Why You Should Read The Fine Print On E-Deals

Why You Should Read The Fine Print On E-Deals

Wisebread’s Elizabeth Sanberg posts about an Amazon deal that offers a free subscription to Wired magazine if you spend $75 on certain electronics.

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ECA Tries To Prevent Members From Canceling

ECA Tries To Prevent Members From Canceling

Some members of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) are pretty upset that the consumer advocacy group for gamers removed the ability to turn off auto-renewal on member accounts. They’ve also removed the phone number you used to be able to call to cancel. In fact, the only way to cancel your ECA membership now is to mail them a letter–and if your request isn’t processed at least 30 days before your membership is due to renew, you can expect to be charged again. Update: The ECA has responded, but their formal statement leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

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Senator Wants Investigation Of Frequent Flyer Programs

Senator Wants Investigation Of Frequent Flyer Programs

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for a probe of frequent flyer programs to determine whether they deliver the value that they promise. In particular, he wants the Department of Transportation to look into the issue of evaporating miles, a relatively new phenomenon brought introduced via expiration dates in recent years.

Making A Donation? Ask For Details First

Making A Donation? Ask For Details First

This is the time of year when retailers like to give back to the community by getting you to do it for them when you’re buying stuff. It might feel nice to help out a good cause, but make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for before you hand over any cash. Dominick, for example, just bought a Jack in the Box antenna ball when he thought he was straight-up donating to a non-Jack charity.

Federal Reserve Proposes Rules On Gift Cards

Federal Reserve Proposes Rules On Gift Cards

Here’s your chance to sound off on another consumer protection issue. In accordance with the CARD Act, today the Federal Reserve proposed new rules that would protect consumers from fees and expiration dates on gift cards, and they’ll soon be accepting comments on the rules.

Don't Let Maintenance Fees Ruin Your Automatic Savings Program

Don't Let Maintenance Fees Ruin Your Automatic Savings Program

If you participate in an automatic savings program like Bank of America‘s Keep the Change service, where debit card purchases are rounded up and the difference is deposited into your savings account, keep an eye on maintenance fees. James says he was hit with a $5 charge last month because he hadn’t met the minimum monthly deposit requirement of $25: “It turns out that I wasn’t even accruing $5 worth of change per month, so I was losing more money due to the maintenance fee than I was saving via Keep the Change!”

Seattle Coffee Direct Decides You Need $40 Worth Of Coffee Per Day

Seattle Coffee Direct Decides You Need $40 Worth Of Coffee Per Day

If you’ve been tempted by Facebook ads promising cheap “introductory” offers from Seattle Coffee Direct or World Bean Cafe, located in the world coffee capital of Evanston, Illinois, readers Adam and Ivan say, “don’t do it!” The ads promise t-shirts or a free coffee grinder as an incentive to sign up, or tempting introductory offers. But you’re really signing up for a coffee delivery service for close to $80 per month. Or more, as reader Ivan learned. He says that the company accidentally billed him for, and sent, two bags of coffee per day.

Brooke Shields Has Hypotrichosis

Brooke Shields Has Hypotrichosis

Oh no! Brooke Shields used to have stringy, stick-figure eyelashes! I figured this out after watching Consumer Reports’ video dissection of a new commercial for Latisse, the glaucoma medication that has been rebranded as an expensive, temporary eyelash enhancer with side effects.

B&N Ebook Reader Lets You Loan A Book Just Once

B&N Ebook Reader Lets You Loan A Book Just Once

One of the big selling points about the Nook, the new ebook reader introduced this week by Barnes & Noble, is that unlike Amazon they’ll let you virtually “loan” your ebook to a friend for up to 14 days (if the publisher allows it). What they don’t tell you–some smart readers over at MobileRead sussed it out–is that you can only do this one time per book. You’d better lend wisely–and your friend had better finish that book within 14 days.

Frontier Communications Has To Pay Back Early Termination Fees

Frontier Communications Has To Pay Back Early Termination Fees

If you signed up for Frontier Communications’ Price Protection Plan—a combo phone and broadband package—between January 2007 and September 2008, and you canceled the agreement and were charged an early termination fee (ETF), you may be getting some cash back.

GM's Money Back Guarantee Comes With Lots Of Fine Print

GM's Money Back Guarantee Comes With Lots Of Fine Print

GM’s new 60-day money back guarantee (good through November 30th, 2009) on new car purchases sounds pretty straightforward—if you don’t want the car for any reason (it doesn’t have to be a good reason), you can bring it back. But it has a few rules that you should be aware of before your purchase, notes the Associated Press.

How To Stop Verizon From Sharing Your Info

How To Stop Verizon From Sharing Your Info

Digging through Verizonwireless.com legal notices, Steve found that the company has gone ahead and given itself permission to share your personal information:

$10 XSport Fitness Upgrade Really Costs $20

$10 XSport Fitness Upgrade Really Costs $20

Cache asked about the $10 “Super Power Pass” add-on at his local XSport Fitness club today—the sign in the window says “work out where you want, when you want with a Super Power Pass for just $10 more*,” and lists “Chicago – New York – Washington” across the top. We don’t know what’s linked via that asterisk, because the fine print on the ad is so small that it’s unreadable in the photo Cache took, but as you might expect there’s no such thing as a $10 add-on that lets you use any XSport Fitness.

It Depends On What The Meaning Of "All" Is

It Depends On What The Meaning Of "All" Is

This looks like a great place to find good deals—except when it’s not. Derek, who snapped the photo in his mall over the weekend, notes that “At least they made sure the disclaimer was large enough for all to see.”

Ryder's "Guaranteed Availability" Does Not Guarantee Availability

Ryder's "Guaranteed Availability" Does Not Guarantee Availability

If you saw this image on the Ryder website, you might think that it means two things: that they guarantee some sort of vehicle availability to customers, and that they will make sure you are satisfied with your experience. You would be wrong. Update: Ryder has responded to Jesse’s complaint.

Warning: Read The Fine Print Before Cashing An Unexpected Rebate Check

Warning: Read The Fine Print Before Cashing An Unexpected Rebate Check

At first, it looks like a rebate check, but read the fine print. It says if you endorse and cash the check, you are signing up for a marketing service called “Great Fun.” Then, your credit card will be charged $149.99. That subscription will renew annually unless you cancel it with Great Fun.

Best Buy Shrinks Reward Zone Program

Best Buy Shrinks Reward Zone Program

Reader IfThenElvis forwarded us the following email he received alerting him to changes in the Reward Zone program from Best Buy. He adds, “I can’t tell if this is good new or not. I suspect not.” It’s not the end of the world or anything, but it definitely marks a slight constriction in the program.

Amazon Tries To Clarify Download Limits For Kindle Books, Doesn't Quite Succeed

Amazon Tries To Clarify Download Limits For Kindle Books, Doesn't Quite Succeed

Dan, the Kindle owner who last week found that some of the books he’d purchased were no longer available to download due to unspecified limitations set by the publisher, spoke to more Amazon reps on Sunday. They clarified the DRM policy. Well, sort of.