AS SATURDAY. SEPTEMBER 28. 1996 CONSUMER THE SALINA JOURNAL T CONSUMER CORNER Big prize turns out to be high-pressure hype CARLA STOVALL Kansas Attorney General Dear Attorney General Stovall: Last month I received a postcard notifying me that I had won a prize. I called the 800 number to claim my prize and was told I must attend a presentation being held that night at a local hotel. Together with about 10 others, I watched a presentation about this company's discount buying service. According to the salesman, members simply called a toll-free number, gave the representative the brand name and model number of any product and received the guaranteed lowest price on that product. He showed that the members of this buying club realized a tremendous saving because they made a purchase directly from the club, thereby eliminating price mark-ups by regional distributors, wholesalers and local retailers. The presentation was very convincing. Coupled with the fact that I would receive a free cruise, I couldn't resist. The membership fee was $935 with annual dues of $65.1 was given my introductory membership package and returned home in a daze. A few days later, I realized what a mistake I had made. The "free" cruise was going to cost me a substantial sum. I realize now that I have committed myself to spending more then $1,000 for the privilege of spending more money to buy merchandise through the club. Any savings I may realize will remain illusive until I spend considerably more. Attorney General Stovall, I am a college student who made a terrible mistake. I cannot afford this membership fee and major purchases are simply out of the question right now. Can you help me? Dear Kansas Consumer: Because this transaction occurred away from the company's regular place of business, it is considered, by legal definition, a door-to-door sale. The Kansas Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) gives a consumer the right to cancel a door-to-door sale made within this state until midnight of the third business day after the day on which the agreement is signed. The agreement or offer to purchase must include certain disclosures. When we reviewed your documents, we found that the seller had failed to show the date of the sale and the date by which the contract could be canceled. These disclosures are required by law. When we brought this violation to the company's attention, it agreed to cancel your contract and refund your down payment. As always, we advise consumers not to sign a contract under pressure. If you are not sure about the benefits, go home and think it over away from the high pressure salesperson. Remember that not all contracts can be canceled. If you sign a contract at the company's regular place of business, the law does not require the seller to provide a cancellation period. Allow good judgment, not high pressure, to be your guide. BRIEFLY FDA recalls vials of bad blood product WASHINGTON — A Pennsylvania company is recalling 17,000 vials of human albumin, a blood product commonly used in dialysis treatment because it appears contaminated with dangerous bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration has learned of two patients, one in Kansas and one in Wisconsin, who survived cases of blood poisoning after receiving the albumin, sold under the brand name Albuminar. Only one lot of the albumin — lot P61205 — is contaminated and being recalled, said manufacturer Centeon, of King of Prussia, Pa. Centeon is investigating how the albumin could have been tainted with the bacterium Enter- obacter cloacae, a bug commonly spread through fecal contamination in water. The lot was distributed in June, but Centeon began withdrawing it from hospitals on Sept. 20. Friday, the FDA declared the recall its highest priority, Class I, and publicized it in case hospitals or distributors missed the company's withdrawal. While the blood poisoning can send patients into shock or kidney failure and eventually kill them — in worst cases within hours — it can be treated successfully with antibiotics, said Dr. Jay Epstein, FDA biologies chief. Symptoms include a high fever that spikes rapidly, shaking chills and an abrupt drop in blood pressure. For more information, Cen- teon can be reached at 800-504-5434. Exploding heating systems .recalled WASHINGTON — A Tennessee company is recalling about 6,500 water and home heating systems after determining that fuel gas may explode under certain circumstances. American Water Heater Group of Johnson City, Tenn., knows of 104 incidents of heater damage and three incidents of more extensive property damage, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday. The recall affects 14 models of the LP Polaris Comfort Systems combination water heater and home heating system. The heaters were sold nationwide from 1985 to July 1996. The company will arrange for a free safety upgrade kit for those affected, the CPSC said. Interested consumers can contact the company at 800-456-9805 or write to its Product Services and Support Group at P.O. Box 1597, Johnson City, Tenn. 37605. Bad brakes force recall of yard tractors WASHINGTON — The Toro Co. is recalling about 6,500 yard tractors with brakes that may wear out prematurely after two users each broke a foot upon losing control of the models, the Consumer Produce Safety Commission said Wednesday. The recall affects Toro Wheel Horse Yard and Garden Tractors as well as some Ford and New Holland Gear Yard tractors. The six-speed riding tractors were sold nationwide under the names TORO, Ford and New Holland from January 1994 to May 1996 for about $2,000 each. The brakes on tractors sold after May were modified. Owners should contact their nearest Toro or New Holland service dealer to arrange for the brakes to be modified at no charge. The recall affects Toro model 72040 tractors with serial numbers from 4900001 to 5999999 and Ford or New Holland model LS-25 Gear tractors with serial numbers T4A0001 to T4A1201 and T5A0001 to T5A0617. Also affected are Ford or New Holland model LS-45 Gear tractors with serial numbers T4C0001 to T4C0581 and from T5C0001 to T5C0168. The model and serial numbers are located on the fender underneath the seat. Consumers may call Bloomington, Minn.,-based Toro at 800-348-2424 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT. From Wire Service Reports PRICES GOOD SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH, ONLY! SMMEtRllfiHSIESJ WAREHOUSE LUMBER PRICES ARE JUST PLAIN CRAZY! WE ARE THE LUMBER EXPERTS PROVIDING QUALITY LUMBER SINCE 1917! On September 28th, Only, We Will Slash Our Price on Lumber & Building Materials. If You're Planning A Project Or Just Mending A Fence...Don't Miss This Sale! FRAMING LUMBER 2 > / Ati PRICED BY THE BUNDLE! 827-8774 2450 $. Ninth Street Sa//na, KS MON.-SAT. Ch f' 9 * 7:30-9:00 "' SUNDAY 9:00-5:00 - —^s: GUARANTEED! It Is our goal to have every item In stock. Therefore we reserve the right to limit quantities. Due to the large variety of products in our store some items may vary slightly from the illustrations. Although we cannot be held responsible for printing errors, we will make every effort to clarify any confusion these errors may have caused. All warranty Information is available at the service counter.
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