Customers not satisfied with adjustable beds

By NANCY PARADIS, Times Action Columnist

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 7, 2003


We bought two adjustable beds in July from Burdines at Countryside Mall in Clearwater. We have been having problems with them for quite some time. Store personnel keep coming out and saying there is something wrong with them. But then the store turns around and tells us there is nothing wrong with the beds and that it won't do anything about them. The beds make an awful lot of noise and the springs in the mattress pop and crack every time we move. We are losing a lot of sleep because of it.

The doctor gave us a prescription for an uplift bed and this is why we got these. We wish the beds were okay, but they aren't and we don't want them. James and Martha Huffman

Response: Doris Grimaldi, executive liaison for Burdines in Clearwater, said she was sorry to learn of the difficulties you have encountered with your bedding purchase. The store's records reflect that your beds were inspected in January. According to the technician's report, the mattresses were found to be free of any manufacturing defects. She said she is aware that you are disputing the results of this inspection. In the interest of customer service, Grimaldi said an offer to return both adjustable beds is being extended to you. Please call her at toll-free 1-800-227-0859 to arrange for pick-up.

Different states, different rates

I have a question regarding the rates that are charged for phone service in different states. When I place my Florida phone on vacation, it costs me $11.85 plus tax each month to keep the same number. This includes the $6 Federal Communications Commission access charge. When I place my New Jersey phone on vacation it costs $20.60 for four months, or $5.15 per month. There is no FCC access charge. Both phones are billed by Verizon, so why is there a difference between states? Eugene Steger

Response: Verizon spokesman Bob Elek said each state has a different rate structure that is set by its public service commission or equivalent. Then, within each state, the telephone companies determine whether or not to levy the federal access and any other allowable charges.

In Florida, Verizon customers are assessed the FCC access charge at the maximum allowable rate of $6; in New Jersey, they are not assessed this charge at all. There, the charge for vacation service breaks down as follows: a $16 service charge plus $4.60 for up to four months, with an additional $8.60 for the next five months.

Recalls

The following products, distributed nationwide and in Florida, were recalled from March 28 through April 3:

About 407,000 plush bears and 221,000 snowman dolls by Dollar Tree Stores Inc.; buttons on the jacket of these toys can be pulled off, posing a choking hazard to young children. The 10-inch plush bear is white and dressed in a hat and jacket that are red, blue, hunter green, pink, purple, light green, light blue or white. The 10-inch snowman doll is dressed in a hat and jacket that are blue and pink. Dollar Tree, Only One Dollar, Only $1, Dollar Express, and Dollar Bills stores nationwide sold these toys from June 2002 through March 2003 for about $1. Return to store where purchased for refund. Call toll-free 1-800-876-8077.

20-ounce and 10-ounce tins of "Aztec Hot Chocolate" by Maribel Sweets; product may contain undeclared milk, which can pose the risk of serious or life-threatening reactions in people with allergies to milk. Return to place of purchase for refund. Call toll-free 1-866-925-8800.

1.83-ounce foil packages of "Lotty Lorry Korean Crackers" (item numbers 05928 and 08739) and 1.62-ounce foil packages of "Homerun Ball Korean Crackers" (code 2003 0917 and item number 02549) by Hammi, Inc.; both products may contain undeclared egg, which can pose the risk of serious or life-threatening reactions in people with allergies. Return to place of purchase for refund. Call (718) 821-5252.

Certain frozen Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffee Cake by Sara Lee Bakery Group; a limited number of cartons may contain a different variety of cake, topped with pecans, which can cause serious or life-threatening reactions in those allergic to pecans. The recall affects cake bearing the production code 04093029XX, with XX representing 15, 16, 17, or 18. The cakes may be safely consumed by anyone without a sensitivity to pecans. Return to grocery retailers for a full refund. Call toll-free 1-800-323-7117 between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekdays.

Karamel Sutra Ice Cream pints by Ben & Jerry's; product may contain undeclared peanuts, which poses a serious or life-threatening reaction in people who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts. The affected pints are dated 02/14/04. Return to place of purchase or contact Ben & Jerry's for refund. Call toll-free 1-877-995-4716.

-- Sources: SafetyAlerts at www.safetyalerts.com; Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov, toll-free 1-800-638-2772; Food and Drug Administration at www.fda.gov.; USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, toll-free 1-800-535-4555; government food safety information at www.foodsafety.gov; National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's Auto Safety Hotline, www.nhtsa.dot.gov/hotline, toll-free 1-888-327-4236.

- 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, 893-8171, or, outside of Pinellas, (800) 333-7505, ext. 8171.

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