Grandmother's "tablet trouble" leads her to call Contact 6

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Shopping online can be an adventure, as one local woman found out after trying to get a refund for products that had some problems. FOX6's Contact 6 says you can help yourself before making any purchases on the internet.

"This one went to my granddaughter and she's very satisfied and happy with it," Vivian Kidd says of a tablet she purchased online for her grandchildren.

Kidd bought three tablets from the website:

"I said 'wow, that's affordable. We can get the tablets for them and that's something they can do on these cold winter days when they're in the house. That way they don't have to be stuck watching television,'" Kidd said.

However, when the original order arrived, there was one minor problem.

"They just wouldn't come on and they wouldn't open. None of the websites or applications they have on there, none of them work," Kidd said.

Kidd immediately tried calling the customer service line.

"The 1-800 number stayed busy, or else an operator would come on and say 'due to the high volume of the Christmas holiday, we cannot take your call. To get in contact with us, email us,'" Kidd said.

Kidd exchanged nine emails with the website over 11 days, describing the problem. She was asked for the order numbers -- so she provided them. Then, she was asked what the problem was, so she explained it again. Again, she was asked for the order numbers, and again, she was asked about the problem.

Kidd says the final straw was being told she would not be getting a refund because she was too late.

"Well, you didn't call or contact us in a timely manner. What's more timely than two days after seeing the thing don't work?" Kidd said.

That's when Kidd sent one final email.

"I'm going to call the Better Business Bureau and Contact 6, and I'm going to see if someone with a little more authority than me can get you guys to do something," Kidd said.

Contact 6 received Kidd's complaint and sent it to right away after noticing its F-rating with the BBB and more than 2,300 complaints nationwide in the last three years.

Days later, Kidd got a phone call.

"They said I can arrange for a return or a refund. That was only after I called Contact 6!" Kidd said. has never responded directly to Contact 6 -- but now, Kidd has tablets that work for her grandchildren.

"Sometimes it's easier to go online, but I don't know. I think I'm going to stick to going to the stores myself . That way I can bring the product back and I can put a face to it," Kidd said.

If you are going to continue buying online, the BBB says document who you talk to, and when.

Also -- always use a credit card, so your credit company can dispute the charge if the website won't help you with a refund.

Finally, check the BBB's website to find out the company's rating, and the number and type of complaints.