Whatever happened to mercy?

Duncan Addison/Shutterstock
Duncan Addison/Shutterstock

It’s not a word you hear very often in business. It’s something Tami Alloway desperately needed when she contacted Priceline recently to cancel a nonrefundable reservation at the Hawthorn Suites in Charleston.

Alloway, a nurse from Kansas City, had every intention of honoring the reservation when she made it last summer. But then something happened.

“Totally unexpectedly, my sister’s children were removed from their home and taken into state custody,” she told me. “I was awarded foster care for all three of them and they have been with me since then.”

Her sister’s kids will be with her until the end of the school year. Which brings us to that hotel reservation in South Carolina. In order to find the best price, Alloway clicked on Priceline.com, a site with great rates but super-strict refundability rules.

My washer/dryer is a few features short — do I deserve a partial refund?

Matteo Volpone/Shutterstock
Matteo Volpone/Shutterstock
Question: I bought a Samsung washer/dryer by phone recently, but I used the Samsung website to research the specs. The Samsung website clearly stated that the dryer I chose has steam-dry technology, which detects the moisture level in the load and adjusts the drying time to save time and money.

Well, the dryer arrived yesterday, and it didn’t have the steam functionality it promised.

Samsung said the website is apparently in error and this model does not have steam-dry technology. A Samsung representative told me that after reviewing the notes on my account and reviewing the page that I referenced when I made the purchase, they were not bound by what was on the site. He noted that at the bottom of the page, under “overview and features,” it says, “Features and specifications are subject to change without prior notification.”