Over the years, banks across the country have modified their policies regarding overdraft fees to comply with federal regulations — including requiring consumers to opt-in to the costly protection. Despite this, account holders spend nearly $32 billion each year on the fees. And according to a new report, that likely won’t end anytime soon, as most large U.S. banks continue to charge high, sometimes exorbitant overdraft fees. [More]
When seeking an infusion of cash to make ends meet, consumers may turn to payday loans, cash advance loans, or auto title loans. While each of these short-term, high-interest loans pose a financial risk to borrowers, only one has the ability to take away what is often a person’s largest asset: their vehicle. And, according to a new report, one-in-five consumers who take out a single-payment auto title loan have their car seized by lenders. [More]
The wallet-sized – or larger – smartphone constantly tethered to your hand may often be seen as your connection to the outside world. Each time you surf the web, connect with friends, make purchases and check your bank account, it’s collecting mountains of data about you. And that data could soon be analyzed to determine if you’re creditworthy. [More]
When I first started driving, I remember being told to change my car’s oil every 3,000 miles. More than a dozen years later – and after several advancements in vehicle production – most cars can go 5,000 miles to 10,000 miles before they need a fresh dose of oil. But according to a new analysis from Consumer Reports, those mileage markers may be a bit too optimistic, as many new cars actually require additional oil between changes – and that’s not really acceptable. [More]
In recent months big box retailers like Walmart and Target have attempted to thwart Amazon’s growing influence over consumers with a variety of new policies such as reducing the minimum purchase required for free shipping and allowing price-matching with the online retailer (although, that effort didn’t’ last long). But, according to a new report, those measure might amount to “too little, too late” when it comes to Amazon Prime shoppers. [More]
Now that Circuit City has finally sputtered out, it’s fun to talk about what did them in—see their firing-your-best-employees stunt a few years back, for example. But what do former Circuit City employees think? This guy worked with them from 1997 to 2002, and he says for one thing, they should have never stopped carrying appliances.
An article over at LightReading questions how cable companies can get away with advertising speeds they can’t provide and then using caps to limit people trying to actually take advantage of the advertised bandwidths:
An MSO talking 100 Mbit/s out of one side of its mouth and usage caps out the other is like a bi-polar buffet restaurateur. They continue adding more entrees to an all-you-can-eat spread, and then reduce the size of the plates and tell diners they only have 10 minutes to chow. It’s a recipe for dissatisfaction. The buffet looks bigger and tastier – so the patron’s hunger grows – and then they are asked to practice portion control.
We haven’t yet watched the documentary ‘The Corporation, although it’s sitting in our Netflix queue right below The Odd Couple. So while we’d love to make a comment about watching the movie for free being some sort of ironic comeuppance for the companies they’re railing against, we don’t actually know if The Corporation is critical of corporations at all. It could be that the movie praises the intellectual property and copyright laws to which many of our largest companies are tethered, which would make it a little bit sad that someone has uploaded the whole three-hour thing to Google Video, where you can watch it for free.
Brendan I. Koerner, a filthy, treacherous rogue if ever one set lies to paper, disembowels a staple of the publishing world’s holiday half-assing it: Holiday Gift Guides. It’s an idea very similar in execution to our stunning, fully-assed efforts here at The Consumerist in our “The Bathroom Scale” series—eerily similar.
While we’re riding Metafilter like the magical pony on a journey to its navel that it is, let’s extract this bit of fried gold and take it along for the ride. In response to a fan of The Family Guy, outraged about Fox’s scheduling problems and proposes a boycott, Lore Sjoberg writes:
I’m already boycotting my cable company. Can I, you know, sub-boycott? Or do I have to end my boycott of Comcast so that I can get Family Guy and not watch it?
Honda’s new ad campaign highlights not their newest technical accomplishments, but instead the long history of mechanical innovation across a variety of powered vehicles—all set to the tune of ‘The Impossible Dream.’ It would seem that Honda is trying to remind us of its standing as an engineering giant, rather than another discount Asian import. Oddly enough, it worked on us. We had a moment of shock when we realized we would be just as likely to purchase an old Honda S600 to tool around in as we would be to purchase a British roadster, like an Austin Healey.
We have avoided posting about the “Dell Hell” marketing analysis all day, for many reasons, only one of which involves alcohol. Another is that Jeff Jarvis mentions us in the same post, and we were afraid that our whirring circle jerk might send parts careening off the internet. But you know, we can only be sent a link so many times before we capitulate. (Keep that in mind when next you have a product to hawk via email).