1. Archive

Globe magazine holding up issues for check fee

Last October I sent my personal check for $14.97 to Globe, ordering 26 issues of that magazine. I received two issues along with a bill for $14.97, which I returned along with a copy of my canceled check.

To date I have not received my other 22 issues. I have written to Globe for months with no reply. I hope you can help. H.O.

Response: According to Globe's subscription department, your original check was returned for insufficient funds. Your October check did clear the bank, but you never sent them the $3 for the bounced check.

As soon as they receive it, your subscription will continue.

Elvis on the big, little screen

My family is having a discussion about Elvis Presley's first TV appearance and first movie. Could you provide that information? Bill Clifford

Response: Elvis is best remembered for his appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in the fall of 1956, but he made his TV debut on Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey's Stage Show at age 21 on Jan. 28, 1956. In fact, he made five TV appearances before The Ed Sullivan show.

His first movie, released in 1956, was Love Me Tender.

Phone customer wants bills

My problem with GTE began last year when I did not get a phone bill for two months. The problem was that they were not using the apartment number in my address.

They sent my September 1994 bill with long-distance calls listed and then added my total debt from the two previous months. Because I had a roommate at that time and didn't know which of us made the long-distance calls, I asked for an itemized listing of my calls for those two months.

All I got were copies of what I already had.

More than eight times I asked for this information. Each time they promised to deliver it within a week. Finally I gave up and paid the bill in full.

But that was not the end of it.

October's bill didn't make it either _ at least, not until November _ and again I got no itemized list of calls for that month. So here we go again. They told me to wait. I never got it. Finally I canceled my phone service.

I am still waiting for an itemized bill, but what I'm getting are threats to pay the bill or "action will be taken."

I am a responsible person, full-time worker, part-time student, who might be in need of good credit to get a student loan. Can you please get me itemized bills for last July, August and October? An apology would also be appreciated. Jose Feliciano

Response: GTE says you will get copies of the bills for those months. Let us know if you got itemized bills or just more copies.

Trace litterers through car tags

A reader asked in your June 6 column if there was anything a citizen could do about people who throw litter out their car windows. You replied with information about how Florida's law is enforced, saying law enforcement officers must observe a misdemeanor like littering in order to impose a penalty.

You did not say whether a citizen can do anything on his own. For example, could I get the person's name and address through his license plate number and let him know by letter what I have seen? Bob Barnes

Response: We responded the way we did because we did not think it wise for citizens to personally confront drivers about their littering habits. There are people on the road who shoot other people for far less.

But your suggestion has merit. If you are willing to write down the license tag number and send it to Tallahassee with a letter requesting the registration information on the owner of that vehicle and have the signature on your letter notarized to prove you are who you say you are and enclose $1 to cover the cost of the search, then you would get the litterbug's name and address and could write an anonymous letter chastising him or her for this behavior.

We are told that your name would not be revealed to the litterer.

The names and addresses of car owners in Florida are public record. Some companies purchase these lists. The state keeps a record of requests and charges a fee to cover its costs.

Send your request to: Bureau of Motor Carrier Services, Attention: Information Research Service, Room A-126, Neil Kirkman Bldg., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0500.

If you have a question for Action, or your 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.