WSVN — You buy a hoverboard, it starts smoking and the store says, ‘We are not going to refund your money, we are going to fix it.’ Do you have to pay for the repairs or can you return the board and get your money back? It’s why one woman from the Bahamas called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

South Floridians love to head over to the Bahamas for a relaxing vacation. So where do the people in the Bahamas go to unwind?

Sheniqua Roker: “We vacation in South Florida, most of us do.”

Come over here to have fun and shop… and on Sheniqua’s last trip to South Florida, she went to an electronics store to buy her son a hoverboard.

Sheniqua Roker: “On Channel 7, we saw some reviews on hoverboards.”

We talked to Sheniqua via Skype from the Bahamas where she told us she was a little nervous about buying the hoverboard because of videos she had seen of the boards erupting in flames.

The store owner told her don’t worry…

Sheniqua Roker: “And he said to me, ‘Oh those are the knock off batteries. This one is a Samsung battery. I can assure you, you won’t have that problem with this hoverboard.'”

With his assurance, Sheniqua bought this hoverboard and gave it to her son.

Sheniqua Roker: “He was so excited.”

But within 30 minutes, it stopped working…

Sheniqua Roker: “And literally 60 seconds later, my husband saw smoke. So he frantically grabbed it up, took it outside, placed it on the patio, and it continued to smoke for another minute or two.”

That day, she emailed the store in Miami where she bought it.

Sheniqua Roker: “The owner said he cannot refund my money. He needs to have a technician look at it and see if he can repair it.”

One of Sheniqua’s nephews was flying to Miami the next month and took the hoverboard in, the owner contacted her…

Sheniqua Roker: “And he said I would have to pay the repair cost.”

Patrick Fraser: “So you have to pay to repair a brand new hoverboard?”

Sheniqua Roker: “That’s right.”

Not only did Sheniqua not want to pay to repair a new hoverboard, she didn’t want it at all.

Sheniqua Roker: “I want to be refunded. I no longer want the hoverboard. It’s a hazard, it’s clearly defective.”

But the store owner said, “We are not refunding your money because it’s repaired and working fine.” Howard, if Sheniqua doesn’t think the hoverboard is safe, can she get her money back?

Howard Finkelstein: “Despite many groups concluding that hoverboards are not safe, that doesn’t affect cases like this. What is to be determined here, is the product defective? A smoking hoverboard would fit into that category. If so, the buyer gets it repaired for free, or gets their money back.”

I contacted My Wireless Corner where Sheniqua bought the hoverboard… Edgar Santeria told me he was not returning Sheniqua’s money because it was not a manufacturing defect. The hoverboard got wet and damaged the mother board. He repaired it and was charging her $75.

Sheniqua said, the board did not get wet, that is was defective and she was not paying for a hoverboard that smoked when it was turned on.

Howard Finkelstein: “In cases like this, a judge would have to determine if it was damaged by water or if it was a faulty product. The problem is Sheniqua lives in the Bahamas, and getting to a U.S. court is not cost effective. But since she paid for it with a credit card, she should dispute the charge and hope they will refund her $400 dollars.”

Sheniqua is now disputing the charge with her credit card company, and hopes what happened to her, doesn’t happen to other Bahamians who come to South Florida to relax and shop.

Sheniqua Roker: “I think they need to recheck themselves and think again because there is a whole network of social media here in the Bahamas… and word of mouth advertising, I think, is very effective.”

This is truly a standoff. If Sheniqua wins the credit card dispute, the shop is stuck with the hoverboard. If they win, Sheniqua has to pay to get it back or give up. We’ll let you know what happens.

Got trouble hovering around you? Has it left you smoking? Contact us. We won’t set the world on fire, but we won’t go on vacation when you call. With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser 7News.

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN
On Twitter: @helpmehoward7

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