Newport News

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Newport News' Unscrupulous Practices
Posted by on
HAMPTON, VIRGINIA -- I ordered clothing from them twice within a week. The orders did not come in right away but in dribs and drabs. I didn't care for any of them so sent them back immediately as indicated in order to get credit for them. They tell you that you just put the label included on the bag and bring to UPS and you weil be billed $6.95 each label. As I had to send them back right away in order not to be penalized, I had to use 3 labels (21.00) for ordering nothing. Then their site says give them 30 days to credit the account. Every time I called or looked at the bill, there would be just some of the items but never all. My last order was sent back to them on March 21 but not processed or credited until May 20. Meanwhile the bills kept coming for the whole order minus 1 or 2 items, with interest of near 25% (I had opened a Newport News credit card as I expected to pay it off immediately), finance charges and a $1 process fee on one bill whatever that meant. I paid the minimum payment for the first 2 bills, a total of $21. Then I told them I refused to pay more until everything was credited. As I paid $21 for the return shipping (a charge many companies waive) and the $21 for the minimum payment, I felt that they were more than compensated. I had paid at that point $42 for absolutely nothing as I had returned all items. I said I expected to see a zero balance. These negotiations occurred with different emails and 2 phone contacts with customer service. Then I received my next bill of $34. I talked to someone again by phone who I thought waived all return fees which would have been $21 and I would have to still pay $12 which at that point I was resigned to doing although it meant now paying $56 and buying nothing. However, on June 9 I received my bill and they had waived one return fee of $6.95 and left a balance of $29.48. Of course this includes a finance charge and interest. Supposedly these fees all come from the shipping it originally cost them to send the items to me. If we go by their shipping chart which I now see clearly how ridiculously high it is (I'm a small person and these were mainly little bathing suits) perhaps they're in the ball park. However, is there no compensation for these charges caused by them (in my opinion, deliberately) prolonging the crediting of my items and the fact they did not keep within the 30 day crediting of items policy? If I pay this bill I will have paid them $71.48 and have bought absolutely nothing. Every phone call and contact gets me another person who knows nothing about the previous communication and constantly tries to redirect me to another department. I have a busy life and this is just an unbelievable nightmare.
     
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The news about Newport News is bad, very bad indeed!!
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HAMPTON, VIRGINIA -- I placed several orders with Newport News in November of 2009. Never did I imagine the unbelievable hassle I was about to get myself into. I'm not even sure how this company can get away with doing business this way or how their employees can live with themselves for treating people in such a horrid manner.

After the items I ordered arrived nearly 4 weeks later, I found that most of them were of terrible quality (snags in the material, uneven, unfinished seams, sizing is way off, etc.). I kept only 2 of the items and returned them immediately via their UPS sticker (which incidentally costs you an extra $6.95 PER ITEM and they will deduct this from your return amount...if you ever see any of that money back). I kept copies of the UPS stickers and confirmed the day, time, and signature of when it arrived back on their dock on December 16th. Two weeks later I called Newport News and they confirmed that the items did arrive and that the processing of the return would take about 5-7 additional business days.

Two weeks later, I called back and they said it would be another 10 days to process the returns. In other words, the company gets to sit on your money for as long as they want...hoping that you will forget about it or get tired of the hassle and move on. Six weeks later, I filed a dispute with my credit card company, providing them with the documentation from the UPS tracking system where Newport News had received the returned items. My credit card company could not get any response from Newport News regarding the returns.

Two days ago I received a "past due"?? invoice from Newport News for $233.00. This is about double the amount for all my orders and makes no sense whatsoever. So I called Newport News again (this makes 7th call so far throughout this whole ordeal) and they said that I owe THEM now for items that I returned 2 months ago and that they show in their records as having been received. Huh?

They told me someone would have to call me back (I said, yeah, I've heard that before). Today, lo and behold, someone from Nova Scotia called today trying to collect $233 from me for items returned 2 months ago. I couldn't believe it. I asked the extremely rude woman, "So, let me get this straight. You want me to pay you $233.00 for items I've returned 2 months ago because your company doesn't want to process the return in a timely manner? In other words, you want me to pay double for items that YOU show in YOUR computer as having been returned?" She just said, ma'am, you owe us $233. So I said, so after I give you another $233.00, how long before you credit back my account for the items that were returned 2 months ago"? No joke, she said 5-7 business days. Uh, huh. I started to tell her that's what the first person told me when I called to inquire the first time about my return and she literally SCREAMED through the phone, "I don't know how to explain it to you any better than that!" and slammed the phone down in my ear. Very mature and professional.

I wish I would have done my homework three months ago and researched this "company" before placing any orders with them. If you decide to place an order with Newport News and it isn't what you expected, you will be better off keeping the merchandise, giving it away, or selling it. Otherwise, get ready to be hassled for a long, long time.

Horrible, horrible company. Newport News...SHAME ON YOU!!
     
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Worst Customer Service EVER
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
I made an online purchase from Newport News on Dec 6th, 2011. When I did not get any kind of shipping notice after a week I checked my order status on the website. It said the order was still "processing" so I contacted them via the customer service link on their site. I never got a response, so I called. I was told that they had moved their warehouse and all orders were delayed. No one could tell me when my order would ship, but I was told that they would send it expedited shipping when it did ship.

I waited a couple of weeks more, checked the order status via the site (still "processing") and wrote customer service again. Never got a response. Called, and was told the same thing about the warehouse moving, etc etc.

Here it is mid Jan, and I go and check the website and it actually says my order shipped! Hurray! So I wait a 2 more weeks, and nothing. I go to the site, and there is a link in my order status to "Track Shipping"- but there is no tracking number...nor is there even a shipping date! I write customer service again (at this point just for ----- and grins, knowing I won't get a response, which I didn't) and then call.

The person I got on the phone this time stumbles through a bunch of questions then informs me I am being issued a refund. When I ask why- he can't tell me. When I ask to talk to his supervisor, he told me to call back. Which I did, hoping to get someone who wouldn't OBVIOUSLY be making things up as he goes along. This time I was told that I was being issued a refund because my "shipment was lost". I was told I will receive my refund in 7-10 working days. Riiiight. I'm not holding my breath.

I will NEVER order from this company again. Never received ANY responses to my inquiries to customer service, was given the run around whenever I spoke with someone on the phone, and after 2 months of waiting and being told numerous stories, I am not even receiving what I purchased. How this company is still in business is beyond my comprehension.
     
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clutzycook on 2012-01-31:
Yeah, if you don't get the refund, file a dispute with your CC.
Venice09 on 2012-02-01:
I think the company is in bankruptcy proceedings. That might explain the problem and confusion. As clutzy said, dispute the charge with your credit card before its too late.
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No Refund after three months from Newport News Clothing
Posted by on
HAMPTON, VIRGINIA -- I feel what the other consumers "Kela Kelly" and "Sleight" are going through because I am having the same problem with Newport News Clothing, going through the same thing with them. My problem started with a Christmas present order for family members last year and the entire order was all wrong, wrong colors, item, sizes and everything. I send the return back the same day before the UPS driver left my residence. Have not hear anything back after a month so I called them, nothing, called again, and nothing. After two months, I called back again they finally see my return after two months.

So I explain to them that they were Christmas presents and I had to go out shopping all over again and buy family members gifts. I ask for a refund and they refuse. So I asked again for my money back or refund and the refuse again. So I report them to the BBB and all of a sudden, I received a email stating that they can give me a up front credit but I have to give them my credit card number to put another credit my account just in case I might get credit double. Now does that make any sense to you - I will be still out the amount they owe me because they will have charged me twice for the order that I do not have. Anyway, I was told that legal actions can be taken out against them and reporting this to the Consumer affairs as well. Now if you have not notified the BBB in Norfolk, VA - you should because they have my complaint regarding this mess. You see, I'm getting my money back.

Truly, I thought that I was alone on this but I see that they are making others mad at them. Thanks for sharing.
     
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donna on 2011-06-13:
OH, I JUST CALLED NEWPORT NEWS ABOUT MY RETURNS FROM APRIL. THEY FILED BANKRUPTCY AND WON'T BE REFUNDING ANY RETURNS PRIOR TO JUNE 2011 OR SOME CRAP. SO I RETURNED OVER $150 OF MERCHANDISE (DUE TO SIZING) AND I STILL HAVE TO PAY FOR IT ALL. THEY NEVER ONCE MENTIONED BANKRUPTCY WITH THE SEVERAL EMAILS I SENT ASKING WHAT WAS TAKING SO LONG. SPEIGEL FINALLY PROCESSED A RETURN ON JUNE 2-- BUT GUESS WHAT?? I WON'T GET THAT MONEY EITHER IM SURE SINCE IT IS LINKED WITH NEWPORT NEWS. BOTH COMPANIES ALWAYS HAD LOUSY RETURN SERVICE. SO YAY FOR THEM. STEALING MONEY LEGALLY
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POOR & INNAPROPRIATE HANDLING OF CHARGE CARD ACCOUNT
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OLD BETHPAGE, NEW YORK -- Sometime in the year of 2001, I received a Newport News (FCNB) charge card. FCNB was the bank that provided the charge card, in which was also affiliated with Speigel & Eddie Bauer.
Newport News was a catalog company.
I had made misc. purchases on my charge card over the course of 3 years and had NEVER been late on a payment, might I add.
Sometime in June/July of 2003, I filled out the change of address form on the back of my statement, along with payment. It was extremely important that my address be changed, due to a sudden move and was no longer able to receive mail at my prior address.
I did not receive another bill until October of 2003 (3-4 months later). The bill stated that my account was past due with added late fees and was currently with the collections department. I immediately called Newport News to get the situation resolved, only to find out that Newport News had filed for bankruptcy and the accounts were then being handled through a company by the name of Card Processing Center.
I explained the situation, in that I sent in a change of address, but was never done. I asked that all late fees be removed due to the clerical error on the part of Newport News and my account be brought current with the major credit bureo's. The company refused to make the changes, even after several phone calls to various associates and was told that my only option would be to send a letter to the complaints department.
Then on October 15, 2003, I sent a certified letter to the complaints department, explaining the situation, with NO RESPONSE!! I then sent ANOTHER certified letter to the complaints department on February 29, 2004 with NO RESPONSE! Then in March of 2004, I received a letter from a 3rd party collection agency demanding payment!! Unbelievable that they sent my account information to a 3rd party collection agency while it was still in a dispute status AND was not even given the proper handling, seeing that nobody responded to 2 certified letters!
Once again, in trying to get the situation resolved, I called the 3rd party collection agency on October 3, 2004 and spoke with a manager by the name of Karen Grittings. I explained the situation to her and she helped me get the problem resolved, so I thought. She had asked that I fax her a copy of the certified letter I had sent to the Card Processing Center, along with a letter to her explaining the situation. At this time, I also made a payment over the phone in the amount of $162.00 to cover the full principle balance (balance before fees were added). Ms. Grittings also assured me that she would dispute this balance herself with Card Services and get this unfortunate situation resoloved (she was in agreance with me).
Nothing more was heard from any of these companies until October of 2004. In the beginning of October, I received yet another letter from a completely different 3rd party collection agency (Penncro Associates, Inc.) demanding a payment in the amount of $301.47!!!!

Not to mention that during one of my previous phone conversations to Card Services (the company that took over Newport News accounts), I was informed by one of the employees that there have been several consumer complaints since the bankruptcy filing. He apologized for the unnecessary runaround that I was being put through and stated that he shouldn't be telling me this, but many customers complained of improper account handling and that there are more complaints piled on desks, than they know what to do with.

I have tried on numerous occasions to get this situation resolved and because of Newport News' negligence my good name is being negatively affected on my credit reports. It is disgusting that I had an account with this company for 3 years without any late payments and they still insist on trying to make my life miserable by hurting my good name, because of a mistake that THEY made! A mistake that they won't admit to and are now trying to make me pay over $300.00 in late fees because of it! Well, they will NEVER see that payment, as I did nothing wrong!
These companies shouldn't be allowed to punish the obvious good and paying customers, because they are too "good" to admit their mistakes. To me, it seems to just be another money making scam to make up for all of their bankruptcy losses and non-paying customers.

If you have had trouble with this company, I would love to hear from you.
     
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spiderman on 2005-06-15:
Don't you think that since you KNEW you had a balance and you KNEW your mail wasn't going to be forwarded that it was YOUR responsibility to make sure you got your bills. A simply phone call on your part could have avoided this whole situation
Anonymous on 2005-06-15:
You go spiderman
rhondam718732 on 2005-06-16:
Spider said exactly what I wanted to. It's YOUR responsibility to pay your bills whether you get a bill or not. That's finance 101.
titus on 2005-09-13:
Clearly, the know-it-all's with the comments did not read the story in detail. I did in fact send in a change of address and funny how Newport News was the only company that didn't get my address changed, as it is pretty obvious they were in turmoil due to the bankruptcy. There are thousands of other victims with similar complaints.
I am fully aware that it is my responsibility to make sure my accounts get updated, however, why is there a change of address form with statements, if they are not paid attention to??
I have over $5,000.- worth of bills per month and expect a statement each month, otherwise the bill will not get paid!
Plus the fact that all of the company's phone #'s were no longer working #s!
Oh and let's not forget the fact that when a customer sends in a written complaint, it is the law that the company respond and investigate within 30 days. I got NO response.
I, as a paying customer, is what keeps these companies running. Let's not forget that. You too, may fall victim to crappy treatment. Maybe then you will feel differently about the situation!
tgude452 on 2005-11-29:
I have also had an account with Newport News for quite sometime. I have never had a problem with them. Actually I had no idea they filed for bankruptcy. I have always paid online without a problem. Also I have changed my address online and received my next bill at my new address. While I am sorry this happened to you, I know I and others I know have not had a problem with them.
cattpurson on 2008-04-26:
Wow, I feel your pain - I used to work for Newport News (got laid off when the bankruptcy happened) A LOT of people got screwed just because they had the FCNB card which went under too. Customer service was moved to Canada and after a few months of "training" the Canada people they were supposed to know what to do. Oops, I guess that didn't work out but of course Newport News and Spiegel got their tax breaks for moving. The consumer and employees get screwed again.
old fart on 2008-04-26:
Wow... this thread is 3 years old....
KatzMoe on 2008-06-07:
May be three years old but I am still fighting with these people. I sent in change of address and that never took place. Stopped receiving bills Nov 05. Now these people are trying to take me to court for $ I owe, and years of interest (due to their negligence) that I don't own. I agree with titus, Phone numbers were no longer valid nor was the payment address. Things kept coming back to me. I have a lawyer and we will sort it all out in the end.
Ponie on 2008-06-07:
Hm-m-m. $5,000 a month in bills? Maybe that's why address was changed '...due to a sudden move...' I've never heard of the post office not forwarding mail. Maybe some of the bulk mail might get lost, but statements?
sped on 2010-07-05:
Titus your troubles are just the beginning. Check out all the new complaints. This company is extremely unscrupulous and corrupt. I am in negotiations with them now (see my post). I am determined to take them down. I am looking into the attorney general and various other resources. They cannot be allowed to continue their fraudulent practices and get away with it.
frustratedshopper on 2010-07-10:
dear titus, I believe u and (although maybe u could try using Newport News' website to pay them so u can satisfy them) u are one of now many, many people who have been scammed by Newport News and u have my sympathy :(

dear sped, I really identify with your experience with Newport News and I hope u can get some recourse against them ...if I can be of any help, u have my cooperation, please message me...
tommygirl on 2010-09-05:
The last time I moved, even though I had gone online and changed my billing address with my cell phone provider, when I didn't receive a statement the following month, I called and paid my cell phone bill over the phone. For some reason, my address change hadn't gone through, but I still knew I had a phone bill to pay, just like every other month. And sometimes I receive my neighbor's mail and vice versa. Things like that happen, but the absence of a billing statement doesn't mean that you don't still owe the money. The company may be corrupt, I don't know, but all of this could have been avoided with a phone call. Or an online or phone payment. I actually have an employee who for some reason did not receive her Express statement for a couple of months and concluded that Express had made an error and she was the benificiary of this error, and somehow her bill was lost in the system and she wouldn't have to pay it. Until she did get a statement and she had a balance plus late payments, and her card had been cancelled.
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Credit for returned merchandise
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HAMPTON, VIRGINIA -- On 9/27/2011 I ordered 2 swimsuits from Newport-News, size 12. I received 2 swimsuits, size 6. Imagine my surprise! I immediately got on the phone to request a return authorization number. I have ordered merchandise from Newport News over a period of probably 20 years. Never had any problems. When I was on hold for 30 mins, I decided to try the order line. I was on hold again so I got on the computer to see if something was going on with the company. That's when I read about the complaints and the bankruptcy. I called the credit card company and explained my issue and what they thought I should do. They advised me to return the merchandise and then immediately submit a dispute. I am not willing to cause any damage to my credit by not paying the bill so I have submitted the dispute and will wait to see what happens. At the very worst, I will be out $38.00. I would suggest the same for anyone else in this situation. I am very disappointed that Newport News is continuing to sell merchandise but not standing up to the customer service side of the business. I will never order anything else from them unless they redeem themselves totally and completely. Further, I have read that Lynn Tilton Companies has acquired Newport News and this could possibly be the shot in the arm that Newport News needs. Lynn Tilton has been reputed to have turned around many bankrupt companies.
     
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momsey on 2011-10-26:
Did you return the bathing suits? Maybe I'm missing something here, but you've been a happy customer for over 20 years with no problems, but the first time you run into a slight inconvenience, you go on the internet to complain about them and declare a boycott? I don't get it. And people wonder why companies don't show loyalty to customers.
Venice09 on 2011-10-26:
Momsey, you took the words right out of my mouth. Newport News is obviously in a transition period, and a little customer support would go a long way right now.

Here is the company's return policy. It seem easy enough. I'm not sure why the OP needs a return authorization number.

http://www.newport-news.com/return-policy

OP, if you need to speak to someone, try contacting the company via email. It might be faster than waiting on the phone.

http://www.newport-news.com/contacts
Churro on 2011-10-26:
It's usually not a good idea to do mail order business with a company going through bankruptcy. You can easily be left holding the bag.

Thanks for the warning.
trmn8r on 2011-10-26:
Companies that are in bankruptcy are often not operating normally. It is predictable that obtaining refunds will be problematic, because cash flow is obviously an issue and there is the issue of bankruptcy protection. There simply is no way to pay everyone who is owed money.

I think you did the exactly the right thing to return the merchandise and file a dispute with your credit card company.

All you can do now is sit back, wait, and hope Newport News emerges from bankruptcy and/or the CC company gives you your $ back.
Venice09 on 2011-10-27:
Isn't that jumping the gun a bit? We don't even know if the OP returned the merchandise. I would at least give the company a chance to make it right with a refund or exchange. If a larger amount of money was at stake, maybe I'd think differently, but at this point I would first try to get an exchange.

If the OP did not return the bathing suits, why should she be reimbursed by the credit card company?
trmn8r on 2011-10-27:
Venice, I don't KNOW what the OP did. Here is what she says she was advised to do:

"They advised me to return the merchandise and then immediately submit a dispute"

My comment was based on this. It makes sense to return the merchandise if you are filing a dispute.
Darlene on 2011-11-07:
I am the originator of that complaint. At the time that I called, I wasn't aware of a bankruptcy. I wanted a return authorization so that I could return the swimsuits without paying the shipping. It was their fault, not mine. Based on the complaints of no refunds from others I was on high alert. I did get a little antsy. I don't have money to give to companies in bankruptcy or not. By the way!!! I am happy to report that yes, the swimsuits were returned and I have a credit on my account for the merchandise as of this past Saturday. Thanks for the responses.
Darlene on 2011-11-08:
Adding to yesterday's response regarding my request to the credit union to reverse the charge on my credit card. The credit union issued the initial but then today I see that Newport News has also issued a credit. I called the credit union so that they could reverse their credit. Thanks Newport News, maybe all is well again with you. I hope so.
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Thank God I'm Not Alone In This
Posted by on
I swear this whole ordeal has taken months off my life. I too have returned items back in Feb. (2011) and have gotten such a run around I thought I was in a bad movie. Two different times after being told my refund was absolutely in the works I let the invoice sit and then was forced into making last minute phone payments to save my credit at the tune of 10.00 each. Last month I didn't make the payment after learning
they declared bankruptcy and have now been charged a 25.00 late fee. So now I have the original 90.00 return plus 5 months of finance charges, 20.00 in phone pymt. fees & a 25.00 late charge. I will never forgive myself if I pay them so let them turn me over to collections or whatever they do because this is highway robbery!
     
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Alain on 2011-07-26:
Try going to http://www.nationalbankruptcyforum.com/chapter-11-bankruptcy/signature-styles-spiegel-newport-news-shape-fx-brands-files-for-chapter-11-with-deal-to-sell-all-assets/ and/or http://blog.ch11cases.com/2011/06/signature-styles-spiegel-newport-news.html to see who is handling their bankruptcy. You need to contact them to clear your account.
trmn8r on 2011-07-26:
There MUST be better options than to hurt your credit, unless it is already boffo. The first reply is great advice.

If you used a credit card, you might try contacting your CC company and explaining why you aren't paying that part of your bill. Good luck.
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Newport News not refunding money
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I have been going back and forth for two months with Newport News trying to get a refund on items I returned. They just informed me, after several attempts to make contact, that they are filing for bankruptcy and are refusing to process credits for items returned. My advice, do not place an order with them at this time and cancel any pending orders you that you may have with them. The also informed me that I was expected to continue making payments for the amount due although I am no longer in possession of th0se items.

They are a sinking ship, approach with caution. In the meantime, I will wait for the letter they claimed has been sent out to their clients regarding this matter.
     
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Mrs. V on 2011-06-14:
If you paid by Credit Card, call them now and place a dispute.
azspots on 2011-06-14:
They want you to keep paying on returned items?? Yeah, right :(
Mrs.Cole on 2011-06-14:
http://fidelityfinancegroup.com/news/bankruptcy/44396-update-1-patriarch-partners-signature-styles-goes-bankrupt
WOW!!
Barbara on 2011-06-28:
I am also trying to get my Mastercard refeunded after sending back the merchandise on May 17 2011. They apparently do no have to pay since they filed for bankruptcy. So they have my returned merchandise plus my money AND they are still allowed to sell online to unsuspecting customers. How is this right? How do we get our money?
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Rip Off
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VIRGINIA -- I have NEVER kept anything that I have ordered from Newport News so I don't know why I tried one more time. I placed an order for 2 shirts on March 1, 2011 which was immediately debited from my checking account. Received the item and prompted returned it. According to my UPS tracking info, they received it on March 11, 2011. I have emailed several times and get the same old story (if they even reply)..it can take up to 2 billing cycles for your refund to appear. Billing cycles for WHAT??? I used my debit card not a credit card! It is now May 4, 2011 and still no refund. Beware of this company....will NEVER order from them again and will caution everyone I know to do the same. If they can take my money immediately why can't they refund it immediately??
     
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trmn8r on 2011-05-04:
They told you to expect up to two billing cycles, and it hasn't been that long yet.

Have you asked for an explanation of the policy? What were you told?
kate on 2011-06-28:
They have filed Ch 11 bankruptcy - so apparently they do not have to credit your account for your return merchandise. I returned something on May 17 2011 and I have been trying to get the credit on my Mastercard. They filed on June 6 - isn't that ample time to credit someone's account? They now have my returned merchandise plus my money! And they are still allowed to be selling their merchandise to others while keeping money from others! How can we get our money back?
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Fraudulent Return Policies
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I placed an order for a swimming suit back in November. I received the suit and it didn't fit so I placed it back in the bag and sent it back the very next day asking for a refund. I called and they said it would take up to six weeks to be refunded. In February I received a "merchandise certificate" because they claim it took more than 30 days for the swimsuit to be returned and they could not credit my card. Instead of calling and complaining, I go with it and order three items with the certificate. First two items, I received. The third item I call a couple of times and each time am told it's on back order. This morning I discover that $15.00 has been debited from my account for this order. I call Newport News and they said I should have received a check in the mail in March for the portion of the merchandise credit that was on backorder and that because they had my credit card number from the original order they could go ahead and debit my account for $15.00. I did not receive a check in March for the difference of the backordered item. I was not told I was receiving a check for that amount which I did not receive and certainly was not told that they would be debiting my bank account for the item when it finally came in. They told me this morning that they could debit my bank account for the backordered item now that it came in because the original swimsuit was ordered on the debit card. I asked why they could not then just credit my account instead of sending a check in March for the amt. of the backordered item or credit my acct. for the returned swimsuit which I returned promptly and they said they could not because it from a merchandise certificate. Although, I am only talking $15.00 here, they did not have authorization to take the $15.00 from my account.

I never received the check back in March for the backlogged item that was supposedly credited off their merchandise account amount which was a credit off my original order which was by my debit card. Their story is contradictory to their own policies, very shysty and smacks of fraud.
     
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