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She's all frowns about her different smile

I had a complete set of dentures made at Gulf Coast Dental of Spring Hill for $1,100. The work started Aug. 12. I was not happy with the finished product. They make my mouth look sunken in. My old dentures did not. I expected to look better, not worse. Gulf Coast Dental said I could keep the set it just made and that for $500 it would make me another.

I went home to talk this over with my husband, and we returned to Gulf Coast Dental with photos of my face. Dr. Lansmann spoke to us through the receptionist's window. He did not even want to look at the photos. He said he was finished and that was it, that he had to make a whole new set, end of story.

I feel the first set was not correctly made, so I should not have to pay $500 for another set. All I want is my money back so I can go elsewhere and have my dentures made correctly. Lorraine Mueller

Response: Dr. Richard Lansmann, owner and president of Gulf Coast Dental of Spring Hill, said you came to the office Aug. 12 to consult about new upper and lower dentures. According to you, your existing dentures were more than 30 years old. The work was started that day. A try-in was done Aug. 21, during which time you had some aesthetic concerns that you wanted changed. Lansmann said the changes were made, and on Aug. 28 the second try-in was done. At this appointment, you were happy with the set up of the dentures and signed the chart to acknowledge that you approved of the aesthetics.

Sept. 9, the dentures were inserted and the fit and bite were checked. You were shown the dentures, and you said they were fine.

Sept. 11, you came back to the office saying your husband did not like the look of the lower denture, although you had no sore spots and they were functionally fine. You were informed that to change the lower, the dentures would have to be made all over again. He said you agreed that you had originally approved the aesthetics and signed off on the dentures. As a courtesy, the offer was made to have new dentures made at half the price.

You left and returned later that same day with your husband. He had taken digital photographs of you with the 30-year-old dentures and the new ones and pointed out that your lower lip was different on profile with the new set. Lansmann said he agreed, but noted again that you had approved the set at the wax try-in and that no changes could be made to this set. Your husband was not happy that Lansmann would not alter the set them and told him "you'll be hearing from my attorney." As a result, Lansmann said he withdrew his offer to make a new set at a reduced fee.

He said he is sorry he was not able to please you, but he doesn't think a refund is appropriate. You were given ample opportunities to check the aesthetics of the dentures before they were processed. It is apparent now that your husband should have accompanied you to the try-in appointments to address his and your aesthetic concerns.

Debate with home contractor

We contracted with Rusaw Homes to build our home in Beverly Hills. We fulfilled our part of the contract, and Rusaw Homes was paid in full Sept. 14, 2001. Rusaw Homes, however, has not. Our fireplace, which was installed after the closing, did not have a blower and was not the one we had agreed upon. Rusaw tells us we deleted the blower, which is absolutely untrue. No mention ever was made about deleting the blower or that doing so was an option.

We also had problems with walls and columns that were bowed and out of plumb, soffits that were out of plum, and a bathtub with a cracked finish. Repairs were made to the walls and soffits, but not in a timely manner. I made a sign that said "Talk to me before you talk to Rusaw" and gave my phone number before i got anything done with the walls.

Rusaw Homes has refused to do anything about tub, although we had been told it was on the list to be repaired. We had a representative from the tub manufacturer come out; he said the right side of the tub was not level, which had caused it to twist and crack the finish. In spite of this and the fact that Rusaw Homes billed the tub manufacturer for repairs, the tub has not been fixed, and it leaks.

We have a signed letter from Rusaw Homes dated Sept. 14, 2001, that states a follow-up visit would be made around our first-year anniversary. At that time any cracks were to be repaired. Rusaw Homes refuses to make this follow-up visit and repairs. Now we have drywall joints that are cracked and pulling apart.

We consulted with an attorney, who suggested we have the repairs done and take Rusaw Homes to Small Claims Court. We do not want to do this because Rusaw Homes has been paid and we feel the company should live up to its contract as we have to ours. Lewis Compton

Response: John Battle, an attorney in Clearwater, responded on behalf of Rusaw Homes. He said his client completely disagrees with the statements in your letter. Rusaw Homes has more than lived up to its end of the bargain. Prior to your involving Action, Battle said Rusaw Homes had expended a great deal of time addressing these issues. Unfortunately, the company has continued to meet with unreasonable behavior on your part. Accordingly, he said the appropriate forum for any future discussions with you is the courts.

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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