Honolulu Star-Bulletin - Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Friday, May 21, 1999

Interference not
violation of FCC rules

Question: Who do I contact to complain about CB radios? I live next to a park and these CB radio enthusiasts are constantly overpowering my telephone and television. I've called the police and Hawaiian Telephone and just get the runaround. When I call the FCC, I just get a recording.

Answer: The Federal Communications Commission is the agency that would address such complaints.

However, your frustration probably won't be alleviated because the FCC admits it can't do anything to resolve most of the "thousands of complaints (it receives) of interference to televisions, radios, audio systems, telephones and other home electronics equipment."

That's because "the cause of this interference (usually) is the design or construction of these products and not a violation of any FCC rule," according to the FCC.

"Involving dealers and manufacturers in the resolution process should give them knowledge of the problems and provide both the opportunity and incentive to protect their products through customer service," the FCC says.

The FCC's "CIB Interference Handbook" has a list of equipment manufacturers who provide specific help with interference problems. Call the toll-free number, (888) CALL-FCC, to request information, or request document number 6904 from the FCC's Fax on Demand, (202) 418-2830.

We were directed to the FCC Web site -- www.fcc.gov -- by spokesman David Fiske. Click on the Compliance and Information Bureau. But even better, as pointed out by Hawaiian Tel spokesman Keith Kamisugi, check out http://www.fcc.gov/cib/Public_ Notices/heeel.html.

There's a lot of information provided on the subject, too much to go into here. But regarding telephone interference, for example, the FCC suggests getting a "radio-proof" telephone, available by mail order. A recent FCC study "found that these telephones, which have built-in interference protection, are a very effective remedy."

Another possibility is a radio filter, which sometimes can stop or reduce interference problems on phones. They can be purchased at phone product stores or by mail order.

If you want to file a complaint, you are asked to do so in writing. But the FCC tells you outright it does not "routinely" investigate such complaints and will do so only if there is "convincing evidence." Even then, "only on a low priority basis."

Q: Regarding handicapped parking: For metered stalls on the street, where and when do you have to pay and where don't you have to pay?

A: If you have a handicapped parking pass, the law allows you to park "without payment of metered parking fees in any metered or unmetered parking space for a maximum of 2 hours or the maximum amount of time the meter allows, whichever is longer."

In parking garages or lots where there is an attendant, there is no law that says handicapped parking should be free.

Got it covered

Someone recently asked for readers' help in finding sofa-bed sheets. One reader suggested a local company, but that didn't pan out. Four other callers steered us to catalog companies, three of them to Domestications, (800) 746-2555 or on the Internet, http://www.domestications.com. The other catalog company was "Voice of the Mountains," (802) 362-8484 (not toll-free).

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com

E-mail to City Desk

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