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Woman's Medicare confusion is corrected

I am desperate and don't know where to turn.

Until April 1990, I was on railroad Medicare and getting a small pension because my husband was retired from the railroad. Then we were divorced. My pension stopped and railroad Medicare changed over to regular Medicare.

The problem is I haven't gotten my Medicare card. I have called, written letters and made about ten visits to Social Security offices. They say it takes four to eight weeks to get a card. I still don't have it.

Then they took $400 in back overpayments without notifying me. I found out about it in my bank statement. They also changed my Medicare number.

I have diabetes and high blood pressure and am going in the hospital soon. On a pension of $784 a month I just pray I don't have to pay because I don't have a Medicare card.

Please help. These are supposed to be golden years but mine are getting tarnished.

Geraldine Goll

Response: According to the Department of Health and Human Services, your records have been corrected.

Free Fuji photo vest is on the way

Quite some time ago I participated in a Fuji film company offer of a free photo journalist's vest for sending in required documentation of purchase.

When I did not receive my vest I wrote the company and received no response. Then I went to the store. The owner spoke to a company sales representative who promised to get my vest. When that didn't work I again wrote to the company with no response.

Thank you for any help you can give.

John Bowman

Response: For some reason Fuji responded promptly to us with a letter apologizing for not responding to you. The Fuji people say their fulfillment house shows a shipment to you in October, but they promised to send you another vest.

Origin of Potts Preserve's name

I saw an article on the Potts Preserve in the Sunday Times. My maiden name was Potts and I am curious as to how the preserve got its name.

Josephine Anderson

Response: Potts Preserve, a 8,500-acre tract of uplands and wetlands in Citrus County was bought up by the state over the last few years.

It was named for 27-year-old Michael T. Potts of Brooksville, an employee of the Southwest Florida Water Management District who died in August, 1989, when the airboat on which he was riding crashed into a tree.

Candy would be sent with order

Last fall Swiss Colony published an advertisement which said, in effect, "you send us $2 and we will send you our catalog and a sample of our candy."

I sent the requested payment and received the catalog, but no candy.

E.E. Sanders

Response: The Swiss Colony people tell us their ads read, "Please rush my catalog and free Macadamia Nut Chocolates offer," and also, "You can enjoy the Macadamia Nut Chocolates free with your first order from the Swiss Colony."

You missed the key words, they say -- "offer" and "with your first order."

We think the key word is "free." That's what is going to stick in a reader's mind. Of course, the candy is not really free.

Because you "are valued as a potential customer," however, you were being sent your free (really!) Macadamia Nut Chocolates.

Car can be taken back with refund

In September I had Anthony Puzelo of Colors on Stripes Junk Cars in New Port Richey come to pick up a 1975 Pontiac in my yard for junk. Puzelo offered to repair the motor for $120 because he said the body was too good to junk. I agreed.

Since then I have been to his junk yard ten times and they still haven't worked on it. I never did see my car because of the savage dogs he keeps in the yard.

I would like my car returned in running order or my $120 plus $50 for the junk car plus $100 for the stress he's put me through.

Gilbert Kalstrom

Response: Puzelo called to say you never gave him a time limit for fixing the car _ you just were glad to get it off your yard _ and he can't believe all this fuss over a car that wasn't running anyway.

You can have your $120, he says, plus the car, or he'll buy it from you for $50.

He didn't mention your $100 stress fee.

Action answers questions, opens government doors and fights consumer battles for residents of and visitors to the Suncoast. Given sufficient information, we process or refer every serious inquiry, but we cannot guarantee response. Requests will be accepted only by mail. We cannot be responsible for returning personal documents, so please send only photocopies. If the complaint concerns a mail order, we will need copies of both sides of your canceled check. Upon request, names will be omitted from items used in the weekly column. Address your letter to Action, Times, P.O. Box 2365, Inverness 32651-2365.

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