1. Archive

Window of opportunity kept on slamming shut

In response to a telemarketer's call, we hired Florida Custom Builders to install windows. Dec. 2, a saleslady drew up the contract, and deposited $200.

Someone was supposed to come to our house Dec. 15 to take measurements and install the windows Dec. 17. Nobody came either day.

We called on the 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, three times on the 21st and again on the 22nd. We were told somebody would be coming, or someone already had measured when we were not home, but we could not get a clear answer on when we would get the windows.

Finally we said we wanted a refund. We were told to write a letter to that effect. We did Dec. 22.

Since then we have been getting excuses and promises but no refund.

In January, we were told to call another number, which nobody answered. We called information and were given yet another number where we left many messages. No response. Then we drove to the address on the contract. We found an empty warehouse.

We hope you will be able to retrieve our deposit.

William and Agnes Evans

Response: Robert Wildenstein, general manager of Florida Custom Builders Inc. (listed by the Better Business Bureau as Florida Energy Heating and Cooling Corp.), said his company expanded and moved to larger facilities at 2036 Weaver Park Drive in Clearwater.

It always is the company's intention to provide quality work and honor contracts, Wildenstein said, but as he is sure you understand, there are unavoidable customer delays with any business relocation.

Although you subsequently bought windows from another company while still under contractual obligation with his company, Wildenstein said he was sending you a refund of $200.

The BBB says Florida Energy Heating is "responsive to complaints." Consumer Affairs says it has received 18 complaints about this company since it opened in 1989.

Glad to hear you received the refund.

Any way you slice it, it's a newspaper error

Friday, we read in the St. Petersburg Times that anyone who brought Snickers candy wrappers, 9-ounce or larger, to the Florida State Fair could get in free.

We did just that, but they would not let me or my daughter in. We were told the newspaper was wrong.

I didn't want the candy and went to the trouble to buy it. I think the Times owes me for the candy ($2.29), gas and trouble I went through.

Deanna Battaglia

Response: Nancy Waclawek, Times assistant managing editor for Topics, said she can appreciate how exasperated you must have been, and while she can't make up for the disappointment of getting incorrect information, she can explain what happened.

For each day of the state fair, a fact box with the day's events was created and stored in a computer directory for handy use on the daily Entertainment page on the back of the Tampa Bay and State section.

Her staff got the Snickers Day information correct for Feb. 17. The next day, Feb. 18, was Lykes hot dog day. The information was correct on the computer list, but unfortunately, as the page was being produced, the hot dogs did not get substituted for the candy bars. Snickers Day was printed once more, incorrectly.

Plain and simple, she said, it was a human error, and all her staff members' organization and efficiency didn't help. They apologize to you and any other readers who got caught by the mistake.

Worry not about safety of tissue from recycling

I would like to know if it is sanitary to use the recycled toilet paper that I have been buying.


Response: Quite.

Recycled toilet paper is not, you will be relieved to learn, made from used toilet paper. The same is true of recycled paper towels and facial tissues. The used stuff gets flushed or thrown into the garbage, not a recycling bin.

Recycled toilet paper, paper towels or facial tissues are made from recycled office paper and newspapers. The process involves turning the paper back into pulp, bleaching it, straining it of impurities and drying and pressing it back into usable paper products.

It's every bit as soft, strong and sanitary as the unrecycled stuff and does not require cutting down more trees.