Archive for January, 2008

Strange Sightings on Surveillance
January 24, 2008

Way back in February, I was conducting surveillance on CenterPoint meter readers. Yes, I know… it’s a very exciting, dangerous life I lead! I discovered, at least on this day, the meter readers I followed really were just reading meters. But while I was parked on a street in the Meyerland area, I also saw a man walking from door to door dropping off fliers. Then I saw a truck pull up. Take a look:

There must have been 8 grown men packed in the bed of that truck! It appears the truck drops all the guys off in an area to go to door to door with fliers. Then the truck drives around and picks them all up to move onto the next neighborhood. I just thought it looked strange and I thought I’d share it before I recycle this tape.

Cha-Ching for your Bling Bling (& other stuff too)
January 17, 2008

You know the saying “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” but now the cliche, “The gift that keeps on giving” may also apply to the gems.

If you purchased a diamond between January 1, 1994 and March 31, 2006, you may have some money coming to you. You do have to file a claim to get it. De Beers, the largest suppliers of rough diamonds in the world, was accused of price fixing and sued. The company agreed to settle and pay consumers $272.5 million. Get your share by clicking here.

Ever bought sheets or bedding at Bed, Bath & Beyond???

Another settlement over thread count could get you a $10 gift card to the home store chain.

Now I’m not a real litigious person, but there are hundreds of these types of class action lawsuits where you may qualify for cash. A real neat website called Lawyers & Settlements lets you scroll through all types of suits and file claims if you fall into the class owed money by a business.

I won’t even charge you a finder’s fee!

More Cheese, Please
January 4, 2008

Today’s “Conscientious consumer” award goes to Tom Douglas who e-mailed me about a “cheese surcharge” he received on his bill at Chacho’s, a restaurant on Westheimer near Fountainview.

Check out his receipt:

Always curious, I decided to check out the situation. I stopped by Chacho’s for lunch today. I was also charged 7.5% for cheese. But there is no notice posted, nothing on the menu letting consumers know about the extra fee.

The manager on duty told me that Chacho’s started passing along the “cheese surcharge” July 1st when the cost of cheese went up. He said they used to have a sign on each register; and a notice is still posted at the drive-thru. Chacho’s didn’t change its’ menus because the surcharge is supposed to be temporary.

The manager told me he would put the notice back up inside the store. Tom was right to question the charge. If a business doesn’t disclose a fee or charge before the transaction, it’s not legal for the company to just tack it on. This one is all about disclosure. As long as the company lets you know and gives you the option to buy or not buy when considering the full price, they can charge as much or as little for cheese as they like.

Happy Weekend!