Phone coupons will be in mail by summer
Last year, Hawaiian Telcom announced it would be giving out $5 coupons for telephones by the end of 2007. Early this year, I heard that it had moved the date back to April. Well, it's April, and I haven't heard a peep out of Hawaiian Telcom. What happened to those coupons?
Answer: They'll be in the mail this summer.
The coupons won't be worth $5, but they will allow you to get a free corded phone -- one coupon per active residential account, said Hawaiian Telcom spokeswoman Ann Nishida.
When the state Public Utilities Commission approved Hawaiian Telcom selling its directory publishing business last November, it ordered that part of the profits go toward providing residential customers free corded phones.
The coupons were supposed to be sent out within 45 days of the sale, which took place in December, but Nishida said more time was needed to obtain the large numbers of phones necessary. She declined to say how many customers are eligible, for competitive reasons.
The phones will be similar to the basic Slimline model and will work with the company's "reliable landline service," even in the event of a power failure, Nishida said.
She pointed to the October 2006 earthquake, which caused widespread power failures.
In the aftermath of that earthquake, cell phone service was erratic, while VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) could not work without electricity.
Coupons will be distributed via phone bills, with distribution staggered over a couple of months this summer to make sure that redemption requests can be met, Nishida said. They can be redeemed at Hawaiian Telcom retail stores and other designated locations.
"We will share more specific information and run advertisements about this when the phones are available," Nishida said.
Q: Last November, I purchased four Aloha Airlines tickets, which could be used at any time, on my credit card. They have not been used. It was reported that we had 60 days from the time the charge appeared on our statement to file a dispute with the credit card company. What are my chances of getting my money back? Is there another route I should take?
A: You should still file a dispute with your credit card company.
Under certain circumstances, a consumer may still be entitled to a "chargeback," said Stephen Levins, executive director of the state Office of Consumer Protection. In this instance a consumer may have up to a year to dispute the charge.
This generally applies when a dispute involves "the quality of goods or services," the amount in question is more than $50 and the purchase was made in your home state or within 100 miles of your current billing address, Levins said.
The consumer also must show a "good faith effort" was made to resolve the dispute with the seller first, but that obviously does not matter in this case.
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