“Fifteen years ago, I moved my accounts to CPS IBEW FCU and it’s just like a country bank. Everyone knows you, and they do things for you that a big bank would give you hassles about.”
Catherine Dworaczyk’s son had recently accepted a position as a summer associate with a prominent law firm in downtown Houston. She wanted to buy him a nice suit to help him make a great impression. so she went shopping and found an Italian designer suit retailing for $2500. Hoping she could find the same quality suit for less money, Catherine searched on eBay. She found a company in Italy selling what appeared to be a similar suit for $600. Catherine said, “I did my research and confirmed the company’s return policy. I bought the suit with my credit union Visa debit card, and when it arrived, I didn’t like it. So I notified the Seller and confirmed her mailing address. I went to the post office and returned the suit the next day.”
Over the next several weeks, Catherine reached out to the Seller to confirm receipt of the merchandise and request a refund. The Seller maintained that she never received the merchandise, and suggested it was tied up in customs. “From that point forward,” Catherine explains, “my attempts to contact the Seller and her bank were completely ignored. It was basically her word against mine.”
Sixty days later, there was no resolution to the dispute. And because it was past eBay’s statute of limitations, they were unable to assist. Instead, they advised Catherine to contact her credit union.
“I went to the credit union and was referred to Edna Narum at the Camden location, “ Catherine said. “I provided her with email correspondence and documentation to research my situation.” One email from the Seller caught their eye stating that, for insurance purposes, Catherine should not declare the actual value of the suit, but rather a stated value of $30. “Which is exactly what I did when I returned the suit,” Catherine said. “So that led me to believe the Seller probably received the suit but didn’t want to acknowledge it so she could avoid paying the several hundred dollars it would have cost her to clear customs.”
Edna worked with Catherine and the debit card fraud processors diligently for at least a month, and ultimately negotiated a full refund. Catherine said, “I wouldn’t have received a refund if I didn’t have Edna to fight for me. She followed my case from beginning to end, and never dropped the ball.” In response, Edna stresses that “Catherine’s diligence in keeping a paper trail of correspondence to support her fraud claim was just as critical to the successful outcome.”
To credit union members buying merchandise on eBay, Catherine advises:
Be cautious when buying a product from another company. With laws unique to that country and extended response times, disputes can be complicated and leave the Buyer with little control.
When returning merchandise, declare the full value so you can receive the insurance money if the item is lost in transit. If you have a dispute that cannot be resolved by the Seller or eBay, seek counsel with the credit union.
“I had always been with big banks,” Catherine said. “Fifteen years ago, I moved my accounts to CPS IBEW FCU and it’s just like a country bank. Everyone knows you, and they do things for you that a big bank would give you hassles about. At big banks, you would not get this kind of service, especially not for a $600 transaction. Edna was conscientious, personable, responsible, and made sure I got my money bank.”
Catherine is a CPS Energy® employee, and has been a member of CPS IBEW FCU since 1998.