1. Archive

Refund possible on water deposit

The city of Tarpon Springs has my $100 water deposit. When I asked them to return it, they said the only way I would get it back is if I moved or died.

Strange, I was not told when I moved here in 1985 that the deposit was non-refundable. Thanks for your help.


Response: While the Florida Public Service Commission requires private utilities like Florida Power Corp. and Tampa Electric Co. to return deposits with interest, city- and county-run utilities are free to set their own policies.

Some local governments return the deposits after a customer has developed a track record of paying bills on time. Other governments keep the deposits and interest until the resident moves or dies, saying it protects them against non-paying customers and helps keep down rates.

Pinellas County recently decided to refund deposits to residential customers who had maintained a good payment record for two years and to pay interest annually on the money it keeps. The decision followed a federal class action suit (although county commissioners say the decision was not entirely due to the lawsuit).

You might wish to consider your own lawsuit or you could just hang in there. Times are changing and you may not need to move or die after all.

Local camera repair is hard to find

Please give me information about a movie camera repair shop that can repair a Bell & Howell 8mm movie (sound) camera. I have not had any luck with local repair shops.

Thank you.

Albert Mancinelli

Response: Bell & Howell says it has not made cameras for 12 years. They referred us to Central Camera at 230 S Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60604, 312-427-5580.

The Central Camera people said if you ship your camera to them with a cover letter explaining the problem, they will give you a repair estimate.

Splotches are sight for few eyes

I took a red dress to Mason's Cleaners in Seminole Mall because it had a water ring around the neckline (caused by a wet compress).

When I got the dress back it had huge blue splotches across the entire back!

I returned to Mason's. The manager agreed to reclean it at no charge. Well, this went on for weeks. I lost count of how many times my dress was cleaned but still it remains ruined.

When I finally asked for a refund I was referred to Mr. Mason. I left numerous messages that he did not return and when I finally was put through to him, he said, "Yeah, I know, you're the red dress. I totally do not feel responsible."

I tried to ask if he knew what happened but he screamed, "If you want anything you'll have to take me to court." I would appreciate any advice you could lend this matter.


Response: Bob Mason sent us a short note thanking us for resolving the situation and for protecting him from "this type of claim."

He also sent us your red dress.

Three of us at Action have visually inspected the dress top to bottom, back and front. We cannot find any huge blue splotches.

The dress is of good quality and shows some signs of wear. And we did find five spots, each no more than a quarter inch in diameter, three of them on the front of the skirt and two on the back. But they were pale spots and only discernable upon close inspection.

Let us know if you would like to pick up your dress or have it mailed to you.

Printer's ribbon restocked at last

A year and a half ago I bought a Royal printer from Workplace. When I went to replace the ribbon I found that none of the big office supply stores in the area had the type of ribbon I needed for this machine.

I tried calling Royal's 800 number but could get only a busy signal. In February I wrote to Royal enclosing my check of $14.90 to cover the cost of a replacement ribbon plus shipping. The check was cashed Feb. 17 but, in spite of several other calls and letters, I still do not have the ribbon.

This calculator is not what I would call old. You can rest assured I will think twice before I buy another Royal product.

Fern Jacobs

Response: Glad to hear you finally got a ribbon.

The letter we received from Royal on May 4 said the ribbon had been out of stock since February and you were informed on several occasions that it had been back ordered.

The ribbon was restocked May 3. That may explain why the Royal people were able to print our letter the next day.

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 FL 33731, or call your Action number, 893-8171, to leave a recorded request for Action.

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