Struggling to make next month’s rent, you might be tempted to dig out some necklaces and rings you don’t wear and try to sell it to your friendly neighborhood jeweler. But you might actually be buying a ticket to a sick magic show. The jeweler performs a blistering series of slight of hand tricks, whipping out calculators, spouting off fees, keeping your eye on the supposedly worthless diamonds under a tenth of a carat while double-deducting for the base metal. By the end, you slink out in a dizzied blur, accepting 1/5th of what the piece is actually worth. In this exclusive excerpt from the latest issue of Harper’s, ex-jeweler Clancy Martin takes you on a journey to the dark underbelly of the jewelry game. [More]
A shadowy figure emerges from even darker shadows to reveal the umber-colored world that is the Bank of America Collection department. It is a place so fell that it cannot be even spoken of directly and is instead referred to as “Customer Assistance.” A cruel joke? Perhaps. “I never expected to be working for such an evil company. but they were the only ones hiring,” says our tipster who has some tough-love advice for all you deadbeats out there so he doesn’t have to call you up and demand your money. Because he will find you, and he will get you. [More]
A Verizon Wireless insider tells us that the best way to get white glove customer service treatment is to target the president for your Verizon region. Here’s how: [More]
Former used car salesman Alan Slone grew a little Jimminy Cricket in his ear and decided to spill his guts on a classic dealership technique used to addle your mind and empty your wallet. It’s called “The Four Square” and the object of the game is to make you lose. Here’s how it works, and how to beat it. [More]
Come, come hither. Step into the flesh of a Comcast customer service rep. Doesn’t it feel nice? Yes, yes. This is what it’s like to work for Awesome Cable Inc. Now you know what they go through, and tricks and tactics for dealing with them. Come my pretty, and let the Comcast mole teach you the ways… [More]
Why waste another sick day waiting for a tech to never show up when you can troubleshoot it yourself? Tossed over the transom by some anonymous insider, here’s a how to on solving many problems with your Comcast internet, TV, or digital voice, like a big boy. [More]
Never give a New Jersey toll collector pennies. Never. Ever. Not unless you want to risk them being thrown in your face. That’s the lesson I learned from reading the 30 pages of customer complaints The Smoking Gun gathered by doing a Freedom of Information Act request on the State of New Jersey. And in between the suggestions to stay flashing suggestions, threats of strip search and violence, that state is very altered indeed. [More]
Let’s step into a time machine and travel through the mists of chronos to an ancient yesteryear. It was a different era, Britney Spears shaved her head, Boris Yeltsin died, and people learned how to print images on toast from the comfort of their own workshops. Oh, and a lil’ thing called an iPhone came out. The year was 2007, and Verizon and Sprint were so scared that they issued these ridiculous sheets to their frontline reps with talking points for discouraging people from buying an iPhone: [More]
On a flight yesterday, minor celebrity Kim Kardashian figured out that the guy next to her was the air marshal, at which point she excitedly announced it to her followers on Twitter. “Jim the air marshall makes me feel safe!” she tweeted. But it’s okay, she understands how security protocols are supposed to work; after some of her followers complained about what she’d done, she responded, “[I] highly doubt anyone is twittering like me on this flight! shhh.” [More]
An ex-subprime lender employee of a sent us the scripts they used to cold-call homeowners back in 2005 to get them to ditch their 30-year fixed mortgages for risky sub-prime loans. One of them is called, “Wholesale Gangsta Script,” which I think about says it all right there. [More]
A reader sent us a letter that AT&T sent to its employees asking them to tell the FCC they oppose net neutrality. This comes after the FCC announced plans to investigate and enact net neutrality rules that will ensure that internet service providers (like AT&T) treat all content equally. The letter and a rebuttal are inside.
An anonymous RadioShack employee sent us what he considers unethical talking points distributed by the corporate office to help employees upsell the RadioShack Replacement Service Plan. According to our tipster, “each example encourages lying.” Read the deceptive talking points, inside…
As studies continue to link bisphenol-A (BPA) with all sorts of health problems, states and cities are banning the chemical from baby bottles and sippy cups and Congress is considering a ban in all food containers. This worries industry groups, who last week held a private meeting to devise strategy to protect the use of BPA. Someone sent the notes to the Washington Post.
Did you know there isn’t a formal way to report a Charter cable outage, and that you’re entitled to a $20 credit if your tech is a single minute late for your appointment? These, and other fantastic tips to get faster, cheaper service from Charter, as told by a former customer service representative, inside…
A retail insider tells us why Webloyalty/Reservation Rewards stays in business, and how you can stop them by cutting off their juice at the source:
Traditionally, AmEx will send you a replacement credit card via overnight, but an insider tells us that as a cost-saving move, they’ve been trying to cut back on this. If you have low-balance, low-usage or are not an annual fee payer, they might not offer the overnight right off the bat, or may even deny it. Our tipster says there are some key phrases you can use to make sure you get your card lickity-split: