CONCORD, N.C. - The Better Business Bureau recommends consumers use credit cards to purchase items online rather than debit cards, because credit cards offer better protection on purchases.
Michelle Gaston, of Concord, wanted her son to have the things he needed to succeed in school.
Her son is a freshman at North Carolina A&T.
"I very much want him to have everything that he needs,” Gaston said. “I don't want him to lack for anything.”
She went online to Office Depot's website and bought him a laptop for $300.
She became worried he'd need it sooner than it might arrive, so she went to an actual Office Depot store, found the same one for the same price, bought it, and mailed back the other laptop.
She waited for her refund.
"Every time I would call, one person would tell me one thing. Somebody would tell me something else," she said.
After about two weeks of waiting, she contacted Action 9's Jason Stoogenke.
"I've seen stories before and a lot of times, that's the only way someone can get their money back," she said.
Stoogenke contacted Office Depot.
Within a few hours, the company agreed to look into the situation but didn't explain what went wrong. Within a few days, the money was back in Gaston's bank account.
"I was very relieved. It took a long time, but I'm glad to get my money back," she said.
Gaston paid with a debit card, but the Better Business Bureau said a credit card works better.
"On a credit card, you've got federal law behind you that, if something goes wrong with that transaction, you can dispute it through that credit card company, and if you are right, it would be automatically taken off your bill," said BBB President Tom Bartholomy.
If Gaston used a credit card, she could’ve asked the credit card company to step in on her behalf, which could’ve sped up the refund process.