Exclusive: AOL's Collections Guide Encourages Agents To Lie And Deceive

Exclusive: AOL's Collections Guide Encourages Agents To Lie And Deceive

An anonymous tipster sent us AOL’s 153 page internal collections guidebook for prying money out of delinquent account holders. The guide shows that AOL is following some of the debt industry’s most egregious collection tactics by encouraging agents to deceive and lie to customers. After the jump we present AOL’s scare tactics, tricks to negotiating a substantial discount, and the full collections guide.

Haggle With Chain Stores

Haggle With Chain Stores

The Times is reporting that recession-fearing chain stores like Best Buy, Home Depot, and Circuit City are increasingly more desperate to clinch sales by negotiating prices. Hit the jump to see how ordinary shoppers are wielding research and charisma to knock added savings out of retailers.

9 Confessions Of A Retentions Representative

Retentions representatives are the cellphone company’s last line of defense between you and freedom. One brave retentions representative has come forward to teach us how to craft a direct, earnest request that will lead retention reps to do your bidding. Rivaled in effectiveness only by executive customer support, retentions reps are empowered to strike down nuisance fees and bargain liberally, all to keep you as a customer. If you were ever tempted to threaten your cellphone company with cancellation, this one is a must read.

What Are Your Buying Signals?

What Are Your Buying Signals?

The USA Today quiz below, which makes a reference to a customer’s “buying signals,” got us wondering, what are our “tells” when we’re in the store? It turns out there are all sorts of places online to help us with this bit o’ self-knowledge.

Get Those Credit Card Rate increases Canceled

Get Those Credit Card Rate increases Canceled

A Kiplinger reader shares his strategy for getting ridiculous rate increases on his three credit cards rolled back to their original rates. It’s a technique that’s probably familiar to a lot of Consumerist readers when negotiating for lower rates in general: be polite but unyielding, know where you stand as far as leverage (it helps to have a perfect history with the company), start with basic customer service, and then escalate as needed.

Now Actually Is A Good Time To Buy A New Car

Now Actually Is A Good Time To Buy A New Car

You never really see any car commercials that say “Now is a crappy time to buy a new car. You’re not going to save any money at all. Ha, ha, ha.” The reason for this is obvious, but leaves us wondering… When exactly is a good time to buy a new car?

Take Advantage Of The Subprime Meltdown

Take Advantage Of The Subprime Meltdown

Prospective home buyers shopping for houses worth around $500,000 are taking advantage of rising interest rates caused by the ongoing subprime mortgage meltdown. Buyers and sellers alike are becoming increasingly mindful of one magic number: $417,000. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will only guarantee mortgages worth less, forcing some sellers to lower their asking price to accommodate buyers looking to avoid so-called jumbo mortgages. From the Wall Street Journal:

Ask The Consumerists: Get A Lower Rate Without Hurting My Credit?

Ask The Consumerists: Get A Lower Rate Without Hurting My Credit?

Hi Meghann, nice work on Consumerist. You all do a great job, and I enjoy the blog, read it a lot, and learn a lot from it. I thought I would run a situation/question by you and see if you all have any answers or know where to find them.

How Joe Saved Hundreds Of Dollars Using Confessions Of A Cellphone Sales Rep

How Joe Saved Hundreds Of Dollars Using Confessions Of A Cellphone Sales Rep

Here at the Consumerist we have the vague idea that we are helping people save money, but when a story comes along like Joe’s that really shows how someone can take the information from this site and use it to save hundreds of dollars, well, it makes us feel really good.