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Manual is on its way, but not new a/c vent

Q: I had Elk Appliance Heating & Cooling Co. of Cheektowaga, install an air-conditioning system for me on June 10. I paid them $1,375 in full for the job, and they promised me they would come back to finish installing another vent.

They did not come back for the additional vent work. Plus, they never gave me the instruction booklet for the new thermostat.

I have been making phone calls and have written to them, begging them to finish.

I desperately need the instruction booklet and have not had a response. Can you possibly help me?

- Marie Heigl, Depew.

A: Undoubtedly, there's been a lack of timely response by the company in this situation.

"I put her off until fall," said Tom Busch, Elk Appliance owner. "She's a nice lady. I apologize, but she was calling too much, and we started ignoring her calls, which we usually don't do."

Busch promised to mail the instructions for your thermostat to you last week and said you should have them soon. He said he tried to drop off the instruction manual a couple of times, but missed you.

Regarding the additional vent/register, the company says it's willing to install it for you, but it will cost about $100. Busch insisted the vent was not included in the initial $1,375 job and said that was made clear at the time of the system's installation.

"We explained that if she wanted it done, it wasn't part of the original agreement. It was just a recommendation," Busch said. "That was just an option. She could use another return supply for air, but without it, it doesn't affect the performance of the system."

Busch emphasized that his company responded quickly in June to install your air conditioning system and completed the job within a couple of days. "It wasn't like we weren't on top of things for her. We knew she needed it," he said.

> Hotel refunds money

Remember the hotel blunder involving a Blasdell couple who got booted out of a Comfort Suites hotel in Manassas, Va., last spring? The hotel overbooked and removed all their belongings from their room and directed them to stay at the Hampton Inn across the street. The couple ended up paying $188 for the remaining two nights of their stay at the Hampton, which they argued was wrong.

After News Power looked into the matter in July, Comfort Suites told us it would reimburse George and Linda Saunders for the entire cost of their stay at the Hampton Inn.

Despite the assurances, nothing happened.

We again called Comfort Suites in late August to find out where the refund was, and on Sept. 1, Comfort Suites front office manager Meghan Mulloy called us to say the $188.10 would be refunded to the Saunders' credit card.

In the end, persistence paid off. Linda Saunders called us Sept. 20 to say that the credit finally showed up on their credit card statement.

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; or e-mail at newspower@ buffnews.com; or fax a question to 648-3012. To be considered for publication, readers must fully identify themselves by name and the town in which they live. Clearly explain your problem, and be sure to include a telephone number. Not all questions can be addressed. The News Power column alternates each Monday in The Link section with Greg Connors' column about blogging.

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