Personal finance blogger Romeo of How We Prevent Wealth recently had a lucky near miss: he put down a deposit on a new rental home, then purely by chance learned that the same home was about to enter foreclosure. He was able to avoid the situation and get his deposit back, but he might not have been so lucky.
We’ve been getting a few emails about a new kind of rental scam where they try to lure you into giving over your credit card and personal information to a “free credit score” site. One was from Reader Benjamin, who was looking for a house to rent when he and his wife stumbled across a too good to be true deal, a fully-furnished 3-bedroom house in Maryland for only $1200. Seeing as they had nothing to lose, they emailed the lister, just to see what would happen.
Shannon in Alabama recently got engaged, and she’ll be moving into the house her fiancÃ© owns after the wedding in December. The problem is her current place, which she just leased in April. She wrote to Consumerist for help figuring out what to do, since her landlord doesn’t seem too clear on the procedures, either.
When Lauren reserved a car rental through Priceline last week, she checked out the fine print to see if she’d have to pay any age-related extra fees, and according to Priceline what she bid would be the total price. Now Avis is telling her Priceline is wrong and she’ll have to come up with more money at the rental counter.
Here’s a strategy for saving money on your next car rental.
Christina went to return her Uhaul rental, but when she arrived at her scheduled time, she found the lot was already closed. Customer service told her to return the truck to the nearest nearby Uhaul place, a chore in and of itself. Then she got charged for returning it to the “wrong” location, and all-told her $19.99 rental has blossomed into $220 that navigating the twists and turns and delays of customer service hasn’t gotten her refunded. Here’s the letter she wrote to Joe, the CEO of Uhaul.
Not many renters in New York City are in love with their landlords, but only a handful of the city’s landlords deserved to be called out in public for repeated violations and ignored complaints from tenants. Starting this morning, the city’s Public Advocate has decided it’s time that the worst offenders be forced into the spotlight with a public, searchable database.
Adding a feature Apple junkies have been clamoring for, Netflix upgraded its App Store application to allow it to stream movies and TV shows for subscribers.
Chris tried Blockbuster’s rent-by-mail trial period and says he was mistakenly charged for the final three DVDs, which he had returned. He didn’t notice the screw-up for months, then once he finally got Blockbuster to reverse the charges he was billed $43 for months of a membership he never used.
Yesterday we noted that Blockbuster was launching a new DVD-by-mail rental service (which Netflix promptly one-upped by announcing a new streaming agreement), and today we’re getting tips from people that the beleaguered brick and mortar movie rental company is throwing games into the offer as well. FastCompany notes that GameFly offers around 7,000 game titles compared to Blockbuster’s library of 3,000 titles. On the other hand, Blockbuster’s rental plans start at $9/mo compared to GameFly’s $16/mo (both for one disc at a time).
After wavering between charging $1.50 and $2 a night for Blu-ray rentals during its test program, Redbox has decided to go with the cheaper price as it makes the high-definition discs available nationwide at 13,300 kiosks, with plans to nearly double that number by the fall.
We touched on this topic last week in a post about a broken Redbox machine, but reader Nick wants Consumerist readers to know something important about Redbox. Whether your local kiosk has been smashed in or you just plain change your mind, there is no power on earth that can cancel your reservation and give you a refund. None.
Budgets Are Sexy argues that people throw their money away on many items they’d normally buy without a thought. Here are four “buys” that you should should highly consider switching to “rents.”
Timothy rented a car from Enterprise last month when he flew into Newark Airport in New Jersey, and he was forced to pay almost twice the amount quoted in his reservation because of problems with a coupon code and an uncooperative manager. But there’s good news: the rental came with a special, stinky surprise that he and his wife didn’t find until the second day of the rental. (Warning: there’s a big close-up photo below.)
Paramount and Redbox hopped in bed together to assure renters that the studio’s home video offerings will be in the rental kiosks the same day they go on sale. The move pits the studio squarely against Warner Bros., Universal and 20th Century Fox, all who have 28-day embargoes on companies renting out their stuff.
Savvily taking the proactive route rather than suffering customer backlash, Netflix is sending out emails with account-specific links that users can click on to save 5 percent off their next bill.
Redbox is finally latching on to the Blu-ray bandwagon, announcing it’s months away from adding the pricier HD movies to its kiosks, but will be charging $1.50 a night rather than the standard buck it costs for DVDs.
LodgeNet provides pay-per-view movie services to hotels, and the company’s latest financial filing shows nearly a 10% drop in revenue in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same period a year ago. (And that’s after a 19% drop in revenue from 2008 to 2009.) Travelers seem to be wising up to the high prices of hotel pay-per-view and are resorting to other ways to stay entertained. Now if only our laptops and smartphones could contain a mini-bar compartment.