Congratulations, you’ve won a free $1,000 gift card – just click here to redeem it!

If you clicked on this story for your “free” gift card, you’ll definitely want to keep reading. I’ve issued plenty of warnings about “free” products and some of you, dear readers, think I’ve gone too far.

After all, aren’t some of the best things in life free?

Perhaps. (#6: Counting down the top articles of 2019) Read more “Congratulations, you’ve won a free $1,000 gift card – just click here to redeem it!”

What you don’t know about billing cycles will blow your mind

Billing cycles can really mess with your head.

Don’t take my word for it. Consider what happened to Michael Dearing, a registered nurse from Chicago, when Comcast adjusted — or in his words “played with” — his billing cycles recently. Read more “What you don’t know about billing cycles will blow your mind”

Review this! Travelers fed up with solicitations

Is it my imagination, or are travel companies getting pushier?

The come-ons include repeated invitations to return to a hotel or restaurant, high-pressure pitches to “like” a company’s Facebook account and urgent requests for positive online reviews. As summer vacations fade into memory, the aggressiveness has never been more obvious. Read more “Review this! Travelers fed up with solicitations”

I want to receive Royal Caribbean’s promotional emails. Why won’t they send them?

Keith Johnson can’t seem to subscribe to Royal Caribbean’s promotional emails. Maybe he needs help from an advocate. Read more “I want to receive Royal Caribbean’s promotional emails. Why won’t they send them?”

All I want for Christmas is a little honesty from the travel industry

What do you want for the holidays? If you’re Paulina Want, how about a little honesty? Read more “All I want for Christmas is a little honesty from the travel industry”

It’s been a wild year for travel. What’s ahead for 2018?

Travel bans. Shootings. Viral passenger videos.

No one will forget the past year in travel. How could they? But what does it all mean for your 2018 trips? Read more “It’s been a wild year for travel. What’s ahead for 2018?”

Federal government wraps up quiet year for traveler protections

Government fines against airlines for consumer rule violations are on track to hit a six-year low as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s enforcement actions shift from punishment to preventing infractions. With only a few weeks left in 2014, the DOT has issued 23 consent orders that assess $2.6 million in penalties — $4.5 million less than last year. That’s the same number as in 2009.
Read more “Federal government wraps up quiet year for traveler protections”

Surrounded by impostors, what’s a consumer to do?

Odua/Shutterstock
Odua/Shutterstock
You’re surrounded by fakes. The clothes you wear could be fake. The money you use? Not real, maybe. Even your “friends” on social media are sometimes fake.

What’s a consumer to do?

We’ve had a lively conversation about authenticity during the last two weeks, dissecting the problem of counterfeit electronics and phone cards. But as it turns out, the problem runs much deeper.

Fakes are everywhere.
Read more “Surrounded by impostors, what’s a consumer to do?”

Is your phone card phony? 5 ways you can tell

phoneWhen is an hour just 36 minutes? When you buy some phone cards, apparently. That’s the conclusion of a recent Federal Trade Commission investigation, which found certain pre-paid calling cards offered an average of just 40 percent of call minutes customers thought they were buying — and some, significantly less.

You should care about this if you travel outside your wireless company’s regular calling area, because that’s when you’re likely to buy one of these cards. If you don’t read the fine print on the agreement, you could end up getting shorted by close to a half hour of talk time, according to the FTC.
Read more “Is your phone card phony? 5 ways you can tell”