It appears that Staples is adhering to the adage, “hope for the best, prepare for the worst,” when it comes to their challenged billion-dollar merger with rival Office Depot. This week, the retailer took steps to streamline its operation, changing its management team and reportedly laying off hundreds of employees at its headquarters. [More]
Middle-class consumers just aren’t as into department stores as they used to be. Experts speculate that this is because off-price and outlet stores caught on during the recession, and shoppers simply don’t want to go back. Even staying open for 170 hours straight wasn’t enough to drag Kohl’s out of a slump, and the company’s leaders worry that they could be taken over while their stock price is low. [More]
Last May, investigations by the Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation into student loans servicing resulted in a $100 million fine against government-contracted servicer Navient for allegedly violating federal laws limiting the amount of interest that can be charged on servicemember student loans. Following those investigations, the Department of Education undertook a review that found its four servicers – including Navient – weren’t cheating military personnel. With such conflicting reports, members of Congress are now getting involved, calling for an investigation into the Dept. of Education’s review process. [More]
In an abrupt about-face, Google announced early Friday morning that it would reverse a content policy change made just three days earlier that banned the users of the Blogger platform from sharing sexually explicit or graphic nudity on their sites. [More]
Starting next month all users of Google’s Blogger platform must adhere to a more stringent content policy, which includes banning users from sharing sexually explicit or graphic nudity on their sites. [More]
If a company routinely charges more for its products than the competition and its product is often inferior to the more affordable option, that business won’t remain open for long. But thanks to deep-pocketed backers and a government that has handed over hundreds of billions of dollars in federal student aid without asking too many questions, the for-profit college industry continues to rake in the bucks while frequently leaving its students with subpar educations and faint employment hopes. Some federal regulators have attempted to make the industry more accountable, but these schools continue to take advantage of loopholes while legislators and consumer advocates scramble to make reform. [More]
The financial reform compromise may keep our financial system from reprising Chernobyl anytime soon, but it will also change the way consumers use their credit cards. Merchants will soon be allowed to refuse plastic for purchases of less than $10, a rate the Fed can boost as they see fit. Both the Fed and universities will also gain the power to set maximum credit charges. That means no more free flights to Europe after charging your kid’s tuition to your rewards card. The changes will go into effect the day after the compromise is signed into law. [More]
On Sunday, Andy emailed us from his seat on Delta Flight 2744 from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C., to let us know that he had no idea where his flight was going to land. The ticket he purchased said he was flying to Ronald Reagan National Airport, but Delta said it would all depend on whether they could beat their scheduled 10:19 arrival time and get there before the ten o’clock airport curfew–otherwise they’d have to land at Dulles. Strangely, they didn’t mention this 10 p.m. curfew to Andy before he bought the ticket. [More]
As we all know, merchants are generally not supposed to mandate minimum credit card purchases. It’s a violation of the merchant agreements they sign with the credit card companies. (For more info, check out this article.) The proposed finance bill, however, may legitimize those handwritten signs if it ends up passing. [More]
Alexandros received an update from Orbitz about his trip and realized that United had changed the time of his flight. For various reasons he couldn’t make the new time, so he was lucky to have caught it—not to mention he could have missed the flight entirely had he not seen the change.
If you’re having a package delivered by UPS and want to change the delivery address while it’s in transit, be warned: this service will now cost you either $4 or $6 depending on whether you make the request online or over the phone.
Radio Shack is charging New York City consumers an extra half-percent of sales tax, even though the State hasn’t approved a new tax rate. Before descending into a chaotic mess of embarrassing inaction, the New York State Senate was widely expected to hike the sales tax New York City’s local sales from 8.375% to 8.875%. That never happened, a minor detail that isn’t stopping Radio Shack from collecting more tax, as reader Jeff discovered…
An anonymous reader says both his and his wife’s Discover cards—the accounts are separate—had their due dates moved up by four days in June. He called Discover, “and they stated that they sent out notices in the mail 45 days in advance warning of the change, which I don’t remember seeing. Regardless, they were able to revert my due date starting in July. You may want to have your readers closely check their Discover Card statements.”
We’re starting to think Capital One isn’t just hurting financially, but also throwing a temper tantrum about the new credit card legislation. Eric received notice that they’re converting his current fixed rate to a “promotional rate.” In January 2011 they’ll switch it over to an adjustable rate and hike it to 17.9% (it’s currently 9.9%). Erik has until July 28th to agree to the new terms or they’ll close the account on August 2nd, 2009.