California Town To Start Charging Up To $400 For 911 Calls

California Town To Start Charging Up To $400 For 911 Calls

The town of Tracy, California has come up with a new plan to make money: you’ll have to pay between $48-400 to call 911. I wonder if Tracy is planning on giving the caller the bill over the phone–they might be able to chain 911 calls together by giving the first caller a heart attack, thereby prompting someone else to call, and so on. Money! [More]

Did You Make Calls From Haiti On Verizon? Better Start Saving.

Did You Make Calls From Haiti On Verizon? Better Start Saving.

Update: Verizon won’t charge the soldiers for the calls in question.
 
In the weeks immediately following the Haiti earthquake, Verizon and AT&T offered free calls to Haiti as a goodwill gesture to people in the U.S. with family and friends over there. The offers weren’t identical, though, and Verizon was only offering free calls made to Haiti, not the reverse. Spc. James Crawford kept calling his pregnant wife each day from his station in Port-au-Prince, and now they have a phone bill for $1,919.44.

This Mediacom Cable Box Comes With Invisible Roommate Who Keeps Ordering Porn

This Mediacom Cable Box Comes With Invisible Roommate Who Keeps Ordering Porn

Lesley lives alone, and says that despite what any Mediacom CSRs may think, she hasn’t been consistently ordering adult movies for the past three months. [More]

T-Mobile Wants Family To Pay $1500 In Bogus Charges On Phone Stolen From Special Needs Customer

T-Mobile Wants Family To Pay $1500 In Bogus Charges On Phone Stolen From Special Needs Customer

Jennifer wrote to us about the trouble a family in South Carolina is having over a huge T-Mobile bill: “Zeb, a special needs adult living with his parents, had his cell phone stolen just prior to Christmas. By the time the theft was discovered, $6000 in calls and text messages had been made to Honduras.” The good news is that T-Mobile hasn’t asked the family to pay the full $6,000. The bad news is that they do want them to pay a fourth of that. Update: T-Mobile has let the family off the hook. [More]

AT&T Wouldn't Let Me Pay Final Bill, Then Sent Collections After Me

AT&T Wouldn't Let Me Pay Final Bill, Then Sent Collections After Me

Ryan’s life is an Alanis Morissette song: “It’s like being told your AT&T account is paid off, and then meeting his beautiful collections agent coming after you for the money you were told you didn’t owe.” [More]

FCC Commissioner Says She's Not Happy With Verizon's ETF And Billing Explanations

FCC Commissioner Says She's Not Happy With Verizon's ETF And Billing Explanations

At least one official with the FCC is not impressed by Verizon’s latest explanations of its Early Termination Fees (ETFs) and Mobile Web billing practices. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn released a statement (pdf) last night where she called Verizon’s explanation “unsatisfying” and “troubling,” and she closed with the fighting words, “I look forward to exploring this issue in greater depth with my colleagues in the New Year.” [More]

Verizon Denies It Charges You $2 Each Time You Mistakenly Press A Certain Button On Your Phone

Verizon Denies It Charges You $2 Each Time You Mistakenly Press A Certain Button On Your Phone

Last month, David Pogue at the New York Times published a tip from a self-described Verizon employee. The employee accused Verizon of deliberately rigging its system to trap customers whenever they accidentally press the “Get It Now” or “Mobile Web” buttons on their phones–even if they cancel the operation immediately, they’re charged a fee of $1.99 each time. Both Pogue and the FCC asked Verizon to explain why this happens. Verizon’s response: it doesn’t, and Pogue and the hundreds of people who wrote in to confirm this practice are all crazy. [More]

Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000. [More]

Another Example Of How To Go Cable-Free

Another Example Of How To Go Cable-Free

We’ve posted before about how to break your cable habit without giving up on TV altogether–it’s possible, but can’t happen without some work on your end. This week, the New York Times’ Nick Bilton explained how he and his wife have combined their existing devices with a few new ones to create a content stream that enables them to watch what they want without cable. [More]

Michigan Utility Company Must Refund $39 Million To Overcharged Customers

Michigan Utility Company Must Refund $39 Million To Overcharged Customers

In Michigan, utilities can increase rates without first getting approval, but that means the Michigan Public Service Commission can later reduce them. That’s what happened on Monday, when the Commission ordered Consumers Energy to refund about $39.6 million to customers it overcharged since last May.

Chase Sets Early Payment Trap, Customer Falls Into It

Chase Sets Early Payment Trap, Customer Falls Into It

Daniel’s Providian/WaMu credit card was recently absorbed into Chase’s swollen belly, and they welcomed him to their family by catching him in a technicality that cost him $39. Here’s a good example of why you need to pay attention to statement cycles, even if your bank won’t tell you to.

Verizon Won't Give Elderly Couple Their $600 Back

Verizon Won't Give Elderly Couple Their $600 Back

Bonnie’s elderly parents switched from Verizon dial-up to Verizon DSL, but Verizon didn’t turn off their dial-up account when switching them to DSL. They somehow failed to notice when they continued to be charged for dialup. For two years.

Energy Star Program Relies On Honor System For Some Products

Energy Star Program Relies On Honor System For Some Products

Your new washer, dryer, fridge, monitor, or TV set may have an Energy Star label on it, but it turns out that nobody is making sure that means anything, reports the New York Times. Our parent organization Consumer Reports pointed out that this was a problem a year ago.

Guy Who Invented Spider Currency Wrote Fake McDonalds Memo

Guy Who Invented Spider Currency Wrote Fake McDonalds Memo

This will probably come as a surprise to no one, but the fake McDonalds memo that went viral last month was written by David Thorne, the same guy who tried to pay for a bill with a drawing of a spider. He is a very silly man.

The Consumer Financial Protection Agency And You

The Consumer Financial Protection Agency And You

Legislation to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) is making its way through Congress. Interested parties have spoken out (“It sucks!” “It’s awesome!“). Now the White House wants to know what you think.

Frontier Communications Has To Pay Back Early Termination Fees

Frontier Communications Has To Pay Back Early Termination Fees

If you signed up for Frontier Communications’ Price Protection Plan—a combo phone and broadband package—between January 2007 and September 2008, and you canceled the agreement and were charged an early termination fee (ETF), you may be getting some cash back.

Comcast Raising Cable Modem Rental Fees This Fall

Comcast Raising Cable Modem Rental Fees This Fall

Comcast is going to start rolling out a $2 fee hike across the country this fall, which means your cable modem rental fee will go from $3 to $5 by the end of the year. Comcast says they absolutely have to do this or they’ll never be able to pay for service and equipment upgrades, which makes us wonder how the poor underfunded company manages to stay afloat at all.

NYC Restaurant Stops Accepting Cash

NYC Restaurant Stops Accepting Cash

If you decide to eat at Commerce, an unpleasantly named upscale restaurant in New York City that charges nearly $25 for spaghetti, your cash is no longer welcome.