3OYS: Zales says $300 mistake is now fixed

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Tom Salerno is a hard working guy from New Jersey who decided to spend his retirement years right here in the Valley.

"The dream was that when I came out here there would be a a lot of things that I could do, but the condition that I'm in, it's kind of hard," Salerno told 3 On Your Side.

Salerno's condition? Well, it could be better. He's survived cancer and other health scares. But during some of his health concerns, he was rushed to the hospital a couple of different times by a friend.

To show his gratitude, Salerno decided to buy that friend a diamond necklace from Zales found inside Paradise Valley Mall. "To me, it was a gift for her, for helping me out, which I appreciated very much."

That necklace cost Salerno around $600. He put it on his Zales account and decided to pay it off in a few payments. However, when he went into the store later on to make a $300 payment, this is what they did.

Zales took Salerno's $300 check and ran it electronically, meaning the money came electronically out of Salerno's bank account.  But, then, the store also took that same $300 check and reportedly deposited it into their own bank account, meaning Salerno got hit a second time, for a total of $600.

However, here's the kicker. Zales then sent Salerno a bill claiming he owed them another $300 plus interest and fees when technically he didn't owe them anything now.  Remember, they zapped him for $600.  "It hasn't been a simple mistake to resolve," Salerno said. "This has been five months. I keep going back and talking to the manager but I get nowhere."

In a letter from Salerno's bank, they explain and confirm that his account had been hit twice by that one $300 check.

Still, Zales keeps denying they did anything wrong and continue to hound Salerno for more money he doesn't owe. So, he contacted 3 On Your Side. "I see Gary Harper on TV all the time helping everybody."

Zales agreed to look into the matter for us, and said they would deal directly with Salerno to resolve the issue, but not 3 On Your Side.

And they did. Over the phone, Zales told Salerno that they looked into the mistake and, according to Salerno, agreed to zero out his account.

However, Zales would not provide anything to Salerno or 3 On Your Side in writing to confirm that resolution. To complicate matters, following Zales' conversation indicating the matter was taken care of, Salerno received another call from Zales the next day demanding payment.

So, any resolution remains unclear.  And without anything in writing, 3 On Your Side will stay on top of this problem until we're absolutely confident it has been successfully resolved.

Salerno says he is grateful for 3 On Your Side's involvement. "Gary Harper got involved and Zales woke up. They took care of the problem. Harper woke them up," Salerno said.