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BILLING ON 900 CALL IS A BAD CONNECTION

Q I TRIED TO CALL one of those 900 numbers advertised on television, this one for an "I Ching" phone message put out by a California-based company called Blue Light Productions.

I called them two times on April 30 and when I was told to press the "3" number for the message. Instead, I only got a dial tone. I tried it again the next day, calling the 900 number three times and received a dial tone twice and connected only once.

That means that I got through only once out of five calls. I have written to them telling them not to bill me for the four calls that were not connected, but I haven't heard anything from them.

I don't know how this could have happened four times out of five and I wonder how many other callers have had the same problem.

-- B.S., Buffalo

A A LETTER TO YOU from Ralph Nelson of Blue Light Productions says:

"I am sorry for the inconvenience you have experienced in calling our line. The type of problem which you describe is not one which would have happened at our terminal.

"The company which built the computer that runs our program suggests that the problem may be either in your phone of with the switchboard at your local telephone company.

"Please get in touch with your phone company and explain the situation. They should be able to not only correct the problem but will probably have the incomplete calls deleted from your bill."

In an additional letter to News Power, he explains:

"While addressing his problem, I also thought this might be a good opportunity to share with your readers if you so choose, the most effective way of dealing with any kind of problem with their phone service.

"Billings for 900 or 976 calls are handled through the local phone companies. Any problems or questions should be addressed directly to them. Usually it takes only a single phone call to have a service problem addressed (which seems to cover the problem this customer has encountered) and at the same time most local phone companies will delete the charge from the customer's phone bill for incompleted calls."

Q COULD YOU PLEASE help me get a refund for a House of Lloyd's toy party that I hosted last October?

There was one piece of merchandise that was never delivered. After many calls to the local demonstrator, without any success, I called the company in Grandview, Mo. Now, I have over $7 in long distance phone calls with nothing but promises that they would send the check right away.

C.M., Buffalo

A "OUR RECORDS indicate that the missing item was shipped to her on Nov. 28," says Cliff McWilliams, managing director of Party Plans for the House of Lloyd. "We requested that this shipment be trace in March and found that the item had been returned to our warehouse."

"Consequently, a refund check was issued on April 6 in the amount of $28.94."

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