So you suspect your health/auto/home insurer is run by the devil, but you’re not sure whether the alternative you’re considering is any better. Kiplinger Finance has posted a helpful article on how to find the complaint ratio of an insurer via the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website. Update: here’s how to file your own complaint.
Is there anything more entertaining than having a website assign a letter grade to your financial status? Yes, but whatever it is, it would likely involve spending money you don’t need to spend, at least not if you want to get a good grade. Unlike in-depth financial evaluation tools, Money’s “Your Financial Health” widget just asks for big picture numbers that you can probably enter without needing to open up your budget or spreadsheet app—so it only takes a couple of minutes for you to find out how worried or proud you should be.
Can we tag a story “above and beyond” if the customer service cycle is so screwed up that it eventually works out in the customer’s favor? When jpodbuild tried to get his Craftsman sander repaired or replaced, he couldn’t get anyone on the phone who could actually help him—eventually he would end up back at the first number he’d called. He decided to show up in person and let the store manager handle the phone calls. New sander!
The baby’s on the way! You’ve got a crib, toys, and a rapidly approaching delivery date. So what else you do need? Kiplinger shares the four must-have financial tools that no new parent should go without…
It’s difficult enough to parse a lengthy TOS for one web-based service, let alone for dozens, or to keep track of when and how they update them. It would be nice if some public-service website out there would keep track of this stuff for all of us, wouldn’t it? Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) did just that with the launch of TOSBAck.org, “the terms-of-service tracker.” It tracks TOS agreements for 44 different services, including Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Twitter, and eBay.
A PR person just contacted us on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Department to point out that there are $16 billion in unredeemed bonds that are no longer earning interest. “Specifically, there are 40 million Series E savings bonds purchased between 1941 and 1978 that are over 30 years old and therefore have fully matured. They can be cashed out today for at least four times their face value.”
Is it possible today to buy U.S.-made goods in mainstream, reasonably-priced stores? The answer, ABC’s John Donvan learned while reporting a “Nightline” story to be broadcast tonight, is a rather emphatic “no” when it comes to clothing, and otherwise “maybe.”
If you own a G1 phone from T-Mobile, Google has added a special barcode scanning feature to its Product Search page just for you. Yeah, you’ve already got other barcode scanning apps, but this one integrates with Google’s search functionality so you can scan and see product search results in Google immediately. [Phandroid]
This website displays photos of soft drinks, smoothies, candy, and even vegetables next to little piles of sugar cubes that represent the total sugar in them. This is a great service, because if you ever go into space you can simply use this site to pack a baggie full of an equivalent amount of cubes. Then you can enjoy your Space McFlurry without worrying about liquid contamination of the spacecraft.
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.
When we broke off from our Sears Craftsman warranty saga last Friday, Brian had been told there were no replacements on tools that have rust on them, which wasn’t what Sears told us the last time we had warranty questions. Over the weekend, Brian found more evidence that Sears can’t get its warranty language straight. But there’s some good news, too: he dressed up a little, cleaned off the sockets, and went back to Sears. This time he got a different associate who seemed to have no problem swapping out the tools, and who never mentioned the supposed “three per day” rule.
If you’re shopping around for a TV, computer, camera, or other consumer electronics gadget, you may want to add Gazaro to your online toolbox. The service, which is free but requires registration, tracks items that are listed on sale, then rates the sale price by comparing it to the item’s pricing history. It’s an easy way to quickly scan a list of current sales and see which ones are actually good deals. We like it, but there are still some areas that could be improved.