The homeowner's bill jumped from $60 to $2659.

City Says Woman Used 214,000 Gallons Of Water, All While Being Out Of Town For A Month

A California woman who had never paid more than $60 for her monthly water service was recently hit with a staggering $2,659 water bill, but the utility provider insists nothing is wrong with her meter. [More]


Would You Risk A $200 Ticket To Save $2 In Bridge Tolls?

When authorities in the San Francisco area enacted congestion-based pricing on the Bay Bridge, charging higher rates before 10 a.m., they didn’t imagine that so many people would risk up to $200 in fines just to save two dollars at the toll plaza. [More]

The BBB has given the boot to what had been its largest single chapter.

Better Business Bureau Gives Boot To Southern California Chapter Over Pay-To-Play System

You may remember how the Better Business Bureau took a lot of heat in 2010 when it inexplicably gave an “A-” rating to a bogus business named “Hamas,” as in the terrorist group, because it paid a $425 membership fee. Now, nearly three years on, the chapter responsible for that cock-up and others is no longer part of the BBB. [More]


Get My Daughter A Full-Time Job And I’ll Give You 500 Bucks

Sorry, that’s not a direct offer from Consumerist: we don’t have daughters, or $500. A 36-year-old Southern California woman who has spent the last decade and a half as her mother’s caregiver after a car crash is looking for a job now that her mother is well enough to live alone. Her mother has put up a $500 reward to anyone who is able to get her a job. [More]


Bank Of America Explains Why It Never Assumed Title To Squatter-Filled Foreclosure

Yesterday, we told you about the California man who said he lost his house to foreclosure but who is being held responsible for the squatters who have moved into his former house because Bank of America has yet to assume the title to the property. Today, we bring you the bank’s side of the story. [More]

(CBS San Francisco)

Foreclosed-Upon Homeowner On The Hook For Squatters Because BofA Won’t Assume Title To House

UPDATE: Bank of America now gives Consumerist its side of the story, saying it could not foreclose on the property because the homeowner had filed for bankruptcy. [More]

(CBS Los Angeles)

Why Were 13,000 Boxes Of Girl Scout Cookies Sent To A Landfill?

It’s currently that most wonderful time of the year: Girl Scout cookies are available for sale from your friendly local Girl Scouts…well, or your co-worker who has a daughter. Last year, though, a video camera caught workers crushing cases of Girl Scout cookies to render them inedible before dispatching them to the landfill. [More]

(CBS Sacramento)

Hospital Sends Lab Test Results For 10 Patients To Random Stranger

Even in this era of over-sharing and supposed transparency, most people don’t want their medical files shared with anyone who doesn’t absolutely need to see them. But all it takes is one person to not pay attention when stuffing envelopes for private medical documents to be shared with the world. [More]


Should Used Car Sellers Have To Repair Recalled Cars Before Selling Them?

According to a 2011 survey, there were 2.7 million used vehicles available for purchase that had at least one un-repaired safety recall. Now, California lawmakers want to require used-car sellers to make those repairs before the vehicles can be sold. [More]


Ambitious Thief Walks Out Of Costco With 24 Bottles Of Motor Oil Wrapped Around His Body

If you’re going to shoplift from a warehouse store, you might as well do it in bulk, right? At least that seemed to be the thinking of one California man, who used bungee cords to secure 24 bottles of motor oil to his body and then headed for the doors. [More]

Part of the family's burned-out home.

Couple Paying Mortgage On Fire-Ravaged Home Because FEMA Rules Won’t Let Them Rebuild

Last August, a family in California came home to find their house on fire. Five months later, they live in a rented house down the street while still paying their mortgage and flood insurance, but the house isn’t being rebuilt because there is no way they could afford to meet new FEMA flood zone standards. [More]

Eviction Services says it no longer guarantees homeowners can stay in their houses for at least five months, but it does offer the above "gurantee."

Is A Guarantee Really A Guarantee If It’s A “Gurantee”?

The operators of a company that claims, for an up-front fee of $395 and monthly payments of $395, it can keep foreclosed-upon folks in their homes for several more months may be confused about the meaning, and spelling, of the word “guarantee.” [More]


Californians Paying 115% More For AT&T Landline Service Than They Did Before Deregulation

Supporters of removing price caps on utility services claim that deregulation will ultimately result in lower prices and more competition. But a new report claims that when California ditched pricing regulations on landline phone service, it only led to huge bill increases for AT&T customers. [More]

This marks Dunkin's second go at opening California stores, following a failed attempt in the late '90s.

Southern California To Finally Get Dunkin’ Donuts… In 2015

For those of us in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, Dunkin’ Donuts has been a part of the fast food landscape for decades. Meanwhile, to many folks in sunny Southern California, Dunkin’ was something you occasionally had while on a business trip to New Jersey. But that is going to change in the not-terribly-distant future. [More]


Court: Wells Fargo Misled Customers About Debit Card Transactions But Doesn’t Have To Pay Back $203 Million (Yet)

It was a good news/bad news day at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, as the court set aside a $203 million judgement against Wells Fargo for the way it processed debit card transactions, but kept the door open to hope that consumers might see some of that money. [More]

(CBS 5)

Is 98% Price Accuracy Acceptable For Grocery Stores?

Odds are that you’ve been overcharged at some point in your life. Mistakes happen. The big question is: Is there any acceptable level of overcharging? [More]


Homeowner Says He Lost $250K In Equity To Foreclosure

When a property is sold at foreclosure for more than what is owed on the mortgage, the homeowner is supposed to receive that difference. But what happens when the bank sells the home for hundreds of thousands of dollars less than what it is worth? [More]

(Great Beyond)

PETA Calls Cops, Files Suit Against L.A. Restaurant Serving Foie Gras

The foodies among you may remember back in July, when California’s ban on the sale of Foie Gras kicked in, some restaurants were continuing to sell the duck/goose livers by “gifting” them to customers as part of a larger meal. But the folks at PETA think it’s against the law to give away foie gras, and are willing to prove their case in court. [More]