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Hardware store misplaces window, finally replaces it

>Q: Last November, I took a storm window frame to Hector's Hardware store in Amherst on Niagara Falls Boulevard to have new glass installed in it. I was told the store would call me when it was ready.

After several weeks and a few phone calls -- and at least one visit -- I was always told it was not yet ready.

Finally, on May 10 of this year, the store said the frame could not be found, and told me that an employee would come to my house to measure the window so that a new frame could be made.

To date, no one has come, even though I called to remind them.

-- Alma Wasson, Kenmore.

A: One would have thought this could have easily been rectified by the hardware store over the last several months.

When we spoke with store manager Jeffrey Chameli on June 21, he said he wasn't aware of your problem and initially blamed it on a lack of a claim ticket the store would have given you. However, you told us you did, in fact, have a claim ticket -- but that it only had the store name and phone number listed on it.

"This is the first I'm hearing of it. We've been here 55 years and we don't slough anybody off," Chameli told us. "Wouldn't you think she'd ask for the manager?"

Regardless, you had spoken with store personnel several times and it isn't unreasonable for you to expect it to be handled in a more timely manner since this had gone unresolved since last fall.

Chameli said that it was a hectic time at the store last November, given the surprise October storm. "That may be the reason we can't find the window frame," he said. "We do call everybody about their repairs. You wouldn't believe the windows and frames we have had for two years that customers never pick up."

Nonetheless, he vowed to look into the matter and check for your missing window frame. We provided him with your name, address and phone number, and he promised to contact you and then let us know where things stood. "We'd be more than happy to resolve it or make good on the frame if it was lost," he said.

Hector's sent an employee to your home on June 22, the day after we talked to the store. "They came over to our house, measured the window and took the broken window back to the store," Wasson told News Power.

Wasson said the worker returned that same afternoon with a new window frame and two glass windows and charged her $35 (which included two windows since the bottom window was broken) instead of the $30 estimate for one window that she'd initially asked be done.

"The employee was very nice and he made a whole new frame and put the new glass in," Wasson said. "He did it all in one day, was very polite and we were very satisfied with the work."

Out of curiosity, we asked if the original frame had ever been located in the store. Chameli replied: "No. Without a claim number, it's hard to say what happened to the original frame. That was eight months ago."

Have a consumer problem? Send a letter summarizing your problem to News Power, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Attention: Karen Robinson. Please include a phone number. Or e-mail:

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