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A dispute over phone accessory

By NANCY PARADIS

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 31, 2000


On April 11, I signed up for Sprint PCS cellular phone service. I signed up by phone and was told that I would receive a cover with the phone at no charge. I received a Phantom 1500 phone by mail, but there was no cover with it. I called the 800 number I had been given and was told the cover was on back order. Again I was told I would receive it at no charge.

I called again on May 20 to inquire about the cover. It was still on back order, but this time I was told that I would have to pay for it. I asked to speak to a supervisor who told me the same thing.

My complaint is not about the delay in getting the cover, it's about being charged for it after having been told I would get it for free when I signed up. Warren Koch

Response: In her letter to you, Anitra Warren, executive analyst with Sprint PCS in London, Ky., apologized for the inconvenience and length of time it has taken to address this issue. She said she reviewed your account and determined that a leather case was not ordered when you opened your account. It is not Sprint PCS's policy to offer accessories at no charge unless there is an ongoing promotion. She said there was no promotion offering a free case when you signed up for Sprint PCS's service. However, to resolve this matter, she has authorized the shipment of one, and you have let us know that it has arrived.

Ready for doughnuts

We sent for non-stick doughnut maker pans from J.D. Marvel in May. After waiting a long time, I got my canceled check and called the customer service number. I was told there was no record of my order and that I should send copies of my canceled check. I did so but still haven't heard a thing. Gordon Peans

Response: Thanks for letting us know that your doughnut pans arrived safely.

Source for marionberries

Do you know where I can get marionberries? They are very good. There was a recipe for marionberry pie in a recent St. Petersburg Times Taste section. Dorothy Metz

Response: According to Chris Sherman, the St. Petersburg Times' food and wine critic, now is the time the berries will be appearing in markets. Check the blackberries, he said. They may say marionberries, but any blackberries will work in the recipe.

Marionberries may also be in the canned or frozen fruit sections of your supermarket. As a last resort, try specialty food markets.

Reaction

On Nov. 26, I purchased an eMachines computer with several rebates attached to the sale, including one from the manufacturer for $75. I meticulously followed the rebate instructions, had a family member doublecheck, made copies of everything and sent in all paperwork on Dec. 21 by certified mail. It was received and signed for on Dec. 28.

I waited the eight weeks the form said it could take and started calling the company in early March. I was told there was no record, even though I had the signed return receipt, and to send in another copy of everything. I did so on March 24.

I called on April 11 and 21 and May 2, each time being told to wait another week and call again. On May 15, I was told to fax a copy of everything, which I did. On May 24, I was told I should receive a $75 check in 30 days. On June 21, I was told to call again, since it was not yet 30 days. on June 26, I was told the promotion had expired. A supervisor repeated the same thing.

After seven months of phone calls and faxes, I turned to you. Shortly thereafter, eMachines called, saying "We got a letter from Action . . . and we've issued your refund check." One day later the check was in the mailbox. Action is such a wonderful community service. Thank you for being so efficient. Camille Lackey

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, (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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