Day care owner’s patience wears thin over missing rugs

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Update: On January 16, the day care told FOX 4 that all three rugs had arrived. Watch or read the story for the background.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- You know those big colorful area rugs you see in day cares? They can be expensive. That's why a Topeka day care owner was excited when she thought she had found a good deal.

Day care owner Melissa Patterson has covered the walls of her Topeka child care center with numbers and letters and designs. She was hoping to do the same with her floors.
In fact last October she paid nearly $800 for three brightly colored rugs. The man selling them door-to-door was Al Smith of Raymore, Mo. He was the owner of Play & Learn Rugs.

Patterson said she was told the rugs would arrive in six-to-eight weeks, which would have put them in her day care before Christmas. They never showed up.

So she called Smith, who told her the rugs would now arrive in January and provided her with what he said was a UPS tracking number. But it never tracked back to an actual package.

Patterson's husband Eric then called Mr. Smith and demanded a refund.

"I let him know that we expected a refund," Eric Smith said. "He continued to protest that his contract doesn't allow for refunds and we continued to remind him that he hadn't supplied any credible information. No tracking number. No name of the supplier."

FOX 4 Problem Solvers called Mr. Smith for an explanation. He denied promising the Pattersons the rugs would arrive in December, saying that because they had paid with two checks, the arrival date wasn't until January. He also supplied us with the name of his supplier, but when FOX 4 Problem Solvers called the supplier's number, the phone was disconnected.

Plus, the Better Business Bureau has given Play and Learn Rugs a 'C' rating for another customer complaint regarding delivery problems.

But here's the good news. The Pattersons have now received the first of the three rugs they ordered. It had a different UPS tracking number than the one Smith provided them and was mailed two days after the Pattersons filed a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General's office.

Mr. Smith promised Problem Solvers the other two rugs are on their way and blamed the delay on the weather. We'll let you know what happens.

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