Earlier today, a public relations person sent in the following suggested “follow up” story about the explosion in overdraft fees. She was quite friendly and complimentary and made it clear she just wants to help educate consumers about banking fees. The only problem is, the entire story is a jumble of propaganda designed to spread FUD about any attempt to change current overdraft policies. We figured it might be fun to see how the banking industry wants you to think.
As part of a settlement with the customer who sued Amazon over the 1984 fiasco this past summer, Amazon has clarified under what circumstances it can delete your books. Notably, Amazon is not saying that it will never again delete books, which keeps the Kindle in the “do not buy” list for consumers who want unequivocal ownership of the items they purchase. In fact, despite the muted praise Amazon is receiving for doing this, the best we can say about the clarification is that it’s about time, but that it still doesn’t address the fundamental ownership issues raised by the Kindle licensing system.
I asked Apple this morning to replace my broken laptop now that they’ve reintroduced the anti-glare option on their 15″ MacBook Pros. Apple agreed, and soon a new laptop will leave China destined for my apartment. This isn’t the first laptop Apple sent me this month. It’s the second. Here’s why…
Apple censored a dictionary app, forcing the developers to remove listings to “cock,” “ass,” and other words that make fifth graders giggle, before it allowed it to go up on the App Store. Ninjawords is now available (with those entries excised) but has a 17+ rating. [Engadget]
Look, Comcast, when you take back someone’s equipment and give them a receipt confirming that their account has no balance, it’s not unreasonable for them to think that their account is canceled. Don’t keep billing them for service and equipment rentals, and don’t tell them that you “can keep [the account] active and [bill] indefinitely until [you] decide to disconnect it.” Because if you do, they’re going to call their state Attorney General’s office. At least that’s how Paul convinced Comcast to finally cancel his account.
Life insurance polices are backed by state guarantee associations, but the coverage offered varies drastically from state to state. Some products, like variable annuities, can be recovered in full because of the way they’re structured, but if you have term life insurance or a universal policy, you should know the limitations of your state’s coverage…
RyanAir this week announced that they will soon eliminate all airport check-in counters and require passengers to carry-on their luggage. Starting early next year, passengers will need to schlep their bags through airport security and drop them at the steps of the plane for checking into plane’s cargo hold. Once aboard though, there will be gambling!
U.S. Open Backtracks After Telling 42,500 People They'll Get No Refund For Spending A Day In The Rain
The U.S. Golf Association initially told 42,500 U.S. Open ticketholders who spent most of Thursday standing in the rain that they would be unable to refund or exchange their tickets. Then New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo stepped in and convinced the USGA to make the washed-out tickets valid for entry on Monday. Tomorrow’s forecast: rain.
UPS’ website promises that they will deliver Corey’s Dell Vizio 37″ LCD monitor tomorrow, which would be exciting, except the website has said the same thing every day for the past two weeks. UPS’ customer service representatives insist that the package is lost and that Dell needs to initiate a trace. Dell would be happy to accommodate—who wouldn’t want to trace a lost package?—but their customer service representative claims that it’s Dell policy not to initiate a trace until 48 hours after the scheduled delivery date, which according to UPS, is tomorrow.
Dan likes the interface and ease of texting on his Blackberry, but doesn’t need mobile Internet or e-mail. He asked his service provider, Alltel, to switch his service to a Blackberry he already owned, but without a data plan. An employee said that was possible and set it up for him, and Dan texted away happily…until he received his bill, which now contains a hefty data plan charge. Alltel now insists that Dan can’t have a Blackberry on their network without a data plan.
CircuitCity.com is back, and it looks eerily familiar. The zombie website is now controlled by Systemax, the same folks who own Tiger Direct. Though the new site may look similar to the old, no doubt part of Systemax’s goal to keep alive a “proud brand that America has grown to count on,” it isn’t nearly as consumer-friendly as we would like…
We’re all about to see more money in our paychecks thanks to lower payroll taxes, but if you want to use the savings to payoff your student loans, you better act on the one day that Citibank will take your money. At least that’s what Citibank told reader Valori, who tried sending the bank a check with instructions to apply it towards the principal on her student loans. The bank instead applied it to her usual monthly payment and told her that the only way to pay down her principal was to “setup an automatic payment on the Citibank website to debit on the same day as [the] automatic payment is direct debited.” Does that seem easy to anyone?
Earlier this month, we noted how a reader was having trouble getting Sears to properly honor the lifetime warranty on his Craftsman tools. Now David Figler, a vice president of the company, has responded and said, “We stand behind the warranty—complete satisfaction—period.” Below is his email, and a portion of the memo he sent to Sears stores on the matter.
A Delta customer service representative assured Grace that her sister would be able to fly, even though she had just lost her wallet containing her identifications. Of course, when Grace’s sister arrived the next morning at the airport, Delta’s counter agents refused to let her anywhere near the gate until she produced a photo ID. After two hours on the phone, Grace’s parents tracked down an old learner’s permit and drove 20 miles to fax a copy to the airport. Now Grace wants to know why Delta’s customer service agents weren’t familiar with Delta’s policies, and what, if anything Delta can do to compensate her for the wasted time.
Not to be outdone by all the negative publicity Office Depot is getting over their “not in stock” lies, Best Buy stores in the New York area have been uncovered refusing to price match TV prices in accordance with their official policy. When pressed, the sales associates said that the TVs weren’t covered due to imaginary exclusions that aren’t included in the official policy language. An employee at one of the stores gave in, but then made up a new imaginary policy that said free delivery would cost $100.
An anonymous Office Depot employee sent us this internal reminder from HQ that addresses this week’s allegations that associates and managers lie about inventory depending on the customer. Now the next time you’re told by an Office Depot associate that the laptop you want is out of stock, you can say, “Are you absolutely sure? Because I know you had a Sales Practices Reminder on March 12th about lying to customers.” And if a manager tries to get all up in, uhm, your grill area, you can say, “Don’t you have some tasks to go check off in your Task Manager?”