The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 10, 1997 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 10, 1997
Page 4
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SATURDAY^ MAY 10,J_9_97^ T CONSUMER CORNER CONSUMER THE SALINA JOURNAL Lodge member gets refund for trip cancellation CARLA STOVALL Kansas Attorney General Fee was waived when fellow passenger agreed to accept rate increase Dear Attorney General Stovall: A fraternal lodge that I belong to was planning a trip to Las Vegas for its members. I paid a $50 deposit to the lodge to hold a reservation for me. Unfortunately, during a routine checkup, my doctor found that I was diabetic. He suggested that I delay any travel so that I could adjust to my new medication and lifestyle. He even wrote a note explaining that this was his recommendation. I took the note to the lodge member in charge of the trip arrangements and asked for a deposit refund. Although he was sympathetic, he claimed that all the deposits were non- refundable and had already been paid to the travel agency which was arranging the trip. He gave me the agency's name and address and suggested I contact it for a refund. When I contacted that agency, I was told the reservation money had been forwarded to the tour company which was responsible for making the travel arrangements. I was shown a list of regulations, terms and conditions from the tour company. I read the sheet carefully and found that a fee of $50 was charged if someone canceled 16 days or more prior to departure. Attorney General Stovall, I do not feel I should be penalized for something over which I had no control. Can you help me recover this money. Dear Kansas Consumer: When we contacted the lodge, they explained that everyone who signed up for the trip was told that the $50 deposit was nonrefundable. The lodge claims it took the money to the local travel agency which was to forward it to the tour company. The tour company told us that the double rate for your hotel room of $207 a person was changed to a single rate of $257 a person. The passenger with whom you planned to share the room when you booked the trip paid the extra charge, so the tour company did not charge you a penalty. The tour company claims it returned the difference between the rates to the local travel agency. We reviewed the information and found that the lodge and local travel agency blamed the tour company for the misunderstanding because of its policy of charging cancellation penalties. The tour company, however, states that you are entitled to a refund because it lost no money since the passenger traveling as a single accepted the rate increase. Because the only agreement you personally entered into was with the lodge, their trip committee, having been refunded by the tour company and the travel agency, agreed to refund your deposit. T NEW PRODUCTS Antacid, pizza on top 10 list Study finds Americans are not serious about lowering fat intake By The Associated Press CHICAGO — Hold on to your stomachs, folks. Last year's most popular new> products included a self-rising pizza crust and baked potato chips, which may have helped boost three new indigestion drugs into the top 10 list. "Pizza and chips and antacids — is there some connection there? You tell me," said Carol Elitov, a vice president at Chicago-based Information Resources Inc., a product-tracking firm. Luvs Stretch diapers led the top 10 product introductions, with $435 million in sales, followed by Scott 1000 paper products and Pepcid AC. That was followed by Baked Lays potato chips, Pampers Premium and Tagamet HB/200. Rounding out the top 10 were Bounty Medleys, DiGiorno self- rising pizza and Zantac 75. The findings, compiled from grocery scanning information, yvere part of a series of new studies conducted for the supermarket industry's annual meeting. ; The studies also may show Americans are merely mouthing words when they say they're concerned about fat intake. Only 17.7 percent of the average daily diet is low-fat. That, said Elitov, could have implications for such products as the population ages. - "The baby boomer bulge is coming, both literally and figuratively," she said. BRIEFLY Ford offers voluntary recall of some models ; DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. an- npunced this week a voluntary recall of some Contour, Taurus, Crown Victoria, Mercury Sable ahd Lincoln Continental models. ".The recall action is for 638,100 vehicles in the United States and Canada, the automaker said. • Ford is recalling 1,800 1996 and 1997 Contour models equipped With an option that allows the car tp use compressed natural gas. Ford advised Contour owners to use gasoline in the meantime because a backfire could occur when the engine is started on compressed natural gas. ; About 502,600 vehicles are being recalled because of problems in their cruise control options. They include 1991-95 model-year Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable vehicles equipped with a 3.8-liter engine and speed control option and 1991-94 model-year Lincoln Continentals. Also being recalled are about 191,000 Ford Crown Victoria police cars and taxis from 1992-97 to repair hood latch parts that could fail and cause hoods to come open while the car is driven. Kmart recalls table lamps for safety flaw WASHINGTON — Kmart is recalling about 41,300 table lamps that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says can short-circuit and ignite, creating a fire hazard. Kmart has gotten 12 reports of the lamps short-circuiting; in five cases, some households items were damaged as a result of fire. The table lamp is 15.25 inches high and is made of bronze-colored metal with two frosted white shades. The base of the lamp is shaped like a lily pad and the shades are shaped like lily flowers. The lamp box is labeled in part, "Basic Editions ... Lily Table Lamp ... StyleR8831 ..."Kmart sold the lamps from November through April for about $20. Consumers are advised to stop using the lamps and return them to any Kmart store for a full refund. From Wire Service Reports His immortal words were " Watson, come here." They were not followed by "And bring a list of family members and I'll only charge you a dime for weekend calls after 6." (*! O Something's wrong with the phone. It's connected to marketing gimmicks. And confusing rate plans. And celebrities named after coins. Frankly, we've had enough. So we're making 12 promises to our customers. Like we'll never bug you with sales calls at dinnertime. Or trick you into signing up for the rate du jour. It's called our pledge. And it's something you'll be hearing a lot about. Because it's time to set things right. Your friendly neighborhood global communications company. Southwestern Bell

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