PierOne Asks Customer To Pay For What Store Lost

    Dear Consumerist,

    Love your site. Here’s my story:

    I received a letter in the mail from PierOne. It began with a tale of woe, to wit: their store in Durham, NC had been robbed about 18 months earlier and my check for purchases totaling $35.78 was amongst the missing. The perpetrators had ditched the checks in the deposit bag and it had recently been recovered.

    Would I be so kind as to remit payment at my earliest convenience?

    If I had any questions, Ms. X at extension Y would be glad to answer them…

A good citizen, Lisa dropped the dime on PierOne. That’s where the fun began, after the jump…

Lisa continues:

    “Why yes! I did have questions. Chiefly among them, didn’t PierOne have insurance for this sort of thing and why was I being asked to pay for something they had most likely already been compensated for? So I dialed Ms. X and asked her the very same. She replied of course they had insurance, but they were self-insured. I also pointed out that only check writers were being asked to re-pay and that it didn’t really seem fair. She turned vicious and said that out of “hundreds” of letters, I was the only one to “complain.” When I said I wasn’t complaining, merely availing myself of the opportunity to ask some questions about the incident, she then said (a direct quote and my favorite part of the entire interaction) “You are in possession of merchandise that you did not pay for.” I decided Ms. X wasn’t really interested in helping, and took to my word processor.”

Dear PierOne,

When, in good faith, I wrote a check for my purchases at your store I believed our transaction complete. I understand that you suffered a loss during the commission of a crime and for that I extend my sympathy. However, being accused by your employee Ms. X of stealing merchandise from your store because I had a few questions about the incident was completely uncalled for. If she was unwilling or unable to answer my questions civilly, she should not have been listed as the contact point in the letter you mailed to me.

Enclosed, please find my check for $35.78, primarily because I don’t believe Ms. X when she says she won’t turn me over to collections for non-payment. I certainly hope you put the money to good use, because it will be the last I ever spend in your store. I also plan to tell all of my friends and family, and I’m certain that they too will chose to spend their money elsewhere.


    “In less than a week, I had a reply that included 1) my original check, 2) my replacement check, and 3) a $25 gift card. My life motto: better living through bitching.