Are you struggling financially these days? You’re certainly not alone, and you even have something in common with Jim Press, one of Chrysler’s top executives. Press, hit hard by the housing market collapse and the lack of bonuses from Chrysler as the company failed, faces debts including a $800,000 unsecured personal loan and a $947,000 federal tax lien on his home.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office is gathering information in order to file fraud charges against some BoA executives over what they knew, and what they hid, when they acquired Merrill Lynch & Co. a year ago. Earlier this week, his office subpoenaed 5 board members to find out “what they knew regarding the mounting losses and bonus payments at Merrill before the deal closed on Jan. 1 and what role they played in deciding whether to disclose that information to shareholders,” according to the Associated Press.
Last week we wrote that AT&T charged Spoco’s Amex card twice for the same payment, but their CSRs refused to investigate the issue for him. After we posted his story, AT&T took notice and reversed the charge. That raises the question these stories always raise, which is, “How do I get the same result if my problem isn’t published on Consumerist?”
Here’s a morbid bit of creative accounting, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal: if you work for Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, or Wells Fargo, your employer may have taken out a life insurance policy on you.
Richard Anderson, the CEO of Delta Air Lines, was interviewed by the New York Times and shared his tips on hiring (ask about their family life), running meetings (no Blackberries!), and dealing with customers: “I find myself, more and more, writing hand-written notes to people,” he says. “I must write a half a dozen a day.” These are apology notes, we’re guessing.
The Washington Post has just published a story accusing executives at Chrysler Financial of turning down a $750 million government loan because they “didn’t want to abide by new federal limits on pay,” and instead opted for more expensive private sector financing, “adding to the burdens of the already fragile automaker and its financing company.” Chrysler Financial denies the charge.
An anonymous tipster provides the following contact info for the Kodak executive team.
An EZ Lube store in California overcharged Timothy for a new cabin filter when he went to get his oil changed. The mechanic managed to do this by quizzing Timothy on his knowledge of air filters, then using that info to make vague assurances that sounded good but didn’t convey the actual, final price. Timothy admits that he let his guard down, but when he was hit with the final bill, he regained his consumerist footing and began to take steps to remedy the situation—and he succeeded.
It’s not uncommon to run into a dead end when trying to resolve your Xbox 360 or Xbox Live issues with the official customer support channels, which is why sometimes you have no recourse other than to try to get the attention of the executives at Microsoft. Here are some addresses to try, culled from the Penny Arcade forums.
Bloomberg is reporting that Citibank is planning to spend at least $3.2 million for basic construction, and as much as three times that much after architects fees and other expenses are paid, to renovate the executive offices at the bank’s Park Avenue headquarters.
We all know that just because a rep on the phone promises you something, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true. But in Alan’s case, two different United reps both confirmed, repeatedly—he asked several times before completing the purchase and again before canceling—that he could cancel his tickets within 24 hours of purchase without paying a fee. A week after he canceled, he was hit with a $150 non-refundable fee that one United rep admitted was a new policy that wasn’t in writing—but United still refused to reverse it.
After seeing our photo evidence of the sorry state of the St. Peters, MO, Circuit City yesterday, Eric decided to check out the final days of the Circuit City in Poughkeepsie, NY. He writes, “On one clearance table, among the overpriced cables, I saw this. I’m not sure what this was doing there, but it’s probably something the Circuit City executives should have read a few years ago, huh?” Yes, but it’s never too late! Those executives are going to end up working somewhere after all. By the way, do CC execs get a liquidation discount?
President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner have announced a $500,000 maximum wage for employees of companies that receive taxpayer support. The rule will only apply to companies that receive future bailout funds. Oh, also, you’re going to be bailing out more companies.
The New York Times has an article discussing Congressional proposals to limit executive pay. Although the financial industry may deserve a pay cap, the author argues, other industries would be harmed by a cap.
One of the conditions of the auto bailout is the elimination of private corporate jets. Guess they probably shouldn’t have flown them to Washington to ask for a tax payer bailout. Whoopsie!
Here’s a good example of how to write an effective Executive Email Carpet Bomb, or EECB, to break through the “please hold” purgatory of the company’s phone system. Alicia’s car’s bumper was scratched by a Best Buy employee, and calling consumer relations as directed proved fruitless. Now she’s got a check in her hands from Best Buy to pay for the repairs.
Consumerist reader Darkrose writes, “I just got this in my e-mail. Thought you guys might be interested in it.” In the email, GM’s president Troy Clarke is in high PR mode, pointing out the grave consequences and emphasizing that GM wants not “a bailout but rather a loan that will be repaid.” We thought other readers who aren’t GM customers would find it interesting.