A well-respected lawyer has a simple message for corporations: stop suing disgruntled customers who start websites to air their grievances. Though William Pecau of Steptoe & Johnson thinks that online gripers are “self-righteous narcissists with time on their hands,” he also realizes that “shutting down a gripe site generally is not easy, often cannot be done, and often is counterproductive.” Pecau goes on to explain exactly why most online gripers are safe from over-hyped takedown notices…
Just because the economy is imploding doesn’t mean you should entirely freeze your spending. The Wall Street Journal brings us a list of five things that are well worth their price, even in a recession.
A settlement has been proposed in a class action against Nationwide Insurance. The suit says Nationwide should pay for both the car’s repair and depreciated value for policyholders hit by underinsured drivers or involved in hit-and-run accidents. For those who qualify and file, it could mean thousands.
Tax Cat here. It’s that time of year again when our thoughts turn from the lovely holiday season to the pile of receipts and other crap that we don’t want to deal with — taxes. If you’re thinking of hiring someone to prepare your taxes this year — the IRS has some tips that will help you choose a qualified professional.
Thanks to the Internet, with a single Google search and some creative guesswork you can diagnose pretty much any disease you want. Yes, this has made the world of medicine entirely unnecessary, but what about the legal profession? Surely the web can replace that too!
Eric lost his home to foreclosure, but unlike other homeowners, he had actually been trying for the past month-and-a-half to buy it back from the mortgage company for more than the mortgage. The law firm that was handling it, however, wanted an extra $20k in fees to make that happen. He told the realtor that he would buy it for more than it was going to be listed for. The realtor told him that he couldn’t make a bid until it was “active,” which would happen on 11-29. On Sunday he tells the broker he;ll give an offer on Monday. Monday rolls around and they’ve already sold the house to someone else, for less than Eric was willing to pay. They said they “forgot” that he was going to make a bid. Eric is livid. His story, inside…
Consumerist empowers consumers to take on bad companies, but sometimes even the negative PR that Consumerist can bring to bear is not enough to persuade companies to behave. When that happens, you might have to sue in order to get what you want. Here is a brief guide to your options when you decide you need to escalate your complaint to the courts.
“US National Bank” is still at it, calling up people and threatening them with jail time unless they pay up for debts they never took out and USNB doesn’t own. Here’s K’s story of how “Harry Wilson” called him up screaming and yelling. But after speaking to a consumer lawyer, K learned what he needed to say to get the extortionist to stop phone-harassing him. You’ll learn too after you read the story inside…
If the recent economic meltdown has a bright spot, it is the possibility that smart regulation may return. There will always be those who will cheat if they can, putting both consumers and the market at risk. It cannot function properly without regulation to prevent cheating and ensure consumers are getting a fair deal. But without a private right of action and attorney fees, consumer protection regulations are nearly worthless. A “private right of action” means…
Wells Fargo is the winner in the battle for Wachovia, says the New York Times. Apparently, Citibank became nervous about splitting the bank when they saw the size of the “bad assets” it would have to take on, and quietly walked away. The bank will continue to seek $60 billion in damages, however.
So what exactly is the problem? After 12 online (and phone) disputes to Equifax and 14 calls (and faxes) to the Direct Loan Servicing Center, each party seems to blame the other.
Roy “Fancypants” Pearson, the ex-judge who sued a dry-cleaner for $54 million over a misplaced pair of pants, that the cleaner even offered to replace, is continuing to press his case. He lost his original suit, he lost his job, now a court has agreed to hear his appeal. This man gets the award for worst…consumer…ever. Video inside.
When John signed up for a Discover card a few months ago, he noticed an interesting item in the fine print—he could opt out of binding arbitration if he sent in a written request that contained a few lines of necessary info and his signature. John followed the instructions, but Discover rejected it. Since then they’ve rejected his request a second time, failed to call him back when promised, and transferred him to CSRs who don’t know what the word means. The latest news: now that 30 days have passed, he’s no longer eligible to opt out. John’s thinking about canceling the card.
A few days ago a “big business” lawyer wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that those mean old people in the government were trying to take away your right to arbitration. How dare they!
Seeking to evade a 17.5% sales tax, lawyers for Procter & Gamble successfully argued that Pringles aren’t actually potato chips. Even though all Pringles containers are clearly marked “Potato Crisps,” Procter & Gamble’s lawyers argued that “Pringles don’t look like a chip, don’t feel like a chip, and don’t taste like a chip.”
Target confiscated Nick’s coupon for 10% off items left on his wedding registry after randomly deciding that the coupon was too generous.