Ask Tax Dad: Micro-Business, Rental Home, Deadbeat Ex, And Government Shutdown

Ask Tax Dad: Micro-Business, Rental Home, Deadbeat Ex, And Government Shutdown

Historically, our staff Certified Tax Cat has handled readers’ questions about taxes, but he’s taking a leave of absence to campaign for the legalization of medical catnip. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]

(Coyoty)

Lottery Winner Grabs Burger In Canadian Midwest, Leaves $10,000 Tip

Passing through Saskatchewan, a man from British Columbia, Canada happened to stop in a little restaurant to grab a burger. The visitor wrote a $10,000 check and told the restaurant owner to take his bill out of that and keep the rest. Was it some kind of scam? No, just a very generous lottery winner. [More]

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Coffee Shop Owner: Quit Asking Me To Offer Suspended Coffees Already

Last week, we explained why we think that the “suspended coffee” movement that allegedly began in Naples, spread all over Bulgaria, and exploded on Facebook isn’t such a hot idea. But don’t just take it from us: the owner of an independent London coffee shop weighed in on the movement. Her take: it’s insulting that people think independent coffee shops don’t already help people who look like they could use a warm cup of coffee, and you should support your local indie shop. Well, that second part was predictable. [More]

(royalconstantinesociety)

B2B Telemarketer Rage: A Perspective From The Other End Of The Phone Line

Usually, the people who write to us are besieged with calls from telemarketers or companies they’ve done business with, and want us to help make it stop. Brett is on the other side of the phone line. He’s not the traditional telemarketer you might think of, calling ordinary citizens during dinner: his company is just business-to-business, and he was doing some cold calling to drum up business. The person who answered the phone was anything but businesslike. [More]

(Alan Cleaver)

The Slightly Ridiculous Multiple License Pricing Of QuickBooks

When Brett’s dad bought a new computer with a shinier operating system, he had to purchase a new version of the accounting software Quickbooks for use on more than one computer. No big deal: Quickbooks comes with multiple licenses so users can install it on more than one computer after buying only one copy. There was no mention of needing multiple licenses for multiple computers in the sales documentation. That’s when Brett learned that you can’t make purchases based on how a product’s specifications used to be. A second license actually costs more than a single copy of Quickbooks. [More]

PayPal Leaves Small Business Out $500 And A Snake

PayPal Leaves Small Business Out $500 And A Snake

Shawn runs a small reptile business, selling habitats, supplies, and animals. A customer’s purchase of a $500 snake went smoothly, with payment via PayPal and a critter off to a happy new home. Then the buyer reported the transaction to PayPal as fraudulent. They ruled in the buyer’s favor after an “investigation” that didn’t include talking to Shawn, and took back the $500. Voil√† – free snake. [More]

Chicago Restaurant Owes $118K In Overdraft Fees, May Have To Close

Chicago Restaurant Owes $118K In Overdraft Fees, May Have To Close

If you’ve felt the burn of a $35 overdraft charge, just be thankful you’re not Chicago’s Heartland Cafe, which has had to shell out $118,000 in cascading overdraft charges. [More]

Treasury Dept. To Give States $1.5 Billion To Help Small Businesses

Treasury Dept. To Give States $1.5 Billion To Help Small Businesses

Less than two weeks after the passing of the $30 billion small business lending bill, the Treasury Department has announced an additional $1.5 billion it will distribute to the states with the intent of seeing ten times that dollar amount ultimately injected into the economy. [More]

Rogue Wallet Replaces Entire Batch Of Bad Wallets, Stuns Customer

Rogue Wallet Replaces Entire Batch Of Bad Wallets, Stuns Customer

Michael writes that his wallet, which he purchased over a year ago, was starting to fall apart a bit. He recently received a new wallet in the mail from Rogue Wallet, the small company that manufactured his, but…. he had never contacted the company. He wasn’t dealing with a psychic wallet maker. (That would be awesome.) Instead, he discovered a company that very candidly owned its mistake and wanted to please customers even if nothing had gone wrong with their personal wallets yet. [More]

Business Credit Cards Not Protected By CARD Act

Business Credit Cards Not Protected By CARD Act

Sorry, small businesses, the much ballyhooed protections of the CARD Act do not cover your credit cards. Only consumer credit cards get safeguarded against the most punitive of the old interest rate and fee policies. No wonder credit card solicitations to small business owners have increased 256%, vs 29% for consumer credit cards – they’re more profitable now. [More]

Yelp Not Selling To Google

Yelp is no longer being bought by Google, at least for now. [TechCrunch] [PREVIOUSLY] [More]

Google Might Buy Yelp

Google Might Buy Yelp

UPDATE: Yelp Walks Away From Google Deal [More]

Has Your Office Encountered The Online Yellow Pages Scam?

Has Your Office Encountered The Online Yellow Pages Scam?

Patten seriously wants the purported “Online Yellow Pages” to stop calling his office. They call once per day, looking for information on the company, but Patten is suspicious. Rightly so, as it turns out—this is a scam, and companies who respond receive a hefty invoice for “advertising” that they never authorized.

Crisis At The Florist: When Cooler Heads Prevail

Crisis At The Florist: When Cooler Heads Prevail

After weeks of trying to get our floral cooler fixed, it has been fixed as of 2:00pm today! The issue was with the dryer valve and not the compressor. The valve was completely clogged and we had a new one soldiered on. It went from 85 degrees to 44 degrees in 15 minutes. It is the best $324.45 I have ever spent!

Ask The Consumerists: These Flowers Just Need To Chill

Ask The Consumerists: These Flowers Just Need To Chill

Billy’s wife owns a small flower shop near Austin, Texas. The shop’s floral cooler broke down recently. They can’t afford a new one, and can’t find a used one for sale in the area. A misunderstanding when taking out an insurance policy means that the business’s insurance won’t cover the cooler malfunction.

Ask The Consumerists: Small Business Credit Cards

Ask The Consumerists: Small Business Credit Cards

We’ve heard from many, many readers who are Advanta cardholders since bringing the impending account freeze to their attention before the company did. Some people are just annoyed. Others don’t know what to do to keep their businesses afloat.

Advanta Shuts Down Small Business Credit Card Accounts

Advanta Shuts Down Small Business Credit Card Accounts

UPDATE: Advanta Moves Up Credit Freeze Deadline, Still Doesn’t Notify Customers

Sprint Gouges Business Customer For Over $30,000 In Inflated Fees

Sprint Gouges Business Customer For Over $30,000 In Inflated Fees

Allen Harkleroad of GMP Services writes, “A warning to all Sprint corporate customers that have dedicated access (T1′s, etc.) if you are out of contract Sprint may be gouging you and claiming outrageously high local loop charges as the cause.