DEAR SUN SPOTS: I want to thank you for the service you provide. It was the information you printed that led me in the right direction to get my money back for a gift certificate I had from Cloud 9 Day Spa. I had great success with little difficulty and I owe it all to Sun Spots. Thank you from me and from everyone else you have helped. Keep up the good work.

— No Name, Greene

ANSWER: You made my day! Thanks for taking a moment to write about the outcome of the issue you had (Sun Spots, Dec. 21). Here is my response, which may be useful to all consumers:

“I suggest you contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Mediation Service. This is a free service to Maine consumers who have a problem with a business. I spoke with Martha Currier, the complaint examiner who oversees the Consumer Mediation Program. She can help you file a complaint and answer your questions. Write to her and her staff at: Attorney General’s Consumer Information and Mediation Service, 6 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

You can also email [email protected] Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. You can also call the Consumer Information and Mediation Service from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday at 207-626-8849 or toll-free at 1-800-436-2131. More information can be found at

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In response to the letter in your March 1 column about tipping your hairdresser, I just want to say that as a legally registered hairdresser who works from her home in Lewiston, I chuckled over the fact that the writer is getting her hair service for half of what she pays at the mall where she claims she left a 20 percent tip, but questioned whether she should leave a tip for her hairdresser now.

Many hairdressers who work from their home pay for utilities, products, accounting fees, owner and operator licenses from the state, sales tax, and property tax. Just because we work from home doesn’t mean we don’t have expenses.

We accommodate clients who cancel at the last minute, arrive late, and sometimes expect more for their dollar.

Hairdressers don’t only do hair. We listen to our clients talk about their problems and try to comfort them, boost their morale, and above all, make them look better and be there as a friend.

Tipping is up to the individual, but is considered to be a sign of gratitude and appreciation. Thank you for addressing this issue. All my customers and I enjoy your column!

– Cindy, Lewiston

ANSWER: I so appreciate your response to my request for comments from home hairdressers. You really laid it on the line and I’m grateful for your forthrightness.  For those who have abundance, as well as for those who are on a strict budget, remember that the people who serve you are trying to make it in this world, too.

This response from Cindy is what Sun Spots is all about. I welcome readers’ comments as well as your questions. 

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]

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