Why Is Verizon Misleading Consumers With The Charts In These FiOS Ads?

Why Is Verizon Misleading Consumers With The Charts In These FiOS Ads?

If you live near one of the few areas in the country in which Verizon actually operates its FiOS network, you might have seen one of the ads where a Verizon FiOS shill asks “America” to look at a charts claiming to show customer satisfaction results for the nation’s largest Internet and pay-TV providers. Looking at those chart, it appears that Verizon is blowing the competition smithereens. The reality is not as dramatic, graphically speaking. [More]

5 Reasons Why People Still Buy Stuff From Companies They Hate

Knight725

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]

This Weekend, You Can Once Again Unlock Your Own Cellphone Without Committing A Crime

This Weekend, You Can Once Again Unlock Your Own Cellphone Without Committing A Crime

A week after the full Congress agreed to pass legislation making it once again legal to unlock a cellphone you own without the permission of your current wireless carrier, President Obama is signing it into law. [More]

One example of a skimming device that's been ripped from an ATM. Diebold thinks that changing the orientation of a machine's card reader will help stop skimming. (photo: Aaron Poffenberger)

Can ATM Operators Beat Skimmers By Simply Rotating Card Readers 90 Degrees?

For decades, we’ve been sliding our credit and debit cards into ATMs with the shorter side of the card entering the reader. All this while, ID thieves have been improving their card-skimming devices to fit this well-established mold. The skimmers have gotten smaller, sleeker, and smarter, to the point where even a trained eye might be fooled. So what’s the best way to upend all those years of hard work by the bad guys? According to ATM biggie Diebold, it’s just as simple as turning the reader 90 degrees. [More]

Find Out If Your State Has A Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday This Month

(Don)

Earlier today, the calendar flipped from July to August, and kids everywhere groaned with the realization that they will soon have to be going back to school. But the even louder grousing you’re hearing this morning is from parents envisioning their bank accounts being drained by purchases of backpacks, clothes, pencils (do kids even use those anymore?), and those individual packs of tissues that will never be used but you buy anyway. What some of these parents don’t know is that a number of states have sales tax holidays in August — many of them starting today — to ease the burden of back-to-school spending. [More]

United Fliers, Prepare To Be Bored By This Punishingly Long “Humorous” Safety Video

United Fliers, Prepare To Be Bored By This Punishingly Long “Humorous” Safety Video

Even people who haven’t flown are pretty familiar with the basics of the safety spiel the cabin crew gives before takeoff — no smoking, buckle your seatbelt and keep it buckled, know where the exits are, don’t freak the f*#$ out when the oxygen bag thing drops, and if we crash into the water and manage to survive, you can float in the freezing water on your seat cushion. The more concise an airline can make these statements, the better. But United Airlines thinks that the best way to make you give a hoot about airline safety is to make you watch a 4.5-minute video that tries to tickle your funny bone. [More]

(Christopher.V)

French Company Iliad Wants To Enter U.S. Market With $15B Offer For T-Mobile

Three years after T-Mobile USA’s parent company Deutsch Telekom failed to make a lasting match between its magenta-hued wireless provider and AT&T, it’s now receiving requests for T-Mobile’s hand from suitors closer to home, as French communications company Iliad has offered up a meager $15 billion for the company. [More]

Comcast Makes Money Off Everest University Ads, Even As Schools Are Being Sold Or Closed

Comcast Makes Money Off Everest University Ads, Even As Schools Are Being Sold Or Closed

Earlier this summer, facing lawsuits and investigations from multiple state and federal agencies, Corinthian Colleges Inc. struck a deal with the U.S. Dept. of Education to either sell off or wind-down most its schools, including Everest University, WyoTech, and Heald College. Yet Corinthian continues to plague the airways with ads, enticing potential students into enrolling in schools that may not exist in a few months. And guess who is making money off the ads? The folks at Comcast. [More]

(So Cal Metro)

Rental Car Companies Asked GM To Look Into Ignition-Related Crashes Years Before Recall

It’s becoming harder and harder for GM execs to claim that the company was largely unaware of the problems with the Chevy Cobalt and other vehicles with an ignition problem that has resulted in at least 13 deaths, dozens of accidents and the long-delayed recall of millions of cars. A new report shows that car rental companies have been telling GM to look into the issue since at least 2005. [More]

Only 1 Out 12 Small Cars Gets “Good” Rating In New Crash Test Results

Only 1 Out 12 Small Cars Gets “Good” Rating In New Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the place that crashes cars into walls for science) recently ran a dozen popular small cars, including the Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max Hybrid, Mini Cooper Countryman, and the Mazda 5, through its “small overlap” front crash test, where only the front corner of the vehicle is involved in a collision. While several of the tiny cars had okay results, only one earned an overall “good” rating from the IIHS. [More]

(mytoenailcameoff)

If You’re Unhappy About Comcast Charge, Don’t Pull Gun On Service Tech

While we disagree with some who think that Comcast is an admirable company, we certainly don’t advocate using a gun to resolve your disputes with the cable company. Apparently our talk-it-out ways are not shared by a New Mexico woman who is accused of pulling a gun on a Comcast tech following a dispute over unexpected charges for a service call. [More]

Bank Of America Finally Ordered To Pay $1.27B For Countrywide’s “Hustle”

Bank Of America Finally Ordered To Pay $1.27B For Countrywide’s “Hustle”

It’s been about nine months since a federal jury found Bank of America liable for the “Hustle,” a pre-bubble Countrywide Financial program that removed safeguards to the mortgage underwriting process, resulting in a mountain of toxic, worthless loans. Yesterday, the judge in the case finally decided how much BofA — and the former Countrywide exec in charge of the program — should pay. [More]

(northernplateguy)

Verizon’s Plan To Throttle Heavy LTE Users Is “Deeply Troubling” To FCC’s Wheeler

Last week, Verizon announced that it was extending its “Network Optimization” policy, which throttles speeds for the top 5% of data users, to include LTE data for the first time. This move didn’t sit well with the few remaining Verizon customers with “unlimited” data plans, nor did it thrill FCC Chair Tom Wheeler (who is apparently in a letter-writing mood this week). [More]

FCC Chair Asks Time Warner Cable Why It Treats Dodgers Fans So Badly

FCC Chair Asks Time Warner Cable Why It Treats Dodgers Fans So Badly

As we’ve discussed in an earlier post, some 70% of people in L.A. are currently unable to watch the L.A. Dodgers because SportsNet L.A., a station jointly owned by the first-place team and the bottom-of-the-barrel cable company, won’t let other pay-TV carriers air the channel without paying a premium. While the FCC has generally stayed out of such messes, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has let TWC know that he’s not exactly happy with the current situation in Los Angeles. [More]

(Hammerin Man)

Wells Fargo Customer Learns $6,700 Lesson: Stop-Payments Don’t Guarantee A Payment Will Be Stopped

We’ve told you before about the idiotic loophole in some banks’ stop-payment policies that can allow a supposedly blocked check from being cashed after six months, but here’s a story about a Wells Fargo customer who got written confirmation from Wells Fargo that it had stopped payment on a check that had already been processed. [More]

Presenting The 9 Most Calorie-Filled Chain Restaurant Meals Of 2014!

(Bill Binns)

To some, the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s annual Xtreme Eating awards are a reminder of how some restaurant meals can pack thousands of calories, oodles of saturated fat, and piles of sodium on a single plate. To others, the awards make up a to-try list of over-the-top menu offerings. Both will find plenty of sugary, fatty, salty treats to study with scorn, concern, curiosity, lust, or awe. [More]

(Paxton Holley)

NLRB Rules That McDonald’s And Franchisees Are Joint Employers

In a decision that could impact not just the fast food business, but all chain retailers that use the franchisee model, the National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel announced today that McDonald’s can possibly be held responsible for franchisees’ bad labor practices. [More]

Ronald McDonald Won’t Sell Burgers At Your Kids’ School, But He’ll Talk About Bike Safety

(stephanie santos)

Is it possible to separate a world-famous brand mascot from the products that mascot has spent decades shilling for? Can you look at Joe Camel and not associate him with Camel cigarettes, or stare deep into the terrifying unblinking eyes of second-tier human-baseball Mr. Met and not immediately think of the NY Mets? McDonald’s apparently thinks so, telling consumer advocates that Ronald McDonald isn’t pushing Big Macs and McNuggets on kids when he visits schools to talk about bike safety and other non-greasy topics. [More]