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Investigation Unit: Appliance Store Ripoff

<font size=2>An Abilene woman who bought appliances from a local store says she'll think twice before buying locally again.</font>
When Karen Stephan needed appliances for her new home, she wanted to buy locally.

"I have those buy big country stickers in my drawer," Stephan said.

So back in May she went to Beal's Appliances and Parts to get what she needed. It was Memorial Day and a tax free weekend, plus G.E. was offering a $500 rebate.

"That represented a big cost savings," explained Stephan.

She ended up spending $7,000. She was in the process of building her home so Beal's offered to store her items then deliver them when she needed them.

"I in over the next couple of months to say we're not ready, can you still store them and they told me everything was fine," Stephan.

Last Monday, she went to the store to let them know she was ready for her appliances, but the door was locked.

Beal's is now owned by Murray Appliances in Denton. Stephen said she made repeated calls the CEO's office but never got a call back. She hired an attorney who also called. The CEO told the attorney to send in the invoice, which Stephan says she did. Now, the CEO won't talk to the attorney anymore either.

The KTAB Investigation Unit called several times, too. We were sent to voicemail each time. Finally, we we received a fax from management that said, "Beal appliance is very sorry for any inconvenience the closing of the Abilene store has caused. We will continue to work with our customers to fulfill the orders or process their refunds."

Karen Stephan hopes she'll be one of those customers soon. As for those Buy Big Country stickers in her drawer, Stephan said, "I don't think i'll wear them much after this."

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