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Date Resource Read it at:
Dec 03, 2013 The Wedding Fix Is In

QUOTE: Wedding vendors seemed to be trying to size me up to figure out how much I’m willing to pay; consumer advocates say this is a common practice, as is charging more for a given service for a wedding than for a “family function” or “corporate event.”...forms of what economists call price discrimination; it sounds unfair, but it’s perfectly legal, and it’s easier to get away with in markets where there’s little price transparency and consumers are relatively uninformed.

New York Times
Dec 02, 2013 Couple fined for negative online review

QUOTE: A Utah couple is facing a $3,500 fine and a damaged credit score for doing what many people do after a bad purchasing experience: posting an online review.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Nov 07, 2013 What is an airline credit really worth?

QUOTE: lately, many airlines have made their credit even more difficult to turn into a usable ticket through a combination of aggressive new policies, fees and restrictions. The net effect could be that your next ticket credit might not be as valuable as you think.

Washington Post
Mar 04, 2013 List Price = Joke Price: 4 Examples of How Original Prices Are Meaningless

QUOTE: ...JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson came clean about how the store’s original prices were fake prices cooked up mainly to make the inevitable markdowns seem more impressive and tempting to shoppers. The strategy is known as “price anchoring,” and it’s standard practice....While the new system sounded great to many consumer advocates, it proved to be a failure with shoppers...

Time Magazine
Feb 26, 2013 Apple settles suit over in-game iTunes purchases by kids

QUOTE: Apple has settled a lawsuit filed by parents who say their kids downloaded free games from the mobile App Store and then proceeded to rack up hefty bills buying in-game extras.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Mar 15, 2012 It's Not All About You: What Privacy Advocates Don't Get About Data Tracking on the Web

QUOTE: The privacy discourse frames the issue in an ego-centric manner, as a bargain between consumers and companies: the company will know x, y and z about me and in exchange I get free email, good recommendations, and a plethora of convenient services. But the bargain that we are making is a collective one, and the costs will be felt at a societal scale. When we think in terms of power, it is clear we are getting a raw deal: we grant private entities -- with no interest in the public good and no public accountability -- greater powers of persuasion than anyone has ever had before and in exchange we get free email.

Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly)
Jun 07, 2011 Companies Offer Free Versions of Identity Theft Services

QUOTE: We here at Bucks typically advocate creating your own free monitoring system....But the idea of a service that is free and automatic piqued our interest.

New York Times
May 25, 2011 PeopleClaim: Taking Complaints Public Via the Web

QUOTE: A site called PeopleClaim aspires to go beyond mere venting, to assist customers in filing a complaint with the service provider in question....PeopleClaim aims to provide an alternative to the legal system for consumers with beefs who may not have the time or money to go even to small claims court...

New York Times
May 20, 2011 Sexual Affronts a Known Hotel Hazard

QUOTE: housekeepers and hotel security experts say that housekeepers have long had to deal with various sexual affronts from male guests, including explicit comments, groping, guests who expose themselves and even attempted rape.

New York Times
Oct 06, 2010 On the Media: Onetime TV consumer watchdogs now ply their trade elsewhere: David Horowitz, Alan Mendelson and Judd McIlvain fight to build even modest audiences nowadays.

QUOTE: where programs dubbed as the "news" fob off paid promotional segments, touting products and services, like legitimate consumer reporting. We're talking about ads that aren't identified as ads. The putative radio and TV watchdogs of yesteryear, meanwhile, have been pushed to the margins. They work for commercial interests or operate in obscure niches, fighting to build even modest audiences.

Los Angeles Times
Jun 18, 2010 Peddling Relief, Industry Puts Debtors in a Deeper Hole

QUOTE: Consumers rarely emerge from debt settlement programs with their credit card balances eliminated, these critics say, and many wind up worse off, with severely damaged credit, ceaseless threats from collection agents and lawsuits from creditors.

New York Times
May 21, 2010 A Guide to Complaints That Get Results ( The Haggler)

QUOTE: THE HAGGLER asked readers to send their favorite techniques and stratagems for prevailing in consumer disputes, and let’s just say you came through. Loud and clear. And in very large numbers, with some rather novel ideas.

New York Times
May 13, 2010 Recording Customer Service Calls to India

QUOTE: Last month, I wrote a Bucks post, “When and Why You Should Record Customer Service Calls,” with resources and guidelines for recording customer service this age of outsourcing, customer service representatives are often in other countries, like India or Ireland or a few other places. Which begs the question: What recording guidelines should one follow if the customer service representative is elsewhere?

New York Times
Mar 24, 2010 Behind Consumer Agency Idea, a Tireless Advocate

QUOTE: Ms. Warren has two roles here: officially, as head of Congressional oversight for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and unofficially, as chief conceiver of and booster for a new consumer financial protection agency. Fusing those projects and her academic work, she has become the most prominent consumer advocate in years.

New York Times
Mar 22, 2010 Your best route to dispute resolution: When things go wrong with a new piece of equipment, you have several options to protect yourself from poor dispute resolution

QUOTE: Gripe Line readers offered several excellent suggestions on what to do if the goods you purchase turn out to be defective and the merchant doesn't want to make it right.

Sep 05, 2009 In Toys and More, Are Chemicals Safe or Harmful? New law tightens use of phthalates, but industry says hazard isn't proven

QUOTE: Over the past few years, researchers have uncovered multiple health hazards, either in animal or human studies, linked to phthalates [chemical that is in many consumer products].

Jul 07, 2009 West Virginia sues Comcast over cable box tying

QUOTE: most service providers push their customers into renting the [cable] box from them, which ensures an additional revenue stream that easily surpasses the volume pricing they pay for it.... But efforts to divorce the service from its receiver may have gotten a big boost last week when the state of West Virginia filed a similar suit, alleging it's an illegal tying of services.

Ars Technica
Jan 28, 2009 On becoming the squeakiest wheel: Are companies serving only themselves when they use social media to help consumers?

QUOTE: companies have a vested interest in offering tech support in a social media setting because people who use social media are essentially bad word-of-mouth publicity on steroids. In short, he (she?) says, it serves the companies' best interest to help these people in order to quiet them.

Sep 18, 2008 Just Tell the Truth, Apple

QUOTE: Tech consumers can be very forgiving—if companies are honest about their failings.

PC Magazine
Mar 25, 2008 Trust, But Verify: Retail salespeople are often well informed, but there are enough predatory types out there to warrant researching purchases beforehand.

QUOTE: [buying cell phones is a] particular concern since they come with required two-year contracts and cancellation penalties. Granted, there's usually a 30-day return policy (20 in the case of T-Mobile). But once that period expires, you're stuck—and there's certainly reason to be worried.

Smart Device Central
Feb 08, 2008 More Games Rebate Baiters Play

QUOTE: how many people would remember or notice that the check was not for the right amount?....send a rebate card rather than a check....misfile the claim....rebate forms are printed on ultra glossy stock which cannot be written on with ball point or fountain pens...

Sep 01, 2007 Safety Agency Faces Scrutiny Amid Changes

QUOTE: Under the Bush administration, which promised to ease what it viewed as costly rules that placed unnecessary burdens on businesses, industry-friendly officials have been installed at agencies that oversee the nation’s workplaces, food suppliers, environment and consumer goods.

New York Times
Jul 23, 2007 SunRocket Leaves Void for Callers on Internet

QUOTE: [SunRocket's] collapse raises questions about what responsibility such companies have to their customers— and about how they should be regulated, given how essential many people consider phone service to be.

New York Times
May 04, 2007 Builders, Contractors Hammer Consumer Sites: Lawsuits Seek to Muzzle Critics

QUOTE: Before the Internet came along, consumers had little practical recourse against homebuilders and contractors unless they were willing to wage an expensive and time-consuming legal battle. Consumer complaint sites have changed all that but builders aren't taking the criticism without fighting back.
Apr 18, 2007 Travel Troubleshooter: A $50 upgrade fee?

QUOTE: I've seen other hotels do this kind of thing in the past with Priceline -- offering a cheap room and then charging an excessive fee for a bigger room or an extra guest.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Mar 06, 2007 Best Buy Officials Concede Dual-Site System Caused by 'Human Error,' 'Employee Confusion'

QUOTE: This issue has come to haunt the $31 billion retail chain—which owns about 941 stores in the United States and Canada—after the Connecticut Attorney General's Office launched an investigation into the chain, trying to establish whether employees had deliberately conned customers with the almost-duplicate site.

Feb 20, 2007 The Consumer Safety Agency, Stalled by Room at the Top

QUOTE: Consumer advocates said letting the CPSC's authority lapse is just the latest chapter in the years-long weakening of the agency. It has dealt with meager budget increases and staff cuts. There is no money, they say, to update product-testing or pursue emerging safety issues...

Washington Post
Feb 01, 2007 The Real Rip-Off Report: Ed Magedson calls himself an advocate. His enemies call him an extortionist

QUOTE: Before the rise of the Web, the powerful could write off gadflies such as Ed Magedson. But the Internet provides a bully pulpit that Magedson has harnessed with startling success — and woe to the business owner who tries to ignore him. The Rip-Off Report has become a boon to the disgruntled, who've posted complaints taking on everything from poor business practices to deadbeat dads, ofen without a shred of proof. For Ed Magedson, it's been an even bigger gift. It's made him powerful, and it's made him money — although certainly not a dot-com millionaire. Magedson won't remove posts. He's not interested in evidence that would offer vindication.

Phoenix New Times
Jan 03, 2007 Amazon's Secret Price Guarantee: The online retailer's Zen customer benefit.

QUOTE: Amazon's 30-day price guarantee is a sort of Zen customer benefit. If a retailer offers a price guarantee but doesn't tell customers about it, does the price guarantee exist? Only for the few who hear about it somewhere else.

Nov 14, 2006 Tips on smart shopping for holiday jewelry

QUOTE: Whether you're buying five golden rings or that classic strand of pearls, purchasing a nice piece of jewelry for the holidays isn't that difficult. But getting a good deal takes a little know-how.
Oct 31, 2006 Comparison Shop With Your Phone

QUOTE: thanks to new services from a company called Frucall, even the basic mobile models are good for something. All you need is a dialing finger to compare prices — and even buy — directly from your cellphone. Best of all, it's entirely free.

Smart Money
Oct 01, 2006 Unwarranted: In Most Cases, Extended Product Service Plans Don't Benefit Consumers

QUOTE: the cashier asks if you'd like to put another two years on the manufacturer's warranty....While consumer groups and common sense would urge you to resoundingly reject the offer, an entire industry has been built on the likelihood that you will act on impulse and say, "Yes."

Washington Post
Sep 05, 2006 The Best Time to Buy Everything

QUOTE: bargain lovers know that there's a smart time to buy just about anything. For example, those looking for a great deal on a car should shop on weekday mornings in September. Groceries are cheapest on Sunday evenings. We talked to the experts, and found the best time to buy everything from wine to wedding dresses.

Smart Money
Jul 23, 2006 Tipster Set Fund Scandal Snowballing

QUOTE: They would move millions of dollars into a particular mutual fund whenever they thought its prices were "stale" -- lagging behind the actual value of the underlying assets -- and then sell their shares as soon as the fund price caught up...the sudden inflows and outflows increased costs and cut into profits for long-term investors.

Washington Post
Jun 28, 2006 Girls Gone Wild Still Going Wild

QUOTE: Even after a FTC scolding and several class action lawsuits, Mantra Films, the makers of "Girls Gone Wild," are still making it difficult for consumers to cancel their subscriptions...
Apr 12, 2006 Top 10 mistakes of DIYers

QUOTE: DIYers make mistakes. Lots of them. The good news is that you can learn a lot from mistakes.
Jan 17, 2006 Certified and Restricted

QUOTE: If you're going go to the trouble of writing a company's big cheese, make sure you send the letter certified and restricted.

Dec 13, 2005 How to shop for jewelry

QUOTE: Whether you're buying five golden rings or that classic strand of pearls, purchasing a nice piece of jewelry for the holidays isn't that difficult. But getting a good deal takes a little know-how.
Nov 23, 2005 Bankrate survey: Holiday gift card fees and rules

QUOTE: ...look closely at the strings attached to gift cards. The buyer can be hit with purchase fees, activation fees and shipping fees, while the user can be whacked again with inactivity fees or redemption fees. Be careful or your $50 dollar gift card may not be worth $50 for very long.
Oct 17, 2005 Returning a Defective KVM

QUOTE: What is a fair return policy for a web retailer? That's the question raised by a recent reader's experience with a website that wouldn't budge off the policy detailed in its fine print.

Sep 28, 2005 Do you have surge protection?

QUOTE: Our homes now overflow with expensive electronic gadgets and gizmos, all of which can benefit from surge protection....All surge protectors and uninterruptible power supplies, or UPS, are not created equal.
Aug 31, 2005 Ex-Critic: Hey! 'Rude' Diners Are Your Meal Ticket

QUOTE: ...while your restaurant might be a professional setting for you, it is not for the diner -- who has come specifically to relax. And what is the diner's obligation? To pay the bill. That's the weight the diner must carry.

Washington Post
Aug 24, 2005 Can't Cancel a Service? AOL Settlement May Show Why

QUOTE: For exasperated customers who have tried to cancel some service or other to no avail, an explanation may be at hand. A settlement reached today with America Online established that some sales representatives receive bonuses to keep consumers from leaving.

New York Times
Aug 21, 2005 If the Calls Persist, Fight Back: But Most Telemarketing Firms Follow the Do Not Call Registry

QUOTE: Telemarketers' compliance with the rules has been good... registry has received nearly 1 million complaints, a fraction of the number of registrations. And, so far, the FTC has brought just nine violation cases and four fraud cases related to the registry...

Washington Post
May 04, 2005 Finding the best attorney for you

QUOTE: Often when you need an attorney, you need one right away. But it's tough to find an attorney in a particular field for the right price at a moment's notice.
Apr 25, 2005 Scam artists target members of the military

QUOTE: In many military communities, scam artists target active-duty military members and veterans with an eye-popping variety of rip-offs including payday loans, car title cons and repair scams.
Mar 18, 2005 An Evergreen Brink's Heist

QUOTE: "Thereafter, this agreement will automatically continue for successive one year renewal terms unless you or Brinks give written notice of cancellation to the other at least 60 days before the initial or renewal term ends." Since Mrs. House was just a few months into her ninth year of service when she cancelled, Brink's was therefore claiming she owed them for another nine months of service.

Mar 15, 2005 Unforgotten Thinkpad Password Costs $725

QUOTE: is not my fault they sent me a part to put in and did not tell me to disable system passwords. And they now have replaced a motherboard without my consent...

Mar 08, 2005 To Contact the CEO, Do Some Detective Work

QUOTE: Corporations rarely provide their address in the customer service maze...if this online find-the-corporate-address game gets old, there are more direct approaches.

Washington Post
Mar 06, 2005 The Hole in the Loop

QUOTE: The unspoken deal was that businesses would save money by using recordings and spend some of it on training the people they are supposed to have available. Few have lived up to the deal.

Washington Post

107 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 50]   [End]