Medicare users receive unwanted equipment, threatened with costly charges

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Many Nebraskans on Medicare are getting blasted by telemarketers offering pain relief, but it's not pills they're pushing.

Gary Willnerd was suffering back pain and got a telemarketing call offering relief.

"They said and was free and totally free of charge," he explained.

What was sent were knee, back and wrist supports shipped by Mainlands Medical of Florida.

"And then they said if you damage it or get it dirty we're stuck to pay for it and I don't want no part of that. I'm a mechanic and farmer for a living," Willnerd said.

The Willnerds attempts to return the braces have been frustrating.

"I think they're trying to stick us and they're going to be charging us a lot of money. So I just want to get it returned to them," Kathy Willnerd said.

Teri Webber got similar braces from a different supplier.

"I said no don't send this. And don't call me anymore and they sent it," Webber said.

Sun Medical of Florida wants the Webbers' authorization to bill Medicare for the unwanted braces.

"Back brace, shoulder and wrist. Both wrist, the other one too," Dave Webber said. His wife's injury was to her knee.

Both suppliers have Florida addresses, but the offers came from area code 402 numbers.

"And that's clearly designed to get people to pick up the phone thinking it's local, maybe it's somebody they know," Jim Hegarty with the Better Business Bureau said.

The Webbers sent back the unwanted delivery.

"We don't need any back braces or wrist braces," they said.

The Willnerds are waiting for a promised shipping label to do the same.

"I just want to get rid of it because I don't know what's going to be connected to this thing," Gary Willnerd said.

6 On Your Side left messages with both suppliers, but neither returned the calls.

A Medicare spokesman said, "If they are not medically necessary or prescribed and approved by Medicare, they are not eligible for reimbursement."