The New York Times’ “Haggler” column is a standard consumer problem-solving column like many newspapers have, but backed with the brand recognition and vast readership of the NYT. A recent column about a financing dispute between a Texas woman and an appliance store could have just been a mundane account of a dispute over interest payments on a refrigerator, but the company refused to talk to the Times. At all. [More]
Rey had a really great idea for a Kickstarter project. We don’t know what it is: he didn’t tell us. The world may never have the chance to know what his amazing idea was, because he didn’t even get to the point of setting up his page and posting a slick video. Instead, Amazon stood in his way. Amazon? Why Amazon? Well, you have to accept Amazon Payments to use Kickstarter. Amazon needed information that Rey had already provided long ago and was still valid. In fact, they had just sent him some money. They asked him for it again anyway, and then things got ridiculous and confusing. [More]
Lindsay rented a DVD from Redbox, and kept it longer than planned. Except her card on file was closed, and they couldn’t charge the extra rental fees to it. Can they take her payment over the phone? No. They aren’t set up to handle this situation, and don’t particularly want her money. [More]
Call center representatives who handle Macy’s credit card inquiries are starting to wonder what’s wrong with reader Melannie. She keeps making $150 payments on her account, but she doesn’t owe anything. She hasn’t even used the card since 2009. They can refund her the overpayment, but that’s not the problem. Because she never made the payment in the first place. [More]
Reader Douglas’s wife left him, which we’re very sad to hear. He wrote to Consumerist about it because he’s still paying for her ring, which they purchased at Jared when they got married two years ago. He’s struggling financially, and made arrangements with the company to make payments of $50 per month at a lower interest rate. A few months later, they suddenly raised the payments back up to $100, claiming that there is nothing they can do to change the situation. Douglas is stuck. [More]
One of the problems with selling online is that you can’t make your customers leave you feedback or ratings. You can remind them, offer discounts on their next purchase, and some shady vendors even try to bribe customers for food feedback. What you can’t do is force customers to leave you feedback, good or bad. Mike is a very small-time Amazon Marketplace seller, having sold seven items in the last four years, and none of the buyers have left him any feedback. He recently sold an expensive camera lens, and now Amazon has frozen his account because [More]
The last time I uncovered an obvious error with my Citibank checking account, I realized it was time to move on. Our tipster Roarke may have just reached that same conclusion, only in his case Citibank has already passed along the account for him–just not the thousand dollar electronic payment he made on it a few days prior, which Citibank says it plans to hang on to for another 30 days. [More]
PayPal exists to make money, not to help you. That’s why the unregulated money broker likes to ensure that when you pay with a linked account, you pay via the ATM debit card setting, because it’s cheaper for PayPal. Of course, that “savings” is sometimes deducted from you in the form of a transaction fee by your bank, but PayPal doesn’t care. If you want to change that payment method the next time you use PayPal, be prepared to jump through a lot of hoops. [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]
Richard bought a vehicle, returned it and bought another from the same dealership. He says Wachovia erroneously paid off the second loan instead of the first. Once he got the finance department to correct the mistake — a process that took a month — Wachovia started hassling him to make a payment for which he was never billed. [More]
Reader broncobiker sent us the photo at left, wondering whether check acceptance policies might be getting a little out of hand. But checks have so much potential for fraud, and so few shoppers use them, that many merchants have just stopped accepting them entirely.
Wachovia has a new financial product called Way2Save that automatically moves $1 from your checking account into a high interest personal savings account every time you make an electronic bill payment. Susan tried to maximize her contributions by making a lot of little bill payments, but Wachovia cut off access to her funds without notice and triggered an avalanche of penalty fees. Now she owes over $5,000 to her credit card companies, far more than she would likely have ever earned through Wachovia’s complicated savings program, and of course Wachovia is denying any responsibility.
One of the weirder strategies by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) recently has been to claim that every time a ringtone played, a royalty should be paid. ASCAP sued AT&T earlier this year over the claim, but a federal judge has ruled that your phone ringing does not constitute a public performance.
The Federal Reserve has released data on consumer debt for August, and for the 11th month in a row we’ve paid down credit card debt and increased savings. Take that, rate-hiking credit card companies!
If you dislike handing your credit or debit card over to restaurant employees and letting them wander off with it for a while, you’re not alone, and that’s why some restaurants are experimenting with mobile pay-at-the-table technology.