For those who are interested, I received an email from the Iowa AG today.
Thank you for contacting the office of Attorney General Tom Miller with your concerns about Elemental Designs. You are one of several people receiving this e-mail, so the discussion below will apply to you according to your particulars.
We appreciate the opportunity to review your concerns about Elemental Designs, a Newton, Iowa company, which, as you may know, recently went out of business. We have not been able to contact any remaining company representatives for possible assistance to customers.
Based on the information we have at this writing, it does not appear there is any other action representatives of this office are in a position to take. Accordingly, we are closing our files on this matter.
In reviewing the possible options for you to address your concerns, it appears they are very limited. There is no bonding/insurance requirement in Iowa law, against the possibility that a company closes its doors, owing customers goods, services, refunds, and etcetera. The options, as we see them, are enumerated below. If you have not already exercised one or more of the following options, depending upon your situation, you may wish to do so:
1) If you paid by credit card you may wish to dispute the charge with your card issuer. We suggest this even if the charge was posted to your account more than sixty days ago, the usual deadline for such disputes. In disputing the charge you would explain in detail your situation. For example, if you ordered a product that was not delivered you would explain in detail what you ordered, when you ordered it, that it was not delivered, and any other details that may help support your charge dispute. It may help to state in your dispute that you contacted our office for possible assistance. Credit card companies generally give a merchant a time frame within which to respond, and, if no response is provided, a credit to you may be granted.
2) If you paid through PayPal you may be able to dispute your payment through PayPal dispute resolution procedures. We suggest this even if any deadline for such disputes has past. In disputing the charge you would explain in detail your situation. For example, if you ordered a product that was not delivered, you would explain in detail what you ordered, when you ordered it, that it was not delivered, and any other details that may help support your charge dispute. It may help to state in your dispute that you contacted our office for possible assistance.
3) If you paid by cash or check you may wish to consider contacting your personal attorney for advice and possible assistance with civil action, or you may wish to consider filing a lawsuit in the appropriate small claim court. Your attorney should be able to advise you as to the appropriate court.
Regardless the above options, and in any event, you may wish to contact your personal attorney for advice and possible assistance. If you do not have an attorney and your search for one is difficult, you may wish to ask friends, family or other associates for recommendations.
In addition, if you choose to contact an Iowa attorney, the Iowa State Bar Association operates a FIND-A-LAWYER service on its website: www.iowafindalawyer.com
. The service will supply you the name or names of lawyers who are willing to consult with you for $25 for the first 30 minutes. If further legal services are needed, you and the attorney can negotiate an arrangement including the fee. Most state bar associations have similar services.
We will continue to monitor the situation in the event we may be able to provide some assistance.
We hope you find this information helpful. Thank you for writing to us with your concerns.
Stephen Switzer, Investigator
Consumer Protection Division
Attorney General's Office/Department of Justice State of Iowa
1305 East Walnut Street, 2nd Floor
Hoover State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
voice direct 515.281.8771