1. Archive

Customer unhappy with dinette set

I ordered a dinette set (table and four chairs) for $1,175 from Dinettes Unlimited in Bradenton. The set was shipped to my home in Spring Hill from the Clearwater store and delivered on May 25. Upon delivery, I noticed that two chairs had light almond-colored wheels and the other two chairs had wheels with a yellow tone. The delivery man made note of this and told me they would be replaced. I told him I wanted the light almond-colored wheels since they matched the base of the chair that the wheels screwed into.

Approximately two weeks later, Dinettes Unlimited sent a man out with two sets of wheels. They were in the yellow tone and I refused them. I called the Clearwater store a few days later and spoke with a service manager. He said the store had tried to honor its obligation to replace the wheels and that it was my problem that the color was not to my liking. I told him over and over again that the yellow-tone wheels did not match the base of the chair. He said I had to remove the wheels and bring them to the Clearwater store. I told him I was unable to do so and that my husband had had bypass surgery in January and couldn't do it either.

We also noticed a problem on one of the chairs. It has a defective base because only three of the wheels rest on the floor. On June 6, we contacted the Clearwater store again. This complaint was also ignored. Fran Pipitone

Response: Warren Wollheim, president of Dinettes Unlimited in Bradenton, said you purchased the dinette set from the Bradenton store but it was delivered from the Clearwater warehouse because you live in Spring Hill. After you reported that the casters on two of the chairs were a different shade of color, a service appointment was made and someone from the store drove the hour plus it takes to get to your home with 16 new, matching Chromcraft casters. You refused them because you wanted to match the almond colored ones. These are not available. He said that had you mentioned the problem with one of the bases at that time, it could have been resolved then.

Wollheim said he feels the company made a good and honest attempt to resolve this and the offer stands that you may return the casters for replacements. However, they will be the same color as the ones you refused. The chair base can also be returned for replacement.

Not happy with windows

In December 1999, a salesman from Alternative Window Solutions called me and said that the company was installing windows in my condominium and would I be interested. I was, because I was having problems with condensation and air drafts from my existing windows. After our conversation, I asked that he install whatever windows would solve the problems I was having. He wrote the order for aluminum and single-pane glass windows and guaranteed that this would solve my problem. This proved not to be the case.

The windows were installed Jan. 19, 2000. Approximately two to three weeks later, to my dismay, I realized that the window pane was getting condensation, something I was told would not happen. I phoned the company with my complaint and the owner came to look over the situation. He told me the problem would be solved if I kept the window tightly locked. He commented that I cooked too much pasta and this steamed my windows.

In January, when the weather again turned cold, I was back to cold window frames and the moisture problems plus draft coming through the windows. I had to place towels on the window sills to absorb the water that was dripping down.

On Feb. 3, my daughter drove me to the company's office to see the owner. He was not there but we were told the complaint would be passed on to him. There was no response. I called two days later and was told again he was not in. I left a message. No response. The following week I called again with the same result. The owner finally called after I contacted the Better Business Bureau. At first he said he would come and discuss the situation, but a day later he called and canceled. He also said he was not going to do anything about the windows.

I would like you to know that although I was 88 years young when I bought the windows, I am not frail and I am protesting. I paid $1,400 for the windows. Mrs. Mary Calabro

Response: Buster Lentine, one of the owners of Alternative Window Solutions in St. Petersburg, said he originally tried to get you to have the insulated glass windows installed in your kitchen, but you said the cost was too high. The moisture buildup you sometimes experience is normal, he said, and he has tried to get you to understand this. He reiterated that the problem occurs when you are cooking your pasta. The company has put free hurricane film on your windows to placate you, he said, but every time there's a cold snap you call with the same complaint. There is nothing further he can do.

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, toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ext. 8171, to leave a recorded request.

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