ACTION DESK with Sam Jackson

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Communication breakdown

Nick Dinitto was happy after buying a new Nokia 530 Lumia from the Three store at Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre, Waterthorpe, Sheffield.

However, less than three months later the phone started to break.

The handset got so hot he thought it was going to burst into flames and he was forced to take out the battery to allow it to cool down.

Then problems began with making and receiving calls, so Mr Dinitto, of Waterthorpe, felt enough was enough and returned to the store.

He said: “They gave me a leaflet me which said they are offering a brilliant service and it would be very much to my advantage if I contacted Nokia myself.

“Surely they have to repair and take responsibility for products they sell.

“I have contacted them three times and also written to their head office and managing director, but no-one has got back to me.

ACTION

Within a couple of days of Action Desk contacting Three, Mr Dinitto was offered a new phone.

A Three spokesman said: “Three’s customer services arranged for a replacement handset to be delivered to Mr Dinitto and the customer is satisfied with the service he has received.”

He said manufacturers handle repairs directly, as they have that direct expertise of their own devices.

High price of dream holiday

Sheffield mum Laurie Sorsby was looking forward to a relaxing holiday to the Greek island of Thassos with her two adult sons and their partners.

She had been widowed last year and thought the fortnight break she booked with Thomson was just what she needed.

But her dream break – a two week, all-inclusive trip to Princess Golden Beach hotel in May – made her angry when it came to booking.

For her sons and their partners to stay in two double rooms would cost them £1,028.50 each.

When Mrs Sorsby came to book for herself in a double room she was forced to pay £2,007.

She contacted Thomson and demanded why a single person was having to pay double what someone in a couple would be charged.

Mrs Sorsby said: “I think penalising single people to this extent just for wanting their own room on arrival in resort is tantamount to extortion.

“It is not that I don’t expect to pay anything extra, maybe between £250- £400, but this is ridiculous.”

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Thomson spokesman said: “Thomson is sorry to hear Mrs Sorsby is not entirely happy with her holiday booking. Holiday prices fluctuate throughout the year due to supply and demand, as there are a finite number of rooms and flights available.

“Hotels increase their prices during high season, including the cost for single supplements, therefore this has to be reflected in the pricing of our holidays,” the spokesman added.

“Mrs Sorsby’s holiday cost, which she accepted at the time of booking, reflects this is a popular time for travel and the fact that unfortunately there are no single rooms available at this hotel.

“Thomson holidays are always competitively priced and, wherever possible, we offer discounts to customers throughout the year as an incentive to book.”

Long wait for toilet solution

Disabled man Mark Crofts had been waiting more than three years for Sheffield Council to carry out repairs to a toilet.

Each time inspectors would visit his home on Hartop Road, Heeley, they would only carry out bits of the work – leaving the whole job unfinished.

Mr Crofts said he contacted the council on numerous occasions, but his toilet was no nearer to being finished.

He said: “It needs to be plastered and boarded and the skirting boards need putting on. This has been going on for nearly three years now. Somebody turns up and says they’ve only been told to do a certain bit of the job, so can’t finish it all.

“We haven’t got a toilet upstairs - this is the only one in our house.

“Both myself and my wife are disabled, so we need the toilet finished.”

ACTION

A Kier spokesman said: “We apologise to Mr and Mrs Croft for the delay in fixing their toilet and can confirm the work is now complete.

“The repair wasn’t carried out in the allotted timescale and we are sorry our service didn’t meet the high standards that we would expect on this occasion.”

Sound advice to tackle mould

Action Desk has been getting an increasing number of calls regarding mould in Sheffield Council properties.

As well as contacting the council’s repair service centre on 0114 273 5555, there are steps tenants can take themselves to reduce condensation, mould and mildew.

* Allow air to circulate around stored items;

* Try to keep gaps around large furniture;

* Keep furniture away from external walls;

* Ensure cupboards and drawers are not full, as this will restrict air flow;

* Vent tumble dryers to the outside, unless it is a self-condensing type;

* Dry washing outdoors, or put it in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or the fan on;

* Avoid using paraffin and portable flueless gas heaters;

* Close kitchen and bathroom doors when in use;

* When cooking, open windows in the kitchen or use an extractor fan if fitted;

* Increase ventilation by keeping vents open;

* Cover saucepans and do not leave kettles boiling;

* Wipe down surfaces affected by condensation regularly, to prevent black spot mould growth. It can be removed by washing the surface with a disinfectant;