Scams can often seem like the stuff of urban legends — an odd, urgent phone call, a smooth-talking person on the other end who weaves a tale of money won in a sweepstakes, or funds needed to help a loved one, that seems too detailed to be a lie — but unfortunately for many seniors who have lost thousands of dollars to unscrupulous strangers, scams that take advantage of the elderly are all too common.
We’ve written quite a bit in recent months about porn company lawyers who have tried to bully alleged copyright violators into settling out of court lest it become public record that they are accused of downloading movies that predominantly feature the word “anal.” But there are a few people who have been willing to stand up and defend their reputatiion, like the Kentucky man who recently fired back at his accusers with his own lawsuit.
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.
We all know that Amazon’s review system is kind of a mess. It’s plagued by “professional reviewers,” reviews from friends, legitimately critical reviews that get yanked after complaints by angry fan groups, and—worst of all—fake reviews, usually written by employees of the manufacturer. Adam found a new fake reviewer named David Jacob, but what really caught our eye was how real Amazon shoppers have picked up on it and left a series of comments to warn future customers to stay away from Gamenamics.
Last month we posted about Kevin Johnson, a 29-year-old self-employed businessman with excellent credit and an established history with American Express, who had his credit limit cut by 65% because AMEX said he was shopping at the wrong sorts of stores. Johnson has created a website called NewCreditRules.com to try to uncover what, exactly, he did wrong to fall under AMEX’s high risk category.
Over on Elliott.org, a woman describes how her $29 Days Inn room ballooned to a $180 charge when the hotel’s owner refused to honor the deal, and what she did to get the difference refunded. [Elliott.org]
Inside, email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses for over 100 different companies to inject your customer service complaints into their corporate executive offices, and get it well on the way to success.
Harry keeps getting spammed via his fax machine. Frankly, we think fax machines stopped being relevant or useful in about 1998, but until the rest of the world catches up to our way of thinking, here are some ways you can try to limit the damages.
Here’s a nifty list of contact info for Best Buy execs, rooted up by one of our determined readers in his quest to get his Rewards account working properly.
Last December, Theodore Karantsalis received a letter from Sprint, where he was a customer, telling him that someone who banks with Wells-Fargo—where he’s not a customer—was presented with his invoice and personal data when they logged into their Wells-Fargo Checkfree account. The customer contacted Sprint, and Sprint contacted Karantsalis. Karantsalis decided that he’d deal with the issue on his own instead of bringing a lawyer into it or throwing his hands up in frustration, so he took both companies to small claims court.
Score another point for consumers making it over the unyielding wall of “customer service.” Keith writes in about his recent struggles with Vonage, over an account he thought had been completely canceled six months earlier, “The carpet bomb instructions were inspired and within 3 weeks of sending my carpet bomb I got my resolve… The great part is I got my credit from the same person who stone walled me the months previous. Oh success is sweet.”