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Walk shoes to local repair shop

I am a retired letter carrier. For 30 years I have been wearing Knapp shoes.

More than 10 years ago I purchased a pair of dress shoes at a Knapp store in New Jersey. Although they have not been worn more than 20 times, the soles have come away from the tops.

In February I sent them to the Knapp factory for repair or replacement. They said they could do nothing because they had stopped making that shoe.

I feel they should replace these shoes because I am still wearing Knapp shoes that I purchased at the same time. I think they discontinued those dress shoes because they fell apart. G.W.

Response: Ten years is a bit long to expect a company to replace a product. We suggest you take the shoes to a local repair shop and pay to have them fixed.

Security deposit confusion

I had to ask my tenant to leave the premises. He says I must return his $300 security deposit because I failed to send him a registered letter within 15 days saying I intended to keep the deposit to cover damages.

Because I own only one rental unit I'm not sure this applies to me. Your column said a landlord has to own five or more units to be regulated. Am I regulated by this law or not? Dottie Delaney

Response: Ed Comer of the Florida Divsion of Hotels and Restaurants says your single unit is covered by Florida Statute 83.49.

It says that within 30 days of receipt of advance rent or a security deposit, a landlord must notify the tenant in writing how this money is being held.

The statute also says a landlord must, within 15 days of the tenant's leaving, either return the security deposit or notify the tenant by certified mail of his intention to keep the deposit. It includes other requirements as well.

Landlords owning five or more units are licensed and regulated by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants. Your single unit is not regulated, but your tenant could contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for help with a complaint. He could also sue you in civil court.

We suggest you call the consumer services people, 800-HELP-FLA, leave your name and address and ask for a copy of Florida Statute chapter 83 part II.

Does this discount count?

I ordered a scooter from Source 1 Medical Equipment in Largo. Because they knew Medicare would pay only $1,731 of the cost, I was asked to pay $165 up front.

After getting the scooter, I called to ask about the senior's discount advertised in the phone book. Source 1 said the discount was already included in the price.

I find that my co-insurance will pay only 20 percent of the Medicare allowable. Please help me get Source 1 to honor its senior discount. Oliver Anderson

Response: Source 1's senior discount ranges from 10 percent to 20 percent and even more, said president Jeffrey Neikirk, but because its customers are almost exclusively seniors, Source 1 takes the discount off the manufacturer's suggested list price and offers it as the everyday price.

Furthermore, Neikirk said, you failed to mention that you got a free $50 basket with your scooter.

Not until you discovered that your co-insurance would pay only 20 percent of the Medicare allowable did you start asking for the additional discount, he said.

In view of all he did for you, Neikirk said, he thinks you are way out of line to expect an additional discount.

We agree that the time to ask about a discount is before you make a purchase.

But the word "discount" bothered us. If we went to a store because an ad said it was offering a discount to Action writers _ only to find everybody else paid the same price _ we would not be pleased.

According to our dictionary, "discount" is "to sell at less than the regular price."

State law dealing with misleading advertising does not mention "discount."

We asked Dr. Dan Bagley, an associate professor of mass communications at the University of South Florida who teaches advertising ethics, whether his field has a standard code of ethics that addresses the use of "discounts" in advertisements.

Bagley said there is no such standard code. But, he added, discounts are made on base prices. If everybody gets the same price, he said, then you do not have a discount and the word is misleading.

Tree service to return

I hired Steve's Expert Tree Service to remove one avocado and three punk trees and stumps from my yard. I paid $300 in advance with the $100 balance to be paid when the work was completed.

He cut down all the trees and one stump and said he said he would return in two weeks to remove the other stumps. Well, that was three months ago. After calling several times he said three weeks ago that he would come back within a week. He didn't show.

It would cost me $185 to $200 to hire someone else to remove these stumps. I would like Steve to remove them or else pay the difference it would cost me to hire someone else to do the job. Joyce Fecher

Response: Steve Luttmann said he has been extremely busy but will get to your stumps this month.

He rents a stump grinder one day a month to grind out the stumps of all the trees he has cut, he said. The day he started on your stumps, the grinder belt kept slipping so he had to quit.

The business where he rents the grinder has gotten new equipment so this should not happen again, he said.

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.

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