In the course of searching for a new place to live in Minneapolis, I found a great condo right in the area I was looking for, renting for $900/mo for a 1 bedroom which included electricity, gas, water, sewer, garbage, cable, and high speed internet! Sound too good to be true? You bet…it was a scam.
Cory and his girlfriend moved from New York to North Carolina this summer. They hired Quality Van Lines out of Clifton, NJ to handle the move, but soon regretted the choice: they overcharged him, failed to deliver on promises, and damaged not only his belongings but his car. Cory wants to know what his options are now—and we want readers to know how to avoid hiring companies like Quality Van Lines in the future.
Harry keeps getting spammed via his fax machine. Frankly, we think fax machines stopped being relevant or useful in about 1998, but until the rest of the world catches up to our way of thinking, here are some ways you can try to limit the damages.
Used coffee grounds can absorb fridge odors, make your hair shiny, and exfoliate your skin. Here’s a list of 11 ways you can put old coffee grounds to use. [Life Hackery]
An alleged insider for AT&T sent us the following tip on how to avoid a connection fee if you plan on getting both a regular phone line and DSL through AT&T. We don’t know if it works, but you may be able to avoid a $40 charge for what amounts to “flipping a switch” at AT&T HQ.
Ready for some tough love about how to improve your financial situation? Jeffrey Strain, the man behind SavingAdvice.com, has put together a list of six “awful truths” about personal finance for TheStreet.com. The reason they’re “awful,” he writes, is that “these truths mean that the each person must take more responsibility and make hard decisions that they would rather leave to others.”
A Consumerist reader was surprised to find that Citibank had applied a finance charge on a zero balance account. She did what every good Consumerist should do: prepared her evidence, jumped quickly ahead to a live person on the Customer Service side, and resolved the issue. Here’s what happened:
Ron Burley, the man behind “Unscrewed: The Consumersï¿½ Guide to Getting What You Paid For,” has published two articles on how to effectively deal with customer service reps. On the Do Not Want side, you shouldn’t threaten legal action, because it will likely shut down any further communication as the company goes into automatic CYA mode. (You don’t want to tip your hand about any legal action anyway.) What you should say is “Thank you,” because being nice might help you stand out among the parade of complainers.
Want to drive a telemarketer crazy and amuse yourself at the same time? Here’s an example of how to do it.
Joseph is having problems paying his Capital One card, mainly because Capital One keeps making it hard for him to pay it, and then reports his payments past due after they’ve cleared the bank. Now he wants to know what he can do to remedy the situation.
If you’re entering the work force for the first time (although this probably pertains to lots of older employees too), all the details of insurance, taxes, and 401(k)s can be daunting/boring/confusing. Ron Lieber at the New York Times has pared away the extraneous bits and created a “primer for young people starting their first job,” including helpful advice like why it’s important to get health insurance, how to fill out your W-4, and why it’s good to take advantage of the built-in “raise” that comes from a company-matching 401(k). Sure, this is all basic stuff, but that’s the point. Ya gotta start somewhere.
Trent at The Simple Dollar blog has a post about how to say no, especially to charitable requests. One of his readers describes the problem: