The post office might be one of the most incomprehensible bureaucracies in the country. It is, on the one hand, a massive network spanning every state, county, and city in the nation. It is also, on the other hand, hyper-local: for most of us, letter carriers literally come right up to the front door six days a week.
Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman: Helping Customers Through The Mega-Bureaucracy Of The Mail Since 1998
It’s been nearly a year since brash Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn stepped down amid a cloud of scandal. In the months that followed, the company’s stock price sunk, its founder and chairman Richard Schulze exited, then attempted unsuccessfully to buy the company back, and a French guy from the hospitality industry is now in charge of righting the ship. Can it be done? [More]
Last week, PBS’ Frontline dedicated an entire hour to the Justice Dept.’s failure to prosecute a single high-ranking bank executive involved in the financial crisis of 2008. Consumerist recently got the chance to discuss the topic with the show’s producer/writer Martin Smith. [More]
Unless you speak with an endearing, cool-sounding accent, you can make yourself sound like a moron if you mispronounce certain words. Using casual utterances that are OK with friends and family can create a stigma that’s tough to change if you do so in professional situations such as interviews or presentations.
Tomorrow afternoon, bestselling personal finance author and host of her own show on CNBC Suze Orman will be popping by Consumer Reports HQ, and it looks like Consumerist might get the chance to ask her some questions.
Low cost, no-frills Spirit Airlines takes heat from people annoyed with how it charges a fee for everything and for its crass and tasteless ads that capitalize on scandals and tragedies in the news. We’ve dished some out ourselves. But it’s hard not to walk away from reading this AP interview with its CEO and business model mastermind Ben Baldanza without some new respect for the guy. For one, he turned around a money-losing airline and it’s been profitable ever since. And at least this airline is upfront about how they’re gonna give it to you.
Wells Fargo had a nice phone call this afternoon with the Goth homeowner who “foreclosed” on one of their local branches. “The sheriff’s sale will not be happening,” the Wells Fargo spokesperson told me with a laugh. “We are working with him towards a resolution that works for everyone.” She acknowledged that it should have never gotten to this point. “We should have called him before this.” UPDATE: Here’s what homeowner Patrick said of the conversation:
Wells Fargo is meeting today at noon with the Philadelphia homeowner who “foreclosed” on them, The Consumerist has exclusively learned. Patrick says he “received a call from upon high” late yesterday and that he now has an appointment, “with a very senior Wells Fargo person.” It will be interesting to see how this plays out. But how did Patrick go from embattled and ignored homeowner to seated across the negotiating table with leverage? I spoke with him to find out more about both how and why he did what he did. His story is an inspiration to anyone who’s dreamed of going toe-to-toe with the big banks and winning. Turns out that armed with persistence, and a little legal know-how, Davids can take down Goliaths.
In an interview, a former credit card thief talks about some of the scams he used to run on unwary consumers. It’s got some good takeaways for protecting yourself, like the one where you make up fake answers to security questions. With all the info that can be found online now some of these security questions aren’t that hard to figure out. So instead of putting down the real answer to “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” put down “unicorn princess.”
Last week Meg McLain’s story lit up the internet. She says she was cuffed, her ticket was ripped up, and she was kicked out of the airport after she refused the body scanner and tried to ask questions about the pat-down. The TSA took it seriously enough to quickly post security footage of the incident on their blog. I reached Meg by phone to find out more about what happened, and, especially, why she refused the body scanner in the first place. Here is the interview, which has been condensed and edited.
Jeff Yeager, Wise Bread blogger and author, has just published a new book titled The Cheapskate Next Door, where he interviews over 300 self-described cheapskates to find out what makes them tick. In an interview over at Daily Finance, he says that for most of his subjects, the choice to live frugal lifestyles wasn’t primarily about money.
The president and a vice-president for CTIA, a lobbying organization for the wireless industry, spoke recently with CNET about why they think the FCC should leave their members alone. The vice-president, Chris Guttman-McCabe, is a lawyer and as such his answers are useless. President Steve Largent, however, actually has a couple of candid moments during the interview.
Greg wrote to us and said that he’s in the market for a new credit card: “I canceled my Chase card because they raised my interest rate to 29.99% + prime. What credit card companies should I be looking at for a replacement card? What are their perks, their drawbacks?”
I spoke with Samir Kothari, the co-founder and vice president of products at BillShrink.com, to see what he thinks about the CARD Act and how it will change the credit card marketplace.
Last month, the Huffington Post launched a campaign called Move Your Money that urged people to support community banks. The idea is that by moving your money to a community bank, you can help put the “too big to fail” banks on a diet so that they get smaller, while at the same time help a local bank remain competitive. The NPR program All Things Considered took a look at the campaign over the weekend, and talked to some experts about whether it’s worth making the switch.
The UK website Scam Detectives has published a two-part interview with a self-described former Nigerian 419 scammer. Take all of this a healthy dose of skepticism–the author admits he has no way of verifying if anything the guy says is true. Oh, and the reason I call it a short interview is because halfway through the second call, the author tells the scammer he doesn’t like him and wants to hang up. Before that happens, though, you get to read about foot soldiers, something called a wash wash, and the response rate on scam email blasts.
Don’t hit on the interviewer. Don’t ask whether they might be able to discover your past arrests. Don’t ask what the company does, or see if they can pick you up when it rains. In fact, here are 43 things you shouldn’t say during an interview if you actually want the job.
If you need the straight story on issues of credit card, debit, and banking fraud and security, something more than “we’re taking it seriously,” Avivah Litan, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner research is your go-to-gal. I recently interviewed her over the phone about consumers can protect themselves in an era where just keeping your mother’s maiden name a secret doesn’t cut the mustard. I learned that you can buy a credit card number for a few cents, losing your Social Security Number is NOT the most dangerous fraud that is likely to happen to you, and how Obama’s helicopter plans got stolen thanks to P2P music-sharing software…