chief executive

Long Shipping Times Frustrate Grandmother

A Winnetka woman says she's waited months for a toy she bought for her great-grandson, but the company has continued to push her off.

It happens to all of us at some point: you buy something and keep checking the mail but it never shows up. For Diane Martin, that waiting has been accompanied by the questions of her great-grandson, who keeps asking when his glow-in-the-dark race track will arrive.

She says she doesn't know what to tell him anymore. Martin says she saw this commercial for the toy, called “Magic Tracks,” with her great-grandson back in March.

“I was thinking at the time, ‘this is really, kind of neat,’” she says.

So, Martin did what grandmothers do, ordering two sets of tracks for about $40 as a gift for her grandson. Sixteen weeks later there was still no sign of them, and the company says they're on backorder.

“I really want him to remember that his nana got those tracks for him,” Martin says, but every week she has to tell him she doesn’t know when they’ll finally arrive

“My heart sinks,” she says. “It just is wrong, you know, it's just wrong.”

Steve McFarland, chief executive of the Better Business Bureau of Los Angeles, says if a company can't ship your order in the time promised — 30 days in the case of Magic Tracks — it must get your permission to deliver it at a later date or else refund your money. If you paid with a credit card, you have another protection in the first 60 days.

“Consumers expect to have their products shipped in a reasonable amount of time,” McFarland says. “You can contact your credit card company and ask them to reverse the charge.”

Ontel products, the company that sells Magic Tracks, did not respond to requests for comment, but Martin's order finally shipped after inquiries by the NBC4 I-Team.

Relieved her great-grandson will finally be able to play with his new toy, Martin has a message for the company.

“They should really handle their customers better.”

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