If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million time: those who attempt – and often succeed – at scamming senior citizens of their savings are the worst of the worst when it comes to already unsavory, immoral fraudsters. Despite regulators’ attempts to take these operations out of commission, one in five older Americans report being the victims of financial exploitations either by ne’er-do-wells or family members. [More]
A 16-year-old took a job at a South Dakota Taco John’s, but didn’t sign on for verbal abuse from his manager. Finally, he says, the worst insult came earlier this week when his manager handed him a nametag with “♡GAYTARD♡” printed on it and forced him to wear it for his whole shift, including in front of customers. [More]
Not all abuse is physical. One tough-to-detect method of control and domination is financial manipulation, and victims may not always be aware they’re being exploited.
Even though his Toshiba laptop is less than a year old, Toshiba won’t repair the touchpad of Justin’s computer. He doesn’t think that he’s done anything out of the ordinary with the machine, but Toshiba insists that the button won’t work because of “accident, misuse, abuse, neglect, improper installation, or improper maintenance.” They’re happy to sell him an extended warranty that will cover the repair, though.
Last week Constantin Films got YouTube to pull almost all the Angry Hitler parody clips by using the website’s Content ID tracking system. The process is automatic, and YouTube immediately takes down a video once it’s been tagged. However, that also means you can use this system in reverse to get your clips back up, at least for as long as you’re in dispute with the copyright holder. Whether you do this or not will depend on how willing you are to risk a potential lawsuit later on.
What should you do when you witness someone abusing someone else, but you’re in a retail establishment and the management won’t help you? While eating at an Eat’n Park last week, Myriad claims she watched a young woman repeatedly kick the elderly lady sitting with her, and when Myriad tried to intervene the girl threatened to punch Myriad in the face. Myriad says the manager refused to cooperate, only repeating that he knew the girl and that she was “very nice.”
A bucket of dirty mop water is nobody’s friend, which is exactly why you shouldn’t leave it out where customers can reach it. Because eventually someone will get angry over an order and feel a need to throw something, and oh look, mop water.
An Indiana University grad student has made public an audio recording of a Sprint employee who describes how the company has given away customer GPS location data to cops over 8 million times in less than a year. Ars technica reports that “law enforcement [officers] could log into a special Sprint Web portal and, without ever having to demonstrate probable cause to a judge, gain access to geolocation logs detailing where they’ve been and where they are.” Update: Sprint says the 8 million figure refers to individual pings of GPS data, and that the number of individuals involved is in the thousands.
Walmart can try to spin itself as being on the side of good all it wants, but if it ever suspects you of shoplifting, you may find that you’re powerless to fight back. In the case of a couple accused of shoplifting some Bic lighters in Niles, Michigan this past August, Walmart detained them, the police came and cuffed one of them, their two kids were taken to a security room, and—after a review of security footage proved the couple’s innocence—they were banned for life from all Walmarts. To top it off, Walmart’s legal team has sent the couple a letter asking to be reimbursed for 10 times the value of the lighters, even though the police determined no shoplifting had taken place.
Banks now make more on debit card overdraft fees than credit card penalties—they’ll rake in about $27 billion in 2009 alone, according to the New York Times. They obviously have zero incentive to curb the practice. In fact, one economist told the paper that “45 percent of the nation’s banks and credit unions collect more from overdraft services than they make in profits.”
Dear kid of abusive mom: yes, this is what it feels like for us when we deal with cell phone retailers, too. At least your mom was arrested. Video below.
“Litigant Alert” from WebRecon promises to help debt collection companies ferret out “overly-litigious debtors” with “a history of suing collection agencies.” It’s basically a Do Not Call list of troublemakers who had the nerve to fight aggressive collection practices with the law. Debt collectors are apparently willing to pay $1,595 to figure out who they should leave alone.
Although it has yet to pass into law, the Tennessee Senate Commerce Committee has approved a bill that requires creditors to count the postmark date of a payment as the payment date, not the day they say they receive it.
The IRS has ended a controversial program that allowed private debt collectors to pursue individual debts owed to the government. The private debt collectors, described as “bounty hunters who collect taxes from vulnerable people for profit,” were allowed to keep 25% of any collected debts for themselves. Before we celebrate, let’s all take a moment to join Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa in thinking about those poor private debt collectors who no longer have jobs harassing and abusing people…
Ricky had a bizarre run-in with “Larry” at his local Walmart, where he was shopping recently with his mother, who needed a new trash can. While Ricky browsed the automotive accessories counter, his mom did mom things in the silk flower department, and she left her new trash can next to Ricky’s leg while she wandered off. It turns out, you do not leave trash cans anywhere in Larry’s line of sight if you know what’s good for you.