Fairway Lakes / No Refund
To whom it may concern,
I and my fiancé visited one of you properties in Westerville OH, Fairway Lakes. We were interested in the property but could not make a decision at the time. We wanted to continue to search for any other possible places to move while we had a home built for ourselves. We spoke with Kristen at the complex and she informed us that we could apply for the townhouse and upon verification of the submitted application, she would let us know if we would have the town home offered to us. My fiancé and I wrote you establishment a check for $50.00 for the application fee and a deposit check for $299.00 to hold the town home. Kristen later called, Monday, April 5th to let us know that the application was not able to be processed because I did not fill in my full social security numbers, which I never do on any random form. She asked for both the full social security number and two (2) pay stubs which we did not submit at the time of the application. My fiancé informed her that we would be staying where we are and we will not be taking the townhouse and not to cash the deposit check. Kristen then informed my fiancé that the $50.00 check is non refundable. We did understand that as she had given us that information at the time of our filling out the application. My fiancé asked about the deposit check and Kristen told her (my fiancé) that she (Kristen) would have to call her back about that. We did not receive a call back. This is after, however, April 6, 2010, while checking our account preparing to make a purchase on a home we did decide on, we discovered that the deposit check was cashed. The application process was not finished, my full information was not on the application so there was not background check done. As I stated to you earlier, there were no pay stubs issued to verify income but the check was still cashed. We immediately called Fairway Lakes about 12 times before getting Tiara on the line. My fiancé told her that there was a problem with the deposit check. My fiancé let her know that the check was cashed and we had not finished the application process. Tiara told my fiancé that the deposit check was non-refundable. My fiancé couldn't understand how as the application process was not finished since Kristen called the day before stating that she could not process the application without all of the pertinent information. She told my fiancé that the information about the check being non-refundable was in the fine print and we had a copy. We received copy of the town home floor plan that we were interested in which does not state that the deposit check was also non-refundable like the $50.00 application fee. My fiancé told Tiara this but she insisted that we were mistaken. My fiancé asked her how we could have been approved for the town home when my information was not on the application as well as neither of our pay stubs was ever submitted and employment was never verified. Tiara told my fiancé that we were approved based on my fiancés information only. This is also a curious statement considering her information was incomplete as well, not to mention that Kristen called the day before asking to have all information submitted so that she could process the applications. At that time I interjected. I explained to Tiara that we will not be taking the townhouse and that I understand that the $50.00 application fee is non-refundable but could not understand why the deposit check of $299.00 was cashed prematurely and is now non-refundable. She told me that Kristen told me that. Kristen did not tell me that otherwise I would not have told my fiancé to write a check. Who would wastefully throw away money in such a manner? I suggested to Tiara that this practice is quite deceiving and actually fraudulent. She told me that I can speak to her supervisor tomorrow about it and wanted to release the call. Feeling absolutely taken advantage of and even more so robbed, I informed Tiara that I would need to speak to her superior. She told me everyone had gone. I immediately began to research online, while she was still on the phone, the corporate offices of this facility so that I could place a phone call with Tiara on the line so that she could explain to her superiors as well as me how it is legal to take $299.00 from anyone without any services or merchandise rendered or represented. She did not want to remain on the phone and repeatedly asked me to release the call. I told her not until I have someone is on the line so that we would be able to settle the matter. After placing me on hold for several minutes she returned wanting to disconnect the call. I let her know that were calling the corporate office now and we will be discussing the matter in full until a resolution is confirmed. She explained how she would not be staying on the line as it was the end of her shift and she was going home. She then dropped the line.
I am quite certain that a deposit is refundable especially if the application process has not been started, complete information was not given, and there was no legal notice as to the non-refundable status of a deposit. I am also quite sure that this is an isolated incident amongst a group of under-experienced employees that can be quickly resolved. I would be entirely grateful for a speedy resolution to the matter as it has caused us an inconvenience in the purchasing of our new home, and would truly regret having to take the matter further.