Archive for April, 2008

In a Tizzy over Target’s new return policy
April 30, 2008

After receiving several emails and phone calls from viewers about Target’s tough new return policy, I decided to give the retailer’s corporate office a call. i used their response for an “Ask Amy” segment yesterday.  You can check it out here: http://www.click2houston.com/investigates/16064705/detail.html

Apparently, the segment wasn’t satisfactory for Jennifer Dugan.  About 5 minutes after the report, she emailed me with this message:

 

“I had anxiously awaited your story on Target, as I stopped shopping there in December after learning their new return policy. I’m sorry to say that for the first time watching your show, I was disappointed.

 

I felt like it was an opportunity for you to advertise Target’s ridiculous justification of an unfair policy. To blindly accept an answer that was clearly prepared by a PR person, that “it will help prevent fraudulent returns”. Why was there no further prodding for an answer? Do they not care about the honest customers, such as myself, who will not shop there anymore? How about giving us concerned consumers with a place where we can further inquire/complain?”

Here’s the deal, Jennifer: As a reporter/ consumer advocate, my advice is to let the business know how you feel by taking your business elsewhere. They will get the message.  It is Target’s perogative to tow this line, however strict it may be, when it comes to returning products to their store.  They aren’t doing anything illegal or deceptive.

But since I received several emails before and after my story, I wanted to post some of your comments so others could read your rants.  Check out the comments section for what other consumers are saying.

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The Dangers of being a TV reporter
April 28, 2008

http://gawker.com/377201/the-dangers-of-being-a-television-news-reporter

I couldn’t figure out how to post the video clip above… so just click on the link.  It’s pretty funny stuff. 

And just so you don’t think I’m only picking on other reporters, here’s proof I can laugh at myself as well.  Please excuse the BIG hair! I was reporting in Beaumont when this happened (as if that explains everything :))  

 

 

 

MDA/ Citgo Golf Challenge
April 25, 2008

Whew! Between red light cameras and more Bill Heard investigations, it’s been a busy week!

But I didn’t want to leave for the weekend without posting pictures from a very successful event. I was invited to emcee the 22nd Annual MDA/ Citgo Gold Challenge dinner at Hotel Za Za on April 13th.

The event raises money for MDA Summer Camp where kids with muscular dystrophy can be kids. They can swim, climb up in tree houses, ride horses, you name it.  But the camp costs a lot of money. There is one counselor for every child. With medical bills and other burdens, the families don’t often have the money to pay for the summer get-away; so MDA & Citgo raise the money with their Golf Challenge, dinner and auction each year.

It was a great event.   

Would you want this in your backyard?
April 22, 2008

Chris Ball emailed when he came home from work one day to find this!

His neighbor apparently had a power surge that knocked out his electricity. In order to temporarily restore power, CenterPoint says it had to drape these cords across his and 4 other neighbor’s yards. 

Chris wrote:

“Centerpoint, when contacted, said that the neighbor had to pay to have the power cord buried into the easement in my backyard…and that he has 30 days in which to do so. We pleaded that we have two young boys (ages 7 and 4) that we cannot allow to be in the backyard for fear that they might touch the power cord. They said that is too bad, and that it lies in the hands of the neighbor. If he does not pay within the first 30 days, he has another 30 days…this has no clear end in sight.”

CenterPoint, it turns out, did remove the cord after a full month. When we called the wires company, a spokesperson assured us the cord, while it may look dangerous, is a “low voltage insulated power line.”  Representative Alicia Dixon told me that in areas outside of Houston, homeowners actually own the electric lines that are buried underground. If they go out, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to have them repaired and buried. CenterPoint describes the temporary low-voltage cord as a “service” they provide to customers. 

If Chris had decided to demand that CenterPoint move the cord off of his property, he would basically be putting his neighbor in the dark.  And basically, that is his right.

Haircut not so “Super”
April 17, 2008

Mom says hairdresser cut her son\'s head 6 times.

Jamie Trauth emailed me this week with a haircut horror story.  She took her 21-month old son to Supercuts for his second haircut ever. 

Jamie picks up the story from here:

“My son sat on my lap, as the
woman took Clippers to his head. My son was then cut pretty badly. 6
times, bleeding, in total. Her comment to me after pointing this out
was, ” well hes not screaming”. ”

Jamie’s biggest concern was that the woman didn’t stop to put any sort of antiseptic on her son’s cuts. She says the woman also didn’t bother to disinfect her clippers before her next customer.

So what should she do?

File a complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation. You can do that here: http://www.license.state.tx.us/Complaints/ComplaintForm.aspx?strRadiobutton=Cosmetologists

A spokesperson with TDLR told me you can file a complaint anonymously, but if you’d like to be notified at the conclusion of the state’s investigation to find out what happened, you must leave your name and a number where investigators can reach you.

And yes, they say that hairdresser should have stopped to treat the toddler’s bloody head. The state law spells it out right here:

Cosmetology Rule 83.111. Health and Safety Standards–Blood and Body
Fluids. (New section effective March 1, 2006, 31 TexReg 1280)

(a) Blood can carry many pathogens. For this reason licensees should
never touch a client’s open sore or wound. Powdered alum, styptic
powder, or a cyanoacrylate (e.g. liquid-type bandage) may be used to
contract the skin to stop minor bleeding, and should be applied to the
open area with a disposable cotton-tipped instrument that is immediately
discarded after application.