed, but I hope you can help me.
Anonymous in Harvey
Dear Anonymous: Not sure. We’ll let you know in 11 years.
Getting the runaround over a consumer problem? Tell it to The Fixer at suntimes.com/fixer , where you’ll find a simple form to fill out. You’ll also find a list of consumer contacts and tips. Because of the large volume of submissions, The Fixer can’t personally reply to every problem. Letters are edited for length and clarity.