No matter how skilled a negotiator you are or how pleased you are with your results, you can’t expect an agreement to hold up unless you’ve got it in writing. This goes for job offers, sales agreements, financing and leases. [More]
When Lauren reserved a car rental through Priceline last week, she checked out the fine print to see if she’d have to pay any age-related extra fees, and according to Priceline what she bid would be the total price. Now Avis is telling her Priceline is wrong and she’ll have to come up with more money at the rental counter. [More]
Alex and his wife bought into a Groupon offer for Gap, where you could buy $50 worth of merchandise for $25. Everything was going great until they ran into a manager at their local store who refused to even ring up the pants they’d chosen, saying anything already discounted wasn’t eligible for the offer. [More]
Groupon is a daily deal sort of website, but the reason it’s on Consumerist today is because of how well it communicated some recent changes to its Terms of Service agreement. Consumerist reader Pureboy sent in a copy of the email he recently received where the website explained the changes in plain English, with examples. [More]
The FCC has made it clear that apartment complexes can’t force residents to use a specific cable company, but Amy Davis at KPRC in Houston reports that there’s a sneaky way to get around this restriction. The residents of one Houston apartment complex don’t have to go with the building’s chosen provider, but if they opt out they’ll have to pay an extra $40 per month for trash and water. [More]
Family members of a developmentally disabled 49-year-old man told 6 News in Indianapolis that two men from Bally Total Fitness showed up at the man’s apartment, drove him to a Bally location at Pike Plaza, and signed him up to a monthly membership. When the man’s family asked Bally to invalidate the agreement, the gym refused.
So you’ve got a Kindle, and you have books on it, and you want to keep those books—no matter what Amazon or a publisher decides you deserve in the future. Your legal options are limited, but you do have some.
General Motors has reached an agreement with the government to let consumers file what are known as product-liability claims after the company escapes from bankruptcy protection. The big win for consumers means that if a manufacturing defect in an old G.M. causes injuries in the future, consumers will still be able to sue G.M. in state court.
It’s difficult enough to parse a lengthy TOS for one web-based service, let alone for dozens, or to keep track of when and how they update them. It would be nice if some public-service website out there would keep track of this stuff for all of us, wouldn’t it? Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) did just that with the launch of TOSBAck.org, “the terms-of-service tracker.” It tracks TOS agreements for 44 different services, including Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Twitter, and eBay.
We’re starting to think Capital One isn’t just hurting financially, but also throwing a temper tantrum about the new credit card legislation. Eric received notice that they’re converting his current fixed rate to a “promotional rate.” In January 2011 they’ll switch it over to an adjustable rate and hike it to 17.9% (it’s currently 9.9%). Erik has until July 28th to agree to the new terms or they’ll close the account on August 2nd, 2009.
The wireless Internet connection at Ari’s new apartment isn’t very useful. Neither is his landlord, or the support tech who’s supposed to troubleshoot this kind of stuff.
Debbie Eckert cleaned out her son’s apartment after he died in a February fight, but the landlord, CCRT Properties of Brookfield Wisconsin, thinks she should pay several months rent and an early termination fee. The Wisconsin Department of Consumer Protection says that CCRT can pursue the 24-year-old teacher’s estate, but that they have no right to heartlessly badger his mother.
Comcast’s new service agreement (PDF) has some curious details buried in the fine print. Here’s the short version: “customer equipment” includes your computer and TV set, and if Comcast somehow damages or breaks any customer equipment through “gross negligence or willful misconduct,” they will pay you up to $500, no more. “This shall be your sole and exclusive remedy relating to such activity.”
When the recent Bruce Springsteen ticket sales event blew up in Ticketmaster’s stupid face, it brought down the wrath of New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram. Now Ticketmaster and New Jersey have reached a settlement that will change how the company conducts business across the U.S. Here’s what will change:
If the website Boy Genius Report is correct, next week Verizon Wireless will start offering contract-free, month-to-month service. Pretty much everyone will be eligible for it, but of course you’ll have to pay full price for a phone or bring your own, there’ll be an activation fee that can’t be waived, and if you take advantage of any special offers that require a contract, you’ll have to switch over to a contract agreement. It’s supposed to start on September 21st.
Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of Sirius-XM. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new anti-consumer practices. To seek out new revenue streams and crowd out new competitors. To boldly safeguard the dangerous monopoly granted last night by the FCC.
Longtime Consumerist reader TBT read the fine print for a credit card she recently opened with Bank of America, and discovered that buried in pages 13 and 14 is a section that limits your right to request a chargeback to your home state or within 100 miles of your home address, and only for purchases over $50. He found this shocking, but, actually, this is a limitation provided by the Fair Credit Billing Act. If you dislike it, here’s a great post of ours on writing effective letters to Congress.