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Russians dial color TV, then the repairman

Russians who buy color televisions usually have to call in the repairman as soon as they get the new set home to their apartments, a Moscow newspaper said Wednesday.

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After investigating the cause of the high breakdown rate of Soviet-made sets, the daily Sovietskaya Rossiya (Soviet Russia) reported that efforts were under way to improve reliability. It quoted one factory manager as saying purchasers had to expect some trouble, as TV sets were complicated devices and it took a while for all their parts to settle down.

The investigation was prompted by a complaint from President Yuri Andropov last year that Soviet retailers had had to send back 500,000 sets bought at one industrial fair because they did not work. The newspaper said that in some cases government officials simply refused to answer its questions as to why the sets were made so badly.

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