RETAIL TRADE: The TV Sharpers

For months, a flood of complaints about misleading radio-TV commercials poured into the offices of the New York Better Business Bureau and Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney Edward S. Silver. To nail the offenders, Silver had policemen and policewomen pose as residents of apartments that were wired with tape recorders. The couples would answer the commercials, record the salesman's spiel when he called on them.

Last week Silver charged that at least 15 sellers of vacuum cleaners, food freezers, storm windows, "have gypped . . . our public out of millions." For example, the decoy couples called a station about...

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