http://consumerist.com/2008/07/03/google-now-helps-catch-criminals/

Google now helps catch criminals. The FBI identified a Citibank PIN thief by cross-referencing security camera footage with an ICQ handle and personal photos on ham radio enthusiasts sites. [Information Week]

Shady Energy Resellers Stalk Hallways Of Brooklyn

Shady Energy Resellers Stalk Hallways Of Brooklyn

A reader writes: “Another day, another energy scammer in Brooklyn. This was the most misleading one yet—a man was walking around and banging on every door up and down the hallways of my building—identifying himself as having been “sent by building management about our ConEd bill.” So I ran and got my video camera, which also serves as a digital voice recorder. Here is the conversation…The gentleman vacillated between telling the truth, misleading me and completely lying.”

IDT Energy Still Scamming New York Residents

IDT Energy Still Scamming New York Residents

It looks like IDT Energy sales reps are back to their old tricks of getting customers to switch from ConEd by posing as ConEd workers and using misleading sales tactics. S.J. in Brooklyn has the report…

http://consumerist.com/2008/05/01/there-is-a-man-in/

There is a man in Brooklyn who is investigating everything he purchases.

The Mission: A year-long effort to meet the laborers and craftsmen who build what I buy – and put a human face on consumption. For every transaction, there must be a personal connection with someone along the production chain.

Sounds tiring. [Gothamist]

Landlord's Crappy Boiler Costs Us Big Time

Landlord's Crappy Boiler Costs Us Big Time

Marcie writes:

I live in a 750 square foot apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Per the lease agreement, my roommate and I signed to pay the heat separate from the rent. The first gas bill we received was $750, and the following gas bill was roughly the same amount. We knew that the price of gas was expensive, but for two people who make great pains to use the heat only when absolutely necessary, and occasionally use the stove to boil a pot of water, this seemed ridiculous. For all of 2007, we owe roughly $2000 in gas costs.

Cablevision: Techs On-Time Or You Get $20

A Cablevision tech support rep told us that if your Cablevision tech arrives past the service window, you’re entitled to a $20 credit (this press release supports it). And if you’re in the Bronx or Brooklyn, you can get a free month of cable TV if the tech shows up late (this is applied on a case-by-case basis but it is possible. Should the tech pull a noshow, call customer service and speak to a supervisor, who may offer you credits (usually $40-$50) or a free month depending on your customer history. Inside, Which customer service number to call, based on the first four digits of your account number:

Verizon Claims You Weren't Home, Decides To Grab Lunch At Applebee's?

Verizon Claims You Weren't Home, Decides To Grab Lunch At Applebee's?

I waited all morning for Verizon to come fix our landline (our cell phones barely work in our apartment), and around 11:30 I had Sam call them from work, and they told him they had come by the apartment and no one was there so they left, and that they had called my cell phone.

Surveillance Tape Shows Man Who "Forgot" Case Of Soda Is A Thief And A Liar!

Surveillance Tape Shows Man Who "Forgot" Case Of Soda Is A Thief And A Liar!

Our apologies to the Brooklyn, Ohio police department. New security camera footage released by the Brooklyn police department shows that the man who claimed he “forgot” the case of pop under his shopping cart actually grabbed it on his way out of the store! Now the man admits that he lied to reporters.

Bear Stearns Bag Found At Knickknack Shop

Bear Stearns Bag Found At Knickknack Shop

I spotted a tote bag for Bear Stearns, the investment bank that recently nearly collapsed and JP Morgan Chase purchased, on sale outside a used goods store here in Brookyln. No doubt it was pawned off by one of the many recently liquidated Bear Stearns employees in the New York area (hey, that Tivo doesn’t pay for itself). I didn’t check the price tag, but it was probably more than $10, which is more than can be said for a share of Bear Stearns stock. Note the new Chase bank sign reflected into the store window.

Nissan Dealership Won't Refund Deposit

Nissan Dealership Won't Refund Deposit

Jay writes in with a question: how do you get back your deposit from a car dealership when a deal goes sour? The salesman jacked up the price after an initial negotiation, and now won’t refund the deposit: “He said we’d be surprised at what he can make up to keep the deposit.”

The Worst UPS Store Employee In Brooklyn

The Worst UPS Store Employee In Brooklyn

Seen and heard on Friday at the UPS store in Park Slope, Brooklyn:

Maybe Landlord Will Fix Ceiling After It Collapses?

After ripping down the almost collapsed ceiling and the neighbor’s kitchen floor, the guy discovered at least three different leaks, all converging on my ceiling.

Unlicensed Dentist Dumps Ill Patient On Brooklyn Street

Unlicensed Dentist Dumps Ill Patient On Brooklyn Street

The New York Daily News is reporting that a phony dentist dumped an ill patient on the curb after botched oral surgery. The patient, Colette Villemin, is on life support after suffering what may have been an allergic reaction during surgery. She’s suffered heart and brain damage and may not survive.

Renter's Insurance Probably Won't Cover You From A Bad Subletter

Renter's Insurance Probably Won't Cover You From A Bad Subletter

When we wrote about the glories of subletting your apartment while on vacation, we mused that renter’s insurance might cover it if your guest damages or steals stuff. While talking to USAA today about our renter’s insurance policy we asked them about this and they said nope, it doesn’t. You’re still protected from all the normal things, like fire, flood, and falling space probes, but not by the actions of someone you’ve invited into your home. So, we’ll just continue to beware and use our best judgment and not sublet to sketchy people. Other people with lower risk tolerances will disagree, and we’re okay with that.

Hey Nets Fans, Welcome To The Izod Arena?

Hey Nets Fans, Welcome To The Izod Arena?

The New Jersey Nets have located their perfect sponsor after what was said to be a rigorous search. Izod!

All Charges Dropped Against Circuit City Receipt Refuser

All Charges Dropped Against Circuit City Receipt Refuser

Legal charges have been dropped against Michael Righi (pictured), the guy arrested after refusing to show his receipt to Circuit City, and his driver’s license to a police officer, in exchange for Righi’s pledge to not sue the city. On his blog, Righi writes that he was willing to fight the city to the end without forfeiting any rights whatsoever, but he wanted to spare his family, who would have been principal witnesses, from a protracted legal battle.

Whoops, Where'd My Mortgage Go?

Whoops, Where'd My Mortgage Go?

NPR interviewed a would-be Brooklynite named Claudia who is trying to buy an apartment for herself and her teenaged sons. Everything seemed settled, when all of a sudden the lender that was going to be offering Claudio her HELOC loan decided they didn’t really want to anymore.

Editor Experiences Pleasant Enterprise Car Rental

Editor Experiences Pleasant Enterprise Car Rental

We rented from Enterprise this weekend and, despite being located in what was basically a trailer with a parking lot enclosed by barb wire, they had really good customer service.