Customers Fight Back Against Hyperaggressive Verizon FiOs Door-to-Door Marketers

Eric and Sarah write:

Thanks to the executive email listing found on Consumerist, I was able to fight back against the invasive marketing of Verizon Fios! Here’s the email I sent last week:

Get Your Complaint Solved: Quick Beats Nice

Get Your Complaint Solved: Quick Beats Nice

Some of the tactics we recommend to consumers battling large and/or indifferent business are faster rather than nicer, and with good reason.

Reader Games Tivo Retentions Department To Gets $6 Knocked Off Monthly Rate

Reader Games Tivo Retentions Department To Gets $6 Knocked Off Monthly Rate

Most companies with recurring services have a group of shiny sphincters known as the retention department, but doing battle with them and knowing how they operate can get your monthly bill reduced. They’re also sometimes called the “saves” department, because they’re supposed to “save” you from leaving for another company. Here’s how Jonathan recently turned the Tivo retention department to his advantage:..

The Ultimate Consumerist Guide To Fighting Back

The Ultimate Consumerist Guide To Fighting Back

If you have a legitimate grievance with a company that they’re not helping you solve, here are 15 hand-picked articles of ours that will be your blueprint to kicking ass. They’re arranged in 3 escalating tiers, depending on how far you want-to/have-to take it. If you’re ready to stop getting mad and start getting results, check out the posts inside…

Find Your State Public Utilities Comission

Find Your State Public Utilities Comission

If you have a complaint with a company in any of the following industries

11 Credit Card Reform Bills You Can Support

H.R. 1510, Credit Card Repayment Act of 2007

Woman Googles Way Out Of Illegal $600 Tow

Woman Googles Way Out Of Illegal $600 Tow

After this woman’s car got towed (from what looks like what might be her driveway), she did some Googling and found the towing company didn’t have a moving license at the time she was towed. She also found the company hadn’t notified the city of the tow, as required by law. After complaining to the Texas Department of Transportation, the consumer got her car back, and the $600 the company had charged her. Now that’s using your noodle!

77-Year-Old Man Sues Bank Of America Over $10,000 In Undisclosed Fees – Wins

77-year old Peter Gossels won his 8-year lawsuit against Bank Of America for $10,000 in undisclosed fees the bank assessed when he deposited a large check drawn on a German bank. The elderly lawyer argued that the bank failed to disclose the exchange rate when he conducted the transaction.

9 Reasons To Ban Mandatory Binding Arbitration

9 Reasons To Ban Mandatory Binding Arbitration

Mandatory binding arbitration is great for businesses to use in dealing with one another, but it sucks for consumers. Here’s 9 ways you get screwed in arbitration land, courtesy of the National Association Of Consumer Advocates

High cost: You have to pay a bunch of money, usually at lest $750, just to start a claim.
Biased Arbitrators: Companies are the only repeat customers of arbitration firms so guess who the arbitrators usually find in favor of?
Limited discovery: Good luck getting the necessary evidence in the room.
Prohibition of class actions: Arbitration clauses routinely don’t allow you to participate in a class action lawsuit, “only effective remedy for wide-scale scams that rip off individual consumers or farmers in small amounts.”
Inconvenient locations: Gas dollars rack up as you trek to their out-of-the way offices.
One-way requirements: The company still gets to sue in a real court if it wants, you however have to go through arbitration monkey court.
No public record: Only businesses requiring arbitration agreements have access to the body of previous arbitration findings — and which firms ruled in their favor.
Limited judicial review: Decisions can only be overturned in cases of fraud or “manifest disregard of the law,” very difficult legal positions to establish.
Limited remedies: “Injunctive relief – a court order compelling the offending party to do something, or prohibiting that party from taking some action – cannot be obtained through arbitration. Arbitrators often split the difference between the two sides in awarding damages instead of determining the true costs of injuries. As a result, arbitration awards to consumers and employees are substantially lower than court awards.” [More]

13 Step Method For Buying A Car While Controlling The Sale And The Price

13 Step Method For Buying A Car While Controlling The Sale And The Price

Commenter Keter posted a completely kick-ass 13 step guide to buying a car while maintaining total and absolute control over the sales process. It was so good we’re lifting it and posting it to the front page.

How To Never Ever Get In Trouble For Recording Calls With Customer Service

How To Never Ever Get In Trouble For Recording Calls With Customer Service

Me: [Laugh] Thanks. Anyway, here’s what’s going on with me today…

Get What You Paid For

Consumer advocate Ron Burley describes the reasons the state of customer service is in such disrepair, and the basic gist on how consumers can get what they paid for when things go wrong.

Company Ignoring You? Fax 'Em To Death

Company Ignoring You? Fax 'Em To Death

Giant corporation ignoring your repeated and valid pleas? After exhausting traditional methods of complaint resolution, including, but not limited to, at least calling at least once and escalating to a supervisor, try “Faxing For Dollars,” another get-em-by-the-balls technique described by Ron Burley in his book, Unscrewed: The Consumer’s Guide To Getting What You Paid For.

Jordan Fogal Responds To Your Comments About The Rotten Lemon Tremont Homes Sold Her

Jordan Fogal Responds To Your Comments About The Rotten Lemon Tremont Homes Sold Her

Two: We did not understand the true ramifications of arbitration, or it’s unfairness. No one who has not been caught in this snare does. We did not know that almost always big business wins. We thought it was like, OK kids lets sit down and not argue and fix this situation. We did not know the system was rigged. We did not understand the builders were repeat clients and the arbitrators meal tickets. No one understands arbitration companies are just the middle men. You still have to put on a trial and have all the costs associated: witnesses, subpoenas, expert testimony you even have to pay for the room to hold the arbitration in… We would not have had to pay a judge as we did an arbitrator or room rent or the astronomical fees charged by arbitration companies. Our arbitration fees alone were $9300. dollars. That does not include going to the kangaroo court where the rules of law no longer apply behind close doors. That was nearly $30,000 dollars…

Tremont Homes Sells Rotten Lemon, Provokes Victimized Homebuyer Into Five-Year Consumer Crusade

Tremont Homes Sells Rotten Lemon, Provokes Victimized Homebuyer Into Five-Year Consumer Crusade

“We always wondered what life would be like in our sixties, our credit is ruined; we have stored, sold, and given away years of our memories; and for the last three years we have been holed up in a third story apartment.

How To Kick A Scammy Car Dealer In The Nuts

How To Kick A Scammy Car Dealer In The Nuts

While we spend a lot of time on this site talking about the importance of writing a good complaint letter, of finding the executive contact info, and cc’ing letters to appropriate regulatory bodies, sometimes the best way to win is to stop playing Mr. Nice Guy and start playing hardball. Demonstrate, in no uncertain terms, just how much more costly it would be for the business to ignore your complaint than to resolve it. That’s the lesson learned from, Unscrewed: The Consumer’s Guide To Getting What You Paid For.

Recall Aftershock: Consumer Safety Commission Brought Back From Near Death For Six Months

Recall Aftershock: Consumer Safety Commission Brought Back From Near Death For Six Months

Congress just put your wiretapping dollars to work, by amending a homeland security bill to allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission to regain “its full authority to oversee the safety of thousands of household products,” says the Washington Post. The reprieve only lasts for six months, but during that time it allows the commission–which has been hobbling along in an inactive state since January because of an ongoing member vacancy–to meet and take action on matters of consumer safety with only two members present.

Why You Should Support The Arbitration Fairness Act

Why You Should Support The Arbitration Fairness Act

A glimmer of hope has opened up for consumers concerned about entire industries systemic and wholesale stripping of their right to resolve disputes by trial rather than by arbitration firms whose fancypants are bought and paid for by the corporations they’re umpiring. This ray is The Arbitration Fairness Act, and as introduced in the Senate by Feingold, Russell D. [WI], the part the bill that applies to you says:

No predispute arbitration agreement shall be valid or enforceable if it requires arbitration of…a consumer dispute. [More]