Consumer Advocates Warn Sale Of Corinthian Campuses To Loan Servicer Company Could Further Hurt Students

Consumer Advocates Warn Sale Of Corinthian Campuses To Loan Servicer Company Could Further Hurt Students

Nearly a month ago embattled for profit-college group Corinthian Colleges Inc. announced it had found a buyer for 56 of its campuses under the Everest and WyoTech brands. But the proposed $24 million sale to Educational Credit Management Corporation has drawn the ire of consumer advocates for its lack of protections to students and the possibility that all liabilities related to litigation or private student loans carried by CCI would be waived. [More]

(Colin)

Petition Demands Big Banks Give Consumers Back Our Right To Sue

Since 2011, when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that it was perfectly okay for companies to take away a consumer’s right to sue — and their ability to join other wronged consumers in a class action — by inserting a paragraph or two of text deep in lengthy, unchangeable contracts, the rush has been on for almost every major retailer, wireless provider, cable company, and financial institution to slap these mandatory binding arbitration clauses into their customer agreements. Now one petition is gathering signatures, calling on the nation’s largest banks to put an end to the practice. [More]

(Hammerin Man)

Service Members Deserve More Transparency From On-Base Banks, Credit Unions

The Military Lending Act attempts to shield military personnel and their families from some predatory lending practices, but a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts claims that some traditional banks on military bases are nickel-and-diming members of the armed forces with excess overdraft fees, and a general lack of transparency.

[More]

(Mike Mozart)

AT&T Sued By Feds For Throttling “Unlimited” Wireless Customers

A few years back, AT&T ticked off a lot of wireless customers with so-called “unlimited” plans by announcing that it would throttle data speeds for users who passed certain monthly thresholds. Though customers tried to sue in response, AT&T’s terms of service generally prevent class action suits from customers and force users into private, binding arbitration. But even though millions of customers can’t sue, the federal government can. [More]

(Brad Clinesmith)

Frontier Customers Sue, Alleging They Don’t Get Advertised Internet Speeds

In a recently filed class-action suit, Frontier Communications customers in West Virginia allege the cable/Internet company advertised high-speed broadband packages but then failed to deliver, only providing a fraction of what customers were promised. [More]

(Hammerin Man)

Defense Dept. Aims To Close Predatory Lending Loopholes For Military Personnel

While the Military Lending Act aims to protect military personnel and their families from predatory lenders’ often unsavory lending practices that include high interest rates and excessive fees, it still allows for clever lenders to get their hooks into borrowers. That’s why the Obama Administration and the Department of Defense announced a proposed overhaul of the rules – much to consumer advocates’ delight. [More]

Online Retailer Will Fine You $250 If You Even Threaten To Complain About Purchase

Before the site went down for prolonged "maintenance" Accessory Outlet included a clause in its Terms of Sale that charged a $250 penalty to complaining customers.

If you were put off by KlearGear.com’s ridiculous “Non-Disparagement” fee, which penalizes customers for sharing their bad shopping experiences with the public, another online retailer is apparently trying to go one further, by not only banning customers from saying bad things online, but by also forbidding them from even bringing up the threat of a complaint or a credit card chargeback. [More]

CFPB Report: Typical Overdraft Situation Is Comparable To Small-Dollar Loan With 17,000% Interest Rate

CFPB Report: Typical Overdraft Situation Is Comparable To Small-Dollar Loan With 17,000% Interest Rate

If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of consumers who use a debit card you’ve likely found yourself on the receiving end of an overdraft fee when your account balance just wasn’t quite enough to make a desired purchase. While consumers might not necessarily question the occasional overdraft fee, a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau puts the fees into a disconcerting perspective. [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]

Video Shows You Don’t Need All That Fine Print In Prepaid Card Fee Disclosures

Video Shows You Don’t Need All That Fine Print In Prepaid Card Fee Disclosures

Prepaid debit cards may offer a convenient alternative for unbanked consumers, but there are often unexpected costs buried in all the fine print of the cards’ disclosure documents that most people never read. It doesn’t need to be that way. [More]

Why These 5 Pro-Consumer Bills Won’t Become Law In 2014

Why These 5 Pro-Consumer Bills Won’t Become Law In 2014

Back in January, at the dawn of the year, we gazed into our not-quite-crystal ball and took a look at some pieces of pending legislation that could help consumers this year. Now, in July, we’re at the halfway point of the year, and so it’s a good time to take a look at those bills and see how the wheels of government have turned in 2014. [More]

Senators Hope To Block New Student Enrollment At For-Profit Corinthian Colleges

Senators Hope To Block New Student Enrollment At For-Profit Corinthian Colleges

Days after the U.S. Dept. of Education brokered a deal with Corinthian Colleges — the operator of for-profit school chains like WyoTech, Heald Colleges, and Everest — that would allow these programs to remain open while it faces numerous state and federal investigations, a dozen Senators have asked the Education Secretary to block continued enrollment at Corinthian-owned schools. [More]

Despite Regulations Most Consumers Don’t Understand Overdraft Penalty Plans; More Rules Needed

Despite Regulations Most Consumers Don’t Understand Overdraft Penalty Plans; More Rules Needed

Since 2010, financial institutions have been required to obtain an opt-in confirmation from consumers before enrolling them in overdraft penalty plans, yet a new report found more than 50% of consumers who incurred such penalty fees in the past year don’t believe they opted into any such plans. This revelation, coupled with consumers’ concerns over fees and bank practices, has led to a call for federal regulators to improve rules governing financial institutions’ overdraft policies. [More]

(Michelle Rick)

American Apparel CEO Fired For Allowing Public Shaming Of Employees, Generally Being A Jerk

Last week, the board of American Apparel fired the company’s founder and CEO Dov Charney under the vague cloud of “misconduct,” leading some to wonder if any of the numerous sexual harassment claims made against the controversial businessman had been proven true. But the board’s explanation for his dismissal seems to indicate that the company just got sick of him being a jerk who costs them a lot of money. [More]

General Mills Thinks You’re Stupid, But Decides To Not Take Customers’ Legal Rights Away After All

(Paxton Holley)

While all sorts of big-name financial, tech, e-commerce, and telecom companies have been trying to take away consumers’ right to sue by inserting forced-arbitration clauses in their contracts and terms of service, it seemed ridiculous to think that the makers of cereal would resort to such deviousness, or how they would even be able to do it. But last week, General Mills tried, adding language to its website that stripped certain customers of their access to legal redress against the company. Realizing that maybe this might tick off an awful lot of people, the company has backed off this policy change. [More]

(AJ Brujstein)

General Mills’ New Policy: If You Engage With Us Online, You Can Never Sue The Company

Companies want customers to engage with them online as if they’re just another pal on Facebook or Twitter, one that can offer downloadable coupons and promote contests with attractive prizes. But in new language recently added to General Mills’ website, consumers who interact with the company online will be agreeing to give up the right to sue the company in the future. [More]

Banks Improve Disclosures, Falling Behind On Overdraft Fees, Binding Arbitration Clauses

Banks Improve Disclosures, Falling Behind On Overdraft Fees, Binding Arbitration Clauses

Checking accounts come in all shapes and sizes to fit every consumer’s needs – fine, not every consumer. While options can be good when you’re shopping around for a new bank, they also lead to a plethora of fees and risks for consumers. While some practices have improved, a new Pew Charitable Trusts report shows banks have a long way to go and it’s time the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action. [More]

8 Things Companies Have Said That Sounded Like April Fool’s Jokes But Sadly Weren’t

8 Things Companies Have Said That Sounded Like April Fool’s Jokes But Sadly Weren’t

For the calendar-challenged, we’ll point out that today is April 1, meaning the Internet is full of phony products, fake stories, doctored photos… so, you know, it’s like most days on the Internet. Rather than serve up a “United Charges Upgrade Fee For Merely Being Jealous Of First-Class Passengers” headline, or a post about Comcast CEO Brian Roberts giving up his job to play Gretl Von Trapp in a regional theater production of The Sound of Music, we’re looking back at some stories that would have been appropriate for April Fool’s. [More]