Tweeter Dee – Tweeter Dum

Customers may find bargains at the Tweeter electronics store chain in the next few weeks.  But shoppers are being warned to be very careful as they take advantage of the store closing sales.

Here's the latest....

First - gift cards.

The chain has agreed to honor gift cards past a Saturday deadline, according to Connecticut's Attorney General, Richard Blumenhtal.  

The electronics store chain - with outlets in Danbury, Avon, Newington and the Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester - filed for bankruptcy on November 5.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court had said the chain needed to honor the gift cards through Saturday, November 15.  Blumenthal said he got the store to agree to honor the gift cards through the end of its "closing" sale, beyond the November 15 deadline.  That won't be any later than December 31st, and possibly sooner.

Consumers were being warned to use any gift cards as quickly as they could.

Second - down payments.

Some consumers were stepping forward to say they were having issues with the chain regarding down payments they made on merchandise earlier in the year. 

George Consalves said he's one of these victims.  He claimed to have shopped at Tweeter's Newington store and purchased a television set that cost $3,000.  Gonsalves said he paid a $700 down payment using his credit card with a promise to pay the rest when the set was delivered.

Gonsalves said he recently received a letter from a Tweeter salesman that said Gonsalves' $700 down payment was now part of the funds tied up in the bankruptcy proceedings and it can't be used toward his television purchase price.

Gonsalves said he was angry when he received the letter. He told NBC Connecticut's Tom Monahan that he is now considered a creditor by the store, not a customer. 

Gonsalves said he wrote to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection earlier this month, but he had not received a reply as of Friday.

Gonsalves said he is now hopeful that Attorney General Blumenthal will step in and work on his behalf with the store owners and bankruptcy court.

Recognizing that there are economic hardships currently for consumers and businesses alike, Gonsalves said he advises buyers to be very aware of potential problems.

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