Thumbs Up/Down - February 15, 2013Thumbs Down: Beware of high-pressure sales tactics that some non-local companies use against vulnerable victims.
HIGH-PRESSURE SALES TACTICS
Thumbs Down: Beware of high-pressure sales tactics that some non-local companies use against vulnerable victims. An Alexandria woman reports that her father, who is dealing with mental health issues, received a visit from a pushy sales representative for a security system when she was not there. The solicitor wouldn’t take no for an answer and was able to convince her father to sign up for the system. When the woman found out, she tried to cancel the order and has spent considerable time dealing with the company, trying to get the money back. So far, they’ve not been cooperative at all, she said. We checked into the company, which is based out of Utah, and found out that it’s not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). While it did receive a rating of C+, it had 1,925 complaints filed against it in the last three years, many based on aggressive and misleading sales tactics. There was also a BBB alert against the company, noting that it had been sued by four different states for its sales practices and has paid at least $185,000 in settlements. The bottom line: If you have elderly relatives, tell them to avoid door-to-door sales pitches, no matter how forceful they may be, and tell them not to sign anything on the spot. It could lead to a lot of headaches down the road.
Thumbs Up: The foot’s worth of snow that descended on the area last weekend also brought tales of kindness: People helping pull vehicles out of ditches, pushing out cars stuck in the snow and clearing other people’s driveways out of the goodness of their heart. Ginny Green, who lives along County Road 120 in northeast Alexandria, experienced it. When she went out to start the long digging out process on Monday morning, she discovered that her neighbor, Ryan Rosengren, had already plowed her driveway. “I didn’t ask him. It was just done,” she said. “He’s just a great guy!” Green added that he plowed out another neighbor’s driveway as well.
IRRESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS
Thumbs Down: An Alexandria woman’s daily two-mile walk was marred by what she came across. “I counted 14 piles of dog poop that owners failed to pick up,” she said. “This is totally unacceptable! Canine disease can be spread by dogs walking in feces and then licking their paws. And it’s really lots of fun to dig feces out of ice cleats and boot bottoms when the feces is covered by new snow and not seen. Yuck. How can owners be so irresponsible?”
Thumbs Down: It happens too often: A driver walks out to their car and is shocked to find out that it was smashed by another vehicle that fled the scene. An Alexandria woman told us about a hit-and-run that happened at the Elden’s parking lot between 9:20 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. on January 7. The culprit backed all the way over her bumper and through the grill, causing about $1,600 in damage. Anyone with information should call the police at (320) 763-6631.
Thumbs Down: A Kensington woman was frustrated with a change in how her prescription medicine is labeled. The name of the medicine and the refill number are now printed in dark blue over a black label, making it nearly impossible to read. If there is anything that should be easy to read, it’s prescription medicine. Companies doing the labeling should realize that.
STEPPING UP FOR A FRIEND
Thumbs Up: A former Alexandria resident and 1963 graduate, Ken Ljung, was recently highlighted in a St. Paul Pioneer Press story for building an ice skating rink for his neighbor and former golf buddy, Tony Rossini, in Roseville. Rossini was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s five years ago and the disease has forced him into an assisted living facility. Ljung, a retired civil engineering technician for 3M, helped Rossini build the first rink for Rossini’s sons and friends in 2009, and has helped out ever since. Ljung told the Pioneer Press that if the rink gives the Rossini family a respite from their situation, it’s worth it. Ljung’s wife, Shari, is proud of him. “He stepped in when he could do something,” she said in the story. “When you can step in and do something to help somebody, and you feel it in your heart, it’s just great.”
CARRYING ON A TRADITION
Thumbs Up: The family of the late Bob Mohawk recently made sure his love of fishing will continue on in the Alexandria area. His widow, Vivian, and their children, Randy, Rollie, Renee, Russ, Rozan and Rick, recently donated $1,045 to Viking Sportsmen and associated charities in memory of Mohawk, who passed away on September 27, 2011. “Our dad loved to fish,” said the Mohawk family. “The only thing that tickled him more than catching a fish was seeing a child catch a fish. We fished a lot. He laughed a lot.” The family presented a check to DickGustafson, a local representative of Let’s Go Fishing and a Viking Sportsmen Club member. Gustafson has a connection with the Mohawk family. After Bob was injured in a car accident in the late 1960s, he was physically unable to take his children fishing and Gustafson got a pontoon and took all six of the children fishing.