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COMPANY HAS SENT CUSTOMER A REFUND FOR RETURNED MERCHANDISE

Dear Do-It Man: I ordered a two-month supply of a product called Prostata from a company headquartered in Toronto, Canada called Gero Vita International. I paid $69.95 plus $4 postage and handling. The product has a 30-day money back guarantee.

Before I received the product, which is advertised as a nutritional supplement for prostate health, I had a physical exam by a physician that indicated I didn't have a prostate problem. Rather, I have a problem with diabetes.I mailed the two unopened bottles back to the company's distribution center in Las Vegas, which had shipped the order to me, along with my copy of the invoice.

I received the merchandise May 10 and mailed it back May 15. I hadn't received a refund so I wrote the head office in Toronto. I haven't had even the courtesy of a reply, let alone the $69.95 refund.

It seems the company's 30-day refund policy is a fraud.

- J.H., Salt Lake City

Dear J.H.: Last week we phoned the company's toll-free number and spoke to a supervisor in the company's order department in suburban Washington, D.C. He said he would call the company's distribution center in Las Vegas and then call you. Apparently he followed through. By the time we phoned you yesterday to see what had happened, you had received a check for $69.95.

For your information, the Better Business Bureau in Toronto has received complaints about the company alleging that consumers didn't receive products they ordered. The complaints were not resolved.

The person we spoke to at the Toronto BBB said it has letters in its files from BBBs in various U.S. cities requesting information about Gero Vita because those BBBs had received inquiries about the company.

The Las Vegas BBB received one complaint against the company in 1994, and five in 1995. They allege delivery or refund problems. The company resolved all of them.

The only way to get in touch with the company by phone, as far as we know, is to call its toll-free number for the order department in suburban Washington, D.C. It doesn't have a Toronto phone listing under the name Gero Vita International. Nor does it have a Las Vegas phone listing under that name. The long-distance information operator we spoke to when we tried to get a phone listing for Gero Vita in Las Vegas was familiar with the name. She said she gets requests every day for that number.