1. Archive

Company solves vacation glitch

We are writing to you after failed attempts to resolve our problem with a vacation organization called MVI Marketing in Tampa. We have been stymied in our attempts to use the vacation certificate for a two-night free stay we were awarded as part of a leisure package we purchased while vacationing in Branson, Mo., last August. It has now become clear to us that the certificate with MVI is useless, since no matter what travel dates we give it for locations in Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach or St. Pete Beach, we are automatically rejected via a mailed form letter with no further contact from the company.

We have been unable to follow up since no phone number is provided, and going to the company's Web site only allows us to enter a lengthy reservation request that, of course, is followed later by a letter turning us down. The vacation certificate expired June 30. We shall appreciate any assistance you can provide to resolve our vacation problems. Hal and Carole Wright

Response: Brian Cummings, marketing administrator for MVI Marketing, says the company sells vacation certificates to businesses that offer them as incentives, or gifts, to their customers. The company also administers them. Your certificate was for the company's "Take a break" program and offered a two-weeknight stay at participating hotels in a number of cities.

When you submitted your first request, Cummings said MVI's allocation of rooms at the locations you requested were booked. The same thing happened when you submitted your second request. At that time, someone in the company mistakenly denied your request altogether. Cummings said the company's usual policy when it is unable to accommodate a customer a second time is to go outside the hotels that are participating in the program and find and pay for alternate accommodations.

Cummings said he called to offer you alternate accommodations at the location of your choice and you gave him the dates you would be available. With regard to the expiration date, MVI extends offers when deadlines are missed through no fault of the client.

Refund is mailed

On June 10, I wrote a letter to Scotts Organics (Hyponex) concerning its rejection of my refund request. The terms that were printed on the product package stated that "To qualify for the refund you must send:

"1. This completed refund request form.

"2. Proofs-of-purchase from specially marked Hyponex products (limit of 10).

"A dated cash register receipt with purchase price circled is requested."

My request was denied because I did not send in the cash register receipt. I contend that, as worded, there were only two items I had to send to qualify for the refund. I sent those in, namely the completed refund request form and the proofs of purchase. Those items were "must sends," but the receipt was only "requested" and therefore not mandatory. If the receipt has been part of the requirement, then it should have been listed as item 3. "Requested" implies that it is optional. Gerlad Kauffman

Response: Denise Greiner, mail coordinator for Scotts Co. in Marysville, Ohio, said she has sent you your rebate. By way of explanation, she said that the fulfillment house handling this offer, Young America, is a national rebate center and receives thousands of rebate requests. She said that unfortunately, some requests do not make it through the system correctly.

Overpayment returned

We are having a problem getting a refund for an overpayment from Dr. Patricia Jones' office in Ocala. I had an appointment with her in December and was informed upon leaving that I would have to pay the $154 charge because my insurance company would not pay for a well visit. The next month, I received a statement from BlueCross BlueShield that it had paid $123.98 of my bill. My responsibility was zero.

My husband has visited the office a couple of times with papers to show that the bill has been paid twice. He keeps being referred to the finance man who is never available. This has been very aggravating to us. Can you help? Joyce Payne

Response: We have not had a response from the doctor's office, so thanks for letting us know that you finally received the check.

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.