Amapola offers refunds, more to customers with proof they bought bad masa

DOWNEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A "masa mess" was creating long lines again Wednesday at the Amapola market in Downey, where some customers said the dough sold to make tamales made them sick and they're demanding refunds.

A woman who does not have a receipt but was told Monday she would get her money back, is no longer getting a refund. Amapola now said if there is no receipt, there is no refund.

Luis Alvarado was hired to handle customers dealing with the dough issue. He said the masa, used to make tamales, a traditional Mexican holiday dinner, contained a bad corn product.

"For those people who didn't have a receipt, or any kind of proof, we have a separate line where we're giving them a claim form to fill out so we can start the investigation," Alvarado said.

The Downey location was not open to the public, other than to take care of the hundreds of people waiting in line.

Customer Laura Sanchez was frustrated.

"I did not want to spend my Christmas going through the trash looking for a receipt," Sanchez said, but that was what she did.

By about 8:30 a.m., many clapped and cheered as doors to the market opened and customers, who could prove their purchase, received money back.

Refund demands pushed the market to provide an additional drop-off.

"They feel sad about this too. So it's not like they are giving us attitude, we're all frustrated as it is," said Sanchez. "They were so polite. I was happy in there. "

For every 10 pounds of masa, customers with a receipt also received an extra $20 for ingredients they bought to make their tamales.
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