Consumer Watch: Bag of bird seed leads to battle with collection company


by Andy Trienen

Posted on January 27, 2010 at 7:08 PM

(WHAS11) - It was a simple misunderstanding, but one that caused 81-year-old William Williams a lot of stress.

Williams tries to spend most of his days relaxing, and one hobby he enjoys is feeding the birds.

But after a trip to Meijer on Westport Rd. to buy bird feed, Mr. Williams began receiving calls and letters from a collection agency trying to collect money they said Williams owed.

The misunderstanding occurred when Williams went to checkout at Meijer with an electronic check. That machine wasn’t working, so he paid with his credit card.

The store failed to scan his bird seed, so he paid for it separately with cash for the $16.21 bag of seed. He has the receipt that shows he paid for the seed with cash. End of story…but it wasn’t.

Williams received a letter from TRS Recovery claiming he still owed the credit card bill for the seed.

He went directly to the store with letter and receipt in hand, and after talking with employees there, felt everything would be taken care of.

But in early January, Williams got another letter and more phone calls saying if he didn’t “pay up” his credit would be affected.
“I’m not going to pay them a dime. I told him so. I don’t care if it costs me $1,000, I’m not paying a nickel,” Williams said.
Fortunately, he won’t have to.

WHAS11’s Andy Treinen contacted Meijer on Williams’ behalf and received an email from the company stating that the problem is solved and Williams has been cleared and they are sending him a $100 gift card for his trouble.

Meijer also said that they will be reviewing the issue to make sure it doesn’t happen again.