Return Merchandise To Bankrupt Newport News, Get Sent To Collections

Late last month, the company that operates the Spiegel and Newport News women’s clothing catalogs filed for bankruptcy. There’s some very interesting background questions about why the company is bankrupt for the second time in eight years and why it’s being sold to an affiliate of its parent company. But that’s not what reader Angela is concerned about. She returned some merchandise to the catalog that she paid for with her store credit account. She sent it back several months ago, and still insist that she pay for it. This is not a practical way to get out of Chapter 11.

Four months ago I purchased $60.00 in merchandise from Newport News, it wasn’t as described and so I returned it. When my next statement came it wasn’t credited, I called and the customer rep said it would take 4-6 weeks for it to be credited back. I made my payment that month and waited for the next bill to come.

When the next bill came, it still hadn’t been credited back to my account and I called again. The call went something like this, I see that your merchandise was received and we are still processing this, your next bill will reflect the credit.

This last statement I received was from collections and the company is filling a bankruptcy. My account is now in limbo, this company will not do anything and even though I don’t owe this company a penny, they are charging me a late fee for a past due account. They are still open for business (still selling their goods), but I’m screwed if I don’t continue to pay for a bill that I don’t owe. I don’t know what my rights are, but they expect me to pay this amount for the returned merchandise.

Even though you don’t owe the money, fees and credit score damage will eat up any of this money saved on principle. Pay off the amount of that merchandise on the bill, which must be less than $60 by now. Then, follow the steps in the Consumerist Ultimate Guide to escalate within the company.

Warning: Signature Styles LLC is currently trying to get out of honoring all of their debts, including gift cards, so this will be a difficult consumer battle.

Anyone else out there having problems with Newport News or its sister catalogs since the bankruptcy?

Signature Styles Chapter 11 Case Hits a Snag [Multichannel Merchant]
Lynn Tilton Pushes Signature Styles Into Bankruptcy [Forbes]