CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - Several viewers have contacted 10 On Your Side about helicopters purchased at local malls not functioning properly.
Throughout the year, merchants fill up empty areas inside of malls by setting up kiosks. The Marth family purchased a $31 electronic helicopter that won't fly from a kiosk at Chesapeake's Greenbrier Mall.
Annie Marth bought the helicopter as a Christmas gift from her son to her husband, Ronny Marth. The helicopter would not hold charge and was basically useless.
"I feel cheated, ripped off and ripped off at Christmas time," Ronny Marth said.
When Annie Marth returned to the mall Dec. 26, the kiosk where she purchased the RC helicopter was gone. Annie spoke with the mall's management.
"They basically gave us three numbers that we can't get in touch with," Annie Marth said.
10 On Your Side uncovered more victims; 10 at Pembroke Mall and at least eight at Greenbrier Mall.
The Marths were uncomfortable with the mall's lax policy in allowing the kiosk owners to skip town.
"If they are so slack on the information they get from the company owners, or vendors, it makes me wonder if the other small stores in the mall [do the same thing]," Ronny Marth said.
Although no one from the mall would speak to 10 On Your Side on-camera, they released the following statement: "It is an unfortunate reflection on everyone involved. They had a business license, insurance, and they surprised us, too, by suddenly leaving."
WAVY.com tracked down the kiosk operator by finding out Nursultan Dosmagambetov was the name listed on the business license, trading as RC World. A man named Andrew answered the door of a Beach apartment 10 On Your Side tracked down under Dosmagambetov's name.
Andrew told WAVY.com Dosmagambetov has left town, but admitted he was the one who sold the helicopter to the Marths.
"Give me their number and I will call them... I can fix these things and I will fix it for them," Andrew told 10 On Your Side.
WAVY.com then asked whether Andrew or anyone from their business will fix all the broken toys.
"I can do that, I know how to fix them," Andrew said.
At 10 On Your Side's urging, Andrew agreed to fix all RC World products he sold.
As for Annie Marth, Greenbrier Mall management gave her even more money back than she paid for the toy.
"You guys came in and got us some of the answers we were looking for. You are still doing it, and still working for us... thank you so much," Annie Marth said.
WAVY.com warns when shopping at a mall kiosk to confirm the return policy. Make sure the kiosk operator has a business license with them or on file with the mall and make sure the kiosk operator has the required insurance to operate the kiosk. If the kiosk operators give you any problem at all, think twice about making a purchase.
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