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New roof's mildew brings refund

Four years ago we had Sears install a new shingle roof on our home. The price was high, but Sears guaranteed the roof in writing for 25 years against fungus.

The roof has been a source of problems from the beginning.

It started with leaks due to failure of the roofing company to properly seal around the vents. Furthermore, the roofing company took a vent fan and other materials that belonged to us.

Then the roof started to mildew. Over the past two years, I have made repeated phone calls about the mildew problem. Someone came to look at it and said he couldn't do anything.

Sears said it had sent a sample of my fungus-blackened shingles to the manufacturer. I was to get a report in six weeks. It has been 13 weeks and still no report.

Our old roof was 11 years old and did not look this bad. Now it looks as if it has been patched where black sample shingles were taken and replaced with light-colored new ones.

We paid $3,994 for the roof, and I feel the guarantee warrants a new roof. Can you please resolve this matter for us? Patricia Sovereign

Response: Happy to hear you received a settlement check for $3,180 from Sears.

Two car tags

Is it illegal to have an out-of-state license plate on the front of your car and a Florida plate on the back? A.N.

Response: Florida's auto tag agency tells us that, if the Florida tag on the back of your car is valid, it is okay to have another tag on the front of your car so long as the front tag has expired.

Full refund wanted

I bought a kitchen table set from Kane Furniture in August. It cost $199 plus $35 for delivery and set-up.

The sale had to be conducted outside at my vehicle or on the phone because I use a scooter/wheelchair, and there was nobody to help me get out of my vehicle.

Immediately after delivery I called Kane. The table top was pulling apart from the base, screws were falling out of the table and chairs, and the screws were splitting the wood in the chairs, which also had nicks and glue showing and were not properly finished. Just a mess.

Kane's sent out a man who offered me a new table top. I said I wanted my money back.

There followed several phone calls, after which the store manager said I could select something else in the store and pay the difference, but I would lose 20 percent of what I had already paid.

I told him there was nothing I liked on the main floor. He said there was a better selection upstairs. There is no elevator or handicapped access to get upstairs. He said he'd bring a selection down for me to view. I said I don't do business that way and still wanted my money back.

Finally, the store manager said he would pick up the furniture. I told him I wanted my money back at that time. He said I must wait for 10 days. I said I would contact Action and "8 On Your Side." He said, "Go right ahead, lady." Ann Karagianidis

Response: Kane Furniture executive assistant Nancy Perry said the service technician who looked at your furniture said the screws were not splintering the wood in the chairs. The molding on the table top was separating, and the store manager offered to replace the table. You refused and insisted on a refund.

Kane's policy on refunds, as stated on all sales orders, is that you pay a 20 percent restocking charge, she said.

You were given the options of getting a new table, getting your money back minus a 10 percent restocking fee instead of the usual 20 percent, selecting a replacement set from merchandise brought down to you from the second floor or getting an allowance and keeping the set "as is."

You said you not only wanted all your money back, but you wanted it when the furniture was picked up.

Ms. Perry said she is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty and refund all your money with no restocking fee, but she cannot get a check cut for you until after your furniture is picked up.

She said she sent a truck to get it, but you would not let the service technicians take the set without giving you a check. She promised to start the check processing procedure just as soon as she gets the furniture.

Sounds like Kane Furniture is willing to bend its rules, but you've got to bend a little, too. We suggest that you release the furniture and give Kane Furniture two weeks to send you a check.

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, or, outside of Pinellas, (800) 333-7505, ext. 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.