Report: Debt Collectors Now Using Court System To Unfairly Force Consumers To Pay Up

Report: Debt Collectors Now Using Court System To Unfairly Force Consumers To Pay Up

Debt collection is a big business that doesn’t look to be shrinking anytime soon. But along with the rapid expansion of the industry, there has been an increase in abusive and predatory collection practices. One of those practices, obtaining default judgements against consumers, has led the Center for Responsible Lending to call for stricter regulations over the process of selling debt to collectors. [More]

How To Not Suck… At Going To Small Claims Court

How To Not Suck… At Going To Small Claims Court

There are times when you can’t convince a business to do the right thing. Or a dispute with your neighbor won’t come to a close. Or, well, stuff happens. When you try to reach an agreement with another party but you just can’t work it out, you might choose to let a judge decide. [More]

I Upgraded My MagicJack, Lost Years Of Prepaid Service

I Upgraded My MagicJack, Lost Years Of Prepaid Service

DL likes MagicJack phone service, and prepaid for five years in advance. That was probably a really good deal until he decided that he would rather have a MagicJack Plus. That model doesn’t need to be connected to a computer. Much more convenient, but one problem: DL’s prepaid years wouldn’t transfer. Now he wants to sue them in small claims court, but they won’t tell him where to serve the papers. He turned to us for help. [More]

How I Took On Johnson & Johnson In Small Claims Court, And Won

How I Took On Johnson & Johnson In Small Claims Court, And Won

Desitin, the diaper rash treatment, is not a nice-smelling substance. Joyce’s husband, Ben, could tell that much before using it to treat the aftereffects of some severe gastrointestinal distress. What he didn’t realize was that the unholy stench could not be defeated. It soaked through his clothing, and when he tried to launder those clothes, the smell didn’t go away: it spread to those other items as well. Annoyed at having to toss $600 worth of clothing, the couple contacted Johnson & Johnson, seeking compensation and encouraging the company to do more to deter people who do not currently wear disposable diapers from using the product. After some letters and an offer of $75 passed in the mail, they went to small claims court. And won. [More]

Honda Wins Reversal Of Small-Claims Judgment Over Hybrid Mileage

Honda Wins Reversal Of Small-Claims Judgment Over Hybrid Mileage

Remember that story of the Honda owner who won nearly $10,000 in small claims court after she opted out of the $100-200 settlement from the class-action lawsuit alleging that the car maker made misleading claims about the gas mileage of its Civic hybrid vehicles? Well, her glory didn’t last long. A judge in California has overturned that judgment. [More]

Seattle Man Victorious Over Apple In Small Claims Court

Seattle Man Victorious Over Apple In Small Claims Court

Chalk up another win for the little guy! A blogger in Seattle says he just wanted Apple to repair his MacBook as the company had promised. When Apple refused, he felt he had no other option but to take the computing colossus to court. [More]

AT&T Writes Check To Victor In Small Claims Court Suit

AT&T Writes Check To Victor In Small Claims Court Suit

Even though AT&T had seemed quite intent on either appealing or coming to a different settlement with the California man who won a small claims court lawsuit against the company for throttling his so-called unlimited data plan, it now looks like the Death Star forces have retreated from this battle. [More]

AT&T Offers To Discuss Settlement With Man Who Won Throttling Lawsuit

AT&T Offers To Discuss Settlement With Man Who Won Throttling Lawsuit

UPDATE: While both the AP and CNET reported that the letter from AT&T’s lawyer “threatened to shut off his service if he didn’t sit down and talk with them,” AT&T has reached out to Consumerist to clarify that the letter only threatens to terminate the customer’s service only if he signed the nondisclosure agreement and then violated the terms of that agreement. We have subsequently confirmed this with a source who has seen a copy of the letter.
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Tips For Anyone Thinking Of Taking AT&T To Small Claims Court

Last week, a man in California made headlines after his small claims court victory over AT&T for the wireless provider’s throttling of his unlimited data plan. Since then, a number of AT&T customers have wondered if they also have grounds for a complaint. [More]

You Can Get $500 If An Autodialer Calls Your Cellphone

You Can Get $500 If An Autodialer Calls Your Cellphone

Your cellphone rings from a number you don’t recognize. You pick it up. At first there’s silence. Then the sound of a call center kicks in and a person asks, “Hello, can I speak to Karen?” It’s a telemarketer, or a debt collector, using an autodialer. And they just broke the law. And just for funsies, you can collect $500 or $1500 with just a few hours of work if you go after them. [More]

Sears Repair Stands Customer Up 4 Times, Delays Repair 7 Weeks

Sears Repair Stands Customer Up 4 Times, Delays Repair 7 Weeks

It seemed to a California woman that spending a few hundred extra bucks on an extended warranty for her Sears washing machine was a good investment. And with a newborn in the house, the ability to summon a repairman with a phone call for no out-of-pocket cost. That’s true: assuming they show up and actually repair the appliance. Local Sears employees instead dismantled the machine, ordered parts, and then proceeded to stand her up four times, leaving the family without a working washer for seven weeks. [More]

Mother Wins $7,500 After Suing Debt Collector

Mother Wins $7,500 After Suing Debt Collector

Mayling, mother of two, says she was inspired by Consumerist stories and when a harassing debt collector wouldn’t stop calling her family, she took matters into her own hands. With a 6 month-old and a toddler in tow, she sued them in small claims court and won $7,500. This is her story. [More]

College Kid Is Pro At Taking Companies To Small Claims Court

College Kid Is Pro At Taking Companies To Small Claims Court

Most of us have trouble scratching a simple customer service call off our to-do list, but The Red Tape Chronicles profiles a college kid who has turned taking companies to small claims court into a bit of a hobby. And he’s won 10 out of 12 times. [More]

Where Are They Now? Adam And The Nonexistent Home Warranty

Where Are They Now? Adam And The Nonexistent Home Warranty

Back in November 2009, we featured the story of Adam and his wife, who bought a house and were under the impression that this house included a one-year warranty. You can’t blame them for having this impression, since it was included in the purchase and was supposed to be paid for by the listing agent. When the house’s heat pump broke and they actually needed the warranty, they learned that the paperwork was never filed, and the promised warranty didn’t exist. He asked the Consumerist Hive Mind for advice, and the Hive Mind delivered. But how did things turn out? [More]

Man Wins $5,000 Suing Debt Collectors, Thanks To Google Voice

Man Wins $5,000 Suing Debt Collectors, Thanks To Google Voice

Reader PJ sued a bunch of harassing debt collectors and won $5,000, and Google Voice made doing it really easy. Someone had put down his work cellphone number on their credit applications and ran up a bunch of debts and collectors started calling him multiple times per day. He told them he wasn’t the guy and asked them nicely to stop, but that only made it worse. [More]

(Courtesy Patrick Rodgers)

This Is How I "Foreclosed" On Wells Fargo

by Patrick Rodgers [More]

Wells Fargo Negotiates With Homeowner Who "Foreclosed" On Their Branch

Wells Fargo Negotiates With Homeowner Who "Foreclosed" On Their Branch

Wells Fargo had a nice phone call this afternoon with the Goth homeowner who “foreclosed” on one of their local branches. “The sheriff’s sale will not be happening,” the Wells Fargo spokesperson told me with a laugh. “We are working with him towards a resolution that works for everyone.” She acknowledged that it should have never gotten to this point. “We should have called him before this.” UPDATE: Here’s what homeowner Patrick said of the conversation: [More]

Wells Fargo Meeting Today With Philly Homeowner Who "Foreclosed" On Them (Here's How He Did It)

Wells Fargo Meeting Today With Philly Homeowner Who "Foreclosed" On Them (Here's How He Did It)

Wells Fargo is meeting today at noon with the Philadelphia homeowner who “foreclosed” on them, The Consumerist has exclusively learned. Patrick says he “received a call from upon high” late yesterday and that he now has an appointment, “with a very senior Wells Fargo person.” It will be interesting to see how this plays out. But how did Patrick go from embattled and ignored homeowner to seated across the negotiating table with leverage? I spoke with him to find out more about both how and why he did what he did. His story is an inspiration to anyone who’s dreamed of going toe-to-toe with the big banks and winning. Turns out that armed with persistence, and a little legal know-how, Davids can take down Goliaths. [More]