The column for anyone fed up with bureaucracy, frustrated with delays or furious with poor service. Tell us your complaint and we'll try to fix it ...
PCCW customer Henry Lee Hin-kwong thought he had cancelled his phone line by September to switch to another phone company but was shocked to receive a demand note last month from PCCW for monthly fees up to December. The phone giant has apologised for what it called a misunderstanding after a Take Action inquiry and has cancelled the line.
'I called to cancel my landline on August 16,' he said. 'A week or two later, a sales representative from PCCW called to try to convince me to reconsider. I said no. I later found out the rep had actually cancelled my cancellation order.'
PCCW said the misunderstanding stemmed from Mr Lee's agreement to let another phone company handle the phone number transfer and that PCCW was never contacted by the other company for that purpose.
'Our standard practice is to confirm the validity of a cancellation order. Our staff will call the customer to verify the order details. Mr Lee informed us that he wanted to keep the number and change operators.
'If a customer wants to take his number to another operator, the other phone company will take care of the details with us.
'However, if the customer were to disconnect before the transfer took place, the operator would not be able to use the same telephone number for that customer. Mr Lee chose to keep his telephone number but we had not received a request from the other company.
'We apologise if there was any misunderstanding.'
Reader G. Chan wrote to complain that smoke from the landmark Tin Hau Temple in Causeway Bay was constantly flowing into his flat. He said complaints to the Environmental Protection Department about the problem in Tin Hau Temple Road had been useless.
'Inspectors have come to our apartment twice to look at the air pollution [coming from the temple] without any equipment to test the safety of the air.
'Although the inspector agreed that smoke was coming in from people burning [incense] at the temple, the officer felt the condition was not that serious and said the people in the temple were not violating the law.
'The department could not do anything to change the rule to stop the smoke and all it did was advise people in the temple to reduce the smoke.
'We feel our health could be seriously affected by this harmful smoke. It is like smoking, the detrimental effect of which cannot be seen in one day. I think we need new laws to improve the situation as smoking is forbidden in many public areas now.'
In response to a Take Action inquiry, the department said it had advised the temple to reduce smoke and the temple had agreed to introduce a smoke-reducing device.
A department spokeswoman said: 'In response to the complaint against the smoke from Tin Hau Temple, we visited the complainant's premises on December 2 and 10. During our inspection, neither smoke nor odour from burning of incense paper was detected.
'We therefore advised the complainant that no further legal action could be taken. Although air pollution was not detected during our inspections, we have advised the person in charge of the temple to take precautionary measures to avoid the emission of excessive smoke. A smoke-reducing device will be installed in the temple.'
Iain Dacre of Lantau wonders why New World First Ferry has suddenly banned him from carrying his foldable bicycle on its fast ferries after more than a year of unhindered passage.
'About a year ago, I requested details about bikes on fast ferries [as opposed to the slow ones]. I was told quite clearly by several people from the company that if it was a folding bike in a bag, there would be no problem,' he wrote.
'I am a bike fanatic and have many bikes but no good small-wheel folding bikes so I purchased one from the US, which cost me about $15,000. For over a year I caught the ferry every day without a problem. I have been very careful with it, keeping it out of the way on the ferry and being usually the last to get on and off.
'But recently, when arriving at the Central pier as usual, I was approached by a member of staff who said there had been a change in the rules and that I was not allowed to carry the bike on board. When I asked why, I was told a man in Mui Wo had complained about the so-called special treatment given to the gweilo while he was not allowed to carry his large trolley onto the ferry.
'There was no special treatment given to me. I was just obeying the rules by putting my 'cargo' in a bag which he did not have.'
The ferry company says it has always been its policy to allow only baby strollers and hand luggage on fast ferries. Passengers with other heavy objects are advised to use the company's slow ferries.