Mall Skin Care Kiosk Hustles Mentally Disabled Man For $300, Refuses To Refund

Audrey’s mentally disabled uncle was snookered by a mall skin care kiosk worker into buying $300 worth of product he doesn’t need. When his niece found out, the kiosk refused to do a refund saying it was “against policy.” Now her special needs uncle has only $40 left to live on for the week and the kiosk manager is ducking her calls.

Audrey writes:

I’m not sure if anyone can help us out, but I figured it was worth a shot!

My uncle is physically 25, he’s never been properly evaluated, but it’s obvious he’s highly functioning, autistic.

He’s a wonderful and smart boy, but also just that, a child.

About 6 years ago, he wanted to take on more responsibility, and help my Grandmother out (his main caregiver) after my Grandfather passed, so he got a job. He works a few hours each week as a bag boy and sometimes cashier at a local grocer.

Well, we went to the mall the other day, per usual he was told where to meet us and when, one hour at the entrance. He’s a creature of habit, always goes to the same stores, the same route and meets back at the exact time you tell him too.

And this time was no different, except once I got up to him to ask him what he got, I noticed that next to his usual FYE bag of Pokemon games and Walden books purchase of Garfield comics, he had a cloth bag the read “Organic skin care.”

The problem started there, I gathered his receipt and learned that he was hussled to the the tune of 300 dollars (292.87 to be exact) by a man running a skin care kiosk. He swindled him out of his hard earned money and got him to buy a nail shine kit, body butter, toner etc. He sold this all to my uncle, someone I have to motherly remind to brush his teeth and take a bath. He has no interest in skin care obviously.

I went back and spoke with the sales clerk, who continued to insult us by telling me it was my fault that my uncle was alone, while I do understand if I want him fully protected I need to be right with him, I just stupidly assumed he wouldn’t be taken advantage of by a grown man AND at one of the most uptight wealthy malls ever. No refund was made, he stuck by the store policy rather then a moral one.

I was given a number to call to get in touch with the manager over him, I’ve yet to get so much as a “We’re looking into it” all I get is voice mail.

Obviously there is a lot more to this story and I will be more then happy to write it all out if
it seems like something you can pick up.

Thus far I’ve called daily, left 3 messages on her voice mail, contacted two news stations and once I’m done writing this I’ll contact more and the BBB.

This isn’t even about the fact that his account had less then 40 bucks left for him to live on for the week, this is about the mentally disabled being taken advantage of and victimized, someone, everyone needs to know what sort of dirt bags are employed at this mall and what sort of ones are managing them.

They’re just hoping you’ll go away. Don’t. Continue to pursue the manager. Perhaps you can look her up and see if there’s any other contact info for her you can find? Also, the mall has the power to revoke the stall’s lease. I would suggest contacting the mall management and telling them about this store’s abominable behavior. Familiarize yourself with the threat of public humiliation tactics I wrote about in “How To Kick A Scammy Car Dealer In The Nuts.” Everyone has got a leverage point.

Comments

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  1. lymer says:

    “My uncle is physically 25, he’s never been properly evaluated…”

    I wish I was “physically 25″ then I would be in the best shape of my life!

    • Difdi says:

      I have a cousin who is 13. Most of my cousins are in the 29-34 range. I’m 35. My 13 year old cousin’s dad got a late start on kids, resulting in a wide age difference between the little guy and the rest of us. It’s not really all that odd for someone to be the same age as an uncle (or even older) if the grandparents had lots of kids over a span of many years.

  2. omg says:

    Perhaps some readers would love to give the store a call?

    • Zanorfes says:

      Count me in.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        Me too me too, sign me up.

        • BfloAnonChick says:

          Phone number please?

          • zibby says:

            Perhaps they have Battletoads…

          • danmac says:

            [redacted]

          • Fourth.Of.Five says:

            I don’t know if everyone calling and giving em hell will make us look good :/
            BUT trust me, I was removed by security (3 grown men to be exact) the night this happened.
            But hey, in two days I’ll be over there standing by the kiosk with signs, if that doesn’t get me anywhere then I’ll be sharing everything you guys need to know.

            Thank you again, right no I’m all alone in fighting this. My uncle doesn’t want me to mention it because he feels horrible about what he did. I keep telling him it wasn’t his fault and isn’t about what he did, but about what the kiosk employee did.
            His mother, my Grandmother just doesn’t have it in her to be aggressive and that’s it, I’m the only family they have that apparently gives a crap.
            I’ve spent years sticking up for him in school (and days suspended from it) so I’m not going to let this go, I thought the bullies and a-holes who fed off him grew up but apparently not.

    • Caprica Six says:

      Time to give ‘em hell lads!

    • chemmy says:

      Count me in too. My brother in law is a high-functioning autistic and I feel your pain and ANGER.

    • wanpakumono says:

      Me too – have an autistic son. This is unconscionable!!!

    • Conformist138 says:

      No shit. My grandma, who was showing the early signs of stroke-induced dementia, was swindled by a Kirby vacuum salesman. He came back twice, sold her a new $1500 vacuum (worthless things) both times.

      Some people just count as evil. Harming children, the elderly, and the disabled is just beyond sickening. It takes “pick on someone your own size” to a whole new level.

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      This salesperson is truly evil. He knew exactly what he was doing and blamed the victim’s caregivers for letting him take advantage of the guy.

      • jaybeebrad says:

        Agreed. Only because his response was “it’s your fault you left him alone”; that’s a pretty clear indicator that he knew who he was dealing with.

  3. pantheonoutcast says:

    How is he any different than any other person who would be scammed into spending $300 on skin care products from a kiosk in a mall?

    • TheFinalBoomer says:

      I think it’s the developmentally disabled thing maybe? As someone who has worked with the developmentally disabled in the past, I can’t imagine a scummier thing to do. I mean, it’s obvious the guy doesn’t want or need this, and refusing to allow a return? That’s ridiculous. Also, you are a jerk.

      • k1b8sn1 says:

        He’s a jerk because he is upset that ANYONE gets scammed? Lighten up.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        I’m sorry you missed the joke. That, or my lack of coffee this morning has made my humor bland and indistinguishable from a dry, caustic comment.

        Let me spell it out for you:

        I am drawing a parallel between people who spend $300 on skin cream at a kiosk in the mall and people with mental disabilities. Perhaps it did not work.

        Here I’ll try again:

        “He’s still essentially smarter than normal people who regularly spend $300 on skin cream.”

        How’s that?

        • brinks says:

          I missed the joke, but I agree with this.

        • ARPRINCE says:

          That’s not what you wrote in your original post no matter how you want to put it. I agree, you are a JERK!

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            And you have limited comprehension skills. We all have things we need to work on.

            • kmw2 says:

              If you think something is a joke and your audience doesn’t, maybe there’s something wrong with your joke.

              • Marshmelly says:

                Or maybe the majority of the audience did get the joke (which was really obvious) and only the few that didn’t are commenting cause they feel offended?

              • thatdarnedbob says:

                Or with the audience.

              • Doubts42 says:

                I got the joke.

              • Verdant Pine Trees says:

                This. Pantheon’s a writer, and sometimes, yes, it’s not that the audience is stupid, it’s that you need to reword if you want maximum payoff to a puncline. I’m sure he’s (it is a he, right?) much more particular when he’s writing for a paying audience versus a bunch of semi-strangers on the web.

                Not everyone follows everyone as carefully either, is the expectation that “well I know him, you’re just easily offended because you don’t know and love ‘em like I do”, fair?

            • JennQPublic says:

              Like your stand-up comedy routine? :-p

        • Martha Chang says:

          “hey I’m going to make a comment about how this guy is no different than other people that got scammed”

          “Holy shit people are offended at my comment?! Shit I must do damage control… I know! The whole thing was a joke guys! I don’t REALLY think it’s okay to scam retarded people!”

          Yeah, fuck you, pal.

          • danmac says:

            I don’t agree with a thing pantheonoutcast posts. That said, I interpreted it as a joke about the “normal” people who purchase things at kiosks the first time I read it. He’s not backpedaling this time; you’re just not in tune with his sarcasm.

          • coren says:

            Is that why people were explaining what he just said before he stepped in and did “damage control” as he put it?

            People misinterpreting things is not his fault.

          • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

            Really, you didn’t get that he was making a joke (which was obvious to me and several others on here) ,so you are calling him awful names because of your lack of ability to recognize a joke? Outcast has a very wry sense of humor. Not his fault that you don’t get it.

          • Dalsnsetters says:

            I lurk around here, post when I have something to say. Depending on my level of intoxication, I can be quite prolific.

            Having said that, I’ve read enough of pantheonoutcast’s posts (and I think I have disagreed with one or two, but again, that whole intoxication thing……*hic*) that even *I* know when s/he is using sarcasm or humor in a reply. Cripes, there are days around here when I feel like I’m on TotalFark…..

        • Marshmelly says:

          …apparently he’s also smarter than most of the people in here getting all offended by your comment because they can’t comprehend an OBVIOUS joke. C’mon are you guys this dumb? How could you not see that was a joke? *facepalm*

        • jeepguy57 says:

          Clearly it was sarcasm. People need to reeeeeeelax.

    • SkuldChan says:

      Its like that Alzheimers patient who bought all those cars. The dealer knew the old guy didn’t need 7 cars, but he kept financing them. The dealership could have said – whats wrong with the car we sold you yesterday.

      This poor guy didn’t understand he was giving away all his money for nothing he needed, and his caregiver is trying to get his money back so he can eat.

    • Darrone says:

      As she says, it would be as scammy as hussling a 6 year old into buying $300 in skin care. And even then, its not so much the need to upsell as it is refusing to refund when you are presented with the facts.

      • slappysquirrel says:

        Yeah. The sales to a mentally-disabled-guy wouldn’t bother me if they had taken the product back half and hour after they sold it.

    • brinks says:

      Mr. Outcast, I can’t remember ever disagreeing with anything you’ve said before now.

      There’s an argument for scamming people who are dumb enough to let themselves get scammed. However, there should be some personal ethics here. If they guy’s obviously mentally disabled, only an asshole would take $300 from him.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I think the OP was presuming that people would be aware that her uncle wasn’t like everyone else, and that people wouldn’t take advantage of him. Maybe the assumption is that he wasn’t really of the mental facility to understand he could refuse, while other people don’t have an excuse.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        I work with a high functioning autistics at my job, and my BIL is a high functioning autistic with a master’s degree. I must say that there really is nothing physically that would give away that they are autistic. People who don’t know their issues and don’t have more than passing contact with the person might perceive them as being a little weird, but they honestly might not know.

        As I said before, I think the shop should do a refund in your case. But, you shouldn’t leave a man who can’t handle his money properly with $300 in his wallet to blow. You also need to make sure he gets a proper diagnoses. Most areas have a department of health and mental retardation that could provide services. She isn’t a doctor, mental health professional, or professional counselor, so she isn’t even remotely qualified to make any kind of diagnosis.

      • Fourth.Of.Five says:

        Exactly.

        When I asked my uncle why he purchased it, he said he tried and tried to say no but couldn’t for some reason.
        When you talk to him, he doesn’t look you in the face, he’s eyes are down or looking around, when you confront him, say he does something that he for sure knows he shouldn’t, he gets red faced and can’t for the life of him get his words out. I can picture him with this guy and it kills me.
        I’m pissed at myself of course, but this is his first time as an adult being taken advantage of, its the last I hope.

    • El_Fez says:

      You gotta be fucking kidding me – did you not read the article? How heartless you must be, to think that it’s okay to scam someone not right in the head. There’s a HUGE difference between the average Joe and someone physically unable to make good decisions.

      Tool.

    • smo0 says:

      I lol’d.

      On that note – it’s not just skincare… at the sawgrass mall in FL – there’s a nail care kiosk – they hold out these buffing pads and call out to people “BUFF YO NAILS?!”

      Not making any ethnics slurs, they just talk fast and repeat it over 100xs times an hour. Not only that, they are in your face about it – stand partly in front of you, damn near grabbing your hands.

      I just remember this one time… my friend and I had to pass this kiosk venturing around the mall a few times – and by the 4th time and the 384290254th “BUFFY0NAILZ?!” She turns and goes, “I got something you can buff, bitch!”
      The girl just shut up….. and we walked off… I know … REEKS of class but… there’s a time and a place and… this was the time and definitely the place.

      • Marshmelly says:

        omg I remember those nail buffing kiosks at the mall when I was in highschool…wasn’t “buff yo nailz” though haha. I thought it was the most amazing thing then (and my friend bought one), but nowadays you can just get them at the drugstore for like 5 bucks…not sure why they’re still trying to sell them in special kiosks. lol

    • Shadowman615 says:

      I initially read it as a joke. Having seen your posts before.

    • libwitch says:

      You do have a point – because honestly, it would be one thing if she could go to the manager, mall manager, or BBB and say “look, my uncle is in fact, mentally disabled and should be held responsible for these purchases.” It is going to be much more difficult when all she can say is “we think my uncle is….” Because then the reply can be “or, he just can’t handle money and made a bad decision because he is an impulsive shopper, and we are not responsible for that.”

  4. Bativac says:

    Definitely contact the mall management. If the store isn’t willing to budge, a call from their landlord will shake things up a little bit.

    I understand the thing about staying with him at all times to “protect” him from this kind of stuff, but cumon. I worked retail years ago and it never occurred to me to try to fast-talk someone who was obviously developmentally disabled. I’m sure many other people can say the same. Generally, human beings are able to keep from taking advantage of the disadvantaged by virtune of being a human.

    • Link_Shinigami says:

      I got a few people with disabilities when I worked as a CSR. I went out of my way to actually make sure they understood what was happening and didn’t suggest any changes unless I could prove, beyond a doubt, that they’d benefit them. And then I’d do a warm transfer to make sure everyone was on the same page (5 minute call turned into 30 minute calls). Most reps I worked with had the same mentality (We did the same for nice people that were clueless too)

      • Areia says:

        Some folks in the autism spectrum may look perfectly fine to a stranger, so I could see a situation where the sales person really just thought they were dealing with a more-gullible-than-average customer. But if it turns out the customer was presenting more mentally able than he really was, as soon as a caregiver turns up to explain this, you do the right thing, apologize, and give them a refund. If that were me I’d probably be handing them some samples for added goodwill.

        • Takoma says:

          Exactly. The sales thing, well, I could go either way. Sometimes it is not obvious if someone has a mental disability or just has a quirky personality/is shy/whatever. And I work with people with mental disabilities professionally. And some people with mental disabilities do make their own money and have a right to spend it. Since we didn’t see the exchange, a salesperson might have thought he was getting lucky. Some high functioning people with autism will say “Yes” to things they don’t understand because they want to get along and blend in. I could see something like “Sir, do you care about your appearance?” “Yes.” “I see. Do you like the look of these products?” ” Yes.” “Great, I’ll just take your credit card and they’re all yours!” “Okay.”

          The really sleazy part, as others have said, is not allowing the return once the situation was explained. When I worked retail, I had to try and sell deals/specials as part of my job, but only if it was something that the customer wanted or that could save them money.

          I once rented a video game to a young man. A few hours later, he was back with his father. The father explained that the gentleman had a disability and that the game controls were too complicated for the son to handle. Instant refund (or rather, exchange for a different game/credit for the difference in purchase).

          I agree that the OP should contact the mall and continue to reach out to local news. If this salesperson/company is willing to use such shady tactics, who knows what other sleazy things they might be up to.

          • mandy_Reeves says:

            reminds me of when a guy with down syndrome wanted to rent a playboy xbox game about 6 years ago. His mom made him come back and exchange it…I felt bad, because i KNEW the downs guy knew what he was renting, and his mom was acting like he was not aware. He was highly functioning, and i thought,, “hey, mentally disabled folks get horny too!” So i rented it to him.

            • Verdant Pine Trees says:

              Interesting point… glad you brought it up. Some of these relatives would prefer to pretend that the disabled person in their family has no sexual feelings at all. (Close friend since childhood has a poorly functioning autistic brother; she was aware of his struggle with his hormones, her mother had a “see no hear no”).

    • Julia789 says:

      Regardless of the man’s mental status, mall stores are usually required in their leases with the actual mall to refund purchases if the customer is unhappy. Some stores have “exchange only” signs but it’s B.S. because they signed a legally binding contract with the mall. Visit mall management in person and ask if they’re required by the mall to refund. If the store keeps giving them shit, the mall management company may refund them until they work it out.

    • mommiest says:

      Yes. I once brought a complaint to a mall manager about how aggressive one bunch of kiosk reps were being, and the next time I went to the same mall, I was not repeatedly asked if I had “natural nails.” Communication with them should be very helpful.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        I’ll have to try that at my mall. At the holidays, there are always these people selling scalp massagers and they practically block you from moving on. You have to hold back until you see they’re all tied up with other victims, then scurry by.

  5. dumblonde says:

    If you don’t mind the exposure contact your local TV News. They’ll be all over it.

  6. RobHoliday says:

    Capitalism at it’s finest. If someone isn’t capable of saying “no thanks”, why would anyone allow them to handle money?

    • lymer says:

      Has nothing to do with capitalism… good try though.

      • sagodjur says:

        Selling as much as you can for as high a price as you can regardless of the affect on the customer ISN’T capitalism?

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Capitalism is the idea that everyone operates in the other best interest. You know, that whole “invisible hand” thing that leads to good outcomes. Ever wonder why that whole treatise was written? Because Adam Smith couldn’t figure out why everyone acting in their own interests (ie, GREED) seemed to have such good outcomes. He couldn’t square his religious belief that greed=bad with the result that it seemed greed=good.

    • EverCynicalTHX says:

      Why do I envision a flag bearing hipster typing this from the squatter seat at the local Starbucks..lol – kids today.

      He’s right though, stuff like that would never happen in Cuba..at the skincare Kiosk,…at the, er local mall….

      LMAO!

    • chemmy says:

      Way to blame the OP’s uncle there.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        And, by extension, America.

      • AnonymousCoward says:

        Not blaming the uncle, and what the skin care folks did was scummy, but the people who are caring for him need to take some responsibility. It’s great and all that he’s working and making his own money, but he apparently doesn’t have the ability to handle money successfully. He probably needs someone to pay his bills and give him an allowance, so that he doesn’t give it all to the first con artist that comes along.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Right. I mean, I hope in the future the family has him withdraw say, about as much money as his usual purchases cost, and make him pay for everything in cash, and not let him use his debit cards or checks unless there with him.

    • Kibit says:

      I don’t see your comment as blaming the OP. I actually think it is a legitimate observation.

      The OP stated that her uncle is mentally capable enough to work as a sometimes cashier at the local grocery store. So he can run a cash register/POS machine, ring up purchases, scan coupons, run a credit card (not all have terminals that the customer can use) interact with customers, take cash, give change and I am assuming he can make adjustments to the register if something scans twice or rings up the wrong price.

      If her uncle is mentally capable enough to work occasionally as a cashier, it may not be obvious to a stranger that he is mentally disabled or mentally disabled enough to not make his own decisions.

      I think it is wrong that after finding out about the uncles mental disability that the kiosk sales person did not refund his money and that the manager is avoiding her calls. Most of the kiosk sales people I have dealt with have been pushy and abrasive and I do not shop at them.

      I know some readers will not be happy with what I said. I am not blaming the OP or her uncle.

      Has the OP contacted any Mental Disability type advocates? does her uncle have a case worker? or a social worker? would a call to the local police department be a good idea?

      • Mr.Grieves says:

        Ehhhh, I’m not so sure he has all those skills on the cash register. The way she talks about him and says only sometimes he works as a cashier, I assume he would be under some supervision by a co-worker definitely because he doesn’t have the greatest sense of the value of money. Then the co-worker would hold his hand through any tricky transactions and make sure he took the correct amount of money. They would do this because he desires more responsibility and they’re nice enough to humour him and help him out.

        There is a grocery chain in my city that frequently hires mentally or physically disabled people. It’s a nice thing for them to do and they usually do the bag boy type jobs and take the groceries out to customers cars.

      • erratapage says:

        You’ve never really dealt with a mentally disabled person, have you? My step-son is capable of working and running a cash register during off hours with some supervision. He’s also got holes in his brain that leave him extremely vulnerable to suggestion. I can’t tell you the number of times he’s been scammed out of money. Usually, we get the money back for him. Sometimes, it’s a “learning” lesson for him. And you wouldn’t BELIEVE how impossible it is to protect the young man. I mean, he can get scammed getting the mail from his apartment lock box.

        • Fourth.Of.Five says:

          Thank you so much for your comment.
          My uncle sounds very similar to your son, he can be easily pressured into things and it horrible to know that average adults that do know better do things to those who don’t.
          All he knew was this guy told him he would look better.
          He’s capable enough to know he’s different, he knows he’s a bit over weight, can’t drive and lives at home still, what average 25 year old guy wouldn’t jump at the chance to “look better” as this guy said, unfortunately my uncle is shy, and goes inward when pressured and pushed around and he did, and sadly did exactly what this guy said to do.
          I know everyone keeps saying “he shouldn’t be left alone then” and trust me, you can’t possibly beat me up more then I’ve been doing to myself. I think also these are people who haven’t worked or lived with the mentally disabled, especially the high functioning kind. Because it’s learning process for everyone, the days are sometimes drastically different from each other etc. So while today he’s smiling and helping out and seems very average, tomorrow he could be the very opposite. He usually makes good choices, we’ve been to this mall over and over since it opened, I have no idea how he escaped the kiosk employees from hell this long, but unfortunately this time he learned as an adult that not everyone is nice and apparently even in the seemingly nicest places, people can be snakes.

  7. NORMLgirl says:

    We have a local news station that loves to report stories like this. I enjoy watching the “7 on your side” segments. Maybe you could contact your local news station and they could give this guy some well deserved bad press.

  8. gafpromise says:

    Calling the mall management is a great idea. These kinds of high-pressure and abusive sales tactics may be prohibited in the guy’s lease with the mall. Or at the very least a smart manager doesn’t want a scummy operator in their mall and may have more leverage with them.

    • rocketslide says:

      And let other managers in other stores know that the actions of this kiosk’s employees make you not want to go to this mall, and therefor you won’t be shopping at their stores either. Ask them to speak to the mall manager.

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        I would talk to the stores he goes to, if they go with mall management and then your idea. Some stores would love to stick up for a loyal (even if not the biggest spending) customer.

    • ryan89 says:

      If it’s anything like the mall in my home town, they really aren’t going to care. They may mention to the store owner that a complaint was filed, but nothing more. The mall is probably only 50% filled so they’ll sign a lease with just about anyone right now.

      • clickable says:

        OP mentions that it is one of the “uptight, wealthy malls” in her area, so maybe the management is more motivated to keep up appearances.

        I hope she can work this out and get back her uncle’s money plus a decent apology from the mall management. Like everyone else, I also get accosted by these kiosk proprietors, and it takes some determination to get them to stop harassing you.

        • Fourth.Of.Five says:

          Agreed, I hoping the mall is as interested in looking good as the rest of the town it’s in.
          The mall is two story and filled full with stores, I’ve not seen single empty one and it’s always busy since it’s now the only mall close to a few major cities.

          My husband owns a corporate restaurant, put this situation into our shop with our employees and I’d strangle someone upon finding out one of our staff did this, and for sure return the call first thing, have they? Uh no.

          I also thought calling the company who manufactures the product might do something, the kiosk just sells product, sort of like avon, they get a cut, so I’m hoping that maybe the main company would like to know who sells their crap, but then again, they might already know since they do sell to kiosks :/

    • IMADV8 says:

      Considering he has no interest in skin care, I find it unlikely that he approached the cart and asked for information on their products. This, coupled with my own experience with similar carts, suggests that the employee approached him and started pitching their products as he was walking by. This practice is usually expressly forbidden in the lease, and in most malls can lead to some pretty hefty fines on the tenant. If I were her, I’d verify that this is what happened and emphasize it in the complaint to mall management.

  9. brinks says:

    The kiosk is going to stick by their “No Returns” policy. These guys work on commission and they made a lot of money off the OP’s uncle. The kiosks are often small businesses with few higher-ups, if any, to answer to. However, the OP needs to bug the hell out of them until they relent. See if there is a corporate office or district manager and start there. There might not be, though, so call the BBB and mall management.

    If all else fails, I’d just hang around the kiosk all day and tell their customers what happened. Scare them off. Mess with their commission enough and they just might bend.

    • robertey says:

      Take this to the next level and wear a sandwich board with accusatory and inflammatory (but not libelous or defamatory) text denouncing their business practices. Have a friend with bail money on speed dial.

      • Aphex242 says:

        The unfortunate part of this strategy is that since the mall is private property, they have the right to eject people who picket businesses inside the mall.

        Not saying they would, but bear this in mind.

        • brinks says:

          You people with common sense are just no fun at all.

        • jaybeebrad says:

          So picket outside the mall entrances and bring 20 people with you. They’d be far more upset with people coming into their mall being deterred than people who are already inside.

  10. Commenter24 says:

    I’m not entirely sure I see how he was “hustled” or “snookered” out of his $300. He paid for and received skin care products. The guy didn’t take his money and give him fake products or nothing at all. The uncle may have no use for the skin care products, but that doesn’t mean he was hustled or swindled.

    • danmac says:

      Hustled: verb
      a. To sell or get by questionable or aggressive means: hustled stolen watches; hustling spare change.
      b. To pressure into buying or doing something: a barfly hustling the other customers for drinks.

      You obviously don’t know what hustled means, so that’s your dysfunction, not her uncle’s.

      • The_IT_Crone says:

        You just described what this person does for a living, not what they did to any individual. They’re doing their job- is this person going to try to get a refund for EVERY item her uncle buys?

        • danmac says:

          Obviously not, as she didn’t rip the Pokemon cards and Garfield comic out of his hands and return them to the stores where he purchased them. Because, you know, Borders sales people aren’t known to pressure the disabled into buying Garfield comics.

          And saying “that’s just what he does for a living” without looking at context is misleading. If a woman is a stripper, that’s fine with me out of context. If you say “a woman is a stripper who performs at children’s birthday parties”, then I take issue with it. Similarly, if the guy at the mall kiosk employs high-pressure sales tactics, that’s fine, but if he employs them on the mentally handicapped, that’s not okay.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Yup. This would be a much less irritating incident if she was trying to return *everything* he’d purchased, or something that he purchased because he wanted it, and simply went over-budget on.

            As it is, the OP clearly just wants to return the things he was snookered into buying, things he was *obviously* snookered into buying.

    • wastedlife says:

      As danmac states, he was hustled. Something that would be very easy and extremely sleazy to do to a mentally-disabled person (who should really be professionally evaluated, but that isn’t the point). If the store’s higher-ups and mall management continue to do nothing, the OP should smear the reputation of the store in any way possible. Online reviews, BBB, local newspaper, local news tv, make T-shirts, anything. Also, someone mentioned videotaping a return of the goods along with the receipt and then filing a chargeback against the company.

    • teke367 says:

      What these places do is offer you a sale on one item, perhaps for $10, “but as a gift, I’ll throw in the such and such, etc”. But by “throw in” they mean “throw it in the bag”, not “throw it in for free”. You expect to pay $20-$30, then they ring up $200 to $300. I am no expert on autistic people, but this gets a little confusing to people without disabilities. From my experiences with these people (the kiosks, not autistic people) is that it is entirely possible the uncle thought the was spending $30 on a gift, and got confused when they added the other items, but just rolled with it.

      At least at the mall by me, they use hot Israeli chicks, I can’t imagine the scam working with some dude at the kiosk.

      • David in Brasil says:

        What’s the deal with these kiosks – they all use hot Israeli chicks. Are they recruited and brought to the US to work at the kiosks? The mall in the town in E. Texas where I used to live had a kiosk; I thought it was odd, because I don’t think that there were 10 Israelis within 200 miles of the town.

        • SonicPhoenix says:

          It’s got Sony guts!

        • mnrob says:

          I work promotions alot and know the story of this-it is Israeli girls and guys. They are told they will work in the US for the summer and are then put to work at these mall kiosks. They are all put into house and have to pay for rent and food. The folks I’ve talked to have felt scammed.

        • mandy_Reeves says:

          we have bulgarian or russian ladies at mine. I was thinking of buying a nail kit at my bi weekly mall outing next week.

    • Shmoodog says:

      Not sure if your comment is actually serious, since you obviously didn’t give it serious consideration.

      First of all, $292! That is a ridiculous amount to spend on 1) skin care for a man not shopping at Bloomingdales, 2) a spontaneous buy at a mall kiosk, 3) products that don’t come with a return policy.

      None of us can comment on how the uncle presents himself however, so that is a viable doubt, regarding whether he acted mentally disabled.

      On the other hand, what was the sales process by which the uncle bought the products? Did he say, i want this and this and this, etc., and the salesperson just acquiesced to his wishes? Or did the sales person manipulate him into buying them, at which point he could clearly see his client was not responsible enough to say no?

      A previous commenter noted that they were in retail once, and never ever considered taking advantage of a mentally disabled person for a sale or commission. DITTO. It is obvious to me that the sale’s person has dubious moral character, and I doubt the owner of the kiosk that would hire such a person is any better. Only when their back is to the wall will they make this right.

  11. dolemite says:

    Those skin care kiosks are always shady. I recall spending about $25 at one myself. I didn’t think the product was that bad, but man, they are tough salesmen. They almost chase down people in the mall though. You say “no thanks” and they follow behind badgering for a few feet.

    • danmac says:

      The best response you can give a pushy kiosk vendor is to act surprised for a moment, then smile and say, “Oh, I already have/use that, but thank you!” My wife does that and it seems to get the job done.

      • mikeP says:

        Keep in mind that most of the people that work there do so because they really need a job. They arent necessarily the owners of the kiosk and they aren’t out to scam people. However, they do work on commission and thus are highly motivated to make sales. Some are worse than others.

        In any case, while it may seem amusing to tell dumb stories and hassle telephone callers, kiosks, etc, you are just making someone elses life a bit more miserable. Believe me, nobody wakes up and decides: Hey! I want to bug people by calling them and getting them to buy crap. They generally do it because they need a friggin job.

    • brinks says:

      I have to walk fast, not make eye contact, and ignore their offers for free gifts every time I’m at a mall.

      I did make the mistake of stopping once when I wasn’t in a hurry. They got me for $25 worth of stuff, but I talked the fast-talker down from $50 and felt pretty good about it. However, NEVER AGAIN.

    • Bativac says:

      I usually tell them that the radiation I was exposed to on my home planet means that skincare products will cause my flesh to harden into a granite like material, eventually rendering me completely immobile… usually I only get as far as “home planet” before my wife drags me away.

    • It'sRexManningDay! says:

      I relish every opportunity to shoot those assholes down.

      Them: “Excuse me, can I ask you a question about skincare?”

      Me: “No.” *keeps walking*

      • womynist says:

        I just walk on by like I didn’t even hear them. How do they know I’m not really deaf?

        • mmbb says:

          I use the “I’m sorry, but I don’t speak English” tactic. Everybody automatically accepts that statement at face value (it seems to invoke a politeness response), and by the time they finally figure it out, I’m long gone.

      • waitaminute says:

        When the salesguerilla says “Excuse me, can I ask you a question…?” I simply say:

        “Only one, and you just asked it.”

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I once engaged in a spirited discussion with the Dead Sea Salt Scrub Lady and she was quite surprised with the knowledge I posses about the Dead Sea. But yeah, they are hard sellers, and unless this guy wears a badge that says he’s “disabled”, they may have just thought they had a gullible person, like I have seen a few times get trapped by the boothers before i walked by. They have a pretty good script/spiel, so I doubt they are used to not “wowing” someone with their jargon.

  12. danmac says:

    I have a feeling that local news stations will gobble this story up faster than you can say “Have you seen my baseball?”

  13. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Record/video yourself taking the products back to the kiosk and handing them to the person there with a copy of the receipt, and stating that you are returning them to their possesion. Then once you have that, file for a chargeback. I’m guessing your uncle used a debit type card unless he carries that much cash on him.

    • Buckus says:

      Actually, he probably used cash.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Who would allow someone who is this challenged to carry that amount of cash on them that could be easily lost?

        • chaesar says:

          would you give him a credit card?

          debit card perhaps?

          • chaesar says:

            didnt need that second question mark

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Yes. Easier to replace if you lose it, and you can have a DD paycheck sent into two accounts. One for spending and one for the apparently vital to support two people money.

            • RvLeshrac says:

              The big problem would be setting limits on a card, but any decent bank will have a way to set daily spending limits.

    • The Waffle says:

      Don’t have to guess….. “This isn’t even about the fact that his account had less then 40 bucks left for him to live on for the week.” Mentioning an account means chances are he used a debit card.

    • 44Wadeable says:

      Most malls and retail establishments have rules against videotaping and you could get fined or arrested if caught. Great idea otherwise, though. I think you’re on point with returning the items to the establishment and getting it on record.

      Call the mall, check the rules, and get OK’d to videotape before you just break the camcorder out.

  14. osiris73 says:

    Yes, but his skin will look faaaaaabulouuuuuuus!

  15. Rachacha says:

    - Contact the mall management. Perhaps a bit of pressure from the lease holder would encourage a refund.
    – Show up every day (or just on weekends) with a sign that says XXXXXX shop swindled my autistic relative out of $300 and refuses to refund my money and park yourself on a bench or in close proximity to the kiosk. Don’t interefere with their sales or their pitches, just make sure that every patron that visits the kiosk sees the sign.
    – Contact the BBB and the local business license board and AG.
    – Contact your local news stations, this is a story that their investigative or consumer reporters would love…we all hate the pushy skin care kiosks, and we all feel compassion for someone with a disability, put the two together, tie it in with a few RainMan movie clips and you have an instant story.
    The more pressure you put on this guy, the faster he will give in just to make you go away.

    • Julia789 says:

      Usually stated in their lease with the mall that they have to provide refunds to customers. They try to get away with not refunding, but they are breaking their lease if they do not. Mall management can straighten it out.

  16. Razor512 says:

    Contact the media. If you are in the NY area, contact a news section called “help me Howard”
    http://weblogs.wpix.com/news/helpmehoward/

    News companies love cases like this.

  17. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Wait, what if your uncle really wanted these products?

    Sometimes kids want stuff that they’ll never have a use for. Sometimes I do.

  18. The_IT_Crone says:

    If he’s not able to handle his own finances, then that power needs to be taken from him. Period. I don’t think the kiosk should be responsible for refunding if they have a no return policy if he HASN’T BEEN EVALUATED. You can’t just “decide” someone has a disease/condition and then try to cash in on it.

    Now I think they’d be DECENT PEOPLE to refund the money for the return of the product, but I’m not outraged by this. Obviously this guy needs to be PROFESSIONALLY evaluated, then given some sort of allowance.

    • Chumas says:

      You know, I was going to write a well thought out rebuttal for that pile of snark and callousness you call a gripe, but I digress because it’s not worth much of my time.

      You, internet connected human, are an ass.

      I dearly hope you never have to be in the situation described here and then be told that your relative does not deserve compassion and fair treatment. May the Fates drill you in the backside.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Why is he an ass? He said: “If he’s not able to handle his own finances, then that power needs to be taken from him.”

        Yes. It does. When my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, my father assumed power of attorney. How is that any different?

        Also, the OP says that he has never been properly evaluated. Unless she happens to be a neurobiologist or Dr. House, then she needs to have him professionally evaluated for a multitude of reasons.

        There’s no “ass” here at all.

      • AI says:

        If the uncle cannot manage his personal finances due to his disability, then this will continue to happen, again, and again, and again, until he is completely broke, or worse, in huge debt. It’s not a very effective solution for a family member to go after every retailer that sells him something he doesn’t need. That could potentially be a full time job, with no legal backing at all. Retailers sell things to people, all kinds of people, and they do not assess mental capacity up front before allowing the sale (which would likely be illegal anyways), so it has to be the responsibility of the family to protect this uncle from harming himself financially.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you can claim ADA protection or any kind of public assistance or government program help if you haven’t been professionally evaluated. So if Audrey’s uncle is mentally disabled, they need to get him evaluated because I don’t think a relative “eyeballing it” really counts, and frankly, it’s a disservice to him because there might be medications or therapies to help him with any development issues he has.

    • apple420 says:

      I agree with the first thing you mentioned. Maybe he shouldn’t have the ability to spend $300 so easily. Though I could see how he might need money in an emergency. Also the article doesn’t indicate how he paid, cash or credit. American Express credit cards have extra return protections that may be perfect for him.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Responsibility goes both ways. The world is not going to create a one-way flow just to make life easier for you.

    • zekebullseye says:

      First of all, the kiosk people are scum and should take the product back. Bug them until they do.

      Second of all, the family should call the county bureau of mental retardation/developmental disabilities and they will do the evaluation for free. If he qualifies for MRDD services he will have a social worker assigned to him that will help navigate the system and assist in getting services. If he qualifies for these free things, why not take advantage of them?

      If he is indeed this disabled and truly can’t manage his money, it would be wise to assign a financial guardian. What’s stopping him from signing him up for every credit card a hawker pushes on him and getting in all sorts of debt? He can still have an allowance, but big trouble can be avoided if he has a sound-minded person in charge of financial decisions.

  19. dotyoureyes says:

    As noted several times above, this is a no-brainer for local TV news. Consumer reporters dream of getting calls like this. Pick up the phone or drop an e-mail to a couple reporters and you’ll have your money back in no time.

  20. slappysquirrel says:

    “One of the most uptight wealthy malls ever” sounds like Tysons Corner in VA. If so, we are thinking of the same kiosk and I speak from experience that these folks are extremely high-pressure. I hope you do get them evicted as they do the “Force you to be rude to them to get away” thing that some people are just uncomfortable with and they are just highly unpleasant to deal with. I just breeze past them and don’t even stop walking. My very polite Mom escaped for $30, but I can totally see them taking a mentally handicapped guy for all he was worth.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I think pushy salespeople are just an epidemic of shopping malls. I can’t speak to Tysons though, since I completely avoid all kiosk people. Once you’re in, they’re desperate. I don’t even give them that chance.

      • slappysquirrel says:

        Me neither but my Mom is southern. “Don’t talk to a nice person who addresses you because you will not be able to get away without either being rude or buying something” has been a hard lesson for her.

    • MuffinSangria says:

      I was actually thinking of Tysons also. That or Montgomery Mall or White Flint. If it’s either of them, or one in the area, I’d join her in holding a sign up in front of the kiosk.

    • craptastico says:

      sounds like a pretty poor excuse for a wealthy mall if they have kiosks at all. we have an uptight mall near me and they don’t even have a food court, much less kiosks. if it really is wealthy and uptight, complaints to mall management should get them thrown out.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Well, Tysons has two buildings. One caters more to your upper middle class, wealthy clientele, and the other is more family friendly. The stores are still middle to upper middle class, and can be expensive, but the parents can at least go there with their munchkins and placate them with simple fast food items and a small train that drives around in a ring.

    • Mary says:

      That was my immediate thought as well, so I’m curious if it was Tysons because if so I’d be happy to throw some pressure on the mall from a local resident to get them to evict these people.

      I _hate_ these kiosks. I have a tendency to either suddenly find the store opposite the kiosk intensely interesting, or pull out my cell phone and pretend to be talking to someone. When I used to live in another area, I had a guy try to tell me I could post date a check and he SWORE he wouldn’t cash it for a week since I used the excuse of “I have no money, pay day is next Monday.”

      Tysons does have some legit kiosks (or at least, ones where the salespeople seem bored and don’t bother you just for passing within ten feet) but the skin care ones are not on that list.

    • Julia789 says:

      The kiosks run by aggressive gypsies are the same across the country. They are really friendly until you call them on their BS then their heads spin and they start spewing pea soup.

  21. El_Fez says:

    Easy – print up a whole bunch of fliers explaining your story (in very brief, short words) and stand RIGHT next to the kiosk, handing them out to any potential customers.

    You’ll get your money back toot-sweet, I’ll wager.

  22. NarcolepticGirl says:

    In any case, if you really think the guy took advantage of your uncle, find your local Consumers’ Council.

    Last year, I volunteered in a program to help disabled/elderly adults and one of my assignments was to help write letters for a blind man who was ripped off.
    The local Consumers’ Council really helped us out. He also had success with the Office of the Attorney General (I never thought they really took things seriously, but apparently they do) in the past.

    Also, my ex’s grandmother worked for the AG office and even wrote a newsletter and many times focused on scams against the disabled/elderly.

  23. sirwired says:

    It may not be obvious that he was developmentally disabled, especially if he’s “high functioning.” How is the salesperson (selling non-returnable products) supposed to know?

    If he’s disabled, why does he have access to that much money that he requires for necessities?

    It’d be nice if the kiosk provided a refund, but I’m not going to consider it outrageous if they don’t.

    • DH405 says:

      How were they supposed to know? They were told.

      It would probably be pretty obvious after just a little talking to the man that he doesn’t need toner. Anyhow, they were presented with these facts and refused to refund the transaction.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Have you ever had one of these sales spiels? I have from the Dead Sea Salt people, and they suggest products not just for you, but for your loved ones, SO’s, spouses, etc… and how they will make great gifts, etc… So they try to sell you as much as they can, no matter who/what sex you are.

      • sirwired says:

        They were certainly not told at the time the product was being sold. Being told after the products were purchased doesn’t do the kiosk or the salesguy any good.

        • Takoma says:

          I don’t think that anyone here can say for certain what the circumstances of the sale were. But let’s assume that the salesperson was acting in good faith. They should still refund the money, and their refusal to do so is where they fall down, in my opinion. Maybe not legally, but as a sign that they are not predatory.

          What is the loss if they have to give a refund after hearing about the man’s circumstances? It’s not like it was a product that they can’t resell or that isn’t a physical thing (it would be different if he’d paid for a massage or something un-returnable). I know that the salesperson might be out a commission check, but that’s why this is a argument about morals/ethics and not the law.

          I agree with other posters that the man’s family needs to figure out a better strategy for his money handling. I can think of a few off the top of my head that would still give him a fair amount of autonomy while lowering his risk for being taken for a ride.

          1) He always carries a cell phone and he calls someone right before making an unusual purchase (clearly the Pokemon games and comics are a habitual purchase).

          2) When he goes to the mall he carries three envelopes. One says “Comics,” one says “Pokemon”, and the other says “Splurge” or “Misc.” The first two envelopes have the appropriate amounts (roughly) for his usual purchases. The third envelope has $20 or $40.

          This might be a good lesson in budgeting for this man.

          Also, having worked with children (and an adult) with Autism, I wonder if he understood that he was paying that much for skin products. I’m going to generalize here, but none of the men with autism who I’ve run across have been the type to be overly interested in skin care. If anything, as the OP said, they often need to be prompted about hygiene.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Many metrosexual and gay men would disagree with you about him not needing toner.

        With that said, he has never been diagnosed with a disorder. He went through school, and no one apparently ever caught it, or the diagnostician would have at least evaluated him and referred him out if they couldn’t afford care.

        He isn’t protected by the ADA since he has never been diagnosed with anything.

        • The Porkchop Express says:

          you don’t know much about autism do you?

          People are still getting through high school with out being diagnosed. You know that odd dorky kid that didn’t really talk much? probably was on the autism spectrum and just slipped by. This guy is 26, even less diagnosing was goin on when he was in school. And we don’t even know if he finished school, oh yeah and getting the diagnosis may cost money that they never had.

  24. H3ion says:

    All you lawyers out there, my recollection is that you needed capacity in order to be able to contract. (Yes, buying merchandise falls within contract.) Might not a small claims action based on lack of capacity (with attendant publicity) get some leverage?

    • slappysquirrel says:

      At the very least, it is unlikely that anybody from the Kiosk would show up.

      • bwcbwc says:

        Ask the mall operator for the name of the kiosk’s registered agent at the same time you notify them of the scummy behavior.

    • Jubes says:

      You’re correct, but in this situation if he has never been evaluated then I’m not sure how the state would see this contract. I’m in Canada so I can’t say I have any knowledge of this state’s laws regarding contracts, but generally this contract would be voidable in my province. Also, if they did take it to small claims, if a representative from the skin care company fails to appear at the trial, it would be an automatic win for the plaintiff (here at least).

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        Evaluated? A person does not need “evaluation papers” to substantiate their mental state.

        Creating a contract in law does not require much except an offer, acceptance, and consideration between competent parties and as long as it is lawful. If there is precedant for such transactions to be illegal in this state, then the transaction is probalby Void anyway because such transactions are illegal in the first place. Also If any prerequisites of a valid contract are missing, that that contract is Void.

        Features of Void agreements:

        An agreement made by incompetent parties (Minor/Lunatic Person) is void.

        Any agreement with a bilateral mistake is void.

        Agreements which have unlawful consideration is void.

        Agreement with a unlawful object is void.

        Agreements made without consideration is void.

        Agreement in restraint of marriage of any major person is void (absolute restriction).

        Agreement in restraint of trade is void.(reasonable reason)

        Agreement in restraint of legal proceedings is void.

        An agreement the terms of which are uncertain is void.

        An agreement by way of wager (betting/gambling) is void.

        An agreement contingent upon the happening of an impossible event is void.

        Agreement to do impossible acts is void.

        I cannot imagine a judge condoning the actions of this salesperson. But hey, this is why I appreciate lawyers because without them, we’d be really screwed.

  25. NarcolepticGirl says:

    More on this…

    I have an aunt who has a learning disability. She’s probably mentally/emotionally 12 years old.
    She doesn’t really look like she’s disabled… and nor does she really talk like it unless you’re around her for more than 10 minutes.
    Is it possible your uncle came off as a “normal” functional adult? You said he is ” highly functioning”, so could someone just figure he was a “regular” dude?

    Also, is it possible that the salesman didn’t want to “insult” your uncle by telling a full grown man to go ask his parents or NOT sell it to him if he wanted it?

    I personally believe they probably found an easy target and ripped him off.
    But there’s also a chance your uncle may have seen something that caught his eye and wanted it for some reason. Maybe as a gift. Maybe because of the color of packaging.

    What did your uncle say about it?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t have experience with mentally disabled people, so I don’t know, but maybe you can shed some light on this. If Audrey’s uncle is “high functioning” …how come he has to be reminded to take a shower? She says he can hold a job, but doesn’t that require skill sets that are more complex than a routine of brushing your teeth and showering? I’m just not understanding how he can physically hold a job and help out his family and not be able to remember basic hygiene.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        “She says he can hold a job, but doesn’t that require skill sets that are more complex than a routine of brushing your teeth and showering?”

        I ask the same thing to my boyfriend all the time

        • Fourth.Of.Five says:

          His job is routine, as I said, he works for a local grocer as a bag boy and on rare occasion a cashier. Bag boy: Puts groceries in bags and wheels cart to car. Cashier: scans items, scans coupons, takes money, counts money, gives change if needed IF you don’t use a debit/credit card. A bit routine.

          He can do those things, can he place the bags in the car so not to have them slide all over the place and squish one another? Not usually. With adults and children like him, every single day is a learning experience, for both him and those who care for him. He’s like any average person, constantly evolving and changing in some areas. So just when you think he’s capable of something or isn’t capable, you learn different.

      • AgostoBehemoth says:

        I have a highly-functioning, mentally handicapped family member. He is in his mid-30’s now – and he works (and has worked) – at a fast-food restaurant (in the back, never on a register). He can do limited math, but cannot read. He can tell time on a digital clock, but not analogue. His personal hygiene is fine. He cannot drive – he often rides his bike around. You would never realize he is handicapped by looking at him – however, 30 seconds into a conversation it is very clear.

        He is good with money, but cannot work an ATM.

        There is sometimes no rhyme or reason for why he can’t do certain things, but can do others.

      • kjs87 says:

        I know too many guys in their twenties to believe that line of logic.

        In all seriousness, it is a fair point. I think that “high-functioning” means different things to different people; it’s not exactly a precise measurement. If someone can hold down a job and tour the mall alone for an hour, I would consider that high-functioning. We’ve all seen the stories of people without any handicaps who get swindled into things, so I don’t think this is proof that “he can’t be on his own for even an hour!” as some people suggest. If he has a cell phone, perhaps one solution to this in the future is to say, “If the cashier says it’s going to be more than $50, call me so we can make sure it’s not a trick.” If he is unable to do this, then it makes sense for his money to be restricted. If he can, that takes care of that risk.

        My brother is very, very mildly autistic. One characteristic he displays is having a huge amount of trust in strangers. I can easily see this happening to him, and he’s someone who can go to college, ride the bus, etc. on his own.

        • Fourth.Of.Five says:

          Thank you so much for your comment. (I’m Audrey)

          You hit the nail on the head, I about cried when you pointed out what high functioning is (to some.) I think the people who don’t have actual experience with autistic people or any other form of learning disabilities really need to look into it, it’s shockingly different from what most think.
          I watched a documentary on the true rain man the other day and it was amazing, and really was sort of the jest of how my uncle is and how I suspect a great deal of autistic children and adults are. Which is beautifully intelligent in a few areas that peek their interest and childishly naive in others that don’t. I think average people can be this way at times.
          Here is an example, one day he said he wanted to take the trains to the Miami zoo, he knows how to read bus schedules (I can’t, dear god they confuse me.) but never attempted train schedules or travel. He wanted to take the buses to the train station and go from there. (with me, not alone!)
          I pulled out my laptop, pulled up the bus schedule for our town, the train schedule and the address of the zoo. We quickly learned that getting there would require an additional train trip & bus trip once we got to Miami. I sat there and watched as he wrote down the schedule we would go by. He figured out the bus to the station, what train we switched to, what metro train we switched to after that, and what bus to take to the zoo after that. Sure this isn’t splitting atoms, but it was amazing to me how quickly he breezed through bus & train numbers, times and destinations etc. I didn’t double check it (because he’s never wrong when it comes to things like that) and it was flawless, we never waited more then 5 minutes and we made it there and back. He wasn’t really interested in the zoo, he just wanted to take the buses and trains out of town :)
          It’s harder to care for adults like him then most people who haven’t had time with them think, sure it’s easy to say “Don’t let him do this and that” but when you’re looking at a grown man who in some areas seems so brilliant, it’s hard to tell him no, especially when it comes to his money that he works for. I’m trying desperately to get my Grandmother to understand what he needs, small steps, but I’m getting there, I hope.

      • meg99 says:

        You can work as a bagger at a grocery store or a shelf stocker at a drug store and still need some help around more basic areas of self care. The tasks that her uncle completes at work are probably one or two repetitive steps throughout his day.

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      “Also, is it possible that the salesman didn’t want to “insult” your uncle by telling a full grown man to go ask his parents or NOT sell it to him if he wanted it?”

      I can see this. Because you can imagine if the salesperson had refused to sell the stuff in the first place?! It could have easily turned into “Kiosk refuses to sell products to an autistic man – story at 11.”

      I think, though, that they should still have ok’d the refund once someone approached the manager and explained the problem. It would have been a good-will thing to do.

  26. Dallas_shopper says:

    How utterly disgusting and repugnant to take advantage of a mentally disabled person then blame his family members for not looking after him every second of the day. I thought one of the main goals for mentally disabled people was to enable them to be as independent as possible.

    This pig took advantage of him. It’s sickening.

  27. tweeder82o says:

    “than”

  28. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    I would recommend contacting the mall management. Here in Madison, Wisconsin, a couple of franchises (specifically the one’s that sell those nail polishers) lost their kiosk lease for aggressive sales. No mall wants people to stop shopping there because they’re afraid they’ll be harassed while walking from store to store.

  29. kylere1 says:

    If someone has clear mental health issues and their family says, “never been properly evaluated” then they should be ashamed. They have no clue as to the issue, and it could have been correctable, or alleviated.

    If you have a “special” family member you SHOULD take them to see a specialist.

    • womynist says:

      That was my initial thought. If he is 25 and the family knows he’s not all there, then they are certainly doing him a disservice by not having him properly evaluated. He may be entiled to disability benefits, or at least a case manager who can work with him on various levels.

      There are lots of non-profit organizations that offer all types of services to developmentally delayed individuals and their families, including respite care, food pantries, and even financial assistance. I definitely think the kiosk is in the wrong here, but the family has a due diligence to get this young man evaluated so he can get all the help he needs and deserves.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      And if getting a proper evaluation is a financial burden for the family, or causes them to lose insurance for that family member, then what? My mother has spent the past few decades working with families of children with mental and physical disabilities, and one thing I’ve learned from her experiences is that insurance companies often do whatever it takes to screw them over once a diagnosis comes in.

  30. ChuckECheese says:

    I’m all for compassionate treatment and hope they find some way to get this guy’s money back.

    Uncle’s situation is more common than you realize. A developmentally disabled child can be ignored by family members, by the school system, etc. They probably tried to “mainstream” him, thinking this was better. Of course mainstreaming is fine, but they neglected to have him properly evaluated first. In most states, failing to be diagnosed with a DD before age 18 makes it very difficult to get qualified for assistance later.

    Because his grandparents are his primary caregivers, this suggests that in the future they will become too old to continue to help him. Such situations are very sad, because people in your uncle’s circumstances are at risk of becoming homeless and taken advantage of in many ways, such as described in this post.

    I urge your family to spend the considerable time and effort it will take to get him evaluated and approved for supportive services.

  31. TerpBE says:

    I think the first thing you should do is to have your uncle properly evaluated. There could be treatments, medication, etc. out there that could help him. You owe it to him to find out.

  32. philside92 says:

    my brother is mentally ill. last week he was in the middle of a manic episode, and not one but two phone kiosks signed him to contracts. during this episode he could barely finish a sentence (that didn’t make sense) and was shaking badly enough that his signature is totally illegible.

    is it really worth the couple dollars in commisions to do something so ttally morally repugnant? i guess so.

    • NoFriggingWay says:

      My two sons are Bi-polar with Asperger’s and I see a similar future for them. Even when Companies agree to cancel the contracts and refund right away, they should be penalized to prevent it from happening again.

      Even a High functioning Autistic would have been off enough with his behavior for the salesman to realize what he was doing was morally and possibly legally wrong. They should sue the store to recover the Money, and see what a Judge has to say to the sales man about his conduct.

      • philside92 says:

        have you had any luck cancelling contracts? we are having trouble because in one case he lost the phone and in the other case has no receipt.

  33. Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

    I’m thinking that even if the manager of the kiosk is too dumb to realize that this is a potential publicity nightmare not worth the profit on a $300 sale, the management of the mall is not- take this to them, explaining that your next step will be to contact the local “consumer protection” segment of the TV news. As mentioned by several posters above, this is exactly the kind of story they love, especially if it’s an “uptight, wealthy” mall.

    Even if the kiosk manager won’t take your call, s/he’ll take one from the mall management- who will explain exactly how the cow ate the cabbage. The subsequent call to the media will likely be unneccesary.

  34. jonnypage says:

    This sounds like a job for Mr. F!

  35. sopmodm14 says:

    i would go after the company/mall with as much tenacity as they had in scamming your uncle

  36. transmission04 says:

    The “well maybe the salesperson didn’t know” excuse doesn’t work. Not when Audrey went back to the kiosk and explained the situation. Even if her uncle can pass for someone who isn’t disabled, they were told that they just ripped off someone who’s mentally handicapped. At that point, there’s really no excuse to not refund the purchase.

  37. Buckus says:

    If they have a receipt, shouldn’t they be able to do a refund?

  38. LeahReindeer says:

    I encountered pushy salespeople at skincare kiosks a few years ago. At the time, anyway, they stopped you and demanded that you try some lotion. Then, as you started to make your escape, they called out, in a faux-offhand way, “Can I ask you a question? Not about the lotion?” and that turned out to be something about how they “noticed your cuticles” and/or wanted to buff your nails.

  39. vystral says:

    I taught myself how to say “I don’t speak English” in five different languages to avoid this situation. Now I just breeze past these kiosks, muttering, “Ich spreche Englisch nicht,” or something similar.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      That doesn’t work at Domino’s.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      I just walk by and ignore them

    • misslisa says:

      Well the problem with that (at least where I live) is they don’t usually speak good English either. You might be telling them “I don’t speak English” in their native toungue or one they’re familiar with. Best to make up your own gibberish language for these folks :)

    • Laura Northrup says:

      I walk past quickly while saying “I’m allergic.” Not only does it shut them up, it’s true.

  40. kt says:

    Unless your uncle has been declared incompetent he is allowed to buy whatever he wants. If you say he has never been diagnosed as having a problem at 25 he is considered an adult and there was no wrongdoing by the salesman. How long after the purchase did you go and speak to the owner and was your uncle with you. If you past the time period for refunds then there is nothing you or anyone else can do.

  41. Zen says:

    Either a person is capable of entering into a binding contract or they’re not. Why shouldn’t any adult, high-functioning autistic person be capable of entering into any purchase agreement he/she understands? Why shouldn’t such an agreement be binding like any other contract?

    If Uncle is not an adult for purposes of entering into a contract, why is this child allowed to shop by himself at all, much less with $300.00 in his hands? What kind of caregiver sends a child out with $300?

    If he is adult enough to shop for himself, why is this particular purchase not binding? What about it is so unconscionable that we have to say, “This contract is void.”

  42. esarge says:

    IANAL but I would be examining the laws in your jurisdiction relating to contractual capacity.

    i.e. I would argue to the shop that he wasn’t smart enough to make a contract and therefore it is void. Therefore you can threaten them with your local Small Claims Court.

    However, actually showing that he didn’t have contractual capacity will be up to however your jurisdiction defines contractual capacity.

  43. moth says:

    I’d say contact management and media. If they are the kiosks I am thinking of they have probably pissed off people by being very very aggressive towards shoppers at the mall and may alread have a bunch of complaints against them. I totally believe the ones I’ve seen would sell to someone they thought was mentally disabled.

  44. hosehead says:

    Small claims court, and name the employee and the owner of the kiosk in the complaint. The employee with crap his pants. Sue for the original $300, court fees, and add $100 for administration of the filing (copying, research, etc).

    Or, just smash the guy at the kiosk in the face with a brick.

  45. Philly Cool says:

    Stand outside the kiosk with a sign saying, “This store cheats Autistic Adults” and volunteer to tell anyone who passes your story. Also, contact ARC for legal advice.

  46. Talisker says:

    Can I just write a policy book for my family that I can refer to in disputes with businesses?

    “I’m sorry, it’s our policy to stand in any retail establishment that refuses to refund our money and to blast this airhorn at random intervals. It is also our policy to do this after eating a big helping of beans.”

  47. HungryHippo says:

    I imagine it was one of those Dead Sea from Isreal skincare booths all over malls.. Those places are horrible because they use the worst sales tactics and the slimyest salespeople.. so it isnt too much of a suprise they would stoop to the level of sellining to a mentally disabled person. My friend bought something from them and broke out in nasty hives which they of course refused to accept a return. Dont ever buy from these guys, they have absolutely no R&D in their products and you gotta be careful what you put on your skin. Boycott these places!

    • brinks says:

      Haha…JUST what I was thinking. Those guys are super high pressure.

      I bought some face stuff from them years ago when I had a ton of time to kill between my hotel check-out time and my flight home. Those guys talk and talk and talk and are really hard to say no to. I can see how they got this guy to spend that much. You really have to be firm with them in order to get away.

      • Joseph S Ragman says:

        No one is ‘hard to say no to’ …

        All you have to do is say, “No.”

        What is so hard about that ?

  48. Clyde Barrow says:

    Here we go again. Another employee using “policy” to hide behind unethical business practices.

  49. Ben says:

    Have any of you people considered the possibility that the clerk at the kiosk was also mentally disabled? Not very sensitive of you!

  50. kataisa says:

    Threaten to take them to small claims court.

    Don’t give up and don’t go away, give them hell. Good luck!

  51. flippityjane says:

    Definitely try mall management. Kiosks are on short term leases with kickout clauses and malls do NOT like them harassing patrons. Most even have rules in their leases regarding selling tactics.

  52. what says:

    I actually had this happen to me, but with another product. I didn’t realize I was buying a used, faulty product being presented as a new product….but I digress.

    I’m assuming this wasn’t purchased on a credit card, but if it was, definitely file a dispute.
    Also, I’m sure if you look up this company, I’m sure their BB rating isn’t that good. Make sure to call the Mall manager and explain this to them. The company I was dealing with had a BB rating of F and I asked how a ‘ritzy’, ‘high-end’ mall could let a company like that operate within their mall.

    I called the kiosk manager over and over and over. I repeatedly showed up at their kiosk day after day and threatened to make a scene, but this was to no avail. I had to file a complaint with the BB, the mall, etc. But don’t give up!!! Take it as high as you need to go! The local news, write to the paper, etc.

    They didn’t operate in the mall there too much longer and I received the monies back on my card. Which I didn’t understand. All I wanted was to return the product and then they could’ve sold it again, but I ended up with my money back and the product. I explained this to the manager at the kiosk, but he STILL wouldn’t give me my money back.

    Most of these ‘kiosks’ are meant to operate this way. And they are told to NEVER refund. I believe their jobs are on the line if they do so. Scam artists, is what they are!

  53. kataisa says:
    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yikes. On one link, in the comments someone said the guy dragged her back to the kiosk and was touching her. I’d be screaming bloody murder and he’d have a broken nose if that happened to me. Then I’d call the cops.

      I can’t stand aggressive sales tactics. I don’t care who it is, even if I initiated the contact. I won’t respond to people who get in my face.

      The kiosk that screwed the OP’s uncle needs to just go out of business. No one needs this junk anyway.

  54. jimmyhl says:

    I’m a little surprised at how many posters are suggesting that the OP take this issue up with the mall’s management. I think that is putting your energy in an unproductive direction. Look for media coverage AND file suit in CC court claiming that your son lacked the legal capacity to enter into the purchase.

  55. Sertorius says:

    Whoa, folks.

    What is the alternative? A shop clerk telling someone “You look autistic to me, I’m not selling anything to you”? Can you imagine the outcry from groups advocating for the disabled if something like this happened? There’ would be pickets in minutes.

    And on top of that, are you really demanding that minimum wage clerks make snap judgments on people’s mental capacity based on their appearance and voice? C’mon.

    The guy had money and used it to purchase goods. The goods are the kind that can’t be returned. Would you buy skin care products that had been bought and then returned by someone else?

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  56. Atalanta says:

    If the uncle is “obviously” high-functioning autistic, it’s mind-boggling to me that he hasn’t been properly diagnosed. Shocking negligence on the part of his family. And if he’s too impaired to make financial decisions, it’s also negligent to allow him access to money he’s not free to spend.

    I’m pretty sure the no-returns policy is at least partially for sanitary reasons.

    That being said, high-pressure sales tactics are scummy in general, and mall kiosk workers can be astonishingly annoying and pushy. If the salesperson knew the guy wasn’t mentally competent to make a reasonable decision and pressured him anyway, that’s reprehensible, but it’s his family that really let him down.

    The kiosk really should be evicted, though, if there is a provision in their lease allowing it. Such unethical business practices are likely to damage the mall’s reputation, which is what the mall will care about.

    • BluePlastic says:

      Yeah, I really can’t understand his not having been diagnosed. Even if there is no money for insurance and medical care, he ought to be able to apply for some kind of aid if he truly does have a disability. He should have been evaluated back when he was in school, anyway. It doesn’t make any sense to me that he has a disabling problem that hasn’t been diagnosed and keeps him from being able to be left on his own very much, yet is somehow able to earn enough money that he is expected to live on, apparently.

  57. RayanneGraff says:

    Oh… my god. I didn’t think I could feel any more vitriolic hatred towards mall kiosks but I have been proven wrong. I dread going to the mall because of these people, I can’t even walk past the HerStyler stand anymore without those bimbos practically tackling me to get me to stop so they can talk me into buying a $100 flatiron. They have one of those skincare stands where I live too & they’re always trying to snag people out of the crowd to push products on them. They don’t seem to have any regard for the fact that if people want something, they will SEEK IT OUT, and it makes me angry any time someone buys anything from these scumbags. It’s disgusting when regular people get taken by these scam artists, but 1000 times worse when they prey on people who aren’t totally there. DON’T drop the issue, whatever you do. Go see the mall manager & tell them what happened, I read a story once about a lady who was able to return some hair extensions to a similar kiosk by involving the mall manager.

  58. brianisthegreatest says:

    This is pretty terrible. No one with a conscious would have done anything of the sort. Understanding policies and refunds, this definitely meets the criteria of a special exception if there is one. Especially if he needs the money to live on for the rest of the week.

    Who’s got the number? I’d love to call and have a conversation with the manager about how she can live with herself.

  59. jpdanzig says:

    How about naming this kiosk and mall? This kind of greedy, immoral behavior deserves some negative publicity!

  60. BoredOOMM says:

    Contact the mall management and file a fraud report with the police.

    A lawyer would be the next step.

  61. Madman says:

    I have a brother in law who has Williams syndrome and was also taken advantage of by these skin care kiosks. Did this happen per chance in a mall outside of Philadelphia? These folks need to be kicked out of the mall – preying on mentally disabled folks is despicable behavior.

  62. FrugalFreak says:

    Local Media outlet, CONTACT THEM! The Kiosk worker is within her rights legally, but Ethics, they are a bit murky in the workers brain.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      What about the ethics of the family who knows their relative is mentally impaired but won’t get him help? Doesn’t sound too ethical to me.

  63. LadyDonald says:

    “My uncle is physically 25, he’s never been properly evaluated, but it’s obvious he’s highly functioning, autistic.”

    So he’s never received special education services and has a typical iq? No one has guardianship of him? IF he is not severe enough to be declared incompetent and have another adult act as a guardian, then he is culbable for his actions–including getting scammed by others. I don’t see any legal recourse. You will have to resort to public shamming.

    How did your uncle PAY for the products? Via credit card? Could you do a charge back? IF he is carrying that much cash, then he needs to stop. IF he wrote a check, he might be out of luck.

    Your family needs to decide whether or not to pursue guardianship so that someone else controls his money and he can’t enter into binding agreements. This protects many of my former students.

    If he’s not that severe, can you not get him into an adult services program to help him learn some skills? I wonder that he has never received any type of help. How did he get through school?

  64. blueduckconsumerist says:

    Huh.. story about ripping off a retarded person generates a lot of comments, eh? Consumerist editors are taking note!

    I’ll only drop this devil’s advocate idea: The OP herself describes her uncle as “high functioning” — MAYBE the salesperson meets a lot of zipperheads in a day and didn’t see a distinction.

    AND maybe the salesperson doesn’t have the authority / capability to refund a sale. Not crazy to think only a manager can approve that. So calls to the manager need to be returned.

    • slappysquirrel says:

      If the manager had called Audrey’s family back, we would never have heard of this story. So even with the devil’s advocate position, the kiosk kinda sucks.

  65. Bohemian says:

    There is a guy in SD sitting in state prison for scamming a bunch of elderly people who were not within their ability to make these kinds of decisions anymore into buying insurance policies they didn’t need. I would call the police and the state’s attorney office in your area.

  66. Incident8 says:

    Mall Kiosk’s. One step shy and a lot less talented than carnies.

  67. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    While I think they should refund his money b/c they were being sleezy, I also wonder why a man, who has to be reminded to brush his teeth probably shouldn’t have $300 in his wallet or free reign with his debit card if he needs the money to live on. Maybe you could work on budgeting with him and ask him if you or your grandmother could give him an appropriate allowance at the mall.

    • FrugalFreak says:

      THIS, That was my thought, then I thought maybe they are trying to let him live an normal as he can life. The dude should not had access to that many funds, pay the bills, THEN go to the mall.

  68. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    For some reason, mall kiosk people never approach me. Maybe it’s the murderous look they see in my eyes. I also never had a stranger try to touch my pregnant belly. Looking like you are ready to kick someone’s ass has it’s advantages. Maybe they need to teach him some “looks” so people will leave him alone.

  69. Mercutio_Jones says:

    I am the legal guardian of my 42 year old autistic brother. In many ways he is independent, but he is also passive and at high risk for exploitation. I can see how this could happen, easily. I would recommend finding disability advocacy offices that have some type of legal help.

    This is disgusting, that someone would do this.

  70. Carlee says:

    Audrey went back to explain to the person at the kiosk that her uncle is mentally disabled, but given that the uncle hasn’t been diagnosed, why should the person at the kiosk believe her? I haven’t had much interaction with mentally disabled people so I don’t know how difficult or obvious it would be to tell if someone was a highly functional autistic person. But you want a person working a kiosk to make a diagnosis?

    I hate dealing with salespeople because I find it very difficult to say no to people. I don’t want to be rude and just cut them off at the beginning so I usually get sucked in to listening to their spiel and may or may not end up shelling out money for something I don’t want/need. I even signed up for a newspaper subscription to a kid canvassing the neighborhood, even though we were already subscribed!

    Anyway, back to the OP – perhaps they should consider not letting the uncle walk around with $300 in cash! That’s a lot of money, for anyone to carry. If you are going to be take responsibility (at least some of it) for your uncle, then you should be take responsibility for him. If the kiosk has a no return policy, then that’s what they have (not sure about the legality in no returns). Get your uncle evaluated for his own sake – I highly doubt Audrey has a medical degree and can make a diagnosis (considering this person is her uncle and he’s 25, which means she’s probably younger than that? I guess not necessarily).

  71. ann little says:

    I feel really sorry about the situation. But all the posters ragging on the OP about letting her uncle walk around with that much cash: did you ever think for a moment that maybe he just got payed and that’s the reason he had a large amount of $ on him? Heck, maybe the kiosk agent got to know when salaries are scheduled to drop and started targeting workers from certain stores at certain times of the week and just got lucky with this guy.

  72. poly says:

    I feel for you and I think that you can probably get something done by being annoying. However, I’ve got to wonder what is this “kid” doing walking around with over $300.00 in his pocket?

  73. YdoUthinkURright says:

    Ok, Is anyone really surprised by this? How many times have you run into these skin care product kiosk? Most that I have seen have fairly attractive female employees grabbing every walker bys hand trying to rub that stuff on and get the sale going. If you’re male, they are coming onto you hard with the ” stripper eyes”. Don’t be fooled though..it’s all for the money.

    I always have the impression that these folks would cut your throat for the sale if they could.

    Also, are they all Israeli or is it me? No hate intended there, just an observation and a question.

    • brinks says:

      Yes. I’ve chatted with them in both Ohio and New Hampshire. Pretty far apart, yet the same people are working there.

  74. Bladerunner says:

    I’m going to be a little mean here. I’m going to give benefit of the doubt that probably shouldn’t be given.

    But I read this, and I think: he’s functionally autistic. He can work. So he might, not to sound terrible, just seem “a little dumb” in the 2 seconds that the retail guy spent talking to him before going into his spiel.

    And he’s never been evaluated.

    So they get a call from some chick, saying she’s mad, who doesn’t have him professionally evaluated because “they just know” he’s “autistic”. The stand has a no-return policy. I presume that they’re assuming she’s trying to scam them, and that her uncle is just dumb, rather than at the level where it would be considered a “handicap”. And they have a point (that a few others mentioned), why did he have 300 if he can’t be trusted not to blow it? I am not calling shenanigans on her story, but I don’t necessarily blame a retailer out for profit for doing so.

    Though I’m sure the product is crap/a scam.

    Of course, I can’t see how “obvious” his disabilitly is, so maybe I’m just being a jerk.

  75. Jons_Junk says:

    Kick him in the nuts!

  76. Xene says:

    If the uncle is a sometimes cashier at a local grocer he can obviously handle money.

    If your the grocery store owner your not going to put someone that is incapable of understanding money in front of a cash register, you’d be broke in no time.

    Granted he was taken advantage of, but he knew what money he had.

    • dizzy says:

      Handling cash register money, and making decisions on how to spend your own money are not the same things. A job working a register requires you take the money from the person, count it, and put it in the register. That process involves no decision-making skills, just repetition of that task as required.

  77. Ninjanice says:

    I’m not trying to blame the OP here, but I’m not sure I think her uncle was “swindled”. He paid for and recieved products. From the kiosk salesperson’s POV, he may not have realized that her uncle is mentally incapable of making financial decisions for himself given that he has a credit card in his name and was unaccompanied by a caregiver. Also, if your uncle appeared to be mentally handicapped and wasn’t (had some other condition), the salesperson could get in trouble for NOT selling him products.
    Since your uncle paid for this with a credit card (I’m assuming since you’re talking about an account balance), I’d see if they could reverse the charges. Or look on the product packaging and see if there’s a customer service number you can call to get a resolution. Another option that may work, is to agree to pay a restocking fee to the kiosk (say 10% of the total sale) if they’ll allow you to return the products.

  78. da34amadeo says:

    I have a son who is autistic and i understand the daily dilemma of how much independance you should allow them .he is very high functioning and if you dont know him it would be easy to assume hes just a rude jerk! (he often doesnt answer people when they talk to him unless he feels hes got something to say ) .but it is obvious after interacting with him he is not 100% normal .i think the sales person lucked into finding something that appealled to him about the product and suckered him .its unfortunate but it happens .ive worked with my son as much as i can .with money handling etc.also “small talk ” with people .and i admit i dont understand what she means by not being properly evaluated .perhaps his family never followed up past his diagnoses? it needs to be done for his own good .Although kodos to her for trying to help him get it rectified .

  79. vicarp says:

    Oh Honey…TOTALLY STAND IN FRONT with a picket sign and hand out fliers. Put his exact quote to you…Seriously. I’d YELL at the guy for you.

  80. jimstoic says:

    I would contact the mall operator, who should have some leverage with the kiosk operator.

    It would probably help to be able to use the threat of media exposure, but that could end up exposing your uncle to unwanted attention.

    You could probably sell the stuff on eBay, but at a fraction of the overpriced cost.

    If your uncle is capable of forming a contract, you wouldn’t have a case. If he’s not, you would, but probably only for a lawyer who wants to help you out, since the amount in question is so small.

  81. mcnerd85 says:

    Any readers in the area? You know these places give ‘free samples’ trying to get anyone to buy in. If you live near this mall, walk in, it puts the lotion on it’s skin or else it gets the hose again, then scream and cry about how it burns. Make a big ruckus. If enough people do this, scaring off real potential customers, maybe these guys will have a change of heart. Or maybe we can just put them out of business. :)

  82. mvillafana says:

    Could he have Asperger’s Syndrome?

    I’m an Aspie, and can unfortunately empathize w/this man’s plight…

  83. mvillafana says:

    Could he have Asperger’s Syndrome?

    I’m an Aspie, and can unfortunately empathize w/this man’s plight…

  84. dkendr says:

    1) What law was broken here?
    2) Who thought it was a good idea to send an adult with development issues into a mall environment unsupervised with his entire pay envelope on him, in cash?
    3) Why was it the clerk’s responsibility to determine that the uncle had developmental disabilities? Was the uncle wearing a sign stating he had developmental disabilities?

    YOU let your uncle walk into a mall with a pocketful of cash. By this point he should have learned the concept of stranger danger and of not buying expensive things without checking with someone in his family. YOU, not the store clerk, are responsible. If they have “no refunds” posted, then they have no moral obligation to accept returns on anything. Those policies come about because people make impulse buys and then regret them. YOU are going to have to take care of your uncle and YOU are going to have to tell him it is his own fault that he only has $40, because he did not remember the rule about not talking to strangers. There’s too much whining going on in America today. Stop sending your uncle alone into a mall, which is a monument to separating people from their money, now that he’s proven that he’ll blow his cash on stuff you don’t approve of.

  85. Fourth.Of.Five says:

    It’s Audrey.

    Thank you to everyone who has responded to the situation, I had no idea the site had posted it last week so I was pleasantly surprised to see this many helpful comments!

    I can elaborate a bit on my uncle for those who had questions.
    He is 25, and like someone else said, that doesn’t mean I’m younger, because I’m not. He’s actually 2 years younger then I am, my Grandmother became pregnant late into her 40’s with him.
    That being said, both parents were/ are obviously older, behind the times, unprepared whatever you want to call it.
    Would I raise him differently? Have him enrolled in every program that could help him? You bet, can I? No, I’m not his legal guardian, all I can do is try to politely suggest things, but who wants to hear “You’re son needs more help then you can offer?” Not any old southerner that I know, unfortunate, horribly, but I’m trying to do what I can!
    They never had anyone work with him, I hate that with a passion, I hate that he’s not stimulated and adjusted better, but I do what I can when I can, I also live 3 hours away now, so it’s not easy to raise my children and be there to help him every weekend, but I try.

    He gets a lot more independence then I think he needs, but like one of the above, unless you’ve raised or took part in raising a challenged person, you have no idea how hard it is to find that balance. He’s able enough to know that he isn’t like others in some areas, for instance, he understands he can’t drive, he understands he won’t live alone and so on, an average 25 year old guy would hate that, does he? No, because he’s disabled enough to not be worried about it.
    Someone else suggested that he’s possibly just dumb. His parent’s never had him evaluated in school, they were just blind to it or didn’t want the embarrassment, I have no idea honestly, so he was in average classes with average people his entire life, and he never received a grade below a B+. I wish I could say the same for myself.
    So no, he isn’t dumb. He’s like most mentally challenged people that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, horribly smart in some areas and very very naive in others.

    Any how, I figured I would clear that up, I had no idea so many people were commenting, I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. This feels so hopeless sometimes. I’ve continued to call the mall manager, the kiosk manager etc and I get nothing, no one wants to talk about it.
    I have one week until school starts here, I planned on having this situation resolved so we could spend it at home, but since I’ve heard nothing, I’ll be making the 3 hour trip in a day or so to that coast. And as a lot of you suggested, I’ll spend my day making signs tomorrow so I can have a few days outside of the kiosk with them.

    And someone else asked when I went back to the kiosk. We split and met back in one hour, I was back at the kiosk within the hour asking for a refund, with my uncle.
    And no, there is no doubt that he’s challenged. Despite this guy yelling at me “HE’S NOT DISABLED HE HAS A.D.D” it’s clear (to everyone but this guy) that it’s not A.D.D for crying out loud. He also threatened to take me to court, I have no idea what for.

    And I agree, he shouldn’t be walking around with a debit card with that much money on it, but again, I’m not his parent, I just try to help as much as possible when I’m there. These days it’s just him and my Grandmother, so it’s not easy on her I’m sure, but it’s not fair to him either, I agree 100%.
    And no, he will never be homeless, I’ve spent my life thus far helping him at school and home when I lived close, and I’ll spend the remaining after my Grandmother passes, doing the exact same thing.

    I think I got most of the questions answered, if not, I’ll answer whatever you guys need.

    AND I’ll be doing every single thing you all suggested until this is worked out in one way or another, I can’t thank you all enough.

    Also, I contacted 2 news stations here (were in south Florida) the day I contacted The Consumerist, I’ve heard nothing from them so far, I’ll be contacting the remaining stations today. Thank you again guys!

    ~Audrey

    • koalabare says:

      Hi Audrey, thanks for the reply! Please keep us in the loop…I’m hoping this situation gets resolved for you.

  86. bri says:

    This is pretty common among mentally disabled people. Another pet peeve of mine is when places ask if you want extra “features” with your order. So when they say do you want to super size that or do you want to upgrade to a large for 50 cents more. Mentally handicapped people will simply respond yes everytime and if someone isn’t with them supervising the transaction these scumbag employees will just take whatever they can get.

    I would try contacting the DA’s office and see about filing charges against this person.