Meal service leaves Gramercy couple out thousands

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Nina Pineda has details on the investigation into a food delivery service.

The Gramercy Park couple thought they were getting a dinner deal from an home food delivery service. But when the meals stopped coming, they called 7 On Your Side and Nina Pineda to help settle their tab.

Eddie and Eliza Kapitan try to eat healthy. They thought they found a great solution to fit their busy lifestyles. Eliza said Brooklyn-based Hearty Meals, sends pre-made, plant-based, gluten-free meals for her, plus organic healthy meat options for him.

"We are are both working professionals," pointed out Eliza Kapitan. "We don't have a lot of time for meal prep. We thought this would be great."

After trying out the food, the busy professionals were hooked. In August, they signed up for two meal plans paying in full up front for two months of meals.

"We paid $4,571.44." Eddie Kapitan says he paid in full because he got a discount.

But just 27 days into the plan, they say their deliveries abruptly stopped.

"They (Hearty Meals) had told us there was an accident in the kitchen," Eddie said.

A week later Eddie says the company went radio silent. "They didn't return calls. They wouldn't answer the phone or return emails.".

They're owed a refund, hard to swallow, of more than $3,500.

So we contacted Hearty Meals. Its owner acknowledged he owed his customers money, blaming kitchen problems for the interruption. He promised to pay back promptly. And within =two days, the Kapitans got the check.

When you try to go on the Hearty Meals website it states it's temporarily shutdown. But the owner told us he hopes to open again.

The big takeaway? When you're signing up for any service, even though there might be a discount advantage, there's always a risk paying for anything in full, up front. Be extra wary when you're weighing these types of offers from start-ups and/or companies with a limited track record.

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