Archive for October, 2009

Free Taco: A Treat from Taco Bell tonight only
October 31, 2009

Check it out here: Free Black Jack Taco

Just go in to any Taco Bell between 6pm and midnight today to get one free Black Jack Taco (retail value of 89 cents).

More on Debt Collection & Your Rights
October 30, 2009

Tonight we aired a second part in our series on Debt Collection.

Watch Part 1 here.

In Part 2, we told you about Houston debt collector Steven Guignard. He is being sued by 5 businesses (from Texas to Utah) that claim Guignard took their money. Each business owners says they hired Guignard and his company Morgenthal, Meyers & Sterns to collect some debts; but they say after MMS got the money, they kept it all. You can watch our entire interview with Guignard (who we caught up with outside of a Katy gas station) here:

If you didn’t get through to our phone bank tonight to speak with our panel of consumer attorneys, you can call them at their offices. They are happy to answer your questions. Their names and numbers are below.

We thank them all for helping with our Phone Bank tonight.

Blake Henshaw (281) 497-2650

Dana Karni (713) 552-0008

Daniel Ciment (713) 270-4833

Mike Weston (713) 623-4242

Rich Tomlinson (713) 627-2100

Greg Nodler (713) 627-2100

Hugh Plummer, Jr. (713) 520-0900

Jim McMillen (281) 458-9100

“The People’s Lawyer” Richard Alderman is another helpful consumer attorney in town. He’s put together an entire video on debt collection and your rights. You can watch it online.

Get Your Gripe out there
October 21, 2009

You know I love to take your complaints. I hope I’m the first place you turn! But even if I broadcast one complaint a day, I still couldn’t fit them all in on Local 2.

You should know there are other online outlets to vent and share your frustrations with other consumers.  These are great resources for checking out a business (just like you’ve always done with the BBB). Just plug in a company’s name and find out in seconds what others have to say about their service or products.

Two of the most popular sites are ConsumerAffairs.com and Ripoffreport.com.

I actually check these sites when I’m doing stories on businesses. You can be anonymous or only post a screen name, but the Ripoff Report actually asks you when you post your complaint if you mind the site sharing your information with the media. They do that in case a reporter (like myself) sees a consumer’s post and wants to interview that person. I call Ripoff Report and they would put us in touch.

The downside to these sites is that people can post anything about any company… and there are no fact checkers or mediators who call to get the business side of the story.  There are also fake posts by the businesses themselves to smear competitors or give themselves positive feedback to negate a lot of customer complaints.

Consider yourself warned… and complain away!

Baby Food Recall
October 21, 2009

Plum Organics of Emeryville, Calif., is recalling some of its apple and carrot pouch baby food because of concerns over possible botulism contamination.

091020-baby-food-hlarge-9a_hmediumThe product was sold individually throughout the country at Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores. The recalled product is sold in 4.22-ounce pouches, with a “best by” date of May 21, 2010.

“The product did not meet the FDA guidelines for proper acidity level,” Paul Gerhardt, a member of the Plum Organics action team, said in a statement.

The company is concerned that the baby food may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism, a sometimes life- threatening condition. Consumers should not use these products, even if they appear to be normal.

Credit Card Fees for Paying on Time? Now I’ve heard it All
October 20, 2009

It’s said to be the credit card industry’s response to legislation that will restrict credit card issuer’s ability to raise interest rates on existing balances. That legisaltion takes effect in February. In January, Bank of America will begin charging between $29 and $99 a year to customers who pay off their credit card on time each month.

The story is in USA Today. This should encourage everyone to start paying off that debt, cut up your cards.

Not practical, you say? The article also gives some advice for finding a card that won’t nickel and dime you.  They say consider applying for a card through a credit union because many credit union cards charge no annual fee and offer below-average interest rates.