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VENTING ENSUES AFTER DUCT CLEANING IS DELAYED

Q: In June 2006, I had JC's A/C Services Inc. of Pinellas Park install a part in my air-conditioning unit. I inquired about having the air ducts cleaned and was told about a new method of blowing foam into the ducts to clean them. We agreed on the price of $300 and it was added to the cost of the original repair.

On the day the repair was done, installation was not finished until 5 p.m. We agreed the duct cleaning would be done the next week, due to the hour and the fact that the process requires the house be vacant. A date was set but we had to reschedule because we couldn't arrange for our dogs to be out on that day.

After playing phone tag and many unreturned calls from its (answering) service, co-owner Corey Berry called me in September. His message stated there had been illnesses and vacations at the business that had caused the delay. I called JC's service as soon as I got the message and told them I would accommodate their schedule; just please call and let me know when they could finish the work.

I received no response and finally called and left a message that I was calling Action. That elicited a response, but Mr. Berry said the machine they used to clean the ducts was now out of order. I let him know I was very dissatisfied.

Since I had waited nearly six months for the work to be done, I asked for a refund. He agreed and said my money would be refunded.

After several calls, I received a response from co-owner Juan Paz. He was unaware of the problem, but agreed to a refund after I explained the situation.

My husband and I have made numerous calls since then with no response.

I realize I should have written Action sooner, but I hoped the situation would work itself out. Now I am fed up and just want my money returned!

Nancy Michel

A: You've been exceedingly patient, considering the treatment you received from this company. JC's has neglected to respond to Action, but you called to let us know the situation has been resolved.

Juan Paz made an appointment with you to finish the work. He showed up on the correct day and time, according to a phone message you left. The work was finished and you said you are "very satisfied."

Casket company gone

Q: My husband purchased caskets from Celestial Burial Case Co. in May 2000 for the two of us.

He passed away this March, but the funeral home was unable to make any contact with the casket company.

Can you help me get a refund?

Phyllis Doyle

A: Please accept my condolences for your husband's passing. I can only imagine how upsetting it must have been to discover there was no casket in which to bury him.

In researching your complaint, I discovered Joseph M. Stabile, the owner of Celestial Burial and its shell parent company Celestial Life Planning Inc., had been sued by states' attorneys in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. An order of prohibition was filed to prevent his companies, and a life insurance company he was associated with, from offering or selling securities in Illinois.

In addition, Stabile, 39, pleaded guilty April 23 to federal charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, willful failure to pay over tax and making false statements on tax returns.

The Associated Press reported that Pennsylvania law required Celestial Burial to deposit 70 percent of payments into a trust account until the customer died and the services or merchandise were provided. Only $54,000 of the $2.5-million customers paid was ever deposited.

Stabile is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

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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