Being Declared Dead By The Social Security Administration Is Very Inconvenient

Being Declared Dead By The Social Security Administration Is Very Inconvenient

Being dead is very inconvenient, but having the government believe that you’re dead when you aren’t is even more inconvenient. Yet the Social Security Administration accidentally declares about 9,000 people living in the United States dead every year. Yet when this happens to someone, they struggle to find help and to get anyone to believe them so they can be brought back to life financially. [More]


How The New McDonald’s CEO Could Improve Restaurants Worldwide

For years now, we’ve referred to Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed as “curiously Australian,” since it’s unexpected and exotic for a Tex-Mex fast-food joint to be run by someone from the other side of the planet. Now another fast-food company has a chief executive from elsewhere in the Anglophone world: the incoming CEO of McDonald’s, Steve Easterbrook, is British. [More]

5 Reasons Why People Still Buy Stuff From Companies They Hate


In an ideal world, there would be ample, healthy competition in every industry and consumers everywhere would have access to these numerous options. Additionally, every company would behave ethically and efficiently, respecting consumers and the law. But from what I’ve been told from people familiar with the situation, our world is slightly imperfect and sometimes we end up doing business with companies we’d rather avoid. [More]

How Long Should I Hold On To My Old Bills & Other Documents?

How Long Should I Hold On To My Old Bills & Other Documents?

Thank goodness for electronic billing, bill-pay and account access. The digital world can help you save time, be more organized and cut down significantly on paper… Significantly — but not completely. [More]

Former AOL E-mail Users Report Spam Spewing From Zombie Accounts

Former AOL E-mail Users Report Spam Spewing From Zombie Accounts

Did you sneer at the mysterious AOL breach that has compromised some customers’ information because you don’t use AOL e-mail anymore? Yeah, about that. Some former AOL users have reported that messages went out under their former IDs. Are spammers forging messages from defunct addresses, or have these AOL accounts gone zombie? [More]

Don’t Like 24/7 Billy Joel? SiriusXM Can Just Suspend Your Service

Don’t Like 24/7 Billy Joel? SiriusXM Can Just Suspend Your Service

Late last month, SiriusXM took ’40s on 4, its earliest decade-themed station, off the air and replaced it with a three-month temporary station that plays only the music of Billy Joel. Earlier this week, we shared a reader’s tip to complain and get a three-month refund for the inconvenience. Well, SiriusXM is on to us. [More]

(design boner)

“The Internet Of Things” Means Your Smart Refrigerator Could Launch Cyber Attacks

If you’re unfamiliar with The Internet Of Things, take a look at your phone. It can get on the Internet, right? So can your TV, maybe. Or that fancy new smart refrigerator, it’s a thing, and it can access the Internet. And because the everyday devices we use are so “smart” now, that means they could be turned against you. [More]

Safe Deposit Key Refund Zombifies Bank Of America Account

Safe Deposit Key Refund Zombifies Bank Of America Account

It’s the end of the day, so let’s all gather around the soft glow of our monitors and tell spooky stories. I’ll start. Not that long ago, an ordinary consumer had a terrifying experience. He laid his Bank of America account to rest last August, never imagining that it would rise from the dead to eat his brains wallet. [More]

(Mike Rollerson)

How A 1¢ Interest Payment Zombified My Bank Of America Account

A few days ago, we shared the hilarious and pitiful one-cent check that a reader received after closing out his Bank of America money-market account and taking the funds elsewhere. This was a silly and annoying waste of paper and postage, but better than the alternative…having the account go zombie and run up a negative balance when it should have been long since dead. [More]


Report: Thai Fishing Industry Is Using Slave Labor To Catch The Fish Imported By The U.S.

A new report from a British activist group is placing Thailand’s fishing industry in some pretty hot water, with allegations that 15 Burmese workers of a Thai crew were basically slaves. The group is now urging the United States, which is the No. 1 importer of Thai fish products, to hold Thailand accountable for the reported abuses the workers suffered at the hands of the fishing crew. [More]

(Mike Rollerson)

Zombie Amazon Returns More Common Than You Might Think

Earlier this week, we asked whether our readers had any experience with zombie refunds: items that you sent back to a retailer, only to have your refund later reversed for no clear reason. We heard from a surprising number of people whose transactions have risen from the archives and devoured their bank accounts. [More]


Zombie Amazon Return Rises From Dead, Gets Charged To Credit Card

We’ve discussed zombie debt, zombie bills, and zombie accounts, and even zombie retail on this site before, but we had never heard of zombie returned merchandise…until now. Reader Michael reports that he returned something to Amazon in March 2013, received a refund, and that was the end of the story. Until it wasn’t the end of the story. [More]

Time for olive branches.

EA Unveils List Of 8 Free Games It’s Offering To Disgruntled SimCity Customers

UPDATE: Electronic Arts has announced that CEO John Riccitiello is stepping down. His last day on the job will be March 30. Maybe he didn’t want to have to accept another Golden Poo? [More]


Debt Collectors Keep Calling About Bogus Debt, Even After Being Threatened With Suit

From calling at all hours of the day and night to contacting you at work, we’ve told you before about the large number of banned practices for debt collectors. But one man says he’s the victim of a tenacious debt collector trying to collect a debt he doesn’t even owe. [More]

(Digiart2001 | jason.kuffer)

Why Does Chase Keep E-Mailing Me About My Closed Non-Zombie Account?

Elizabeth wishes that Chase would stop sending her emails. They’re not spam, exactly: she used to be a customer. But she’s getting e-mails as if she still had accounts there, and she closed hers more than a year ago. She was afraid that it has gone zombie: that is, that it’s been mysteriously re-opened without her permission to make unwanted payments and devour her credit score. [More]


Suntrust Checking Account Wasn’t Really Closed, Goes Zombie

Stephen had an account at Suntrust, and decided to leave that bank behind and start a shiny new credit union account with his wife. He left the Suntrust account open instead of withdrawing all of his money and transferring it to the new account, spending it until it was empty, then going in to close it. This plan would have worked beautifully if Suntrust had actually closed the account when he asked them to. [More]

Chase Customers: Did The Bank Ever Re-Open Your Closed Account?

Chase Customers: Did The Bank Ever Re-Open Your Closed Account?

Over the lifetime of Consumerist, we’ve written a number of stories about so-called zombie bank accounts, where a consumer finds out their closed account has been re-opened without their knowledge or approval, usually after some third party attempts to make a direct deposit or debit on the dead account. If you were a Chase bank customer and your account was resurrected from the grave, we’d like to hear from you. [More]