Here’s a free handbook that’s full of the sort of stuff we spend all of our time discussing on Consumerist. Sections include how to be a savvy consumer, how to file complaints, and a directory of organizations and agencies to contact when you have a problem. You can view the contents online or download a PDF copy, and you can also request a print version for your doesn’t-go-online relative (although you’ll have to wait for a reprinting).
So you’ve got a Kindle, and you have books on it, and you want to keep those books—no matter what Amazon or a publisher decides you deserve in the future. Your legal options are limited, but you do have some.
Did you have a few brews and decide it’d be funny to light cigars by burning $100 bills? If you have at least half of it left, you can get it replaced. Here’s how.
Everyone knows that one of the best ways to protect yourself from online security disasters is to use a different password for each account. But do you do it? Probably not, because at first glance it looks like an unreasonable burden, having to either remember dozens of unique passwords or having to keep them all written down somewhere (which in itself is a security risk). The website ideashower.com offers a simple way to create a unique, easy to remember password for every account.
Kevin’s been invited to his friend’s house to hear about a great new business opportunity! He writes, “I did a quick Google search and… while the company appears to be legit, it seems that their way of marketing their products [is] almost pyramid scheme in nature.” The problem for Kevin, and anyone else researching this sort of thing, is it can be hard to tell how much you should trust any specific page of reviews or feedback. Here’s a clear 5-step evaluation to determine whether or not the next big thing is really a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme.
To make sure you’re paying the right amount on your monthly water bill, you should know how to read your water meter and compare it to the amount your utility company thinks it should charge you. As several readers pointed out previously, in some cities you can even do your own meter reading and call in the number each month. “But how do I read my water meter?” Here’s how.
From Wikihow: 12 ways to teach your kids about money.
Stephanie Zimmermann of the Chicago Sun-Times has put together a list of resolutions to prevent scams, cons, and cheats. We really like the suggestion that you find a reputable locksmith, plumber, A/C repairman, and mechanic now, instead of waiting until an emergency.
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.
Here are 11 secrets to detailing your car like a professional. [CNN]
Jennifer says National City Bank has contacted her fiance to inform him that the stop payment order he placed on a check is about to expire, and he’ll have to pay another $32 fee to renew it for six more months. She writes, “Have you heard of stop payment now only being ‘suspend payment for six months’? This seems to me to be extortion.” We’re going to come down on the side of the banks in this case—but because of the recurring nature of the fee, it might just be cheaper to close the account.
If you buy the newly released “Iron Man” Blu-ray disc and pop it into your computer, and it starts trying to download some mystery content from the Internet for the next 30-45 minutes, here’s what’s happening and how to turn it off. Thanks, Paramount, for your shoddy “interactive” quiz nonsense.
Pam had a Bloomingdale’s gift card that went unused for a couple of years, and when she tried to spend it last weekend, she was told it had expired. Pam found a way to get the balance restored fairly quickly, though. If you’ve got a card from before February 2008, try Pam’s advice below.
Oh Comcast, you romantic. You were so sorry to see Michal leave that you pretended he didn’t. We get it: he bikes, he blogs, he helps toddlers learn Polish. But after four months of him repeatedly asking you to stop billing him, when you still won’t stop it begins to look a little stalker-ish. Your computers can’t always be down.
So what exactly is the problem? After 12 online (and phone) disputes to Equifax and 14 calls (and faxes) to the Direct Loan Servicing Center, each party seems to blame the other.