Dear Abby: No receipt unless you tip me, vendor tells customer

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DEAR ABBY: My husband recently broke his eyeglasses. Because they couldn’t be repaired locally, he sent them by mail to a company that had been referred to him. They fixed his glasses and returned them to him.

A short time later he received an email from the company “salesperson” requesting a tip! (“If you are happy with me as your salesperson and would like to give me a tip, please click on the link below.”) My husband replied, “Can you please send me a receipt? I need it for my records.” She replied, “How much will you tip me?” He said, “Is the only way I can get a receipt for my repairs if I tip you?” She replied, “Yes, can you give me $5?”

I have never heard of an online company soliciting tips before, let alone refusing to send a receipt unless one is given. How would you respond to this? Getting a receipt is not the important thing here; it’s the solicitation that dumbfounds me! — DUMBFOUNDED IN TINLEY PARK, ILL.

DEAR DUMBFOUNDED: Every time I think I have heard everything, a letter like yours crosses my desk.

The word for what that salesperson is attempting is extortion. Your husband should contact the owner of the company that repaired his glasses, tell the person the name of the employee who is trying to extort money and the date it happened, and request the receipt. If it doesn’t arrive posthaste, the company should be reported to the Better Business Bureau.

P.S. Who referred you to that company? That person should also be informed about what has been going on.

DEAR ABBY: Ever since my son was a baby (he’s almost 6 now), my husband and I have printed photograph invitations for his birthday parties. We sent the invitations to everyone, including those who lived too far away to attend, so people could have a current picture of him.

After reading many of your archives, I realize this may be perceived as a bid for gifts, and I no longer wish to do it. I would still like to send out a picture card of some sort. Any ideas on how to do it without making anyone think we want gifts? — DON’T WANT TO MAKE WAVES

DEAR DON’T: A way to do that would be to send them during the holidays when your friends and relatives are sending out cards to friends and acquaintances.

DEAR ABBY: I work the newspaper crossword puzzle every day. I came across an answer recently that stumped me. It was an “abbreviation for bowling lane.” The answer was AMF.

I’m asking you what it stands for because I cannot get a straight answer. What is so secretive about this logo? Please help. — STUMPED IN TEXAS

DEAR STUMPED: The clue may have been misleading. AMF is a BRAND. It stands for American Machine and Foundry, which many years ago was one of the nation’s largest recreational equipment companies.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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