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No risk offer brings refund at last

Published Feb. 19, 2008

Q: BioNutrigenics Inc. sent me mailings on Proxenol, extolling it as the "maximum immunity against the 10 most serious diseases of age" and making a "no risk" trial offer.

The first capsule I took upset my digestive system, so I returned the rest to the address on the package and requested a refund.

I've called the company's toll-free number and spoken to Samantha, Jenine, Jennifer and Pearly. All give scripted reasons for the delay: the need to speak with a supervisor, allowing six to eight weeks for delivery and that because I paid by check, my refund would take longer. I've been waiting since June.

- Agnes Annunziata

A: We heard from customer service manager Sylvia Hadden at Three Source TV, BioNutrigenics' parent company. She said its records showed you had received a refund check for $19.95. "Mrs. Annunziata may want to check her records again," Hadden wrote. "You can consider this matter closed."

We didn't. We asked for verification that this check, which Hadden referred to by number, had been cashed or not. She did not respond.

You wrote a short time later to let us know you had received your refund check.

Slow-traveling refund

Q: I give up! In good faith, my husband and I attended a sales presentation for Grand Incentives, a travel club in Tampa, in May. It offered a gas rebate of $40 and a great trip to Las Vegas, a seven-day cruise or a week's stay at a condo. Despite months of correspondence, filling out multiple and often redundant forms and speaking with various people at Grand Incentives, we have not received a rebate or a trip anywhere.

We have been established in its computer system four times. As recently as Oct. 9, we were reinstated and I was assured we would receive a check imminently. Nothing has arrived except more forms.

The trips, promises and information are a hoax, in my opinion. Unless I send mail certified, return receipt requested, Grand Incentives says it never receives my correspondence.

- Barbara DeCairano

A: Your frustration is understandable and Grand Incentives executive assistant Samantha Gardner apologized.

As of Dec. 1, she told us that you had received $20 in gasoline rebates and the remaining $20 was to be mailed the week of Dec. 4. We trust you have it by now.

Gardner said you spoke with fulfillment manager Brenda Cooley about the Tickets to Paradise offer and agreed to pursue it further after the holidays.

No reply to complaint

Q: I am writing about poor service at a local restaurant.

I recently moved back to Florida and decided to visit the restaurant in August; my family and I had enjoyed it in the past. It was a hot, sunny, beautiful day so I decided to eat outside. After waiting 10 minutes I had to go inside and asked to be served. I received my lunch and enjoyed it, but the server never came out to check on me. I also had to go inside to pay my bill. I left a tip, but the server didn't deserve it.

I wrote a letter to the manager and to the corporate office. After a month, I've received no reply to either. I was raised with a sense of values and basic common courtesy. All I wanted was an apology. What do you think?

- Larry Munshower

A: We think that even in this era of negligible customer service, your complaint should have elicited a response. However, speaking to the manager at the time of the incident may have proved a more expedient solution.

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.