Chris Morran

DirecTV Admits Errors In Regional Sports Fees; Will Issue Credits To Affected Customers

DirecTV Admits Errors In Regional Sports Fees; Will Issue Credits To Affected Customers

We recently pointed out that DirecTV is assessing its “Regional Sports Fee” — the surcharge for carrying local sports channels in a particular area — unevenly, meaning you could be paying as much as $87/year more than your friend around the corner for the exact same TV package. At the time, DirecTV could not offer a reasonable explanation for this disparity, but the company is now apologizing and saying it will credit the bills of affected customers. [More]

Kevin Gagel

States Will Go To Court To Stop EPA Rollback Of Fuel-Efficiency Standards

President Trump has made it known that his administration intends to oblige the auto industry’s request to roll-back longterm standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency in most new vehicles. However, some states say they will go to court to fight carmakers’ attempts to undo these guidelines. [More]

Volkswagen Not Yet Saying No To Idea Of Chrysler Merger

Volkswagen Not Yet Saying No To Idea Of Chrysler Merger

While poor Fiat Chrysler is busy hopelessly playing the Duckie to General Motors’ Andie Walsh (What — you’re not Pretty In Pink fans? Monsters), there might be another potential prom date in FCA’s future: Volkswagen. [More]

frankieleon

Congressional Budget Office: Obamacare Repeal Plan Would Leave 24 Million Additional People Without Insurance By 2026

Two Congressional committees have already passed their legislative efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act without waiting for feedback from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on how these bills would affect the number of insured in the U.S. The CBO has now released its analysis, concluding that the repeal would result in 14 million fewer people having health insurance in only the first year. After a decade, the CBO estimates that 24 million more people would be without coverage than if the existing plans were kept in place. [More]

JCPenney Goes For Sears’ Jugular With Expanded Home Services

JCPenney Goes For Sears’ Jugular With Expanded Home Services

With questions arising about Sears’ ability to make it through another year without borrowing even more money from its own CEO, JCPenney has been quietly expanding its business to be more like the Sears of old, selling appliances and even heating/air-conditioning systems. Today, JCP went even further in its apparent efforts to kick Sears while it’s down. [More]

Highlights From The House Debate On Tanning Tax That Turned Into A Sideshow

Highlights From The House Debate On Tanning Tax That Turned Into A Sideshow

Among the lesser-discussed points of the Affordable Care Act repeal and replace legislation is a move to get rid of a 10% tax on the use of tanning salons. Why is this suddenly an issue, and how did it cause the House Ways and Means Committee’s discussion of the bill to devolve into a sideshow, complete with debates on the merits of ice cream and Spain’s tax on the sun? [More]

Steve

Home Depot Will Pay $25 Million To Banks, Credit Unions Over 2014 Data Breach

Home Depot’s legal battles over the massive 2014 data breach that saw millions of customers’ card accounts compromised may finally be nearing an end, with news that the home repair retailer has reached a deal that will pay $25 million to banks and credit unions who had to help mop up Home Depot’s mess. [More]

Consumerist

RadioShack Goes Bankrupt For Second Time In Two Years; Sprint Will Take Over Some Stores

That was quick. Barely two years after filing for its previous bankruptcy, RadioShack has again run out of money and options, resulting in the retail chain’s second Chapter 11 filing since Feb. 2015. [More]

Lawmakers Try Again To Close Loophole Allowing Government To Make Debt-Collection Robocalls

Lawmakers Try Again To Close Loophole Allowing Government To Make Debt-Collection Robocalls

Once again, federal lawmakers are trying to close a recently opened loophole that allows the federal government — and, by extension, contractors working for the government — to blast out automated, unwanted, possibly incorrect, debt-collection robocalls. [More]

DirecTV’s Regional Sports Fees Make No Sense; You May Be Paying $87/Year More Than Your Neighbor

DirecTV’s Regional Sports Fees Make No Sense; You May Be Paying $87/Year More Than Your Neighbor

“Regional Sports Fees” — one of those add-on charges that cable and satellite companies tack on to raise the price of pay-TV plans without having to change the price they advertise — have rubbed a lot of people the wrong way in recent months. Comcast is being sued over this fee, and lawmakers have asked cable providers to explain these charges. As irritating as this surcharge may be, an analysis of how DirecTV assesses these fees raises questions about the motives of the nation’s largest satellite TV provider. [More]

Ashley

Streaming Subscription Audience Has Surpassed Pay-TV Subscribers In U.S., Claims Survey

It’s been about two years since America’s major cable companies started seeing their internet service customers outnumber their pay-TV subscribers, and now a new survey claims that streaming video subscriptions in the U.S. have overtaken cable and satellite subscriptions. [More]

Liz West

Hospital, Doctors Groups Say They Can’t Support Current Obamacare Replacement Proposal

People are still dissecting and deciding where they come down in response to the recently proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, two of the largest groups in the American healthcare business advised lawmakers that they are not thrilled with what they’ve seen so far. [More]

Sen. Al Franken

Congress Set Up For Showdown Over Consumers’ Ability To Sue Corporations

A subject that many Americans don’t even know about — until it’s too late for them to do anything — is now shaping up to be a battleground between lawmakers in both the House and Senate, where two very different sets of legislation will go head to head to determine whether or not companies can strip their customers of their constitutional right to file a lawsuit in court — and their First Amendment right to speak freely. [More]

photographybynatalia

4 Things Consumers Should Know About WikiLeaks’ Dump Of CIA ‘Vault 7’ Documents

Earlier today, WikiLeaks unleashed a trove of what it claims are thousands of pages of CIA documents containing details on the intelligence agency’s abilities to breach a variety of consumer products to collect data and spy on people. [More]

inajeep

Congressional Committees Release Text Of Obamacare Repeal & Replacement Bills

The piece of legislation that has been the hottest ticket in D.C. — the GOP effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — is beginning to take shape, with the release by the House Committee On Energy & Commerce and the House Ways & Means Committee of their proposals to undo the healthcare reform legislation. [More]

Keystone-XL.com

White House Exempts Keystone XL Pipeline From “Buy American” Mandate

Despite recent declarations by the White House that new oil pipelines would be required to be made with steel and iron sourced from within the U.S., the administration has confirmed that the recently resurrected proposal for a pipeline running from Nebraska to Alberta is exempt from this mandate. [More]

Ryan Dearth

New Legislation Seeks To End Federal Ban On Marijuana

The same week that the White House likened legalized recreational marijuana to the opioid epidemic, and let it be known that the Justice Department will likely begin cracking down on non-medical pot, a Republican Congressman from Virginia introduced a law that, if passed, would put an end to the federal criminalization of marijuana. [More]