Money Helps
By Ellen McGirt

(MONEY Magazine) – Take My Treadmill. Please.

Q. I bought a NordicTrack treadmill for $1,200 last October with the understanding that I could return it in 30 days for a full refund if I didn't like it. Well, I didn't like it. (Jerky motor.) NordicTrack told me it would send a special shipping box and come get the machine. After 10 calls, three online customer service chats, one e-mail, four months and what feels like a lifetime on hold, no box has arrived. My credit-card company won't help because I still have the merchandise. I'd ship it myself, but that would cost $400. Help! BOB GOODREAU WOBURN, MASS.

ANSWER Wow, talk about feeling the burn. We called NordicTrack's manufacturer, Icon Health & Fitness in Logan, Utah, and got Mindy Payne, general manager for customer service, to give us the scoop. "It seems we mis-keyed some information," she told us. Then we asked her if calling the store where you bought the machine would have helped. "Possibly," she answered, "but we really should have gotten it right on our end." At least she's a good sport. Two days after our call, Payne sent a worker to your home, braving five inches of new snow, to pack up the treadmill and schlep it away. One business day later, the credit was processed. And you, sir, are free to go back to channel surfing with a clear conscience.

The Night the Ceiling Caved In

Q. On the last night of our Paris vacation, the ceiling in our hotel bathroom fell down while my 11-year-old daughter was taking a shower. No one got hurt, but tiles, debris and electrical wires were everywhere. We had an early flight so we just went to bed. I contacted customer service when I got home, and asked for a refund for that night. They declined, then implied that we had damaged the ceiling ourselves! We only want what's fair! A.K. JACKSONVILLE

ANSWER We contacted a rep for Inter-continental Hotels Group, the franchisor of the Holiday Inn where you stayed. They say that you were offered another room but you declined. Not your recollection. As an inconvenienced customer, you're entitled to ask for the remedy you want. Luckily, you were smart enough to photograph the bathroom. Quel beau gâchis! (What a fine mess!) After we showed the rep the photos, Intercontinental honored your request for a refund for that night, and you've already been refunded about 200 euros ($267).