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Refund of service charge arrives

By NANCY PARADIS

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 14, 2001


It started back in early April when I received an e-mail from my DSL provider Telocity. It stated that my service was about to be disconnected for good because a company that provided the last mile of the DSL connection, NorthPoint Communications, had gone bankrupt. Telocity could not find any other last mile provider for my area. For my trouble, I was offered one month of free dial-up service and also a refund of one month's service charge, $39.99.

I never received either one. I called repeatedly in April trying to find out why I could never log onto the free service.

I am writing to you for help in getting the refund. I called Telocity, now called DirecTV, on May 24, and spoke to Cynthia. I asked her where my refund was. She said I was never promised a refund. I told her I had an e-mail that stated the contrary. I faxed a copy to her and assumed this would take care of the matter. I called back a month later and was told my fax had been received. I still do not have my refund. Chuck Smith

Response: According to Michael Parsons, corporate general counsel for DirecTV in Cupertino, Calif., a refund of $39.95 has been sent to you. Thanks for letting us know you received it.

Sprint balance due

I am an 85-year-old woman and I have had Sprint as my long-distance carrier for a long time. Last fall my children and former neighbor sent me phone cards for Christmas, my birthday, etc., so I would not have to use my long-distance service. I called Sprint and told it the situation and asked it to drop me as a customer for the time being since I still have over 1,200 minutes left in cards.

I had a cashback balance and asked for it to be sent to me. Sprint said it does not send checks for less than $25. I was unable to speak to a supervisor. I hope you can get me my money. Mildred Nuoffer

Response: We got an answer for you through Verizon, which handles the billing for your Sprint account. Apparently you have a cashback account with Sprint (whereby you accumulate cash based on the calls you make) and, according to Sprint's rules, you have to accumulate at least $25 in credit before you can get a check. Your cashback balance stands at $21.38, but since you are using calling cards for your long-distance calls, it has not increased. Also, since you canceled your Sprint service, it is never going to increase.

Verizon contacted Sprint on your behalf, and here's what you're going to have to do: Reactivate your account with Sprint. Once you use it and accumulate $25 in cashback, you can request a check and then cancel the account again.

Ticket cost refunded

I hope you can resolve my dilemma about a refund from Ticketmaster for two tickets for "Divine Miss Millennium -- Bette Midler in Concert." The event was scheduled for Oct. 17, 1999, but was canceled because of bad weather. I have sent e-mails and letters, but in spite of following all instructions, still do not have my refund. I hope you can help out with this situation. Frank Pulcino Jr.

Response: Debbie Jenkins, a Ticketmaster ticket center manager, said your refund has now been processed. It had fallen through the cracks.

* * *

In July, I received two CDs from Beautiful Music Co. One of the CDs was defective, so I sent it back to the address listed on the invoice notice in Northport, N.Y. The CD was returned with a U.S. Postal Service delivery confirmation receipt. I have checked and the CD still hasn't been received. I sent it to the only address I had. I would appreciate any help you can give me in securing my replacement CD. Joe Gibson

Response: We received a brief reply from Beautiful Music Co. to the effect that it was reshipping the CD and you, in turn, have let us know that you received it.

* * *

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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