City accepts helium tanks for disposal
How do you properly dispose of helium tanks that you purchase at party stores? I'm told to not put them in the trash.
Answer: Take the tanks to one of the city's nine refuse Convenience Centers. Check your telephone directory for locations or online at www.opala.org/waste_disposal_at_home/
You can also call the city's household hazardous-waste hot line at 692-5411.
When returning in late May from a mainland trip, I needed to call my husband for a ride home from Honolulu Airport. Because my cellular phone battery was low, I had to use a public pay phone in the baggage claim area. I hadn't done this in years and was surprised that coins were no longer accepted and I needed to use my credit card. When my credit card statement arrived, I found that my quick call cost $6.34. Thinking there must be an error, I called the NCIC number next to the charge and was told that because I used MasterCard and not one of their cards, and because I do not have a calling plan with that company, the charge was correct. That's beyond outrageous! Just a word of caution to others who might not know the way of pay phones today. -- Sandra Fujii, Manoa
The Federal Communications Commission already has issued a warning to consumers to "Hang Up on High Pay Phone Charges" for long-distance and local phone calls from hotels, hospitals, airports, etc.
NCIC is an "Operator Service Provider," or OSP.
When you call from a public or pay phone, an OSP will usually handle the call if you dial "0" before dialing a telephone number, the FCC explains.
You should check printed information on or near the phone before making any call. The FCC requires each OSP to post in plain view on or near the phone its name, address and toll-free number.
The OSP must identify itself at the beginning of the call before the call is connected and billed.
The FCC says you should then be told how to find out the total price of a call by pressing no more than two digits, such as the pound key, or by staying on the line.
You then will have the chance to "hang up on high rates."
The FCC says you have the right to "dial around" the OSP by dialing an access code. It would help if you have a long-distance telephone provider and know its instructions for placing calls from pay phones.
OSPs are required to connect an emergency call immediately and at no charge.
If you feel any FCC rule has been violated, you can file a complaint by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org; by going online at www.fcc.gov/cgb/complaints.html; by calling 888-CALL-FCC (225-5322); or by writing to Federal Communications Commission, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, 445 12th St. SW, Washington, DC 20554.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
. See also: Useful phone numbers