• Action 9: Families worried they won't get precious videos back

    By: Jason Stoogenke


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Customers trusted a business to transfer precious memories to DVD, but told Action 9 the company didn’t do the work.

    Now, they're worried they won’t get those memories back.

    Shariva White cherishes her family videos. She has a whole bag of videotapes.

    She said her relatives have some, too.

    "It ranges from my sister doing a circus act when she was in kindergarten to my grandmother attending her birthday party when she was like 12 years old, which was actually the last time we had a live shot of my grandmother, so it’s really sentimental for us. We also have tapes of my husband proposing to me on the Thanksgiving holiday," she said.

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    Last year, White saw a Groupon for a company called Memories on Media to convert ten tapes to DVD for about $60.  

    So she bought it and mailed the tapes.

    "I went to the post office and I made sure that I had verification and tracking on that package," she said.

    She told Action 9's Jason Stoogenke she was supposed to have the tapes and DVDs back within three months.

    It's been about 10 month so far.

    She said the owner gave her the runaround "and then, eventually, the phone calls that I was placing would either go straight to voicemail and, then, the voicemails stopped picking up."

    "I just want my tapes back," White said.

    She's not alone. Stoogenke found a Facebook page dedicated to customers who are upset with the company. There are 31 members.

    The Better Business Bureau gives Memories on Media an F rating and has an alert on its website, warning consumers about the complaints.

    Stoogenke emailed and called the owner, but he didn't respond.

    So Stoogenke went to his company's address on Monroe Road. Someone there said the owner moved the business to Winston-Salem months ago. Stoogenke found two addresses for the owner in Winston-Salem and traveled to the city for more answers.

    The owner was home and wouldn't go on camera, but discussed the situation with Stoogenke.

    "We have not lost anything. Everything is here," he said.  "We are actually working with Groupon to get tapes returned to folks.  We just got a little bit overwhelmed by our deal with Groupon and everything will be returned probably within the next two to three weeks."

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    When Stoogenke asked about White specifically, he said: "I’ll get hers pulled and get it out to her immediately."

    "At this point, I just want the tapes back.  I don’t even care about the money. I don’t care about the $60. My memories are worth way more than $60," White said.

    Stoogenke has asked Groupon how it's handling the situation.  He emailed the company last week and was still waiting to hear back by 5 p.m. Thursday.

    No matter what company you use:

    • Research it well before using it.
    • You may want to record the videos with your phone before you hand the tapes over.  Sure, the quality won't be great, but if you never see those tapes again, at least you'll have some copy of the memories.

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