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Computer trouble keeps her offline

I am being given the runaround by MSN, my Internet provider. It began June 12, when I first contacted MSN technical support. Since then I have talked to more than 10 technicians. There is a problem with the software I have been trying to download. I also contacted Compaq several times and it sent a new screen even though the hardware was okay. Most recently, I talked to two MSN supervisors, who gave me different answers. One said the problem had been corrected. This is not the case. The other said the technicians are behind on the work and could maybe get to me the following week. Please help. I want to get back online. Perhaps a call from you would do it. Babs Robinson

Response: Jeffrey Marks with MSNIA customer advocate group in Redmond, Wash., said that all customer information is held in confidence and regulated by the privacy policies contained in the MSN Internet Access subscriber agreement. However, he said he could let us know that you were contacted June 26, and MSN has requested a replacement unit for you. According to him, Compaq has notified MSN that one will be sent.

In other words, we're none the wiser concerning the nature of the problem you were having, although it does now seem to be hardware-related, but help is on the way. Let us know if this does not straighten out the problem.

Recalls

The following products, distributed nationwide and in Florida, were recalled between July 12 and 18:

1,700 SCUBAPRO/UWATEC dive computer consoles by Johnson Outdoors Inc.; the U-Linesubmersible pressure gauge that is part of the dive consoles can malfunction and display inaccurate pressure readings. Divers using the consoles could fail to decompress properly during a dive, causing decompression sickness. Only U-Line submersible pressure gauges contained in UWATEC brand Smart PRO, Pro ULTRA, and Sport PLUS dive computer consoles are included in the recall. They were sold at dive shops and sporting good stores nationwide from January through May. Call toll-free 1-800-382-2211 between 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. weekdays; Web site: www.scubapro.com.

All (117,000) model ACJ-250 Aroma Juice Extractors by Aroma Housewares; the juicer's filter and lid can break, causing injuries from plastic and metal. This recall includes redesigned juicers used as replacements for the original recall in June 1999. Call toll-free 1-800-276-6286 between noon and 8 p.m. weekdays.

296,000 cans of aerosol "Smatter" spray foam by Jakks Pacific Inc.; the pressurized can can explode if left in a hot car. Affected are Original Smatter, Spit Smatter and Fatter Smatter with date codes "0492PT" to "0952PT" stamped on the bottom of the can. Call toll-free 1-800-554-5516 between noon and 8 p.m. weekdays.

27,000 Vacation Stationchildren's cooler/chairs by Hilton Hotels Corp.; the folding mechanism can crush, cut or sever fingers when the chair collapses. The combination purple and green or green and blue chair/cooler, with "Vacation Station" printed on the cooler, was given to guests at participating Hilton, Doubletree and Hilton Garden Inn hotels and resorts in May and June. Call toll-free 1-877-221-2424 between noon and 7 p.m. weekdays; Web sites: www.hilton.com/families or www.hiltongardeninn.com/

families.

136,000 Mosquito DeletoTraps by Coleman Co. Inc.; the mosquito trap's propane regulator can leak propane or allow an overflow of propane gas, both of which pose a fire hazard. Also, the fuel hose attachment sold with the Back HomeSystem can become damaged and leak propane, posing a fire hazard. The recalled Mosquito DeletoTraps, sold as a part of the Portable System and the Back HomeTM System, have two sets of model numbers: 2950-800 and 2950-801. Call toll-free 1-800-257-5299; Web site: www.coleman.com.

Drake's Sunny Doodles snack cakes, marked with BEST BEFORE DATES or SELL BY DATES of July 22 through Aug. 2, by Interstate Bakeries Corp.; the soy flour used in Sunny Doodles was not listed on the packages' ingredient legend. No other Drake's Cakes are affected by this recall. Call (816) 502-4012; Web site: www.drakescake.com. The recall affects only those with a soy allergy.

Sources: SafetyAlerts at www.

safetyalerts.com; Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov, toll-free 1-800-638-2772; Food and Drug Administration at www.fda.gov; USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at toll-free 1-800-535-4555; government food safety information at www.foodsafety.gov; National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's Auto Safety Hotline, www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

hotline; toll-free 1-888-327-4236.

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.

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