Having trouble paying your high power bill? The law of supply and demand may be your friend. Americans’ electricity use is decreasing for the first time since 1949. (Maybe it’s all those compact fluorescent bulbs.) This means that your electric bill could be slightly lower in the coming months…or at least not increase as much as usual.
A new survey from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) compared annual costs around the world for consumers who have cellphones, and the U.S. is in the top three for most expensive. How expensive? DSLReports notes that “on average, the OECD found that Americans pay $635.85 on cell phone service, compared to $131.44 per year in the Netherlands or $137.94 per year in Sweden.”
We think AT&T just stole about $157 from commenter Spoco. They applied the payment as always via his Amex card, but then said that it was declined and auto-debited it a second time a month later (+ late fees, of course). The only problem is, it wasn’t declined, and Spoco has proof. He just can’t get anyone at AT&T to care.
Like water swirling a drain, it’s in your money’s inert nature to flow away from you. Blogger Fabulously Broke identifies several ways in which people waste funds without realizing what they’re doing.
James discovered that the waiter at a steakhouse he and his wife ate at padded his bill by 4 extra dollars, but also ran through the charge a second time with no tip at all. Now he’s wondering what to do next.
Our reader Jennifer isn’t the only former Time Warner employee whose AOL account has risen from the dead, prompting collection notices and confusion. Wall Street Journal investing columnist Jason Zweig, a former Time Warner employee, found himself in precisely the same situation, and wrote about his epic customer service adventure.
Look, Comcast, when you take back someone’s equipment and give them a receipt confirming that their account has no balance, it’s not unreasonable for them to think that their account is canceled. Don’t keep billing them for service and equipment rentals, and don’t tell them that you “can keep [the account] active and [bill] indefinitely until [you] decide to disconnect it.” Because if you do, they’re going to call their state Attorney General’s office. At least that’s how Paul convinced Comcast to finally cancel his account.
Jennifer, like many people, one subscribed to AOL. She paid for the service originally, then received a free account while employed with Time Warner. Then she joined the 21st century and didn’t use AOL at all, but her free account remained in the system. Until AOL started billing her. Nine years later.
H.R. 2870 would require all airlines to accept slightly larger carry-on bags, which is great if you actually abide by the published carry-on limits. If you don’t, well, get ready to change your scofflaw ways because the TSA will enforce the new limits, and even slightly oversized bags won’t make it past security checkpoints.
Add “change the name on your utility bills” to your post-breakup checklist or you’ll end up like reader Noah, who had to pay a $140 cable bill for three months of service his ex-girlfriend used after he moved out. Why? Because the bill was in his name, and if he didn’t pay up, it was his credit report that was going to suffer.
Tom just received a great offer from his bank. He can receive a free credit report just by peeling off this sticker and affixing it to another part of the same page. That’s right, a free motherloving credit report! Who doesn’t want one of those? Free, you say? Sign me up!
Update: Lloyd, a Sprint “Customer Experience” Manager, wrote in to let us know that the bill below is indeed legitimate:
Comcast agreed to lower reader O.’s monthly cable bill to $40, but they didn’t warn him that the new, lower price would come with a hefty $150 early termination fee. O. could barely afford Comcast’s service before, and wouldn’t have agreed to the lower fee if he knew about the surprise fee. Comcast is telling him that he has no choice but to pay, and won’t even let him return to his previous plan.
Jason writes, “My wife just sent me an email saying that she paid ‘too early’ (before the new statement was generated) and got charged a ‘Late Fee’ of $29!” He says she called Capital One and got the fee waived, but it’s a good reminder that if you make a payment before the new statement period begins, your card provider will likely apply the payment to the previous statement period, and will still expect a fresh payment from you by the new due date. Just make sure your payments aren’t scheduled so early that they’re applied to the past and you’ll be fine.