Every year, more than 12 million Americans spend $17 billion on payday loans, despite the fact research has shown these costly lines of credit often leave borrowers worse off. Yet abusive lending practices are not relegated to borrowers in need of a couple hundred dollars to stay afloat until their next paycheck; there are mortgages, car loans, and other traditional lines of credit that can leave the borrower in a bind. Even if you never find yourself on the wrong end of a predatory loan, these products can still be a drain on your entire community. [More]
Brian says IKEA wouldn’t sell him one of the desks he wanted because it was “sold out,” despite the fact that he could look around and see a bunch of his desired desks stacked near the customer service area. The reason: A customer service dude told him they only restock at night and Brian would have to come back tomorrow.
Some members of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) are pretty upset that the consumer advocacy group for gamers removed the ability to turn off auto-renewal on member accounts. They’ve also removed the phone number you used to be able to call to cancel. In fact, the only way to cancel your ECA membership now is to mail them a letter–and if your request isn’t processed at least 30 days before your membership is due to renew, you can expect to be charged again. Update: The ECA has responded, but their formal statement leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
It looks like American Express is still in the throes of its “risk management” craziness and closing accounts without visible reason. Did Chris, who was just left stranded while on a business trip, shop at the wrong store? Did he fail an internal financial review that nobody told him about? Whatever the reason, it’s a good example of why you should have more than one credit account when traveling, so you don’t have to rely on the whims of any single faceless corporation.