1. Archive

Paper trail shows refund was made

Q: In June, we paid $275.48 for a home appliance warranty with Broward Factory Service. In August we sold our home and wrote to request cancellation of the warranty and a refund.

When we heard nothing by October, we wrote a second letter. We didn't receive a response; however, the company did send us a copy of the 2007 warranty, which we don't need.

Please help us get this refund.

Charles Tapia

A: You've had your refund since mid August.

I wrote to Crockett Herd, president of Broward Factory Service. He called immediately upon receiving the letter.

Herd said a refund had been credited to your account on Aug. 18. He said you had been called and notified of the transaction. The refund was processed through Broward's Tampa branch. An associate there faxed me a copy of the credit order and confirmation, so I can confirm it did take place.

DISH troubles

Q: Please, Action, help! This is another complaint about DISH Network.

Since our installation, over a year ago, it has been a very unpleasant experience. A local company here in New Port Richey provided the installation of DISH's digital satellite system and, though my signed contract is for only one year, it insists the contract is for 18 months. I finally spoke with someone in March who told me that the contract I signed was "an old form" and I am responsible for the full 18 months. I think not!

The issue of the contract length is important since weather conditions make me lose my satellite signal for hours at a time, three to four times a day, four or five days a week. This seems to occur with the slightest breeze or light rain. If the problem can't be resolved, I certainly don't want to have a contract for any longer than necessary.

I have never dealt with a company so hard to reach or so uncaring toward customers.

I trust you can help clear up the misunderstanding regarding the contract.

Judith Karr

A: Since DISH Network was ultimately responsible for your quality of service, I bypassed the local company you were trying to deal with and sent your complaint directly to DISH.

Dispute resolution specialist Tim Bappe wrote to let me know he had addressed your complaint personally. Apparently, at the time of installation you were offered a promotion from DISH called Digital Home Advantage. Had you chosen to accept (by initialing a box on the contract), you would have been bound to an 18-month commitment. You didn't, Bappe discovered. He said he would removed the commitment code on your account.

Along with an apology, Bappe has credited your account for one month's service to make up for the technical problems you experienced with your satellite service. A refund of your most recent payment has been submitted and may take up to 10 business days to process. Look for it on your next statement.

Action solves problems and gets answers for you. If you have a question, or your 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.