After home movies go missing, family calls Sam’s Club settlement offer ‘insulting’

WGN Investigates
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MONTGOMERY, Ill. — A suburban family said they lost a lifetime worth of home movies when trying to use a video transfer service at a well-known big-box store. Months have passed since the tapes went missing, but the family is holding out hope they’ll turn up.

Last August, Amy Densberger dropped off more than two dozen tapes at the photo department at a Sam’s Club in Montgomery, Illinois. She had wanted to surprise her family and transfer years’ worth of memories onto DVDs.

But instead, Sam’s Club accidentally loaded the 8-millimeter cassette tapes onto a truck that went to the store’s return center.

They haven't been seen since.

The Better Business Bureau said, unfortunately, incidents like this happen often, not just at Sam’s Club, but at photo and video conversion stores everywhere. A few years ago, a Chicago area family won a $75,000 settlement from Walgreen’s when their VHS tapes were lost.

The Densberger family said Sam’s Club offered them money. But they have not cashed the check and are weighing their options.

“They offered me $1,920 in exchange for my silence,” Densberger said. “That was kind of insulting.”

WGN Investigates reached out to Sam’s Club for comment.

In a statement, the company said, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We care deeply about our members' memories, so we are actively looking into the issue.”

While working on this story, a second family reached out to WGN Investigates to say the same thing happened to them, at the same Sam’s Club. Their videos and pictures were lost seven months ago.

Unlike the Densberger family, they accepted the company’s settlement offer of $1,500.

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