Dear ABC News Fixer: Lipo Slim Shrank My Wallet

PHOTO: 5 back-to-school-tips for your credit

Dear ABC News Fixer: I have waited patiently since August 2012 for a refund for a product called Lipo Slim.

I ordered a one-month free supply of this product over the phone and was billed $4.95 on my credit card for shipping and handling. The charge came from Healthier Products LLC. I didn't know they would also send me another product called Natural Cleanse and then automatically sign me up for auto-refills every 30 days at $79.99 per bottle.

When I realized what was happening and asked to cancel, they told me what I needed to do to return the product for a refund. I did that to a "t," yet never saw my refund. When I contacted them again, they tried to say I did not return it -- but I had sent it registered mail and have a signature showing it was received.

I was then told the money would be refunded to my card, but that never happened.

I have made numerous attempts to contact them, with no luck. I also contacted the local chamber of commerce, posted comments online and even resorted to contacting a neighboring business (I love Google Maps' aerial view). No luck there either.

I recently lost my house to a fire and could use this money, as small as it is.

Please help me -- I know you can do this.

- Karen Pizur, Muskego, Wis.

Dear Karen: You apparently stumbled onto one of those offers where once you enter into a free trial, you've agreed to keep the products coming in perpetuity. This is a fairly common arrangement, which is why it's so important to understand all the terms and conditions of any offer.

Your case was a little different, though, since you'd already been told you'd get a refund and had already sent back the product.

In trying to unravel this problem, we had to do a little digging. You had several names and websites of Lipo Slim marketers. The first person we reached turned out not to be your Lipo Slim seller, but he knew the guy in charge at the company you ordered from. We couldn't get through on the phone, but using an email address the first guy provided, we emailed this person and explained your situation.

He never did reply, but lo and behold, a few days later, two checks totaling $144.94 from Health Products LLC of Scottsdale, Ariz., arrived at your home – almost exactly on the first anniversary of your order. And yes, the credit card charge was from Healthier Products and the checks were from Health Products, but you said that regardless of the name, you're glad to have your money back.

So we'll consider this fixed … and we'll consider everyone else well advised to read the fine print in any online transaction.

- The ABC News Fixer

Got a consumer problem? The ABC News Fixer may be able to help. Click here to submit your problem online. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

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