Troubleshooters: Getting swim club, insurance company to fulfill promises

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How exhausting is it when a company promises you that it'll take care of your problem, but time and time again fails to do so? (WPVI)

How exhausting is it when a company promises you that it'll take care of your problem, but time and time again fails to do so?

The Action News Troubleshooters came to the aid of viewers who were dealing with that very problem.

Susan Tonkinson of Frankford went to the hospital for a mammogram and scan, and didn't expect to have to pay anything out of pocket.

So when she got a bill she was upset.

"Because I was assured by my insurance carrier that it was going to be full coverage," said Susan Tonkinson.

Tonkinson and her husband Daniel tried for three months to resolve the matter, but kept getting the same bill for $780.46.

Finally, the Tonkinsons contacted the Action News Troubleshooters.

A volunteer from Call for Action got right on their case, and that same day the couple got a call from their insurance company.

"She said, 'I just want you to know it's all been taken care of,' " said Tonkinson, adding, "I felt like a weight had been lifted off me."

Now to a swim saga.

Gerry Altmiller became a member of Cherry Valley Swim Club in Cherry Hill back in 1996.

When she signed up, she had to buy a certificate for $450 on top of her yearly dues.

"And we were told that when we left the pool that escrow would be refunded to us," said Altmiller.

In 2004 she informed the club she was canceling her membership.

They then sent her a letter stating, "It is currently averaging three years to find a buyer for a Certificate."

Twelve years later, Altmiller is still waiting for her money.

"I think that this is excessive amount of time to wait to have your money returned to you," said Altmiller.

But it turns out, according to the club's bylaws, the swim club isn't legally bound to give Altmiller a refund.

And while the swim club president says "we will do our best to reimburse her bond," he also says right now the club simply doesn't have the money to give.

The club says it has seen a steady decrease in membership and last year needed $18,000 worth of repair work to stay open.

The good news is after the Troubleshooters intervened, the club has agreed to let Altmiller "swim off" her bond if she wishes.

That means Altmiller and her family can enjoy club membership for at least one season at no cost.

But we want to make very clear that Altmiller is not satisfied with the club's offer, nor is she accepting it.

More than anything this is a cautionary tale when joining a swim club or any membership club, including a golf or country club.

If you have to buy a bond or certificate, make sure the club is required to refund that money to you when you withdraw membership.

Also request a time frame for that delivery in writing and investigate the swim club's financial situation to see if a refund would even be possible.
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