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pansyrhonda

Small Claims Court

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pansyrhonda

I would like your thoughts.  Would it be worth my time, and would I get my money, to sue a survey company in small claims court?

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GammiWoo

It depends on the circumstances and the amount of money, honestly. I have been .38 hot over as small as a $25-50 redemption. It does take quite a lot of work to get to that point, especially on some sites. I understand the frustration. The farthest I've taken it is the BBB. The company I complained about straightened everything out fairly quickly. I think they take the BBB, at least, a little seriously. I'm not sure what would make me take it all the way to court. Can you give details or cirumstances, etc?

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NaomiNo

I highly doubt it would be worth it unless you're talking about a huge amount of money you're owed.  Keep in mind that even if a judge rules in your favor in small claims court, it is up to the defendant to voluntarily hand the money over to you as the courts usually do not get involved beyond the judgement.  I know people who "won" their cases years ago (one was against a landlord, another a local bridal shop) and still haven't seen a dime.  There are then a number of legal ways to get them to pay up but it will end up costing you even more in time and money and still isn't a guarantee you'll see anything.

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pansyrhonda

They sent me a $50 check that bounced.  So had $50 + bad check fee.

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NaomiNo

You haven't mentioned the company (I think many of us here would want to know if a survey company is sending out bad checks so we can avoid them!), how long ago this happened, or if/how you've tried contacting them/what they've said.  Also, why did the check bounce?  Insufficient funds, postdated, not signed, wrong currency, something else entirely - just wondering it the intent seemed malicious (sending out checks when the company has no money) or an honest mistake (not being signed)?  As my answers would vary wildly depending on different circumstances, I will try to keep this as general as possible.  I would not personally go to small claims court for such a low amount but I would be contacting the company through whatever means necessary on a regular basis and continue to escalate it until the situation was resolved - obviously whatever their help/contact email is but on all their social media, there's no harm in trying the BBB as GammiWoo suggested (some companies take it seriously, some don't), dig around and try to find the CEO's contact information (or at least ANY higher ups other than regular customer service).  Find any and all phone numbers to try to get a hold of someone that way.  If all that's a no go, then send a certified letter to their snail mail address and fax (if applicable) along with proof of the bounced check.  Even if you don't take them to court, there's no reason you can't use language that gives the impression you'll be "forced to take legal action" should they not send the $50 + bounced check fee within a certain time frame (I would not start my communications with a threat, however - that's only if this has been going on for a while and you can't get a response through any other avenue).  Sending a certified letter is also a good idea if you live in a state with bad check laws and you actually do end up pursuing this legally or criminally.

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pansyrhonda

Unique Rewards.  Checks were always good before.  This one bounced.  Contacted them; no response.  Contacted FCC; nothing they can do.  Contacted BB; they got no response either.

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GammiWoo

Well, when I google "Unique Rewards bounced check", Google pulls up  that more than a few have received "bounced checks" with Unique Rewards. It looks like they've responded to all of them as BBB complaints are already filed, which works in your favor. They are saying on BBB site that they will meet them halfway and send via Paypal. So, if you go to the BBB site, you can join in and hopefully, be made whole. I didn't read a lot into it because they've already had complaints filed but I see they're responding so if you want to go there and research further: https://www.bbb.org/us/oh/oberlin/profile/workathome-companies/unique-rewards-0312-92001143/complaints

 

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pansyrhonda

I have already filed a BBB complaint with no results.  That is for Ohio.  I live in Iowa.

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NaomiNo

In regards to the BBB, it doesn't matter that you're in Iowa.  They are operating out of Ohio so the complaints are dealt with by their local BBB, which in this case is Cleveland (I just clicked through to file a complaint to see what it would say); the BBB in Iowa wouldn't do anything.

I've never used this site before but it looks shady as hell that the contact address on their website is in Estonia and they appear to have no physical location in the US (the address publicly listed on the BBB is simply a city, state and zip code, only until you start a complaint do you find out it's a PO Box).  They have a US phone number and fax number listed, have you tried either of those yet?  The company still makes posts on FB, have you tried messaging them on there and gotten any response (not just posting on their wall)?  The CEO's email is supposedly [email protected] so give that a shot if you haven't already.  If you've done all that then might as well try the certified letter route and I would address it to the CEO, Oleg Gradel (though who knows if he even lives in the country??):

PO Box 515
Oberlin, OH 44074-0515

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pansyrhonda

UPDATE:  I contact the California Attorney General, BBB,  consumers affairs, and the survey site's bank.  I got the $100 through PayPal.  A win for survey takers!!!!!

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rosiesmom

Good for you!  Ridiculous that you had to go through all of that to get a payment that they owed you obviously.

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