No Fair File: Acura Navigation, Gift Cards, Free Cruise

Liz Crenshaw shares her No Fair File for 9/25/08

Angry viewers tell Liz Crenshaw what's not fair in their consumer lives. Here are three short stories from her "No Fair File."

Jim Cunha, of Burke, Va., spent $3,500 on a tech package for his 2008 Acura MDX, but said he's really unhappy with the car's navigation system.

It tells me where I need to go, but what it doesn't do is it can't tell me how to get to specific places," he said.

For example, when Cunha searches for a business, like Macy's, by name, oftentimes, he won't get the directions for the store's nearest location.

"Macy's right there on the top and the closest one is North Miami Beach, only 909 miles. Wait a minute, we are about a second from a Macy's at Pentagon City," he said.

Cunha said the dealership told him it can't fix or replace the navigation system, so now he wants his $3,500 back.

The dealer refused, saying it's an issue for Acura.

American Honda, Acura's parent company, said searching by a business name can create issues, but entering a city and state in your search helps. Company officials also said its system is one of the best ones out there.

"It's not fair because the amount of money I spent on a new vehicle, advertised to function appropriately and it's not functioning as advertised," Cunha said.

Tony Asher is angry with Circuit City. He tried using six $100 Visa gift cards, but the transaction would not go through, so the clerk gave him back the cards and he tried using them the next day at a different electronics store.

"When the cashier ran them through, she said there was a zero balance on them," Asher said. "I felt robbed. I felt this was theft, you took my money, I didn't buy anything, why do you have my money?"

Asher called Visa and it said Circuit City had placed a seven day hold on his gift cards.

Circuit City said its system recognizes bank issued gift cards and credit cards the same way, and that canceled transactions may take seven to 10 days to clear. It apologized for any inconvenience and is looking at ways to speed up the resolution process.

Susan Caulfield said she spent $5,000 on a credit card so that she and her husband could take a free cruise.

But when Caulfield called to book her free trip, she said, "My cruise at a minimum would cost $450. It was supposed to be a free cruise."

The charges were booking fees, port charges and a fuel surcharge that Caulfield would also have to pay.

The credit card ad did say that certain fees were not included in the free deal, but when Caulfield checked online she found she could book the same cruise herself for only $4 more.

Chase said that effective immediately cardholders would not be required to pay the port charges, departure tax, the booking fee or fuel surcharge tied to the five-day cruise promotion. Cardholders who have taken advantage of this promotion will receive reimbursement.

After the changes were made, Caulfield said she thinks the deal is fair and was planning to go on that cruise.

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