Local Celebrity Couple Learns Lesson After Clicking on Social Media Ads | NBC 6 South Florida
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Local Celebrity Couple Learns Lesson After Clicking on Social Media Ads

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A South Florida celebrity couple learned a hard lesson after tring to buy items seens on social media ads.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017)

    You’ve probably seen ads pop up on your social media feeds, advertising products you might find appealing. But a local celebrity couple says they learned a tough lesson, after trying to buy products they found through those ads.

    Tito Puente, Jr. is the son of the legendary musician, Tito Puente. He lives for the moments he’s on stage, sharing his music with his fans. How he looks is almost as important to him as how he sounds.

    “I do have an extensive wardrobe,” Puente said.

    When an ad for a unique jacket popped up on his Facebook page, it caught his eye.

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    “I love it, it’s so cool looking and it was gold, oh man, it was shiny,” he said.

    “Yeah, it was very shiny,” his wife, Rosalie Lebron said. “Liberace shiny.”

    The artist says he ordered a 3XL, but when the jacket arrived it was several sizes too small.

    “I looked like ‘Little-race’,” he said laughing. “It was too short.”

    He first exchanged it for a larger size, but Puente said when it still didn’t fit, he asked for a refund.

    Around the same time, Lebron saw an ad on her Facebook feed from a different company for a toy she thought would be perfect for her granddaughter.

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    Ignacio Rojas didn’t waste any time using the new Pembroke Road bridge over I-75.

    He drove on the new Broward County road extension the day it opened.

    While driving, he heard a loud noise.

    “After that I realized that I had a big hole right next to the mirror,” Rojas said. “It was a golf ball that hit the car.”

    He says the ball came from the Grand Palm Resort next to the overpass. So, he went to the club’s management and was surprised at what he was told.

    “The golf club had no responsibility on the damages because they were there first,” he recalled. He was told the city of Pembroke Pines built the road.

    When he contacted the city he was also turned away.

    “They tell me that unfortunately there’s nothing they can do,” Rojas said. “It’s a private property. It’s not their responsibility. So, I need to deal with the golf course.”

    Feeling like he was being bounced around, he contacted NBC 6 Responds.

    “What should I do?” he asked. “Should I stop the car in the middle of the road, jump the fence, trespass into private property and deal with the golfer which I’m not sure who hit it so that’s completely realistic.”

    Grand Palms General Manager Richard Marjama sent a statement to NBC 6 that read, “While it is indeed unfortunate that a passing motorist’s vehicle was hit by a golfer’s errant golf ball, Grand Palms takes no responsibility for the golfer’s actions or the resulting damage to persons or property off the golf course.”

    When reporter Myriam Masihy went to the area she found a golf ball that had been hit across both lanes of traffic on Pembroke Road and landed on the curb opposite the golf course. She also saw golfers fishing balls that landed outside the short fence that borders the course.

    Because Broward County helped pay for the overpass, NBC 6 Responds went to County Mayor Barbara Sharief. She quickly refuted the claim that the golf course was there before the road.

    “They were there before the overpass came in but the road was already slated for future expansion prior to them ever opening that golf course up,” Sharief said.

    After our call, Sharief said the county looked into erecting a fence along the road.

    “But the problem is that you can’t use county money on private property,” she said.

    Under Florida law, golf courses are not responsible for what happens outside their property, according to attorney Devin Tison with Reinfeld, Cabrera and Tison.

    But he says once a golf course or municipality knows that a hazardous condition exists, they cannot ignore it.

    “They can’t escape liability if they created the dangerous conditions,” Tison said. “Nothing will come of it until someone is actually hurt. The second that someone gets hit and hurt with a golf ball, you’ll see real change.”

    Rojas never got his side-view mirror repaired but says his biggest concern is the safety of the roadway. He’s chosen not to use the road as a shortcut again.

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    “It’s a singing elephant, who doesn’t love a singing elephant?,” Lebron said.

    When she clicked on the ad, Lebron said she was taken to a website called Atisy.com.

    “And immediately it said only 5 left, 39.99, free shipping,” she said. “So I’m thinking, wow, that’s a great deal. So I screamed out to Tito, ‘Let’s get it! Order it now!’”

    That was in November. By February, tracking information for the elephant said it was still in transit, somewhere in China.

    “We tried to call and we get no answer,” she said.

    Puente said he didn’t think twice about making the purchase because the ad appeared on their Facebook feeds.

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    “I thought it would be vetted and it would be safe,” he said.

    According to Facebook, anyone can buy ads on Facebook and Instagram and even though they do make sure an ad is associated with an actual website, they don’t verify the business itself.

    “Anyone can set up a website, take pictures, set up shop, set up an e-commerce website and take credit card payments and pay for these ads,” said Cinthya Lavin, spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida.

    Experts recommend doing your homework on a company before making a purchase. You should always pay with a credit card, Lavin said. If so, you can dispute the charges through your credit card company.

    Puente did get his money back for the jacket. As for the elephant, Atisy.com told us in an email that they had shipped the toy but they think “it got lost”. They promised to reach out to Puente and issue a refund. The couple, meanwhile, said they’ve learned from the experience.

    “We should be more cautious,” Lebron said. “I know I’m going to be”.

    After our interview, Lebron said they received the elephant on February 21st , even though they never heard from the company.

    Because they used PayPal to make the purchase, Puente could have filed a claim through PayPal to try to recover their money.

    You can research a company on the Better Business Bureau’s website.

    It’s also a good idea to look at reviews and comments on a company’s social media page to get a sense of the experiences other consumers have had with the company.