I heard that the Coliseum in St. Petersburg made more than $600,000 profit last year while other city properties lost. How come? Better management?
Response: What you heard was inaccurate.
According to Coliseum manager Lauren Kleinfeld, the Coliseum's revenue for fiscal year 1992 was $446,000. Its expenditures totaled $621,000 so that it required a $175,000 subsidy from the city to stay afloat.
This year Ms. Kleinfeld said she expects the city's subsidy to drop to $75,000. Her goal during the next three years is to break even and then turn a profit.
When the city took over the operation of the Coliseum it initially stuck to the tradition of using the building almost exclusively for ballroom dancing. But alas, ballroom dancers, mostly older retirees, are dwindling in number. The building kept losing money.
Since the Coliseum belongs to taxpayers of all ages, management determined it should feature events that would attract all ages, so this past year the Coliseum opened its doors to senior proms, reggae and western music, sock hops, antique shows, cat shows and a baby boom bazaar.
Groups from the Big Band era still can be heard there on some Saturday nights when the winter visitors are in the city, Ms. Kleinfeld said, and the Wednesday tea dances are popular enough with retirees to keep them going right through the summer.
Refund check for repairs
finally was in the mail
We took our microwave to ABA Appliance Service in Pinellas Park for repairs last December. ABA advertises a 10 percent senior citizen discount.
Our bill totaled $97.58. When we got home we noticed that we had not gotten our discount, so we called. Michelle assured us that she would put our check for $9.75 in the mail; she said that she had forgotten to give us the discount.
Since then we have called six or seven times. Each time Michelle says she will call her accountant right away and have a check in the mail. To date we have not received it.
Companies that advertise a discount should give one.
Response: We sent your complaint to ABA in March. When you called 30 days later to say you had received no response we sent it again in April, this time by certified mail, return receipt requested.
In response we received a letter from ABA's James Radelin who said he had instructed Michelle to write us since he was out of town. You would be getting a check when he returned in a week or so, he said.
You wrote us again May 6 to say you had heard nothing from ABA. This time we called the company. Again we were told that the boss was out of town but a check would be sent that week.
We sent your note of May 22 (saying you still had not heard from ABA) to the company _ and were very happy to hear June 8 that you did receive your $9.75 discount. The check was dated June 2.
Uncle Bernie's Club
owes some interest
I sent a $153.85 check to Uncle Bernie's 50 Warehouse Club on March 4 with an order for 15 items. To date I have not received a single item. All I have gotten are stupid excuses that they cannot find my order.
They did write once to ask what color car polish I wanted _ so they must have my order or how would they know I ordered car polish?
Can you stop these people from bilking senior citizens out of their hard-earned money?
Response: Your $153.83 refund check was to be issued this month, according to a form letter from Uncle Bernie/Telebrands.
Nothing is said about paying three months' interest on your money.
You will be able to find
your own hidden assets
I received the enclosed communication, which says that our name has appeared on a list of abandoned assets. Asset Finding Co. says the funds have been turned over to the New York State Comptroller's Office in Albany. For a fee of $20, Asset will send us the information we need to get the funds.
Is this a legitimate outfit? Is there any way I can find out for free if any money is due me?
Response: There is no reason why you cannot write or call the comptroller's office yourself at Alfred E. Smith Office Building, sixth floor, Albany, NY 12236-0001 or call (518) 474-4040.
Just provide your full name and Social Security number.
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. If your complaint concerns merchandise ordered by mail, we need copies of both sides of your canceled check.
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