WSVN — If you don't like the service you get or the product you bought, you complain, right? Well, one South Florida woman complained and says the company charged her more for complaining. Is that legal? To find out, she called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Usually it's the child joining the parents in their business. In Anays's case, she joined her son Javier in his business.
Anays Garcia: "My son started getting into antiques and then he decided that he wanted to become an auctioneer."
Javier owns Omega Auction Corporation, a firm that auctions antiques.
Javier Garcia: "We sell all over the world, so we have a lot of international buyers."
Both his parents help in the company. A close family that recently wanted to surprise Javier's father on his 60th birthday.
Anays Garcia: "And that I would like to get a party bus, so he said, 'Mom, if this is what you would like to do, let's go ahead and do it.'"
From the bus company's website, they chose Bus 60 which would said supplied soft drinks, a personal PlayStation for the kids and karaoke for everyone.
Anays Garcia: "So she sent out an email saying she was going to offer Bus 60 for $1,000. So I said, 'Oh great.'"
They had wanted to surprise Mr. Garcia, instead they all got surprised.
Anays Garcia: "So we went to get soft drinks, and there was only water. There were no glasses, there were no soft drinks."
As for karaoke and the personal PlayStation.
Anays Garcia: "Well the bus driver said that that bus did not offer karaoke or PSP. That there was none."
There was nothing they could do, so the 17 family members made the best of it. When they returned, Anays complained to the bus company and was told she was wrong about everything.
Anays Garcia: "Because everything was in the bus. The bus was checked three times. You did have a karaoke, you did have a PSP."
Then it got worse. Javier's credit card was not charged $1,000 like Anays said they agreed. Another $100 was added to the bill because…
Anays Garcia: "They charged $100 because we complained and they didn't like the fact that we complained."
If Anays wasn't happy about the quality of the bus ride, she was really steaming at being charged $100 extra for complaining about the bus ride.
Anays Garcia: "I'm not looking for a free ride. I don't appreciate being treated bad."
Well Howard, the Garcias say they didn't get the bus they paid for and when they complained about it, they say they were charged $100 more. Can they do that?
Howard Finkelstein: "No. You can say whatever you want. They can say whatever they want to you because a contract is a contract and if both sides agree to it, whatever is said afterwards doesn't legally matter."
We got in touch with the owner of Millennium Limo. Arnaldo Ricciulli told us the Garica's were not charged $100 extra for complaining. That the original price was not $1,000 but $1,100. He also told us his website shows Bus 60 does not have karaoke and a PlayStation, but when the Garcias rented it, the website showed Bus 60 had a karaoke and a PlayStation.
The owner then told us they did not actually get Bus 60, that the bus they got had karaoke and he didn't understand why it wasn't used.
Finally Ricciulli told us he would give the Garcias a $250 refund, not because he did anything wrong, but he said because that's the way I do business.
Anays Garcia: "Hopefully try to get money back."
The Garcia's haven't gotten that $250 back yet, but they are confident since Ricuiulli promised to deliver it.
Anays Garcia: "Yes, I'm very happy. I'm extremely grateful things turned out the way it has."
Patrick Fraser: "Now if you aren't happy with a service or a product and can't resolve it, the best thing to do is to make sure you pay with a credit card. Even if you have the cash in your pocket, pay with a credit card because you can dispute the charge and it's much better to have a major credit card company fighting to get your money back, rather than you or me."
A party turned into a bust? Need someone to steer you in the right direction? Contact us. We don't do karaoke, but hopefully you will be singing our praises when we are done.
With this Help Me Howard, I'm Patrick Fraser, 7News.
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