Remember SOPA? PIPA? Maybe even CISPA? Of course you do — the Internet community, Consumerist included, rallied en masse earlier this year to stop those attempts to regulate the Interwebs we love so dearly. Now a Congressman is lobbing up a proposal to prevent that from happening again for at least two years with a bill that would temporarily ban the government from trying to regulate the Internet. [More]
There’s apparently no crime too small for a court of law, as a 31-year-old Pennsylvania man is finding out. He allegedly swiped a whopping $1.50 from a a church collection jar and now could be headed to trial. His arrest and subsequent charges of felony counts of burglary and criminal trespass were a result of the church installing security cameras to catch thieves. [More]
A customer has gone to battle against pushy members-only shopping club DirectBuy, and won. How did they do it? The Pennsylvania couple enlisted the help of the legal system, a local consumer reporter, and the police. When the company wouldn’t pay the judgment filed against it in court, they showed up with cops and a levy against the company, so they could start hauling off office furniture and anything else in the store if they so desired. Instead, they found that the local DirectBuy outpost had moved, and a new store opened with different management. A coincidence, surely.
When you switch phone companies, you’re allowed to keep your phone number. So why isn’t there this “number portability” for bank accounts? Well, a bill has been introduced in Washington to let you do exactly that.
Visa and Mastercard have been accused of price fixing in a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the the National ATM Council. The suit alleges that nonbank ATM operators could charge customers lower ATM fees when they use other, cheaper payment networks, but are prevented from this by the set access fees Visa and MasterCard charge.
A woman has filed a lawsuit against the movie Drive because she felt the moving didn’t have enough driving in it relative to what was promised in the movie trailer.
An Arizona family is suing Cox cable company after one of the cable companies’ outsourced technicians executed their son in a botched break-in. That ex-contractor is now sitting on death row.
Obama's Debt Reduction Plan Includes Letting Debt Collectors Robo-Call Cellphones To Collect On Federal Student Loans
One part of the debt-reduction bill Obama sent to Congress is a provision that would let debt collectors robo-call cellphones to collect on what’s owed to the government, like federal student loans.
When you buy a new cellphone you have to sign a contract where you give up your right to sue. You agree to what’s called, “mandatory binding arbitration.” This is a bad thing to give to an industry that has high levels of complaints about hidden fees and abusive anti-consumer practices. Because if their crummy customer service fails to remedy an issue, your last resort option is to participate in a kangaroo court system that is paid for out of fees paid by the cellphone companies themselves. So Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Al Franken (D-MN) have today introduced The Consumer Mobile Fairness Act that would ban mandatory arbitration clauses in cellphone contracts.
A judge has ruled that the “guess the next cashier who will be fired” “contest” concocted by a convenience store manager created a hostile work environment. Several of the employees left after it and the judge ruled that their unemployment claims could not be dismissed on the basis of the workers leaving voluntarily. Here is the text of the kooky contest memo:
Since ’91, it’s been illegal for telemarketers to use autodialers and other robot-like devices to call your cellphone. Last week, a bill was introduced to change that. While in the past email hoaxes have gone around saying that your cellphone could be opened up to telemarketers, HR 3035 seeks to let businesses contact your cellphone “for informational purposes.”
In an unprecedented move, the SEC warned S&P that it might be suing it over its rating of a mortgage-backed bond. It’s the first warning a credit rating firm has gotten over its behavior leading up to the financial crisis.
A woman from Berlin Googled for US citizenship application info and thought the site she landed on was an all-in-one place for taking care of all her forms. She forked over $680, and what she got back were forms she could have gotten from the government for free.
Many airlines have inserted “checked baggage limitations of liability” into their contracts which try to act like it’s not their fault if jewelry or gadgets somehow go missing during transit from your luggage. They’re bunkum.
A Wisconsin landlord has been sued by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development after refusing to rent a property to a single mother. The landlord, who is a woman, said it was because the renter didn’t have a man “to shovel the snow.”
If Sprint telemarketed you after you told them not to call you again, you could get $500 for each time they rang you up, thanks to a recent class action settlement.
Banks are none too happy about how the passage of Dodd-Frank has been crimping their style. So they hired a Wall Street lobbyist, former Congressman Steve Bartlett, to lead the well-funded rearguard action by the ” Financial Services Roundtable” to neuter the laws. And darned if those cocktail parties aren’t working.
What makes this Bank of America $410 million class action settlement special is that it’s over a basic consumer banking business practice. For years, banks have been processing your daily transactions in order from highest to lowest, rather than real-time. They say they’re doing us a favor so that if we have a check bounce, it’s the one for the babysitter and not the mortgage payment. But this class action suit claims that Bank of America did this to unjustly enrich itself. It’s one of over 60 lawsuits against various banks for similar practices, and it could reshape the entire industry.