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Doctor must refer you to drug plan

I saw an article on diabetes that said there was a company that sends free diabetes prescription drugs to people who qualify. How do I reach this company? Richard Wolf

Response: We're not sure exactly what you are referring to, but a number of major drug companies have plans that provide medicine to people with low incomes. If you qualify, you will have to ask your doctor to refer you.

Troubled pool waters

My parents had a fiberglass pool installed in February 1991. Recently my father noticed there was a leak in the deep end, as well as bubbles on the sides. He called Blue Dolphin Pools and spoke with Tracy, the office manager, who said she could not locate the paperwork. She never attempted to set up an appointment with him and instead questioned him about how he knew it was leaking. He asked whether he should drain the pool, and she said no.

A week passed and no one from the pool company had followed up, so I called and spoke with Tracy on Oct. 12. She said she had been trying to find our paperwork and still couldn't locate it. She said she would have the manufacturer contact us.

On Oct. 20, I called once again to speak with Tracy. She said the warranty was void because of my father draining the pool. My father never drained the pool! I was so upset.

After many more calls, a man named Chuck finally came out to look at the pool. He contends that we had work done on the pool, which voids the warranty. My parents never had anyone work on the pool; in nine years they never called anyone in regard to the pool. Chuck said he could have the pool repaired, but we would have to pay. We need your help. Judy Riggins

Response: Tracy Ann Friedman, vice president of Blue Dolphin Fiberglass Pools of Hillsborough County, located in Tampa, said that your father first contacted her in the early part of October. During their conversation, he explained that he had a four- to five-year old Blue Dolphin pool, which had a crack, and since he had a 25-year warranty on the pool shell, he wanted someone to make repairs immediately. Friedman said it is the company's policy to ask a series of questions to obtain information that is necessary for the proper submission of warranty repairs to the manufacturing facility in Largo. In answering these questions, your father informed her that he had drained the pool to find what he thought was a crack. She said she verified three times that he did, in fact, drain the swimming pool. After the third confirmation, she explained to him that draining the pool voids the warranty, as stated in the warranty as well as the maintenance and care manual. Your father was not happy with this, and she said she would obtain his file and forward the information to the manufacturing facility.

Friedman said that because the pool was over nine years old, the file had to be manually pulled from storage, since the company's computer database does not go back that far. You called during this process and were told that a representative from the manufacturing facility would contact you, rather than your father, once it was pulled. Before she had the chance to call you, you called again. At that time you were told the pool shell would have to be inspected. She said the issue of your father saying he had drained the pool came up, and you told her he would not and could not have done so.

On Oct. 28, she said Chuck Kasper from Blue Hawaiian Products, the pool's manufacturer, inspected the pool and determined that a repair had been made. The area at the wall drain on the deep end of the pool had a different color and texture than the other areas. She said this indicates the area was sanded out and repaired and/or refinished. The crack is in the same area and was most likely created at the time of the repair. Friedman said the warranty does not cover repairs made by anyone other than Blue Dolphin service personnel. This repair, and the fact that the pool was drained, voids the warranty.

Friedman said Kasper told you that Blue Dolphin was willing to make any necessary repairs to the previous work at a discounted, reasonable and fair price. She repeated this offer and said she hopes to resolve this matter with you soon.

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.

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.

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