Son believes 79-year-old mom was taken advantage of after being charged almost $9,600 for cosmetics

Mycah Hatfield Image
Friday, April 12, 2024
79-year-old taken advantage of and charged $9K for cosmetics, son says
According to her son, a 79-year-old woman was stunned to learn how much she spent on cosmetics at the Katy Mills Mall last week.

KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- A 79-year-old woman was stunned to learn how much she spent on cosmetics at the Katy Mills Mall last week.

The woman's son, Trey Fleming, told ABC13 that she went to the mall alone on April 1 to try on shoes and stopped to ask for directions to the store at the Venofye kiosk.

"As she stopped, they started talking to her about their own products and then pulled her into the salon," Fleming said.

The Venofye kiosk sits just outside Royal Bee, a store it is associated with.

He said his mother spent several hours with the salesperson. She got a facial, and they ate lunch at a neighboring restaurant. She ended up walking away with several bags full of cosmetics.

Her charges were split between two receipts charged to her debit card. One receipt was for $1,082.50, and another for $8,500.87.

"She's a retired social worker," Fleming said. "She worked for CPS for over 25 years and has been retired for probably 10 years now and lives on a fixed income. She's a little stressed over spending $15 on makeup at Walmart. To go spend $8,500 and a little over $1,000 on a second transaction is very much unlike her."

Fleming said the charges almost drained her account completely.

He also noticed that in addition to the almost $9,600 she spent, there were swipes of her debit card for various amounts totaling $91,000. They filed a dispute with her bank over all of the attempted charges.

Within a few hours of learning what happened, Fleming said he took his mother back to the store to get her money back.

"When we walked back in, they came up to her really friendly, (and) gave her a big hug," Fleming said. "It was like they had been friends for years."

He said they refused to provide her with a refund.

"You can imagine if it was your parent how angry you'd be," Fleming said.

Fleming and his family tried over the last week and a half to reach a resolution with Royal Bee.

Ten days after the charge, he said his mother's full payment was returned to her account through Zelle.

They filed a consumer complaint with the Texas Attorney General's Office regarding what happened.

ABC13 reached out to Royal Bee corporate numerous times this week and has yet to receive a response.

Reporter Mycah Hatfield stopped by the store in the Katy Mills Mall on Thursday and spoke to a man who identified himself as the manager.

She asked what happened with the 79-year-old woman on April 1 and asked to speak to the owner. The man repeatedly said that the customer's money had been refunded and there was no problem.

He refused to provide any of the owner's contact information.

Calls and messages sent to the Simon Property Group Team that owns the Katy Mills Mall also went unanswered.

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