My question involves personal finance in the State of: Wisconsin
I hope I posted this in the right forum. I will try to keep this as brief as possible but it is kind of a long story. About two months ago or so I purchased an engine using my prepaid debit card. As part of the purchase there was a "core deposit" I had to pay. Once the company received my old engine I was supposed to be refunded the deposit. As they were supposed to they refunded the money to my account when they received the old engine (this was over a month and a half ago). The bank that runs the prepaid debit card I used accepted the transaction but refused to put the money in my account. They said that since the purchase and the refund were under two different merchant names (the engine company has more than one business name) they thought it might be fraud and they could not give me the money until I could prove the two transactions were the same company. The engine company faxed them receipts and other documents proving this. Finally after dragging their feet for weeks the bank told me they couldn't accept the documents as proof and had to reverse the transaction. I was then told it would be sent back to the merchant within 5-7 business days. That time period passes and the merchant tells me they still hadn't received the refund.
So I call the bank again. They tell me 5-7 more business days. That period passes. Again no refund to the merchant. This time the bank tells me it it has been returned and even gave me a confirmation number. The merchant called their credit card processor and the processor told them there is no way it could be refunded because at the time of the original refund to my account either my bank should have accepted it or declined it right away. At that point I made a 3 way call with the merchant and the bank to try to get it straightened out. The bank as of yesterday still claims the money was sent back. The merchant claims it wasn't.
As if all that isn't bad enough a few weeks ago the bank deducted the amount of the refund from my account and I had to fight with them for a few days to get that money back. As soon as I got that money back they tried to claim that was my refund from the engine company until I explain the situation to them then they go back to telling me it was returned to the merchant. Needless to say I no longer use that account and will be closing it as soon as this issue is resolved.
I am wondering what I can do here to get my money back. The amount is $285. I am sick of having to sit on hold forever only to have to explain my story to a new person that knows nothing about it and can't do anything about it. Should I look into filing a small claims lawsuit? If so who do I sue the bank or the engine company? The engine company has offered to mail me a check as soon as the money is returned to them from the bank. Any advice would be appreciated.