47-year-old Washington resident Michael Lynch tried and failed to pay a $206 speeding ticket with a plastic bag filled with coins and urine. Surprisingly, his special payment for doing 54 mph in a 35 mph construction zone didn’t violate any laws…
Don’t expect your cellphone to replace your credit card anytime soon. The New York Times reports that banks and telecoms still can’t agree on the basics needed to develop such a payment system, even though similar systems have been available in Japan for the past five years.
Among the many hospital personnel who stopped in to see my father after surgery was a “financial counselor” from the billing office, who basically started stalking him from the minute he left the intensive care unit.
S. wrote a check at Kmart earlier this month and it was denied. No reason was given—just “denied.”
Consolidation loans are no longer profitable for Sallie Mae, so it’s saying goodbye to them. SmartMoney points out that ultimately this shouldn’t matter for students taking out new loans, since the original point of consolidation—converting lots of variable rate loans into a nice predictable fixed rate loan—is no longer relevant (all federal student loans are now disbursed with fixed interest rates.) SmartMoney says if you still have variable rate loans you need/want to consolidate, check out the government’s consolidation offering—”You’re likely to pay the same consolidation rates you’d pay if you did so with Sallie Mae,” they write.
The IRS knows you owe them money and they realize that you may not actually have any to give them. Don’t worry, they’re not going to come in the night and steal all your Nerf footballs and catnip.
A.A. sent us these photos, and writes,
That’s the sign I saw at the Bath & Body Works store in a Tanger Outlet Mall in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I didn’t go inside to find out if my legal tender was no good there or what, but I’m a fan of the site and thought y’all would get a kick out of the pics.
The U.S. Treasury says that’s fine, stores don’t have to accept cash. We’re just worried the people in Pigeon Forge know something about the U.S. dollar that we don’t.
The IRS has more information about the upcoming economic stimulus payments. Woohoo!
A CompUSA cashier summoned her manager and a security guard when Bud tried to pay for his purchases with cash. The promise of 40% discounts drew Bud to the Boisie, Idaho store, but he settled for a 10% discount on an iMac and several accessories.
I start counting out hundred dollar bills and the clerk goes nuts! “Sir, we don’t accept cash for this kind of purchase! You must use a credit card!” she says at the top of her lungs. (I see her also hit a button on the phone at the same time.)
New York taxi drivers have resigned themselves to a fate with credit cards, according to a New York Times investigation. Cabbies struck twice this year to protest regulations forcing them to accept credit of all stripes. To see if cabbies are following the new rules, the Times asked five reporters to hop in twenty cabs each with one question: “I’ve only got a credit card, is that O.K.?”
This scheme is a bit duplicitous, of course, but we feel no compunction passing on ways to game the same system that so often screws us over. Use these tricks at your own risk.
This is exactly the sort of question we love being asked, despite the fact we don’t personally know the answer. We suspect one of you probably do.