According to a federal probe, at least 27 TSA agents in Honolulu took it easy on the job, routinely letting un-screened baggage through on early-morning flights. [More]
Alex from Rochester, NY, says every year around this time his Road Runner high speed access slows to a crawl, and stays that way until April. It occasionally happens at other times throughout the year, too. Unfortunately, Time Warner won’t fix the problem. Alex says one technician who came out to look at the issue told him, “The wires were installed when Adelphia provided service, and they haven’t been upgraded since.” Another one told him, “The problem has been going on for years, and management knows about it, but enough people don’t complain.” [More]
Hey, we helped get an Ameriprise customer banned from the financial company’s consumer advisory panel! Sorry about that, Brendan.
[Note: The original headline for this post mistakenly identified Ameritrade as the subject of the post. It is actually Ameriprise Financial. I deeply regret the error.] Since March of this year, security expert Russ McRee of HolisticInfoSec.org has sent 6 messages to Ameriprise Financial warning them of easily exploitable security holes on their website. They ignored every request, while at the same time reassuring customers that “No one without the proper web browser configuration can view or modify information contained on our systems.”
When Wachovia closed its bank branch in Shoemakersville, PA, last month, a spokesperson made it sound like it was part of a normal review of locations. Local newspaper the Reading Eagle, however, found out that the bank lost the branch last September in a tax sale, when a local company bought the building for only $16,900.
Comcast’s new service agreement (PDF) has some curious details buried in the fine print. Here’s the short version: “customer equipment” includes your computer and TV set, and if Comcast somehow damages or breaks any customer equipment through “gross negligence or willful misconduct,” they will pay you up to $500, no more. “This shall be your sole and exclusive remedy relating to such activity.”
In 2006, Jennifer—the co-founder of popular parenting/consumer advocacy site Z Recommends—took her two-and-a-half-year-old to the bathroom at the local Toys R Us store. What she didn’t know was that this particular store featured the awesome striking power of the Action Toilet Stall with Collapsible Mom Trap! As she closed the door, the entire partition fell over on top of her and her daughter. Jennifer managed to protect her daughter from harm, but in the two years since the event, she’s developed chronic pain from the accident—and the response from Toys R Us has been “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
The bus matron of a special needs bus owned by Outstanding Transport, Inc. has been charged with felony reckless endangerment, after forgetting about a 22-year-old passenger and leaving him strapped in his seat on the bus over New Year’s Eve in below-freezing temperatures. He was found yesterday morning at 10:30am and is in good condition, although his sister can’t imagine how he could have been overlooked in the first place: “He’s like 6’2 and hunches over, the seats are not even high.”
Unsafe road conditions in Seattle brought Greyhound’s fleet to a standstill on Sunday, which apparently is why they abandoned riders outside in 25 degree weather last night.
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.
Verizon, which has no problem helping the government spy on its customers, suddenly turned stupid in June when a police department asked them for help finding the body of a woman who had been abducted on camera. Despite pleas from the woman’s parents, the police, and the FBI, it was four days before a technician was sent out to the appropriate cell tower. When that technician gave the police the location info, they found Kelsey Smith’s body within 45 minutes. Verizon won’t respond to requests for an explanation of why they couldn’t help sooner.
“Lisa” writes, “I recently found out that I was a victim of identity theft.” What shocked her, and us as well, is that after Capital One notified her that they’d approved the card with another address, they followed up by sending their fraud claim to the criminal’s address instead of Lisa’s.
On July 20th, Julianna’s (delayed) Delta flight landed in Atlanta at 7:30pm, with a connecting flight scheduled for 8:05pm. Julianna, who has muscular dystrophy, missed the connecting flight because nobody came with a wheelchair until 8:05—the same time the connecting flight took off. To make matters worse, the plane crew told Julianna she might make the flight anyway if she stopped waiting for help and got off the plane right now, so she crawled down the stairs on her own. When the wheelchair came she was “wheeled into a back room and advised” that her plane had taken off. But that was just the first half of her ordeal, and the next eight hours only got worse.
It’s been a few weeks without a BPA story, so here goes: Four parents in Ohio have sued Evenflo, Avent America, Handicraft, Playtex Products, and Novartis for using bisphenol A in their baby products. They’re seeking class action status. [Washington Post]
A Dallas court found U-Haul guilty of negligence for failing to maintain its vehicles properly, and awarded 74-year-old Talmadge Waldrip $84 million in damages, $63 million of which are punitive. “The truck’s parking brake did not work at all,” said the man’s lawyer. “He stepped out of the truck and it rolled right over him.”
Yesterday the FAA sought $10.2 million in civil damages from Southwest Airlines for neglecting to inspect the fuselages of 46 of its planes.
A 44-year-old Brooklyn woman was returning from vacation in Haiti when she began to have trouble breathing. According to her cousin who was on the flight with her, she was refused help twice by the flight attendant, then she was brought two oxygen tanks with masks—but both were empty. Her cousin requested an emergency landing, but before they could touch down in Miami she was dead, so the plane continued to JFK. The airline isn’t commenting on why the emergency tanks were empty in the first place. “After the flight attendant refused to administer oxygen to Ms. Desir, she became distressed, pleading, ‘Don’t let me die,’ Mr. Oliver recalled.”