Ask Finney: California redemption value, unpaid dentist bill, broken furnaces

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7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:

Sheryl from Petaluma asks: How can I recoup the costs from the deposit fees of cans and bottles?

Answer 1:

Take responsibility for the containers, and you get cash.
Dump the containers in a trash can and wheel it out to the curb, someone else gets the money.
You can find the closest recycling center by logging onto Cal Recycle's website.
By the way, The California Redemption Value, known as CRV's are either a nickel for smaller containers, and a dime for larger.
Not all bottles and cans are included just those labeled.

Question 2:

Robert from Crockett asked: What can I do about a dentist billing me for services rendered six years ago?

I have paid every bill as soon as I received them.

Answer 2:

If the bills weren't paid, they can send them out, but under most circumstances, they can't take you to court to collect.
So, here's what I want you to do.
Call the office and say they are wrong and will need proof of non-payment.
After that, you can show them your paperwork or you can just say 'no', though they could put something on your credit report, but that would not be there long because the clock starts running when the billing is made, and ends 7 years later.

Question 3:

Cynthia from Redwood City asks: We live in an apartment.

Our furnace is not working, but our landlord said the repair person won't be back for a week.
Is one week without a furnace legal?

Answer 3:

Your landlord is supposed to keep your place safe to live in.
That includes having heat in your home.
If they weren't fixing the furnace at all, you could potentially withhold rent, fix the repair yourself and deduct the cost from your rent with advanced notice, or even sue them.
But that is a huge hassle, and if you don't do it right, you'll get kicked out.
If you want to look at your legal rights, consult an attorney or check out the books at Nolo Press.
Related Topics:
shoppingdentisthome repairsbills7 On Your Sideconsumer concernsSan Francisco
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