When a debt collector calls you, there’s a good chance that he or she might be an ex-convict calling you from a strip mall in Buffalo, New York. Buying and collecting debt is a lucrative business, and some people who had a rough upbringing have a real gift for it. Learn about the “Buffalo Talk-Off” and the Excel Spreadsheets of Doom. [NPR] [Planet Money]
What does it take to get the attention of an athleticwear company that has offended an entire region? A Twitter campaign, perhaps along with a slow news week. Lululemon installed what they thought was an inspiring mosaic at the entrance to their store in Buffalo, NY. Instead, they learned that dredging up near misses is actually quite upsetting to sports fans. [More]
7 Buffalo Target employees fired for buying Zhu Zhus, this year’s hot robotic rodent toy, during their shifts have been reinstated. A failure to communicate seems to have been the culprint: [More]
Cable companies compensate most of the channels they offer, sharing a portion of the money they get from subscribers with the individual stations– but apparently Time Warner Cable doesn’t share the wealth with broadcast networks — and Austin, TX NBC affiliate KXAN is having none of it. They want some money!
HSBC’s core banking system has been hosed for almost a week, preventing thousands of customers from knowing how much money is stashed in their accounts. The widespread problem is limiting access to HSBCDirect accounts, and at least 8,000 Catholic Health System employees up in Buffalo are still waiting for their direct deposit payments to materialize.
Who would’ve guessed that credit card debt and the subprime meltdown would be the saving grace for one of New York’s decaying cities? Buffalo now hosts over 100 collection agencies that employ 5,200 people who spend their days prodding delinquent consumers to pay their bills. The cottage industry relies on the “strong work ethic [and] even-handed temperament” of Western New Yorkers, who once powered long-departed industrial giants like Kodak and General Electric.
In Cuyahoga County, Ohio there are 17,000 vacant, foreclosed properties. In Baltimore, there are 16,000. These properties sit, unmaintained, with boarded up windows, affecting not just their own value, but the values of homes nearby.