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Police: Florida Man Interprets “Test Drive” As “Free $150K Maserati”

If you sell cars, you’ve probably had your share of jokes from “hilarious” customers who crack wise about making off with the car they are test-driving, but most car-shoppers are indeed only joking about committing grand theft auto. Then there’s the Florida man accused of using a test drive to help himself to a $150,000 Maserati. [More]

Amazon Hasn’t Turned Over Echo Recordings Related To Murder Investigation

Amazon Hasn’t Turned Over Echo Recordings Related To Murder Investigation

Nearly two months after police investigating a homicide in Arkansas served Amazon with search warrants, requesting any information that may have been stored on an Echo speaker located inside the suspect’s home. They wanted to know if the device’s “Alexa” virtual assistant had recorded any evidence of the murder, but Amazon has thus far refused to turn this information over to authorities. [More]

Bernal Saborio G. (berkuspic)

United Airlines Passenger Says Dog Died After Flight From Detroit To Oregon

Three years ago, United Airlines felt the internet’s wrath when a photo surfaced showing a caged dog the carrier had allegedly left out in the rain on an airport tarmac. Now, the airline is once again facing claims it harmed an animal, after a woman accused the airline for being responsible for the death of her dog. [More]

Adam Fagen

Bank-Backed Congressman Introducing Law To Gut Consumer Financial Protections

Less than a week after President Trump signed a mostly symbolic executive order directing federal regulators to revise the rules established by the 2010 financial reforms, one lawmaker (whose campaign just happens to have been heavily financed by big banks) is planning to introduce legislation to scale back consumer protections and allow banks to take more risks. [More]

(Alan Levine)

Do Investment Advisors Have Your Best Interests In Mind? They Don’t Have To

The Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Duty Rule aims to protect families from conflicts of interest by requiring advisors to act in the best interest of customers. Sounds pretty common sense. But it’s now in jeopardy as President Donald Trump on Friday signed an executive order directing the Department to take the first step toward changing or eliminating the rule, before it even formally takes effect. [More]

Patrick Fagen

Congress Trying To Roll Back Consumer Protections For Prepaid Cards

Last fall, weeks before the election, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau concluded a three-year process of trying to make prepaid cards less costly. Those new rules, which would improve transparency and curb runaway fees, are set to go into effect later this year, but not if lawmakers on Capitol Hill have their say.  [More]

Company Demands Thousands Of Dollars Over Negative Yelp Reviews, Despite Federal Law

Company Demands Thousands Of Dollars Over Negative Yelp Reviews, Despite Federal Law

In December, after an inexplicably long trip through the legislative process, President Obama signed the Consumer Review Fairness Act, making it illegal for companies to demand that consumers sign away their right to speak honestly. However, not everyone seems to have gotten this message. [More]

geetargeek

Congressional Committee Officially Asks FCC To Kill Set-Top Box Reform

If you had any hope of being able to get your cable box from someone other than your cable company (or paying Tivo’s ridiculously high prices and subscription fees), you should probably just throw that hope into the garbage bin. One Congressional committee — the head of which has been heavily funded by the pay-TV and broadcast industries — has officially called on new FCC Chair Ajit Pai to scuttle the agency’s stalled efforts to make set-top boxes better and more affordable. [More]

Adam Fagen

Consumer Advocates, 17 States Willing To Defend CFPB In Court If Trump Administration Won’t

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is barely five years old and its future is already in doubt after a divided federal appeals court ruled that the CFPB’s leadership structure is unconstitutional. The Bureau’s legal battle is far from over, but the new Trump administration would likely not fight a court ruling the White House seems to agree with. That’s why a number of consumer advocates and more than a dozen state attorneys general have stepped up, seeking to defend the CFPB if the new executive branch won’t. [More]

Joshua Smith

Golfers Rejoice: Costco’s Coveted Golf Balls Are Coming Back

In the last few months, golfers have been losing their minds over the greatness of Costco’s new Kirkland Signature golf balls, buying up as many as they could and even flipping them on eBay for twice the retail price. The balls were a limited item, and seemed to be gone forever. They won’t be. [More]

For-Profit Prisons Could See Boost With Trump’s Executive Order To Open New Detention Centers

For-Profit Prisons Could See Boost With Trump’s Executive Order To Open New Detention Centers

While much of today’s news about President Trump’s latest executive order is the directive to build his often-promised wall along the border between Mexico and the U.S., the order also directs the federal government to get to work immediately on building — or contracting out — detention centers along that border, providing a potential boon to the for-profit prison industry. [More]

(Misfit Photographer)

HP Expands Lithium-Ion Battery Recall To Include 101,000 Additional Laptops

Seven months after HP recalled 41,000 laptops because the lithium-ion batteries could overheat, causing explosions and fires, the company is expanding the recall to cover 101,000 additional batteries in HP and Compaq computers.  [More]

MeneeDijk

3 Benefits Your Employer-Sponsored Health Care Could Lose After Obamacare Repeal

With the House and Senate moving forward with their plan to disassemble the Affordable Care Act through a budget resolution, much of the focus has been on the millions of people who would be affected by losing insurance that they purchase directly through an exchange. However, the ACA also has a number of aspects that benefit Americans who receive insurance through their employer, some of which could be at risk if the law is repealed. [More]

FAA Slaps Company With $200K Fine For Flying Drones Over NYC & Chicago

FAA Slaps Company With $200K Fine For Flying Drones Over NYC & Chicago

Lest you think The Man won’t come after you for sending commercial drones whizzing through congested airspace over some of our nation’s biggest cities, think again: the Federal Aviation Administration has reached a $200,000 settlement witha company accused of conducting 65 illegal flights in the skies above Chicago and New York City. [More]

Angry Customer Drives SUV Into T-Mobile Store, Keeps Destroying Stuff

Angry Customer Drives SUV Into T-Mobile Store, Keeps Destroying Stuff

While drive-thru customer service would be a delightful innovation in the mobile phone business, it is not yet available at T-Mobile stores. Even if it did exist, “drive-thru” doesn’t mean you actually drive through the store; a lesson that one angry T-Mo customer in Florida apparently forgot when trying to express her rage. [More]

ashi

DC Mayor Says Arresting Pot Smokers At Inauguration Won’t Be A Priority

If you’re hoping to grab one of 4,200 free joints that will be passed out by a pro-marijuana legalization group on Inauguration Day, The Man probably won’t be focused on hassling you for smoking up, Washington D.C.’s mayor says. [More]

(Joel Zimmer)

“Rude” Store Owner Tries To Weed Out Freeloaders By Charging $.62 “Browsing Fee”

Who among us hasn’t spent time browsing the wares at a store while knowing full well that we have no intention of spending a penny? The owner of one shop got fed up with freeloading looky-loos and has decided to start demanding money just for the pleasure of browsing. [More]

James Callan

Retailers Ask Congress To Please Not Roll Back Dodd-Frank Debit Card Reforms

Both the banking industry and conservative lawmakers are hoping that the incoming Trump administration will agree to repeal the 2010 Dodd-Frank Financial Reforms, but many in the retail world are calling on Congress to retain at least the portion of the law involving debit card transactions. [More]