Q: I don’t know if it is because I’m a senior but I’m tired of receiving poor responses to problems I try to resolve. Can you make any suggestions? A: When you find that service or merchandise is less than acceptable, you have a right to complain. To be effective, be brief, to the point and above all else polite. Keep your focus on the facts. Find a clerk or customer service representative and calmly explain what went wrong. If possible, offer a solution to the problem. If the person to whom you are speaking gets defensive, try to speak to a manager. Remember, you need to find only one reasonable person to resolve the problem. If you bought something with a credit card, you can present the problem to the credit card company. It in turn will follow up on your complaint and if it is valid may remove the charge from your account. Many times people have problems with franchise establishments. If this is the case and you have not made headway at the local level, make an appeal to the corporate officers. In all cases, keep receipts, correspondence, warranties and other papers. This will help prove you did not receive what was promised. Don’t make idle threats: They will just make you look foolish, and you won’t be taken seriously. Above all else, be courteous. The old expression, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” is still true. Q: You recently wrote about a Healthier Living Program scheduled for Thousand Oaks. Will such a class be scheduled in western Ventura County? A: Yes. “Healthier Living: Managing Ongoing Health Conditions” will be offered at the SCAN Senior Resource Center at 6633 Telephone Road, Suite 100 in Ventura starting next month. Healthier Living is a six-week program and is scheduled for July 10, 17, 24 and 31 and Aug. 7 and 14. Each session will run from 9-11:30 a.m. This class offers participants strategies to manage their health conditions. The curriculum includes behavior modifications to cope better with chronic diseases, manage medications and increase physical activity levels. Participants also will work on effective communication skills with relatives, friends and health professionals. The free program is open to people 60 and older with health conditions. Screening and registration are required and can be made by calling 658-0365. The program is sponsored by the center in partnership with Stanford University and Partners in Care Foundation. HAPPENINGS Wednesday: Cheri Elson will present “Conservatorships,” with an emphasis on probate conservatorships. 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Ventura County Law Library, 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura. Wednesday: “Will You Pass Your Next Driving Test?” seminar. 1:30-3 p.m.; Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive, Westlake Village. June 26: Panda Kroll will present “Traps in Hiring and Firing.” 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Ventura County Law Library, 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura. For information, call 642-8982. The Medicare seminar “Do You Qualify for Extra Benefits and Durable Medical Equipment Changes” will take place at the times below. 9-10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Little House of Ojai, 621 Santa Ana Road, Ojai. For information, call 646-5122 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Area Agency on Aging Offices, 646 County Drive, Ventura. For information, call 477-7310 10 a.m. to noon Friday at the Fillmore Senior Center, 533 Santa Clara, Fillmore. For information, call 523-4533. 1-2 p.m. June 18 at the Moorpark Active Adult Center, 799 Moorpark Ave., Moorpark. For information, call 517-6261 June 20: “Medicare Overview and Extra Help Programs.” 1-3 p.m.; Camarillo Health Care District, 3639 E. Las Posas Road, Suite 117, Camarillo. For information, call 388-1952. Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Community Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362, or call 495-6250 or email email@example.com . Please include your telephone number. More …
How to get what you pay for
About the Author: Betty Berry
Betty Berry brings a deep understanding of senior issues to her position as Senior Advocate for Senior Concerns. She has advocated for seniors since 1993. Through the Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program, known as HICAP, she is registered with the State of California as an Insurance Counselor, a Long-Term Care Insurance Counselor and a Community Educator. She has served on the Area Agency on Aging’s Advisory Council as a member and Chair, has been a member of the Financial Abuse Strategic Team (FAST) and currently serves on the Conejo Senior Volunteer Program (CSVP) Advisory Board and authors the Senior Advocate column that appears in the Ventura County Star. Betty completed her undergraduate degree at California Lutheran University and earned her Juris Doctorate degree at Ventura College of Law.