1. Archive

Part 9: A consumer guide to save

This is the ninth installment of Action's clip-and-save Guide to Consumer Services.


Air travel complaints: Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room 4107, C-75, Washington, D.C. 20590, (202) 366-2220; Web site: http://

Airline safety: Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Ave. SW, Room 1003, Washington, D.C. 20591, (800) 322-7873; Web site:

Buses: Federal Transit Administration, 400 Seventh St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20590, (202) 366-4043; Web site: http://

Railroads: Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20590, (202) 493-6024 (safety issues only); Web site: http://

Cruise complaints: Federal Maritime Commission, 800 N Capitol St. NW, Room 970, Washington, D.C. 20573-0001; (202) 523-5807; Web site: http://

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, (800) 435-7352 (HELP-FLA) (travel agents in Florida must be registered); Web site: http://

American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), 1101 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 739-2782; Web site: http://

U.S. Tour Operators Association, 342 Madison Ave., Suite 1522, New York, NY 10173, (212) 599-6599;


Unclaimed Property, Department of Banking and Finance, (888) 258-2253; (850) 488-7777 (outside of Florida); Web site: (provides links to other states and agencies).


Public Service Commission, 2540 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850, (800) 342-3552; Web site: http:// (investor-owned water and waste water, electric, natural gas).


White House Greetings Office, the President, Attn. Greetings Office, Room 39, White House, Washington, D.C. 20500.

For birthdays (80 years and above), weddings or anniversaries (50 years and above), include the individual's or couple's name and title (Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc.), address, and month, day and year of birth or marriage.

For the birth of a child, include the child's full name, date of birth, parents' complete name and titles and parents' address.

For acknowledgements of graduations, scouting awards and bar/bat mitzvahs, include individual's name, address, name of award/occasion and date of presentation/occasion.

For condolences/sympathy cards, include individual's name, date and circumstances of death, name(s) and address(es) of family member(s) to whom the card will be sent.

Requests should be sent six weeks prior to the event, except, obviously, in the case of a birth or death.

In those cases, a card will be sent within six weeks of notification.

You may also request that a photo of the president be included.

Mail or fax the request to: The President, Attn. Greetings Office, Room 39, White House, Washington, D.C. 20500; fax: (202) 395-1232.

For information, call (202) 456-2724. The status of a requested greeting cannot be checked except in the case of a 100th birthday.

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, (727) 893-8171, or, outside of Pinellas, (800) 333-7505, ext. 8171, to leave a recorded request.

Requests will be accepted only by mail or voice mail; 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. Names of letter writers will not be omitted except in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.