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r FF2-Palm Beach Post-Ttmes, Sunday, December 5, 1976 VIDEO ADVISORS ( COMFIETI VIDIO """V Q State Law: Consumers Entitled to Estimate Rep From FF1 airs IUNSUIT ANT PRODUCTION III SERVICES FOR: ( BUSINESS ) til? Hi SALES TRAINING MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING LET'S DISCUSS YOUR NEEDS QUESTIONS & IDEAS NOW! ' 833-7332 WEST PALM BEACH it doesn't, the consumer is not liable for the excess. The consumer protection rule also says the repair shop must supply an invoice listing all labor and parts, including which, if any, parts were rebuilt or reconditioned. Consumers also are entitled to at least see replaced parts or ask to keep them, if they need not be returned to the manufacturer or if it's practical. erlin Em A A if ur.Livt.Ki urr Under Florida's fair trade practices act (The Little FTC Act) consumers may request written estimates for auto repairs that will cost more than $25. Motor vehicle repair businesses covered by this rule include new and used car dealers, garages, service stations, self-employed individuals, truck stops, paint and body shops, brake, muffler or transmission shops, shops doing upholstery or glass work and other specialty shops. The written estimate must contain: Price for labor, parts and storage costs, if any. Approximate date of completion of work. Description of the customer's complaint or requested repairs. A notation that the work Is not guaranteed to remedy the complaint if that is the case. With the written estimate u repair shop must obtain the ciiHtonier'M consent to proceed with repaint thai will be $10 or 10 per cent, whichever is greater, above the quoted price If LEASES A 1977 IRADflOfl TAPES BAGS -BOXES WIPES TAGS -LABELS CARTONS POLYETHYLENE PER MONTH FOR INCLUDING INSURANCE stance, a car is checked and an estimate written before any work is done. The Little FTC Act allows a "reasonable" charge for making the estimate, an allowance many repair shops use. Rush Simonson, owner of Pronto Precision Tuneup Center, charges $7.95 for a 40-point visual and electronic estimate check, but drops the charge if he does the repair work. At Coral Volkswagen, the computer diagnostic check, what Miller calls the written estimate, costs $15. Bob McAnallen charges $3 to make a written estimate on a brake job and at Aamco Transmission an estimate charge based on mechanic's labor time is made if the work isn't performed there. "Estimates were opposed by the industry because they just take so much time," Simonson said. "Sometimes we'd do the estimate, put a lot of time into it, and the people didn't bring their car here for the work. .That's why we charge for ours now." Aimer Tedder, at Tedder's Standard station downtown, hasn't charged for estimates but says he might start "if we get an unusual number and all our time is tied up on estimates." Do repairmen like the idea of giving estimates? Surprisingly, many favor it. "I wish they'd all ask for it," Tedder said. "It's just good business. "We'd rather do that then have them come back and say, 'Oh, I didn't know it would be this expensive,' " he said. Hank Miller said he "cannot imagine anyone not getting an estimate unless they've just got so much money they don't care." "People know to the penny what the bill will be before they pick up the car," Simonson said of Pronto's procedures. "I would much rather it be this way. With a written estimate there are no surprises on either side." Diman-D shop owner Dave Sirman said "people still holler when it's time to pay, even with a written estimate" and he doesn't put much stock in the law. His sign, which used to hang above the cash register area, has fallen down and is stashed in a corner behind the trash can. Sir-man said he intends to replace it. "Even with the sign up people didn't ask for estimates. The small independent repair shops get most of their customers by word of mouth if you've got a good reputation people trust you and don't ask for estimates," Sirman said. Herman Goepfert, owner of the Belvedere-Parker Standard station, agreed. His sign rests behind other displays on a bottom shelf in the station's office. "That law and that sign are a lot of foolishness- It cost us to have the sign made and it created doubts in customers' minds about the repairmen. It hurt the dishonest repairmen, but it hurt the good ones, too. "I will give them an estimate if they want it and call them if I see it will cost more. But if a job costs less than the estimate I charge the lower figure," Goepfert said. "My customers know I will do the job right." "I don't mean to sound egotistical," said Aimer Tedder. "But I think people don't ask me for estimates because they know and trust us. A lot of them know about the law because I hear them talk about it, but they just don't ask." he said. "My customers don't ask me for estimates because they trust me", is a common phrase. But paradoxically repairmen also insist that requesting an estimate is not a demonstration of the customer's mistrust. "One important thing people don't understand is the distinction between friendship or trust and business," said Alice Skaggs, director of the Palm Beach County Office of Consumer Affairs. "The two don't mix. When it comes to business, put it in writing." Of the top 10 complaints to her office, auto repair is No. 1, she said. In the six months ending Oct. 1, of SI MILLION LI ABILITT - $100 DEDUCTIIIE LEASE ANY MAKE, ANY MODEL Call Merlin 655-2905 -IOUI1V lUil PLAN 17 JO DOWN PAYMIN1 LEASING FROM MERLIN NOW CHEAPER THAN BUYING ESTATE PLANNING 8 "Ideas to Enhance Your Estate'h N X 8 AVOID PROBATE X MINIMIZE TAXES V Prion for o fro reprint of RooJ-X or'i Digtit "Tlmo to Con Up Our h Probate Courts." jj 686-4171 S 1 Joseph 'Blumenthah 'Only one person has asked me for a written estimate says Nick Petris, manager of the Shell station at Dixie Highway and Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach. Petris stands in front of a sign advising consumers of their right to a written estimate. 1,309 complains 282 were on car repairs. "People tell me they feel 'funny' about asking for a written estimate. I tell them they'll feel 'funnier' when they get the bill," Mrs. Skaggs said. "People want to be protected under the Little FTC Act, but they have responsibilities, too. They have to get a written estimate. They should leave a phone number and instruct the shop not to make any extra repairs without getting permission. They should usk for the replaced parts. "Practically speaking, an oral contract isn't worth a damn, wilier in court or 1n administrative hearing," she said. "You can bring in 15 witnesses, but the other guy can find 20. Writing it down is the only way." Hilt IlltlVl in uiMi.jti luiiti nun 4 Mir? -Ar ' FOR tv CIRCULATION SERVICE PHONE 659-1450 FOR SALE OR TRADE SMALL SHOPPING CENTER CENTURY VILLAGE PLEASE SEND All INQUIRIES TO POST-TIMES BOX W298 P.O. DRAWER T, WEST PALM BEACH, FIA. 3340S nn REAL ESTATE Wi are a long tltutilittud liim and 0IU1 a l.in.Li lanlly aeiviia filing u r' laW Himf. S2i so oiiv. ANDERSON & CARR, INC. Phon. Wt Palm Beach REALTORS MIS B33 1661 HAVE FUN NOW . . . with. "No Paper Promises" at . . THE I Ol Patatratk More Americans Collecting Coins FOUNTAINS ' jni There are "No Paper Promises" at the Fountains, ou can, Have fun Now All the recreational facilities ou want are here right now. You can see them 27 holes of golt, a KUKMXIU Goll and Racquet C lub, 7 tennis courts, swimming xols, elaborate gm facilities tor men and women, and our own private restaurant We're more than condominium apartments, we are a recreational oriented conv munity for xople who are ready to Have fun Now All our homes have a fairway view Come look us over today We have a limited number of residences in Tivoli Court overlooking our lush green fairways THE FOUNTAINS 6844 Lake Worth Road Lake Worth, FL 33460 STORES & OFFICES FOR RENT In new distinctive 100,0(X) square-foot shopping center whic h already has a Publix Market and an Eckerd Drug Store. Located in one of the fastest growing residential areas in Palm Beach County Boynton Plaza South Congress Avenue and New Boynton Road Boynton Beach, Florida 33435 Telephones 734-1 534 - 585-0338 - 684-0606 Come and see us at the site. Daily 10 to 4 P.M. dent for Manfra, Tordella, Brookes, Foreign Exchange Dealer of New York, said: "When the price of gold dropped as low as $100, a lot of people started to look at gold again from the point of view of both investment and hoarding. Bad news from foreign exchanges on the English pound, the Mexican peso and the Italian lira are pushing people back into the gold field. There also is renewed interest from Arabs, who are redeeming pounds and going into gold bullion, which is driving up the price. "The small investor who buys gold usually goes into coins. The icruger-rand, containing one gold ounce, is the most popular selling coin in the world. It's easy to sell and buy anywhere since quotations are available all over the world. American gold coins are selling at a much higher premium because the United States has not made any gold coins since the thirties and the quantity has dried up." By Unittd Prtit International Europeans traditionally have invested 10 to 15 per cent of their assets in paintings, antiques, stamps and coins. Now the trend apparently has spread to the United States, where an increasing number of Americans are putting money into these tangible assets. Do art, antiques, stamps and coins constitute a good investment? Martin Stansfeld, consultant for Sotheby Park Bernet, Inc., of New York said: "It's a golden moment for both sellers and buyers of art and antiques. Sellers are pretty well assured a good price, while buyers can expect to get into the market before prices really rise in the next two or three years. "The art market dropped more heavily in the 1974 recession than in the 1970 recession. But we now are seeing a sound recovery from the 1974 recession led by Americans. "Antiques, on the other hand, remained very solid through the 1974 recession. Antiques make up a more stable and less aggressive market than pictures. There are many more sales of decorative arts, which may average 300 objects at auction. Paintings are auctioned in much smaller numbers of 50 to 75," Stansfeld said. "Unlike stocks and other types of securities, the basic premise of art as an investment is brutally simple: The output of artists and craftsmen is strictly limited, while demand is growing ever bigger. Professionals and dealers are the only ones in art and antiques who should engage in speculation to turn a quick buck. Investment strategy means buying art with the idea of holding onto it for a number of years. "Europeans' investment of a percentage of their holdings in tangible assets is the level on which to look into art as an investment. This constitutes only a portion of the portfolio, rather than a substitute for other investment instruments. It's a way of spreading risk." Louis Vigdor, assistant vice presi Tuesday,December7th: Hear Merrill Lynch tell how to invest in fixedrincome securities. Here's a chance to hear why so many investors are eyeing and buying fixed-income securities. Come to our next Merrill Lynch Forum. You'll find details on time and place below. In the meantime, here's a sample of what you'll hear: mm TV-STEREO-BET AMAX WILLSON'S TV tnnn n c i d.l mtm 144-1144 D D r (15 in . m rat D The basics of bonds: how their yields compare to those of common stockswhich investors should consider fixed-income securities, and which shouldn'thow bonds get their ratings which grades of bonds to buy. The tax-free edge of municipal-bond interest: why municipals are so attractive to investors in high tax bracketshow some municipals also offer a chance for capital gainswhat new legislation could mean for tax-exempt bonds. U.S. Government bonds: how to get 8 on your money guaranteed by the U.S. Governmenthow U.S. Treasury Bills can be used as collateral while you collect the interest. The forum is tree. But space is limited. So please reserve your seat now. Tuesday, December 7th, 8:00 p.m. At the Holiday Inn, 4431 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens. For your reservations, please call 655-7720. Or just mail the coupon. QQGHEE)'2li tf2J;liEEDit3l HID tf&HGli HECJiV ffiZnnED (3 QUIBIH IPG 3l' 'IDE) QUIDli) i?ETMifMiE7 (jjiuiiiny 9 unit GnUilflV ?C2 (fr CE3ED fiJEjV iQHHX) lEFp 3Q2D GJ 1ID ifiHEEHII-y GQGj. D 0 D D D D D D D D D D D 0 D D D D Come hear Merrill Lynch tell how your money could work harder in 1976. Mail to: Merrill Lynch Tierce Fenner Smith Inc. 401 S. County R0.1J, P.ilni IV.ich, Fl,i. 3 MHO Please reserve seats for your forum on D D D 0 D D D D D D D D D D D Ca No, 1 cannot attend, hut please send information on this suhect Nat t AJJn il'lt-.isc (Mini) Iress . . . State 7ip City. Ull'Jll' J Telephone . . . . . Merrill Lynch customers, please Hive name and office addrevs of Account Executive: Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner G Smith Inc. "Copyright ll76 Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.