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Consumer receives delayed mattress, shop's apologies

I bought a mattress from Sleep Time World in New Port Richey in December and gave the store a $100 deposit. The mattress was supposed to be delivered as soon as possible. Three weeks later I went to the store and asked why no delivery. The salesman said there was a mix-up at the warehouse. I asked for a refund, but he said he couldn't do that. A refund would have to come from the comptroller in St. Petersburg. Since then I have made another trip to the store and six phone calls. The last time I said I was going to write Action, but the salesman's answer was, "Go ahead; I don't care."

I've had to pay $3 for a copy of the canceled check, not to mention the aggravation. I think I have been very patient.

Please help!


Response: Sleep Time World's Ralph Bornstad says he has asked your forgiveness and received your permission to deliver the mattress Feb. 6. We trust you got it.

He cited communication problems on his end.

Credit card policies vary

I am writing in response to your column Jan. 7 regarding credit card transactions. According to a newspaper article, the practice of merchants requiring a phone number or address on a charge slip is prohibited by MasterCard and VISA.

Perhaps you can research this matter further and provide more


Russell Schmehl

Response: We did. Here it is straight from the horses' mouths.

Marianne Fulgenzi, director of marketing and public relations with MasterCard, and Dave Brancoli, director of public relations with VISA, both say that their companies have no policy on this subject. It is left to local laws, banks and merchants.

It is true that merchants do not need to get personal information from you to protect themselves. If the transaction is processed correctly and a problem develops, the card-issuing bank absorbs the risk, and the merchant gets paid anyway. The truth is, one reason why merchants get your address is to put you on their mailing list.

So until Florida's law changes, our answer still holds. If you don't want to furnish merchants with a phone number or address, you can shop elsewhere or you can pay cash.


Thank you for contacting the Timex people for me. As a result I have received a $16.45 refund on their repair charge and a partially assembled watch (the minute hand is not attached) that resembles the watch I originally sent them for repair.

So now I will shop for a new watch for my turquoise and silver

watchband, and you can bet it will not be a Timex.

Action offers a wonderful consumer service.

Thank you for your efficient handling of this problem.

Vida Barnacle