1. Archive

Costs of air conditioning, sick bird add up

In May, 1990 A-Able Air Conditioning installed a 2-ton compressor in my home costing $1,175. It never worked right. After many calls they installed a 3-ton unit. It did okay for a while, and then problems started again.

They sent out a man named Steve who said my air handler was no good. He said I must buy a new one from him or the company wouldn't honor the warranty on the compressor. It cost $1,116, but it didn't work right either. I didn't have heat or air, the duct work was falling down, the building inspector rejected the work and when the company sent someone out to change the wiring, the heat wouldn't shut off.

When Steve arrived at my house the temperature inside was 90 degrees, and the unit was still running. The used thermostat he installed didn't work.

Meanwhile my bird got sick from the excessive heat. He was on medicine for weeks. I sent his vet bills to A-Able requesting they pay for the expenses they caused, but they will not acknowledge my request.

I have had three new compressors, four thermostats, one air handler and no less than a dozen service calls. I cannot believe I have been in such a mess. It has cost me more than $2,300.

I believe A-Able owes me $111.85 for the vet bills for my sick bird. Please see if you can help me get it and close this matter.

JoAnn Clark

Response: The folks at A-Able tell us they sent you a check (presumably to cover your vet bill) Jan. 30.

Is five Saturdays enough?

When was the last year that had five Saturdays in February?

Jack Kelly

Response: The last year was 1964. The years 1840, 1868, 1896, 1908 and 1936 also had five Saturdays in February. And so will the years 2020, 2048 and 2076.

Keep records, photos of work

I contracted with a local pest control service to tent my house for termites. The workers damaged my fence and a tree in front of my bedroom windows. All the lower branches were removed exposing my window to the street (I was told the tree would not need trimming).

I refused to pay the $700 for the work, but they took me to Small Claims Court and I lost.

I am writing to warn other people to (1) put special instructions in writing and (2) take photographs of the property before, during and after the work is completed.

Had I done all that, I'm sure I would have won my case.

Gregory Brown

Response: Thanks for sharing.

Wrong street misdirects paper

Please help me get my money back.

Two men driving a white Ford came here on Jan. 16. I paid them $13.35 for a 10-week subscription to the St. Petersburg Times. They promised I would get a paper the next day. I haven't seen them or the paper since.

Last year we arrived from up North and a Times agent stopped in. We paid for 13 weeks and received the paper the next morning.

Is someone misrepresenting the newspaper? I know it gives fine service so I thought you would like to know about this.

Fred Perkins

Response: The Times circulation director says he investigated your complaint and found that the salesman who took your subscription order gave your address as Gulf Boulevard when in fact you live on West Gulf Boulevard. That little slip misrouted your order to the wrong carrier.

Your account has been corrected, and you should be getting your paper every day.


You've done it again! After numerous letters and a wait of one year, I now have my video of the Holy Land from Reader's Digest. It arrived following a very pleasant conversation with a Reader's Digest employee two days earlier.

The employee phoned back to say she also had straightened out the problem with the company's large print division. I told her it was nice to know that Reader's Digest did have one real live employee, not just computers. I never would have found that out if it hadn't been for your intervention.

You are performing a very useful service. Keep up the good work. I'm sure you will never run out of complaints.

Mel Hyland

If you have a question for Action, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write: Times Action, c/o the City Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731, or call your Action number, 893-8171, to leave a recorded request.