Roberds refund, warranty update


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 21, 2000

We bought a leather couch from Roberds Furniture last year. So far our couch has been in good condition.

The problem is that we don't have a copy of the manufacturer's limited-time warranty. If something happens to the couch, we don't know whom to contact. When we bought the couch, we were told there was a limited lifetime warranty.

Just before Roberds closed this year, we contacted its New Port Richey office and were given the warranty service number. When we called it, we were told that our warranty was good through May 28, 2003, but last week we learned that there was a mix-up. The May 2003 warranty was for a projection TV we bought at the same time.

We tried to contact the Roberds 800 number and all other Roberds stores in Florida, but we had no luck. All the store numbers have been disconnected, and the 800 number is of no use. We don't know what to do. Please help. Aries and Carmelie Albarece

Response: Action continues to receive questions and complaints regarding Roberds, so here is a summary of what we know, and, please note, it has changed since the last time we addressed a similar question June 18.

If you're waiting for a refund, the wait may be long and ultimately fruitless. You won't know if you don't try, however, so pick up a proof-of-claim form at a local office supply store, download one from the Internet at or call the bankruptcy court in Dayton, Ohio, at (937) 225-7274 and press 5 to have one mailed to you.

Mail completed forms to U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 120 W Third St., Dayton, OH 45402. The case number is 00-30194.

In the earlier column, we reported that only claims for purchases made after Jan. 19 should be made through the courts. Now, we are told, all claims must go through the bankruptcy court.

For information on a manufacturer's warranty, call the Roberds liquidation customer service line at (800) 686-6814, ext. 2510. This line is no longer set up to deal with Florida customers; it can answer some questions, however.

For service under warranties purchased after March 17, 1997, call Aon Innovative Solutions, formerly Independent Dealer Services, at (800) 569-6310.

Ordering from school

I wrote a check to a young man from an elementary school on March 15. The school was selling items to raise money for a school project, I was told. I did not get the student's name. I have tried repeatedly to reach the school by phone, but there is no answer.

This is the second time this has happened. Last time I paid in cash and did not get the merchandise ordered. I thought that the order would materialize this time if I paid by check.

The check has not been cashed, and the bank says it will charge $10 to stop payment on it.

I would just like the school to return my check. It is only $31, but, as I recall, the time I paid in cash it was nearly as much. Any help you can give me on this would be appreciated. Gayla Daniels

Response: Since the school is closed for the summer and you do not know the student's name, we can only suggest that you wait until the school opens. Since four months have elapsed, we suspect and even hope that your check is lost.

Given your experiences, we suggest that you get the name of any student you do not know whom you order from in the future. Also take a look at the order form. It should have the name of the school on it. Make sure you jot that down, too.

Action solves problems and gets answers for you. If you have a question, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write Times Action, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or call your Action number, 893-8171, or, outside of Pinellas, (800) 333-7505, ext. 8171, to leave a recorded request.

Requests will be accepted only by mail or voice mail; calls cannot be returned. We will not be responsible for personal documents, so please send only photocopies. If your complaint concerns merchandise ordered by mail, we need copies of both sides of your canceled check.

We may require additional information or prefer to reply by mail; therefore, readers must provide a full mailing address, including ZIP code. Names of letter writers will not be omitted except in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

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