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Store honors price-protection plan

You were a big help in getting our adjustment from USAir for my mother's flight problems, so I am writing again to request assistance with McDuff.

On May 30, McDuff in Clearwater quoted me a price of $598 on a Pioneer sound system. Because I had just co-signed for my son's new car, McDuff denied me credit.

Then, on June 4, I decided to put the purchase on my American Express card. I went to McDuff's Countryside store. They said they could not sell the unit for $598, and I wound up paying $648.

According to McDuff's price protection plan, I believe I am due a $50 refund. The company guarantee says that if, within 30 days, I find a verifiable lower price on an identical item from any local store, including its own, McDuff will refund 110 percent of the difference.

The $598 price is verifiable since we filled out credit applications on it.

I wrote to McDuff on June 5, but no response has been received.

Bradley Neff

Response: Michael Dragovich, Countryside Mall's new McDuff manager, says that after receiving our letter and calling you he was "speechless."

"This type of experience I have not seen with our company," he says. "We have only incentives to accommodate you and no incentives for not (doing so). I can only think there was a misunderstanding."

He was sending you a price adjustment of $58.85, which included tax.

Here's how to get onto Pinellas Trail

Would you tell us exactly how to get to the Pinellas Trail?

The St. Petersburg Times has printed maps of the trail, but it only shows the general location and never the exact streets to use to get there.

Jackie Peters

Response: Parts of the Pinellas Trail are still under construction, and in other instances, parking at access areas is still in the planning stages. But here are four locations where you may get on the trail:

7464 Ridge Road, alongside Seminole City Hall.

1100 Eighth Avenue SW, Taylor Park in Largo.

Main Street in downtown Dunedin (the trail runs right through there).

Drew & Jones streets in Clearwater; there is a dirt parking lot nearby.

Company refuses to replace ceiling

I would like some help with a problem I'm having with Pioneer Air Conditioning Co.

The condenser for my air conditioner is in the attic. The duct work came apart. I called Pioneer, which installed the system five years ago, on May 22. A few weeks later, I noticed that the ceiling in one bedroom was leaking.

Again I called Pioneer. Someone came the next day. He fixed the ducts and asked who had been in the attic. I said his company had. Evidently the duct work going into the drain pan had not been reconnected properly.

There was no charge, and I was told to put a sealer on the ceiling before painting. Now I find that part of the ceiling will have to be replaced because water and plaster create the perfect condition for a dropped ceiling.

Since this is the result of Pioneer's mistake, I think they should assume the responsibility of repairing my ceiling.

I have called the company four times. One day I got lucky and spoke to the owner. He said he would talk the situation over with his serviceman and get back to me the next day. That was a month ago. No call.

I pay for my mistakes and I expect the same from others. Thank you for any help you can give me.

Simone Kline

Response: Pioneer's James Harazin replied to your complaint. He said if your unit had been installed wrong five years ago you would have had problems long before this.

He thinks the problem was caused by a pest control service technician. You said he was the one who was in your attic and tore loose the air duct.

Harazin also pointed out that your condensing unit is outside, not inside the attic and the duct work does not go into the drain pan.

In other words, Pioneer is not going to pay to have your ceiling replaced.

Before you have it done, though, you might want to get a second opinion to determine that the replacement is necessary. Our expert tells us that even though plaster or drywall get wet, unless they stay wet for a long time or are repeatedly soaked, they will dry and hold their shape. Just seal and repaint.

Action solves problems and gets answers for you. If you have a question, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write: Times Action, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731, or call your Action number, 893-8171, to leave a recorded request for Action.

Requests will be accepted only by mail or on our voice mail system; calls cannot be returned. We will not be responsible for personal documents, so please send only photocopies. If your complaint concerns merchandise ordered by mail, we need copies of both sides of your canceled check.

We may require additional information or prefer to reply by mail; therefore, readers must provide a full mailing address, including ZIP code. Upon request, names will not be published.

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