Beware Of Apartment Scammers

Beware Of Apartment Scammers

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.

How To Get Utilities And Phone Service Without Giving Up Your SSN

How To Get Utilities And Phone Service Without Giving Up Your SSN

As several readers discussed in yesterday’s post, utility, phone, and cable companies usually require your Social Security number in order to perform a credit check before activating service. You don’t have to provide it, but they don’t have to extend their services to you either. Here’s one reader’s explanation of how he was able to turn on water, electricity, gas, and an AT&T land line without turning over his SSN.

"The Moving Company I Hired Was Incompetent—What Do I Do Now?"

"The Moving Company I Hired Was Incompetent—What Do I Do Now?"

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.

Decorate Your Walls For Less By Gluing Random Crap Together

Decorate Your Walls For Less By Gluing Random Crap Together

My friend and I used to pretend to be crafters, and we would email elaborately ridiculous project descriptions back and forth to each other as examples of that past time gone wild. Now we must put down our imaginary glue guns and denim swatches to pay homage to Pamela Cole Harris, who does this stuff for real. Below, see what happens when a kindly scrapbooker goes insane.

"How Do I Stop Fax Spam?"

"How Do I Stop Fax Spam?"

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.

Tired Of Telemarketers? Try Suing Them

Tired Of Telemarketers? Try Suing Them

In yesterday’s post on rude telemarketers and the people who hang up on them, reader/advice giver Amy Alkon said she just successfully sued a telemarketer in Santa Monica Small Claims Court—and won! If you’re one of those unlucky people who can’t get the calls to stop, here’s how she did it.

http://consumerist.com/2008/08/25/used-coffee-grounds-can-absorb/

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]

How To Avoid AT&T's Connection Fee For A New Phone Line

How To Avoid AT&T's Connection Fee For A New Phone Line

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.

6 Unpleasant Truths About Personal Finance

6 Unpleasant Truths About Personal Finance

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.”

What To Do When Citibank Charges You Interest On A Zero Balance

What To Do When Citibank Charges You Interest On A Zero Balance

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:

http://consumerist.com/2008/08/12/heres-a-fun-summer-project/

Here’s a “fun” summer project: make your own homemade Oreo cookies! Will you save money? Who can say! Will they be healthier? Probably not! Will your friends think you have too much time on your hands? Yes, but they’ll appreciate the free baked goods. [Post Tribune]

7 Things You Should Never Say To A Customer Service Rep, And 7 Things You Should

7 Things You Should Never Say To A Customer Service Rep, And 7 Things You Should

Ron Burley, the man behind “Unscrewed: The Consumers� 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.

Just Say 'Yes' To Telemarketers

Want to drive a telemarketer crazy and amuse yourself at the same time? Here’s an example of how to do it.

How To Cancel An Order You've Placed On Walmart.com

How To Cancel An Order You've Placed On Walmart.com

As we noted in this earlier post, it’s technically not possible to cancel an order after you’ve placed it on Wal-Mart’s website. A helpful reader says there are a couple of ways around this, although neither option will immediately free up any hold on your funds.

Capital One Will Ruin This Guy's Credit One Way Or Another

Capital One Will Ruin This Guy's Credit One Way Or Another

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.

The Basics Of Insurance, Taxes, And 401(k)s For First-Time Employees

The Basics Of Insurance, Taxes, And 401(k)s For First-Time Employees

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.

How To Say No To Charities

How To Say No To Charities

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:

Make Your Own Groceries

Make Your Own Groceries