If you use McAfee’s anti-virus program and have Windows XP with SP 3, you may have noticed last week that your PC was shutting down every 60 seconds. That was because McAfee pushed out an update that it now admits wasn’t properly tested. To apologize, the company says it will reimburse you for repairs (although it hasn’t provided details on this yet), and it’s offering everyone who was affected a free 2-year extension of the service. Should you take the offer and call it even? Seth Rosenblatt at Cnet says you shouldn’t bother. [More]
Last month, Daniel wrote in to complain that the Art Institute Online, which is part of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, had completely jacked up his final semester with them. When he wrote to us, he had no diploma, and he was being charged nearly $3,000 for undisclosed course requirements that the school had promised to comp. Fortunately, he’s written back with some good news. [More]
Reader Jim just got a water bill that says his usage has jumped up to
19,000 23,000 gallons per month from his usual 4,000. This is a guy who lives in a one-bath, one-toilet, one-sink house. “Must be that swimming pool I filled in the middle of winter in Western PA,” he says. So far, the utility has dismissed all his requests for explanation, or logic, and demanded he pay up immediately. [More]
I think we can all agree that Jobs and his crew at Apple are a bunch of visionaries when it comes to gadgets, online stores, and now getting really, really screwed by an iTunes purchase. Joel writes, “I just got a call from American Express stating that my recent purchase for iTunes plus for my entire library (cost $146) has been charged to my account over 300 times and is currently still being charged. I have called Apple to have them stop charging me and they told me the only thing I can do is cancel my card. There is no number for iTunes and I have sent multiple messages to them without response via email.” [More]
Here’s something weird. T ordered a bag from luggage.com and got a jelly roll pan. Luggage.com doesn’t sell jelly roll pans. There is nothing they can do about this, however, except for refund the money. No bag. Enjoy the jelly roll pan. [More]
Last October, Bank of America screwed up and seized a vacation home that didn’t belong to them. They also changed the locks and shut off the power, leaving 75 pounds of salmon and halibut rotting for a week before it was discovered, writes Laura Elder of the Galveston Daily News.
The owner, Dr. Alan Schroit, and his wife discovered what had happened when they showed up on Halloween to prepare for a party they were going to host the next day.
According to a lawsuit filed in New Mexico State District Court in Albuquerque, a woman’s brain was returned to her family in a bag of personal effects. [More]
Josh sent us this photo of an ornament he found on the post-Christmas discount racks a few days ago. He notes, “Just goes to show you that typographic layout matters.”
At least one official with the FCC is not impressed by Verizon’s latest explanations of its Early Termination Fees (ETFs) and Mobile Web billing practices. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn released a statement (pdf) last night where she called Verizon’s explanation “unsatisfying” and “troubling,” and she closed with the fighting words, “I look forward to exploring this issue in greater depth with my colleagues in the New Year.” [More]
Last month, David Pogue at the New York Times published a tip from a self-described Verizon employee. The employee accused Verizon of deliberately rigging its system to trap customers whenever they accidentally press the “Get It Now” or “Mobile Web” buttons on their phones–even if they cancel the operation immediately, they’re charged a fee of $1.99 each time. Both Pogue and the FCC asked Verizon to explain why this happens. Verizon’s response: it doesn’t, and Pogue and the hundreds of people who wrote in to confirm this practice are all crazy. [More]
It’s still unclear exactly what’s going on between this Las Vegas woman and a realty company, but they definitely sent someone to clean out her home when they weren’t supposed to. She says they came and emptied the place of everything she owned, all because of an address mistake with the foreclosed property next door. They say she’s misrepresenting the amount of her belongings to the media. [More]
I suspect some readers will say that Assefa Senbet is to blame for screwing up one of his final payments to Citibank on a deferred interest loan agreement. They’ll be right–it was his responsibility. But he didn’t skip a payment, and he wasn’t late. In fact, he frequently overpaid in order to pay it off early. Near the end of the loan, however, he sent in a check for $70 instead of $81. As a consequence, he’s now paying off $887 in deferred interest fees at a 30% interest rate. [More]
Rob’s local Kroger pharmacy screwed up the prescription on his kid’s TamiFlu. Rob caught the error before any harm was done, and he’s not the confrontational type. In fact, he’s wondering whether he should just drop the whole matter. Here’s your chance to convince him otherwise. [More]
Monique X. is trying to get a loan to consolidate her debts into a more affordable payment. She writes that she’s been careful with her credit history and knew that her credit score was adequate to get approved at her bank, “even with the economy the way it is.” That’s when she discovered that someone else’s accounts had been folded into hers, and that Experian’s solution to their error was as bad as the problem. [More]
Mohamed made a mistake, forgetting to use his Priceline bonus cash on a transaction. He contacted Priceline through their online help interface and was stunned at the quick and helpful response he received. His request was forwarded straight to the executive customer service team, and taken care of immediately.
Sometimes a company verifies that a bank account by making a couple of small deposits in it, then asking you to report back the deposit amounts. Don’t rely on that verification process to block any activity in the meantime, though. That’s what Suzette did with Ally bank, and she ended up with a $35 stop payment fee from her own bank.