Lyft vomit fraud: Everything you need to know — and how to avoid it

Svetlana Milina didn’t expect to become a victim of Lyft vomit fraud on her seven-minute trip across Manhattan. And Peter Leung didn’t see the Lyft vomit scam coming when he caught a ride in suburban Toronto.

But both of these passengers were broadsided by the biggest rideshare problem in recent memory — and this one is disgusting on several levels. As much as it sickens me to do so, it’s time to bring up their cases. Because these troubling ridesharing scams are multiplying at an alarming rate.

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refund for my Samsung electric stove

I want a $1,100 refund for my Samsung electric stove. Why can’t I get one?

Try as hard as he might, John Hudson can’t get his electric range to work. It doesn’t matter which buttons he pushes or how long he stays on the phone with tech support. The appliance won’t run. Samsung can’t diagnose the problem, either.

Does that mean he deserves a refund for his Samsung electric stove? Not necessarily.

Hudson’s case is one of the most exasperating reader problems that has crossed my desk in weeks.

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Bank of America fees

These Bank of America fees drained my kids’ savings account

Elizabeth Scott wanted to teach her kids a lesson about money a few years ago, so she opened Bank of America savings accounts for them. But Bank of America taught her a lesson that she never expected.

Now she wants to know if our advocacy team can help undo an unwanted tutorial in bank fees.

What happened? Back in 2019, she set up two bank accounts for her kids. A Bank of America representative agreed to waive the bank’s $8-per-month maintenance fee. But that didn’t happen, and within a few months, the kids’ money was gone.

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Consumer alert: Beware MLMs like Rodan and Fields. You could end up with product you don't want.

I never placed this Rodan and Fields order. Why do I have to pay for it?

I can’t tell the story of Wendy Schlessinger’s efforts to get a refund from Rodan and Fields without also exploring the dark history of multilevel marketing (MLM).

On the surface, Schlessinger’s attempt to get her money back looks like an open-and-shut case. Maybe it’s just an innocent error made by a $4 billion skincare company. Then again, maybe it’s part of a business strategy that includes pushing pricey subscriptions on unwitting consumers.

Multilevel marketing schemes have touched more than one of our readers. Chances are, you’ve run across products that were aggressively marketed through these methods. I have, and I’ll tell you my embarrassing story in just a moment.

Schlessinger’s case left me not only sad, but furious. It involved Rodan and Fields sending products she says she didn’t order, a destroyed friendship, a denied request for a refund, and a credit card dispute that the company fought — even though it knew it was wrong.

But is this case even fixable?

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Jerry Seinfield canceled the show, can Vivid Seats keep the customer's money?

Can I get a refund for this rescheduled show from Vivid Seats?

Can Vivid Seats keep your money for a canceled show? Douglas Himberger would really like to know. Before the pandemic, he paid $689 for two tickets to a Jerry Seinfeld show in Atlantic City. The event kept getting postponed — and now he can’t get his money back.

Vivid Seats, a ticket exchange and resale company, should have refunded the money a long time ago. So why is it holding on to Himberger’s money? And what does that mean for the rest of us who are trying to get our money back for shows that were canceled during the pandemic?

Himberger’s case is about more than a company that tries to keep your money. It’s also about credit card disputes and when to use them.

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Pottery Barn took back the chairs, so where is the refund?

She returned her merchandise to Pottery Barn. But where’s her refund?

It’s been more than a year since Virginia Cepero returned the dining room chairs she bought on the Pottery Barn website. The company insists it refunded her money months ago, but Cepero can’t find it.

What do you do when it’s a company’s word against yours? And how do you defend your position when the company throws up a favorite defense tactic?

The deeper I dug into Cepero’s case, the more convinced I became that corporate America’s favorite new strategy for keeping your money is still largely a secret. I’ll tell you about it in a second. I’ll also reveal how to avoid a chaotic return like this and get your money back from Pottery Barn.

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