In the hours leading up to a planned protest outside PacifiCare offices, the health insurance reversed its decision and decided to provide coverage for 17-year-old Nick Columbo to undergo an additional cancer procedure recommended by his doctors, provided the family finds a doctor to perform it. VP of PR for United Health Care, Tyler Mason, told me the coverage for the CyberKnife procedure was initially denied after three review boards, one at Stanford, the USC Cancer Center, and UNH’s California regulator, recommended against it because the cancer was too large, too involved with nerve endings and wrapped in nerves, and because of the potential side effects. Mason said that this information was omitted from the California Nurse’s website because they wanted to use the Columbo case as a political tool. The side effects include Nick needing to use a bag for his bowel movements and the skin on his tailbone falling off. When I asked if the bone cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma, could kill Nick, yes or no, Mason said, “It’s a very challenging situation, I’m not a physician.”
A Walmart worker who was hit by a truck and left brain-
dead-damaged has lost her final round of appeals and must repay the retailer $469,216. This is because she both had Walmart pay for her medical expenses and she successfully sued the trucking company for medical expenses. While, on the face of it, reptilian, standard employer-sponsored-insurance contracts have clauses prohibiting double-dipping, and, as we all learned from Seinfeld, double-dipping is gross for society. [St. Louis Post Dispatch] (Thanks to Michael!)
The dealership that refused to honor a BMW 3 Sedan for sold on eBay for $60,000 seems to have buckled under the deluge of criticism, emails, and phone calls made by irate internetizens sympathetic to the buyer’s plight. A post by buyer Ken on m3post.com says that the dealership has agreed to honor the original price. However, there will be certain “conditions,” which Ken wasn’t yet able to specify. Ken’s story appeared in various auto forums, and on Autoblog, Consumerist, Fark, and Digg (although for some reason, it got buried even though it has 475+ diggs…dealership sockpuppets at work?). Online social justice networking is in effect.
After Daniela’s SONY laptop was stuck in a warranty repair purgatory for months and a SONY tech screamed at her over the phone accusing her of warranty fraud, her story appeared on The Consumerist. Now she happily writes:
Almost immediately after my article was posted on the consumerist, I received a friendly and extremely apologetic call from a Sony exec. Before even calling me, he had reviewed my case and agreed fully that they were in the wrong. He apologized and offered to have my notebook repaired immediately!
Here’s relief for users of Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash finding that the product stains their teeth brown and destroys their sense of taste. Jeremy writes:
I had that happen to me and I went to my dentist to have them cleaned. Since I had gone only a month after my last cleaning (1 free per 6 months) I had to pay. I emailed Crest about it and they said they would pay for it.
So if Crest makes your mouth look like you’ve been chewing tobacco sine you were 13, and your insurance won’t cover the cleaning, email them via this webform or call 1-800-285-9139 and see if Crest will pay for your teeth cleaning. No word on whether they’ll be helping customers recover their ability to taste anything.
Remember N? He last saw his laptop in December after shipping it to HP for desperately needed repairs. After posting the story HP reached out to N, who tells us that he just received a spanking new machine. Read N’s reaction and his tips for handling similar situations, after the jump.
Remember Nathanial? Microsoft’s repair center senseless erased the valuable signatures and cool artwork he had painstakingly collected on his XBox 360. When Bungie, the maker of Halo, saw what happened, they wanted to help—even though they had nothing to do with the calamity. They decided to ship Nathanial an awesome swag bag stuffed with signature-adorned freebies.
As a followup to the people who complained about not getting their free TV from the FiOS triple play promotion, I saw that they changed their commercials. Instead of advertising a free Sharp 19-inch LCD HDTV, they’re now saying that you’ll get a free digital camcorder when you order your triple-play bundle. They must really be having problem fulfilling those orders. According to sometimes broken Verizon PolicyBlog, every one who qualified for a TV will get one, you just have to have patience and give Verizon a break; their TV-giving division just isn’t as advanced as their money-taking division.
Staples saw our recent post, “Staples Tries To Charge Senior Citizen $390 For Basic Computer Repair,” and Bob MacDonald, Staples VP of Technology Services, sent in the following rebuttal:
On behalf of Staples, and our entire team of EasyTechs, I wanted to respond to the recent post regarding an allegation that we attempted to charge a senior citizen for unnecessary computer repairs. We have spoken to those involved in this episode, including the store manager and the technician. (We were unable to contact the author of the post due to missing contact information, and our calls to the customer have not been returned.) The facts are these:
Last week we told you about Rob who never got a $1400 wire transfer when he was a Netbank customer, and then after ING acquired the bank when it failed, their customer service never fixed the transfer despite 8-months of calls assurances. We gave Rob the phone number for ING executive customer service (302-255-3005) and now he happily reports:
Within a few hours of my initial contact, Laura got back to me via phone to let me know exactly what happened. It appears that the initial wire transfer paperwork was filled out incorrectly by the sender and the money hadn’t ever made it to Netbank or Ing Direct but only got to American Express Bank (who as acting as an intermediary in this transfer.) I contacted American Express Bank and in a few minutes they were able to confirm that the wire was incorrectly setup and the funds had been returned to the sending back on August 10th…
Last week reader Keith told us how scammers in Bulgaria siphoned $2,000 from his account, and his story snowballed into an entire HSBC class breach. Now Keith tells us that he has all the money back. He writes:
Once I was able to get in touch with Robert Olejniczak of corporate security he was extremely helpful, concerned and empathetic. The missing money was credited back to my account on 2/25, 6 business days after it went missing. I just received a letter in the mail stating that the “investigation is complete.” I guess they figured they didn’t need to do much investigating to determine that I couldn’t be swiping my card at a diner in Manhattan and in Bulgaria withdrawing large sums from an ATM at the same time.
They even gave him $.02 in interest, how nice.
Chris went ahead and added some animal pictures to make a video of that phone call between a scammer and a Southern gentleman. A weasel plays the Indian phisher, a houndog plays the gentleman, and a goose plays his wife. Go back to the post and watch it, it’s even funnier than the original.
Circuit City lied to Ian about giving him a discounted iPod Touch, but now he has a satisfactory resolution. He writes:
After writing a number of emails to Circuit City and after a making few more (fruitless) calls, I tried something new and posted my story to their public online customer service forums. The forum manager responded very quickly and promised that someone would call me back to resolve things. I received two calls last Thursday from Circuit City staff who wanted to help fix the situation;
“First customer service sent a 1 hundred dollar voucher.. then the secretary to the CEO sent a 500 dollar voucher… thanks for posting this it really helped.” – Juliana’s update to her EECB to AA sent in July 2007.
Remember Rachel? Sur La Table took $100 from her debit card that should have come from a gift card. Rachel let us know that Sur La Table finally corrected the mistake and restored the money to her bank account. To apologize, Sur La Table issued a gift card, giving them the perfect opportunity to show that the same mistake won’t happen twice.
Bank of America still isn’t giving customers, and now, reporters, a straight answer when asked why they’ve been jacking up people’s interest rates to 23, 29%. [Star-Telegram]
The Monster Cables Public Relations department sent in a two-page response to our post, “Monster Cables, Monster Ripoff. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is one issue that they are definitely taking seriously. Read their official company rebuttal statement, inside…