Store Goes Out Of Business Before Delivering Crib

Christopher and his wife bought a crib through a local store, and two and half months later they still haven’t received it. Now the store is going out of business, and Christopher isn’t sure what he can do to get his money back.

He writes:

Not sure where else to turn, as Google has failed me. Perhaps you guys would be able to ask the crowd and help me out with my dilemma.

My wife and I are expecting in October with our first child. In advance of this, we purchased a crib set at the end of March from a local, established baby store. They told us it would arrive at the beginning of August, as they had to order it from the manufacturer.

We found out yesterday evening from the friend of the owner that the store is closing… closing now. No one we know has heard anything about it.

I call this morning, and the line is a busy tone. Their website is gone. I’m going by there at lunch, but I have no confidence that they are still open.

Needless to say, we have not received the crib. Our card was charged the day we ordered it. What do we do now? Do we dispute the charge with the credit card company? Would we even get our money back since its been 2 1/2 months? We don’t have the stores order number with the manufacturer, and they were supposed to call us when it came in so we could pick it up.

Having a child is stressful enough, but to think we’re out $1000 is a little much to take.

A chargeback, of course, is the first suggestion that springs to mind—but there is a 60 day window to initiate a chargeback for billing errors. Since 60 days have already passed, it may still be possible to initiate a chargeback under your “claims and defenses” rights. The difference here is you have up to a year to file the claim, but the amount you charged must still be unpaid. If you’re still carrying the debt for the crib on the credit card then it’s possible you can initiate a claims and defenses chargeback, but we can’t guarantee it.

Before doing any of that, of course, you should try to reach someone at the store and attempt to work out a refund with them. Get whatever you can in writing, even if it’s just an invoice for the undelivered crib, so that you have more paper evidence for any further actions you have to take. Then contact your state’s Attorney General office and find out what chargeback options you have under state laws and proceed from there.

(Photo: Ed Yourdon)

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  1. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    This just happened to a friend of mine who had her baby in January. They were able to work out a refund with the company (and the woman they dealt with felt bad about it).

    Because the store handled the “going out of business” in a sort-of shady way, they didn’t find out they weren’t getting the crib until like DAYS before the baby’s due date and had to scramble for an alternate sleeping space.

    (And if all else fails, I pass on to Christopher what everyone kept telling me: All you really need to bring a baby home is a car seat, a laundry basket for him to sleep in, and a roasting pan to use as a bath. Which doesn’t help with the chargeback, but does help with the lack of crib situation ….)

    • Ratty says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): I’m told I got to sleep in a reinforced dresser drawer a short while because of the crib my parents were supposed to get not being around when I was born. I got bathed in the sink too! Horror!

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @Ratty: A friend of mine had the baby arrive 8 weeks early (with a labor that lasted FIFTY NINE MINUTES when she lived FORTY FIVE MINUTES from the hospital … she was crowning in the car) … they DEFINITELY didn’t have a crib ready! Their baby also slept in a dresser drawer.

      • korybing says:

        @Ratty: Wait, bathing infants in the sink isn’t a normal thing?

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @korybing: They have these fancy infant tubs now, and I have to say, for $32, they’re way worth it for someone as clumsy as I am. Infants are all wriggly and slippery and the baby tub holds them more safely and makes it way easier to get at their dirty bits. They sort-of lay on this hammock suspended OVER the water while they’re still in the sponge-bath stage, so you’re not using one hand to hold the slippery baby, one hand to hold the head, and your third hand to try and wash them ….

          (Plus, someone got it for me for a shower. For $0 it’s definitely worth it!)

          • oneandone says:

            @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): They do look fancy – I just saw one at a baby shower, and instantly remembered seeing photos of me (and later brothers) being waashed in a small plastic tub in the sink. Same little plastic tub, now being used for baby cousins.

            I’m clumsy, too, so maybe when the time is right I’ll look into these baby hammock bath things. Especially if it’s durable enough to survive several siblings + other relatives.

        • Ratty says:

          @korybing: I’ve seen a lot of strange infant bath devices, special washing tubs, and people bathing mewborns in bathrubs themselves. So i’m not sure.

    • SafetyMachete_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): When my parents went to pick me up at the orphanarium, they had to go and get a car seat and come back. And to think I bitched when the vet wouldn’t let my 4 kittens come home in 2 carriers.

    • ponycyndi says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!):

      Just like the sage advice I got from MY mom. Thanks Mom!

    • ncpeters says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): I think furniture stores often close suddenly based on what I’ve seen in my town. There’s been 2 closures in the last year with no warning. One of the times the store was open one day and completely empty the next day. If I were buying furniture I’d buy it from an established store or larger company or if I was dealing with a smaller store I would not pay until the item was in stock.

  2. chersolly says:

    Cribs are such a waste of money. Keep the little one in bed with you until he or she can sleep in a toddler bed. Everyone in the house will experience a quality sleep. Don’t even get me started on changing tables.

    • BuddyGuyMontag says:

      @chersolly: I’m the size of an NFL lineman. I toss and turn consistently in my sleep. So how about no and stop applying what works for you to other people?

    • FDCPAGuy says:

      @chersolly:

      There’s actually a worry about smothering the baby when you ‘co-sleep’. Doctors, nurses, hospitals and every medical worker I know says it’s a nice gesture but not worth the risk.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @FDCPAGuy: And maybe more to the point for me, if you co-sleep safely, you have to do it on flat hard mattress low to the ground with no pillows and blankets in the bed, which would basically require you to sleep in adult footie pajamas and SCREW ALL OF THAT.

        Snuggling with my baby is nice, but not at the expense of my pillows and sleep comfort (especially not when I’m hardly get any sleep at all).

        We got a “sidecar” ([www.armsreach.com]), which is a good compromise for us. I can obsessively check that the baby’s still breathing and have him convenient for nighttime nursing, without having to run the risks of having him IN the bed. Although wouldn’t meet chersolly’s criterion of not being a “waste of money.”

        • B* says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!):
          I got an awesome deal on mine, the original model for $105. Also works as a playpen, so not necessarily a waste of money. Bigger waste of money? Cranking the heat up all winter because you’re co-sleeping and can’t use blankets. You fail, chersolly.

    • Ratty says:

      @chersolly: Which is why there are so many instances of smothering deaths for people who do just that. Riiiiiight.

    • TexasMama37 says:

      @chersolly: I agree with you but that’s not the point. The point is that this person paid for something that wasn’t delivered.

    • Tamar Weinberg says:

      @chersolly: Just curious if you’ve ever heard of the different factors that contribute to SIDS. One of those includes entrapment and suffocation between adult bed and wall/headboard/other furniture and babies getting tangled in bedding. And I believe that children have suffocated because their parents have rolled over them in bed. Is the strong desire to save money really worth that kind of risk?

      • aliasmisskat says:

        @Tamar Weinberg: Actually, a large number of “rolling over” and suffocation incidents involve parents who are on medication, drugs, or alcohol, all of which alter sleep depth and cycle. Co-sleeping is the norm in many other countries, and those countries usually have lower incidents of SIDS. A parent who co-sleeps is more likely to notice if the baby stops breathing, and a baby who has someone else in the bed is more likely to be awoken or jostled, causing them to breathe, instead of simply stopping breathing.

        Yes, it can be very dangerous for people who don’t pay attention to what’s in the bed, what meds they take, or like to have a drink before bed. But for those who inform themselves, it can be a valid, and safe, alternative.

        • coolkiwilivin says:

          @aliasmisskat: Exactly. My wife and have done it for both our boys and all of us are fine. It’s like the silly Doctors show where the dr recommends a c-section over natural childbirth. There is nothing wrong with C-sections if you need one but it’s surgery. Instead of treating childbirth and parenting like medical conditions, why not treat it like it’s a normal part of life.

        • dimndgal1 says:

          @aliasmisskat:
          Yes, co-sleeping is the norm in other countries, but many countries that do so don’t have luxury mattresses and bedding for the little one to drown in. Also, I’d like to see your statistics about the percentage of accidental smothering committed by parents on drugs or drunk compared to sober — all the information I have read doesn’t have statistics to measure both and I know of several cases where the parents were just heavy sleepers and stone sober.

          For everyone trying to advocate co-sleeping as a solution to a company taking money and not providing a service, you are missing the point. Why not offer helpful advice instead of promoting a personal platform?

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @aliasmisskat: “Co-sleeping is the norm in many other countries, and those countries usually have lower incidents of SIDS.”

          But in most of those countries, they do not have western-style beds, which present a whole special set of co-sleeping risks. And far too many co-sleeping parents don’t give up their western-style beds and pillow-top mattresses.

    • nakedscience says:

      @chersolly: Not everyone can or WANTS TO co-sleep. If you want and can, awesome, but suggesting that everyone should and if they don’t, they are bad parents (and that’s exactly what you are implying) is ridiculous and uncalled for. Don’t be an ass.

    • takes_so_little says:

      @chersolly: Besides all of the good reasons already given in this thread for buying a crib, I found that having my babies sleep in cribs in a seperate room gave my wife and I many more opportunities to have sex. And not that uptight not-wanting-to-wake-someone-in-the-bed-with-you sex.

    • TechnoDestructo says:

      @chersolly:

      My family’s cat gave birth to a litter of kittens in my bed, while I was sleeping in it.

      I smothered all of the kittens in my sleep.

      Sleeping with a small, fragile critter in your bed just doesn’t strike me as a good idea.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    @chersolly: Please don’t become a parent.

    • vgeroh says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: that is one of the most hateful things i have ever read on here. who are you to judge. there are countries all over the world where co-sleeping is the norm and they have lower rates of infant mortality than we do.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @vgeroh: If my comment is one of the most hateful things you’ve read on here, you need to pay more attention. The fact that chersolly was implying that people who buy cribs for their children are wasting their money, or who are bad parents, means nothing to you? You would rather tell me about the dozens of countries that actively co-sleep instead of addressing the fact that there are other contributing factors to infant mortality…

        And what’s this? Your statement of other countries that have lower infant mortality rates than the US…

        [www.cia.gov]

        The U.S. ranks 180th. That means there are 179 other countries with higher infant mortality rates than the United States. Don’t tell me that 179 other countries have been co-sleeping for centuries without any problems, and not factoring cultural differences and resources.

        Countries such as Sierra Leone and Angola probably don’t use cribs – but you know, when much of the country’s population is struggling to feed itself, cribs aren’t really the norm. So maybe kids end up dying from disease or hunger, or abandonment instead of co-sleeping, but it’s ridiculous to suggest that just because other countries have been doing it without any consequences, means it’s safe. Last I checked, people from all countries were capable of accidentally smothering children during sleep.

  4. Tamar Weinberg says:

    This is something I’ve read about in the Baby Bargains book I was told about by so many people. On page 32 of v8.0 (8th edition) book, it says “It’s a sad fact: baby stores come and go. Most retailers that close do so reputably … A handful are not so honest: they take deposits up until the day the landlord padlocks their doors. Our advice: always charge your purchase to a credit card. If the store disappears, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company and (most likely) get your money back. Another red flag: stores that ask for payment up front on a special order. The typical deal is half down with the balance due upon delivery. Stores that are desperate for cash might demand the entire purchase price upfront. Be suspicious.”

    I know it’s too late to do anything about it now, but yes, take their advice and consider shopping at baby stores with a grain of salt. My son was born 3 weeks ago today and I’m still waiting for his baby furnitrure; I hope that the store we purchased from actually comes through!

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @Tamar Weinberg: It makes Target/Babies R Us/etc. look good for baby purchases, doesn’t it? Even though it’s all very mass-market and not necessarily the nicest furniture.

      (I’m too lame for matching baby furniture. My baby has dressers from the Duke University dorm overstock sale that I got in law school, a crib we snagged from the neighbors, and a desk-as-changing-table.)

    • GildaKorn says:

      @Tamar Weinberg: There’s one thing I don’t understand about that. Is all this baby equipment super-specialized? So specialized that even baby boutique dealers don’t carry it in stock?

      We’re talking about a crib here.

    • rainbowsandkittens says:

      @Tamar Weinberg: It’s very crappy that this store did this. My daughter is two months old (wriggling here as we speak) and I couldn’t stand how much a stupid furniture set cost for a nursery when we started looking–more than most adult bedroom sets!

      So, we got a little creative. Instead of a dresser and a changing table (together about $600 to match the crib) we bought three sections of finished white california closet-style closet built-ins–some with drawers and one with cabinet faces. We bolted each together and then to the wall. Then, we took the doors off the closet and put up long curtain panels. Finally, we put up a small outer railing on the top of one unit to create a changing table. We saved about $400 and the built-ins in the closet will last forever, instead of having to chuck a changing table and baby dresser in a few years. Plus, we saved a ton of space in the room overall so there is more space to play :)

  5. Joe S Chmo says:

    About 4 years ago I had a customer in a similar situation. He had paid for furniture to be built and paid a deposit of $6,000.00. The company went bankrupt and he went back and forth with them trying to get his money back. After 4 months he contacted the bank and I filed the claim for him but said not to expect much if anything. He ended up getting full credit for the whole $6,000.00! Filed under : It never hurts to try. and keep good records. It was a debit card too.

  6. coren says:

    I don’t know a ton about chargebacks, but (and this may require waiting, which would render it useless) couldn’t you do one for non delivery?

    • henwy says:

      @coren: I was worried about non-delivery of an item I purchased online from a store that was just starting up. When I called to check with my discover card, they told me that the max was 60 days still.

  7. HogwartsAlum says:

    Since I don’t have any kids, I’m wondering why it takes so long to get the baby furniture. I mean, doesn’t a crib come in a BOX? Why can’t they just give you the box and you take it home?

    I’ve never ever bought furniture and had delivery take more than a few days, even with stores’ nimrod subcontracting that they do now.

    • Sarcastikate says:

      @HogwartsAlum:

      Because these cribs are all for very special babies, not the regular kind people used to have.

    • Tamar Weinberg says:

      @HogwartsAlum: Stores have floor models that are probably dinged up and have had more than a few dirty hands come into contact with them. Would you want to buy that? It’s probably the only available one.

      Normally, when you buy furniture, you have the option to choose different colors and styles. It’s not something that a furniture store can just pull out of the backroom. Furniture is *huge*, and backrooms aren’t necessarily large enough to stock boxes and boxes of furniture. Further, furniture stores often have a relationship with a manufacturer, and the lengthy process usually is because they have to order the furniture from the manufacturer and wait for it to arrive.

      The crib/dresser I have coming for my son was available in about 30 different colors and 6 or so different styles. I’ve been told it won’t arrive at the store until next week.

      There has never been a time in my life when I have not had to wait for furniture.

      • mzs says:

        @Tamar Weinberg: MW went bankrupt while we were waiting for our mattress, spring box, and frame to be delivered. We kept contacting them about when it was going to arrive and they kept giving lies. Later I learned that weeks before we had paid their suppliers stopped deliveries to them.

        So we talked to one of the managers at the store near us and he let us take one of the floor models. It was a bit torn-up and smaller than the one we had ordered but it has lasted 9 years now. Also I had to take it back to the apartment myself with the help of a buddy of mine, we had paid for delivery and installation.

        I would ask for a floor model and clean it up. If it is good quality it will last anyway. It’s better to have something for your money than nothing. That’s assuming that the people running the show will be reasonable. And the kid won’t care or remember. We had two pretty beat-up cribs for our three kids by the time they all got done with them.

        • HogwartsAlum says:

          @mzs:
          “I would ask for a floor model and clean it up. If it is good quality it will last anyway. “

          Yeah, that’s probably what I would do.

          Thanks everyone for clarifying this. I wondered.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @HogwartsAlum: And my theory is, kids barf on stuff/spill on stuff/bang into stuff/do war upon stuff. So nice new stuff isn’t necessarily a good idea with kids. So I’d be fine with a refurb floor model or something.

            But then I am not a matchy-matchy person in general. I love OTHER people’s cute nurseries but that seems like a lot of work for me!

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): I don’t like matchy matchy baby furniture either…the baby’s not going to care, right? I’ve seen entire rooms of matching furniture though, so it’s totally something people do. I’d rather stick to some basic pieces that can be used whether the kid is 1 or 10. Cause a baby isn’t going to roll over and open a drawer, so why would he/she care what the dresser looks like? The crib just has to be safe, and should preferably not clash horribly…I just want things to look nice, but I don’t need everything to have the same perfect cherry stain on it. Unless my kid (future kid) eats cherries and spits it on everything.

        • Tamar Weinberg says:

          @mzs: “I would ask for a floor model and clean it up. If it is good quality it will last anyway. It’s better to have something for your money than nothing.”

          Oh, absolutely. And you can usually get a floor model (if they allow the sale) for cheaper, thereby saving you money in the process.

          But you’re right — it’s better to have something for your money than nothing. If given a choice, though, I think most people prefer new untouched stuff. With the necessity to sanitize *everything* once the newborn comes into your home, you can only imagine how many germs that floor model came into contact with. I suppose that’s the logic behind wanting new, anyway.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @HogwartsAlum: I think some of it is that these stores don’t get a lot of repeat business (you’re likely to use the same set of furniture for all your kids), so, like wedding boutiques, they feel free to have bad business practices because they don’t HAVE to get you to come back.

      These boutiques are usually selling fancier, higher-end, smaller-manufacturer stuff, so even the non-shady ones probably don’t keep them in stock in the back room but you’re special ordering.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @HogwartsAlum: One of my friends is in the process of buying a lot of baby furniture and she’s had to wait for almost everything, even a changing table. She even ordered from Babies R’Us, which is supposed to have a store so big they can keep stuff in the back, right? Wrong! They had to special order everything because they offered the table and crib in several styles and colors. Also, it was on backorder, so she had to wait.

      • henwy says:

        @pecan 3.14159265:

        Ya, ya. God forbid it doesn’t match and such.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @henwy: Some people want things to match. Also, she’s not having her kid for eight months so there’s time.

        • nakedscience says:

          @henwy: Oh my gosh, god forbid someone has a preference on what furniture they spend their money on!

          Aren’t we in a “free market”? Don’t people have the right to choose what they spend THEIR money on? Is it any of your business if smoeone wants things to match and wants their house to look nice?

    • B* says:

      @HogwartsAlum:
      Depends on where you buy it I guess. I got all mine at Ikea and brought it home that day. Had to assemble it myself but no biggie.

    • econobiker says:

      @HogwartsAlum: I think it was answered for you already but these type of folks want matching stuff and have an entire extra room for the child.

      Look for this stuff on craigslist in about 4 to 6 years when uber mom redecorates the childs room. And expect the price still to be high because she originally paid so much plus is rolling the sale price into the redecorating costs that her husband doesn’t know about…

      “10 pieces of matching baby furniture suite designed by Fangol D’Aubry Montansate and sourced through the most exclusive (and by implication “clean”) baby boutique in our local cities gold coast of shoppes. We purchased the suite five years ago for the birth of our lovely daughter Ashely Britany Weatherdone and so it is barely used since I chose a completely different pattern when our son Jaden Harely Weatherdone was born last year. My husband says it is time to move it from storage in the bonuse room over our four car garage so he can set up his workout gym again. We paid $6908.98 but offer it up for just $2799.00. Always in a non-smoking home and we never let our three trophy pet black Labs touch it. Email me to qualify to get the entry code to our gated community. Clean people with cash only.”

  8. hamburglar says:

    Quoting the original post:
    “A chargeback, of course, is the first suggestion that springs to mind-but there is a 60 day window to initiate a chargeback for billing errors.”

    As someone who works dealing with merchant-side chargebacks, I wish the first thing that sprang to mind is what you suggest later: “Before doing any of that, of course, you should try to reach someone at the store and attempt to work out a refund with them.” More often than not, that is the best way to resolve an issue, and chargebacks should be considered a last resort.

    However, if talking to the merchant fails, the situation described in Christopher’s letter would not be considered a billing error. Rather, it would fall under “non-receipt of goods.” Chargebacks for that reason allow the consumer a longer window in which to file.

    If this was paid with a Visa, you can file a chargeback using Reason Code 30 – Services Not Rendered or Merchandise Not Received.

    Dispute description:
    Merchandise Not Received: The cardholder was charged for merchandise that was not delivered/received and has attempted to resolve the issue with the merchant.

    Timeframe to initiate chargeback:
    120 days from one of the following:
    - the transaction date
    - the expected date of receipt/delivery
    - 30 days after the transaction date (if there is no expected date of receipt/delivery)
    - the date the merchandise was received if it wasn’t received on the agreed-upon date
    - the transaction date for the balance portion of a delayed-delivery transaction

    For MasterCard, you’re looking at Reason Code 55 – Non-Receipt of Merchandise.

    Dispute Description:
    The Cardholder states he/she did not receive the merchandise that was ordered and an attempt was made to resolve the dispute with the merchant.

    Timeframe to initiate chargeback:
    120 calendar days from the expected date of delivery.

    Discover Card, you say? Then you need Reason Code RG – Non-Receipt of Goods or Services

    Dispute Description:
    The cardholder is claiming one of the following:
    -Merchandise or services were never received OR
    -The order was canceled but the cardholder was still charged OR
    -Delivery was refused

    Timeframe to initiate chargeback:
    365 calendar days from the date of the transaction

    AmEx? Sorry, I don’t know their rules, but I have to imagine they’re similar to the above. Give them a call.

    Regardless of who issued the card, the only way a merchant can dispute this type chargeback is to provide proof the customer received the merchandise.

    Also, the “and has attempted to resolve the issue with the merchant” is KEY. You must make a good faith effort to work this out with the merchant in order for your chargeback to be valid.

    Finally, if you do wind up having to file a chargeback, you won’t need to worry about giving your Card Issuer the Reason Code; they’ll know that already. I’m just posting them here to give you an outline of the applicable rules for this particular situation. Best of luck.

    • Cheapskate Brill says:

      Great info! I think the chargeback should work for him.

    • theblackdog says:

      @hamburglar: I do believe AmEx has similar rules, but it’s hard to say because I don’t know what reason they used my current chargeback dispute for. In this case it was an airline I had been trying to contact for cancellation/refund due to illness, and getting no response.

      • hamburglar says:

        @theblackdog:

        Oh I’m sure AmEx has similar rules, I’m just not familiar with them since the place where I work doesn’t accept AmEx, so I don’t have to deal with chargebacks from them.

        However, the only time I’ve ever personally had to file a chargeback as a consumer, it was on my AmEx card. It was a different situation (double-billed for a hotel room), but the process was pretty simple and dealing with AmEx was really easy.

    • kathyl says:

      @hamburglar: Awesome comment, packed with info. Thank you so much for posting that. I saved all that info in the hopes that I never need it. :)

  9. Brittany Stewart says:

    I just took part of a Sears liquidation in Indiana and I ran into a situation rather like this a few weeks ago. Someone had bought a washer and drier and pedestals to go with them that weren’t delivered. Since the purchase was made BEFORE the liquidation process began, we honored the return. My advice is to go the store with the receipt in hand and either demand the crib or insist on the refund. If they will do neither, that’s when you should initiate chargebacks and the like.

    • Joe DeLorenzo says:

      @Brittany Stewart: and when she says “demand” she means be polite, but stern, about it. People who work retail are people too, treat them nicely and they’ll do whatever they can to help you. =)

  10. morganlh85 says:

    Tell them to call their local news consumer reporter and make a fuss about it. Then they might have a better chances of getting their money back.

  11. gman863 says:

    If the purchase isn’t covered by chargeback rules (cash, check, gift card, etc.), a few phone calls may help in tracking the owners and possibly getting a refund.

    Most cities require a retailer holding a “Going Out of Business” or other liquidation sale to get a permit. This limits the sale’s length to 45-90 days, presumably preventing a store from scamming customers with a never-ending sale (although Circuit City and LNT proved even 45 days is plenty of time for lots of scamming) .

    Call the city/county license office where the store is located. They should have a record of who the original business license and liquidation permit are/were issued to.

    “Going Out of Business” does not always mean the owner or company has declared bankruptcy. If the store has other locations and/or the business is owned by an individual (not incorporated), it might be worth the effort to file a small claims suit for the money. There are times where the money is there and the owner will pay up to avoid having an unpaid judgement strike on their credit report. I remember a local TV report about a smiliar situation a few years ago. It turned out the store was owned by a rich doctor’s wife who simply got bored and decided to close up shop. Since the doctor and his wife hadn’t incorporated the store they were personally liable for the store’s debts.

    Granted, the odds of recovery depend on the available assets, but it’s worth a try. Good luck, I hope you get the money back soon.

    • unpolloloco says:

      @gman863:Key word there being most cities. I remember a furniture store that had going out of business sales for several years before they finally closed.

      • Brian James Schend says:

        @unpolloloco: As I understand, going out of business, legally speaking, means not ordering new inventory. It is possible that the furniture store really did take several years to sell off the inventory. Especially since furniture is a high-price item and it might be worth it to wait to sell it (instead of dumping)

  12. Cliff_Donner says:

    I recently had to request a chargeback for an item I ordered using my USAA Visa. The online store I ordered the item from waited over a month before they informed me (only after I had called them to inquire about the status of the item) that they would not be able to deliver the custom-made item I had ordered. They suggested a couple of alternate choices of which they said they would send me photos, but communication was spotty. A little over 3 months after placing my initial order, I decided I wasn’t comfortable with the whole transaction — it felt more like we were trying to figure out how I would use $1800 of store credit rather than deliver something that was even close to what I had originally ordered. I requested a refund from the store twice via email.

    When I called USAA to request the chargeback, I was told that they generally prefer the chargeback to be initiated within 60 days, however, it was within their discretion to process the chargeback within up to 120 days. Since I was apparently on Day 93, I decided to plow ahead with the chargeback.

    I was also told that the store had to deliver the item within 60 days (or 30? days — I can’t remember) of them charging the item. If they could not provide proof of delivery within this timeframe, I would automatically win if the store chose to dispute the chargeback.

    USAA is, of course, GREAT. Other CC companies may have different guidelines, but that was my experience. Not sure if any of this applies to the OP’s situation. Thanks for listening!

    • theblackdog says:

      @Cliff_Donner: I <3 USAA, even if I haven’t had to ask for a chargeback from them.

    • econobiker says:

      @Cliff_Donner: “I was also told that the store had to deliver the item within 60 days (or 30? days — I can’t remember) of them charging the item.”

      That is why some places specifiy (or used to specify) delivery in 6-8 weeks from order. Ebay threw that one out on its head though…

      @theblackdog: USAA=A+ echoed…

  13. Anonymous says:

    The only chargeback i’ve ever done was 9 months after the transactions. I purchased something in July and didn’t want it delivered/installed until January. (house solar system and was expected rebate amounts to change at the start of the year for installs after the new year but had to lock in state rebates by purchasing the system in the prior year).

    Company went out of business. I tried to work with them to get my deposit back — which they initially looked like they were going to help but at the end the said to hop in the bankruptcy line to get my money back.

    I had paid the deposit with a credit card so i called my bank after several weeks of fighting with the company and explained the circumstances — the transaction date, when it was supposed to be installed, and the company’s closing. I honestly didn’t expect anything for a transaction that was so old.

    The bank investigated. The company never responded to the bank. So, by default, the bank reversed the transaction. Had my 3k back in my account after a month.

    my advice is to call the bank, explain the situation honestly, and initiate the chargeback — you have nothing to lose.

  14. Murph1908 says:

    @chersolly:
    Sure. And if your kid survives, prepare to have him/her sleeping in your bed until they are 8…or older.

    • katoninetales says:

      @Murph1908: I co-slept with my son as long as he was nursing at night (about ten months) with no ill effects. It took about a week to train him to sleep somewhere else, but he’s eight now, and it’s been a lot of years since he slept in my bed.

      I agree it’s not for everyone; don’t do it if you have a lot of bedding, have to take medicine to sleep, sleep very heavily, or sleep so lightly an infant in the bed will keep you from getting rest. It worked for me, though.

  15. Cheapskate Brill says:

    This is why you don’t buy from any place that tells you it’ll take 2 months to get your stuff, but you’re being billed today.

    If they need to pre-bill, write in the contract that if it’s not delivered in 30, 45, 60 days (whatever timeframe), you have the right to cancel and initiate a chargeback.

  16. Mary Marsala with Fries says:

    @chersolly: Ooh, a comment that’s both completely off-topic AND preachy AND wrong! It’s like a trifecta of common Consumerist evils!

  17. takes_so_little says:

    @chersolly: Unsolicited criticism? Awesome, parents LOVE that! Well played!

  18. mariospants says:

    I have a friend with 5 kids. The last one slept in a well-padded dresser drawer on the ground for the first few weeks while they were waiting for a crib… after 4 kids, I guess you figure out where the priorities and necessities are.

  19. takes_so_little says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: Oh, SNAP!

    vgeroh = pwned