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Getting Ripped Off

In July, the television at our rental home in North Carolina was damaged by a nearby lightning strike. The rental company called to let us know that renters were complaining and that we’d need to replace the TV as soon as possible. I agreed to let the rental company purchase a similar TV from Walmart on our behalf. (We live way too far away from our rental home to replace the TV ourselves.)

A few days ago I received a bill for the purchase and installment of this TV. The television was listed at just over $1000. I was charged a $45 trip charge and $135 for three hours of labor. At first I was outraged by the labor charge. What labor? Someone simply needed to purchase the TV, bring it home, and plug it into the wall. There is no way that this series of events took three hours. Our home is 15 minutes from Walmart, so the total time cannot be three hours even if you account for driving time in both directions. Unless it took someone two hours to purchase the TV from Walmart this number was clearly fudged.

I thought I was as angry as I could be about this issue until I looked up the television on Walmart.com and found it for $798 not even close to the $1000 that I was charged. I am planning on calling the Walmart in North Carolina for a price check. If I find out that the cost of the TV should have been $798 and I was charged $1000 I am going to have a very stern conversation with the folks at our realty company. Between the trip charge of $45, the labor charge of $135, and the TV overcharge of $213 we spent an additional $393.

Even if some of the labor and delivery charges were justified there is no way that we should have been overcharged for the television itself. I know there are bigger things in the universe to worry about than being overcharged but I absolutely hate feeling ripped off. As usual, I need to remember the details of this event the next time a TV breaks in North Carolina. I need to ask how much the TV will cost in advance and then call Walmart to confirm the price. I also need to ask about additional charges like labor and delivery.

One Frugal Girl

Friday 12th of September 2008

@gonna make it -- The house is a vacation rental home in North Carolina. Renters demand high-quality TVs :-)

gonna_make_it

Thursday 11th of September 2008

your rental home comes with a tv? A $800 tv? sweet... can I move in? I thought most rentals are unfurnished? And why does your rental need an $800 tv? my tv was only $350 and it works just great. Granted its only a 32' but thats plenty big