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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 1, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta Third Section WKDNKSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1971 Pages 29-3H Help ior the helpless Canadian consumer By PAUL JACKSON Herald Oltawn Biiresm power o[ word cf mouth advertising can he amply demonstrated hy the letters that daily pour into Box 99. Ottawa. In the past four years the steady stream of letters of com- plaint and enquiry has turned into a flood that sometimes ap- peii s to be about to engulf Llcinor Ordway and her seven- man team of investigators. Most people don't like to hear complaints. Not so the vivac f ic Miss Orr.hvfiy. FVir she runs Box 99, the 'listening post' set up by Consumer and Corporate Affairs Sinister Ron Basford in late 1967 as a place the hith- erto helpless Canadian consum- er could write to for recourse. And consumers have appeal- ed to Miss Ordway in their thousands. In fact, from the first year of operation in ]9C8 when some complaints and enquiries were deceived ind acted on, the figure now otals more than More nan came in during the irst ten months of this year. That's what Miss Ordway, Can- flood. Some cf the letters arc ninivs- 1 ing. .Some concern might he called minor frustrations or i m i s u n d e r standings. Some though, are downright tragic. Every letter, though, is acted on and so great is the success achieved by the consumer scr- SOAKED CASH Wet and torn bills are laid out to dry in a Philadelphia police station by detectives after the sodden mass, estimated bewsen and was found by !wo city water department workers. Police said the money was genuine. _______________________________ WINNIPEG (CP) Two top Mr. Ferguson Western Canada fieatre executives predict a whole new "Watching Walter Matthau in that movie and follow ing the for the movie fan in the made me realize that we're longer running an industry Paul Morton, top executive one class of people. Odeon Morion Theatres, you can't blame Holly- John Ferguson, district for w h a t they've been ager for Famous Players, out. They've been ap- the day of the "skin to a trend, and let's not dominating the movie market is nearly over. "We have as ,'ilwavs ourselves, people have been going to these explicit films. "Rut now I'm optimistic that rated a Mr. Ferguson said in reference to the percentage of permissive movies will get less and less as the pendulum swings in the "Vmv wo zrr iiiminrr n direction." Mr. Morton said: "Just about every one of the major film companies has new, good films in the shooting stages or ready for release. The list is so large that it's almost fantastic, and we arc look i n g forward to boom in the movie business. "After all, a theatre is only as good as its product and now we are going (o have that product "The new movies being made many of them at least, are sim- ply tremendous and we'll be proud to show them. I'm con vinccd this really is a major change end the public will be pleased." ada's champion of the consum-1 picked up a ralher unfortunate I The problem areas in each cr means when she talks about i disease at a bawdy house and subject start with quality, 'fell, lie should he refunded his and foremost, then comes money. uocsn't say what i price, compensation for faulty it would have done about Ihis and alleged un- case if the man had enclosed ethical practices. Miss Ordway his address. Me didn't, so the I has them all, and they matter was left standing. One I never stop coming, of the few complanls r.ol acted a regular figure in the boardrooms of (lie nation's top ing case in- businessmen and she rather thinks some of them like her. Occasionally, some even come information branch that a regular internal success lo her for advice on bow to im- message if it office i his paint has now all the same will look into it. And action is; shade. Other more serious cases can remarkably rapid. The depart- ment has collections of letters involve hundreds of dollars in telling cf repeated appeals to a expenditure. Miss Ordway's de- i.< i ;j consumer that the mislako is .ul assistance, parlment has managed to get I not illc manufacturers The appeals have gor.c unhecd- customer's refunds as high anufact cd. Quite often though, just a i fUOO. A gar- ment may, for instance, have been handwashed when it U1LV11 J1..JK L. I 1------- IJJ.'CH I Iti I1UW itMl I'U UI1UII H phone call or a letter from the I In general, customers com- should have been drycleancd consumer sen-ice department plain mainly about dissatisfac- j brings satisfaction in a flash. Sometimes, of course, lack of lien over food buys and, in or-1 der of frustration, clolhcs, mo- Usually though, (he consumer .las a legitimate beef. Miss Ordway says most companies, dimiuuines, ui t-uiuau, ui U-JL. n.u pnmtvmip'; details prevent an investiga- lor vehicles and accessories. companies, lion. Like the time a wit wrote sales promotions, real estate j when approached properly, try in complaining that he had j and housing, and appliances. to put the matter right. Often, in their own approaches the consumer hasn't too arti- culate. Or his letter hasn't gone to the department. She believes everyone should he a consciencioas consumer and report, a complaint to (he manufacturer or the doparl- menl when iliey have one. AH too often, a person will simply groan about ii and forget it. This way other people get IPJII- hered with a bad buy and some- times I he manufacturer doesn't know it's imperfect. More and more, though people arc complaining which ae- counts for the steady or rather sudden in letters her office. Not .surprsing that with the workload as heavy i{ is, Ordway's depart- ment hasn't advertised its ser- vices to anyone since the first advertisement was placed in j newspapi-r.s when Box 99 opcn- I ed four years ago. But there i? good news on the way for the harried Miss Ord- way. Her learn of investigators, who work in their own special- ized areas of customer com- plaints, are soon to be uppcd to ten in number. away from these permissive films which have served their purpose. I predict producers will lie concentiT.iJng on stories anl good plots rather than shock value of bsrc skin." i Mr. Morton said a break- through, is definitely coining: "We are moving into an era of good quality pictures which the public will enjoy, pictures they i By HAL BOYLE NEW YORK (APi Things a columnist might never if he didn't open his mail: In olden limes a "bigwig" turned out. RESPONDED TO TIIEN'D "I sat through the film Ketch tile other night and it raised my called "bigwigs." Fish and chips, probably the most famed British food deli- cacy, has been banned from Ench gilt is exquisitely gift FROM CANADIAN FURRIERS The Loveliest Gift of all A FINE FUR F ro m CANADIAN FURRIERS Never have we been lo offer such o sensational elec- tion of magnificent furs. hrcaslca's, and Longuottcs in Can- ndion MinK Porsinn l.omb, MiJ'-kml,