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Refund for pills finally arrives

I recently read in your column that you have been successful in securing refunds from Gero Vita International. My experience with this company is similar. I returned the product and asked for a refund on June 6, after the pills I took for two weeks made me ill. I called the customer service department on July 17, Sept. 22 and Oct. 20. The last time, I was asked to write to the corporate office in Marina Del Rey, Calif. I have not written yet, and after reading the column I gathered it would have been useless. The amount of my guaranteed refund is $43.95. Can you help me get it? Albert Mazzoli

Response: Thanks for letting us know that you got your refund.

Hold that rebate

I fear that too much time has elapsed on this problem, but I thought I would give it a try. On Feb. 22, I purchased a personal computer bundle (PC, monitor and printer). There were a number of rebates attached, including one for $200 on the printer.

After purchasing the bundle, I exchanged the printer for a larger monitor. Of course, when I went to send for the printer rebate, I had no serial number, as I had no printer. I felt that since I had purchased the printer, I should get the $200 rebate. Of course, the manufacturer didn't feel that way and has refused to issue the rebate. I pursued this matter with several letters to no avail. Can you help? John Vogt

Response: In a word, no. You may have purchased the printer, but you didn't keep it. You exchanged it for a monitor instead. In other words, you ended up buying a monitor, not a printer! We see no reason for people to get rebates for items they return. In fact, if folks routinely did this, we suspect rebate offers would rapidly become only a faint memory.

Ticket confusion

My friend and I left St. Petersburg for New Orleans by Amtrak on May 11. On the way back, we were told in the New Orleans terminal that the Amtrak train would be 2{ hours late but that our tickets could be exchanged for Greyhound bus tickets. Both Amtrak and Greyhound use the same terminal.

We were not given new tickets but told to get on the waiting bus. When we arrived in Mobile, Ala., we could not prove anything. The person at the window gave us a blank look when I tried to explain. I ended up charging two tickets on my Visa card at a cost of $82 each.

I have written to Amtrak several times without getting a response, so now I am writing to you. William Jerman

Response: This has taken a while to resolve, given that your first letter to us went astray, but we were glad to get a copy of the letter you received from Greyhound, apologizing for the delay and promising reimbursement of the cost of the tickets as soon as you send your Visa number. Apparently Greyhound and Amtrak had only recently started to honor each other's tickets when they share the same facilities, and not all employees had been informed of it at the time of your trip.

Too late to recoup

I had my mobile home washed, and I paid the man before inspecting his work. The north side looks like it was never touched. Had I inspected it, he never would have been paid.

The man came back out after my second call and refused to wash it. I want him to finish the job properly and not speak or argue with me. Evelyn Garber

Response: As you noted, if you had inspected the job you would have seen that it was unsatisfactory and refused to pay. But the fact that you paid means you accepted the job, so unfortunately there is nothing we can do. We're sorry we couldn't help but hope that others can learn from your experience.

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.