Hear about some of my “favorite,” and the most recent, scams and swindles in this interview I did with Gerri Detweiler over on Talk Credit Radio. From the Black Money Scam to the wooden iPad, ripoffs are all around us. You rage at the conman, but also have to laugh at how audacious his gambits are, and marvel that they get pulled off again and gain. Plus, listen to the two things that, if we all did them, we could stop about 90% of scams from ever happening in the first place.
I got to verbally joust with the wielders of the Grocery Shrink Ray yesterday on NPR on the Diane Rehm show. Scott Faber vice president, the Grocery Manufacturers Association talked about how food makers have to pass on their rising costs somehow and I agreed, but took issue with deceptively designed packages and the misleading marketing practices. Just be upfront about it!
Consumerist has been a big proponent of getting people to get their intractable issues with companies solved by going to executive customer service. The Baltimore Sun profiled this phenomenon in a recent column and offers advice on how to do it.
UPDATE: Here’s the video!
If you’ve ever banged your head against the brick wall of calling customer service, you’re going to love CBS this Sunday at 9 am Eastern/Pacific. Check your local listings.
Consumerist is going to be on the CBS Sunday Morning News on 11/7 at 9am Eastern. They asked me about some of our all-time worst customer service horror stories. We should get a decent amount of screen time. Set your DVRs to stun!
I was on Marketplace on public radio this morning, chiming in about Huntington Bank’s new 24-hour grace period they’re giving customers who overdraft. If you deposit the funds you’re lacking within a day, no fee, but if you don’t, you’ll get a $23 charge. This program is automatic, you don’t need to be enrolled in overdraft protection. Sounds nice and innovative, but I’d rather the bank deny the charge and get no fee instead. Here’s the audio:
I was on NPR this morning chiming in about the Comcast NBC merger that’s hurtling like a freight train through Washington (spoiler alert: not a fan). Here’s the clip. At the end, the reporter says that when he asked Comcast about their coming first in our Worst Company in America contest, they dismissed the entire affair as a “cheap stunt.” We take offense. A trophy that cost $30 and had to be air-mailed from Japan is not cheap.
If you live in the San Jose, CA, Silicon Valley area, you can catch me live on the Michael Finney show on KGO Newstalk Radio, 810 AM, at 6:25 PT tonight. l’ll be talking about some of the crazy ideas and cool stories you shared in response to our “What Sickest Thing You’ve Ever Done To Save Money?” post. Fun!
UPDATE: Here’s the video. If you live in the DC area, tune into ABC 7 tonight at 5:45 pm to see a Consumer Alert I shot with local reporter Kris Van Cleave. Apparently, this morning like six of their reporters all got scam robocalls on their cellphones with a recording saying their ATM card had been deactivated and they needed to call the bank back. Hello, scam!
Our inboxes and search results are filled with great-sounding travel deals, $35 airline tickets, $399 three-day all-inclusives and the like, but have you ever actually tried to snag one? Oftentimes it seems a low “landing prices” shoots up after all the fees are added, or if you try to get a date other than a very narrow set, or you want to do something crazy like return home afterwards. NYT took a look and found that while that’s true, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a price close to the advertised one.
If you didn’t catch Consumerist on NPR last Friday, here’s the clip of me on All Things Considered chatting about mail-in gold buyers:
The golden poo and I are beaming live into a few local news stations this morning pump the Worst Company in America contest. Here’s when and where we’ll be:
Next week the New York Times has asked me to be on a panel they’re hosting called, “Your Money: A Financial Tuneup,” along with Your Money columnist Ron Leiber, Jean Chatzky, the author of “Money 911”,” and Burton Malkiel, an economics professor at Princeton and author of “A Random Walk Down Wall Street.” Should be a fun and engaging look at how people are dealing with personal finance issues in these times.
Two Consumerist stories were used for a clue in this week’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! on NPR. The question was: