1. Archive

Pagers returned after many months

In May 2000, we purchased two pagers from Totally Free in Culver City, Calif., with the promise of free paging for life. Everything went well until January, when the pagers no longer received pages. Then on Feb. 14, we received an e-mail asking us to mail the pagers back to the company for frequency and cap-code update since a new carrier was going to provide service in our area.

We mailed them two days later but they have never been returned. We have tried calling the company over the last several months but just get recordings. The Web page is still up and running and still selling pagers. Please look into this matter. William Norton

Response: It took two letters and nearly four months, but we're glad you are finally reunited with your pagers.

Time's up for cruise

In May 2000, I took a cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line. I had an accident boarding the ship at night when I fell between the dock and the ship. There was no security to assist with boarding. After eight months and numerous letters, the cruise line made me an offer of a $1,250 credit toward a future cruise and enclosed a certificate. It was valid only for using within a 12-month period. Since I did not receive this offer until January, the 12-month period would be up January 2002.

In August, I tried to use the credit toward for a cruise. I was told it had expired and that my ticket states one year from the date of the cruise. I no longer have the original tickets. The time limit was not disclosed with the credit letter and form received in January. Norwegian Cruise Line took eight months of the 12-month period, leaving only four months to book a cruise. To make this a valid offer, this time limit should have been disclosed with the offer. Richard Samuelsen

Response: Natasha Myers, senior claims representative for Norwegian Cruise Line in Miami, said you filed a claim after having an accident on May 11, during your cruise on the Norwegian Dream. As per the terms and conditions set forth in the "passenger ticket contract of passage," a passenger has up to one year from the date of the accident to present and resolve a claim. Myers said the cruise line negotiated with you on several occasions and the last offer it made was on Jan. 10, in the amount of a $1,250 cruise credit certificate. You responded to this offer by writing that it was not acceptable and you would be pursuing the matter further.

The cruise line next heard from you on Aug. 9, when you called requesting an extension of the offer as you were planning to book a cruise. Myers said she informed you that the matter was time-barred and the offer for compensation could not be extended. The cruise line's position has not changed, she said, as the information was clearly stated not only on your ticket but also in all subsequent correspondence and telephone conversations with you.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is a pity that you did not apply for the actual cruise credit certificate when you got the cruise line's offer in January. Looking at the sample certificate you received, we see that your actual certificate would have noted the starting date of the 12-month period for which it was valid and you would not have made the incorrect assumption that ended up voiding the cruise credit.


The following products, distributed nationwide and in Florida, were recalled between Nov. 2 and 8:

About 78,670 "Bunny My Honey" children's board books printed in Italy by Candlewick Press; the plastic lamination on the board book may peel off, posing a choking hazard for young children. Only books with "Printed in Italy" on the back cover are affected; books printed in Mexico are not. Call toll-free 1-800-883-0009 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Web site:

About 10,600 fluorescent ceiling and bathroom lights, sold in various shapes and sizes including domes, cylinders and rectangles, by Progress Lighting; the lights are improperly wired, posing a fire hazard. Call toll-free 1-866-696-8593 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Web site:

Sources: SafetyAlerts at; Consumer Product Safety Commission at, toll-free 1-800-638-2772; Food and Drug Administration at; government food safety information at

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.

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.