Archive for November, 2009

The BEST Black Friday deal ever!
November 26, 2009

I’m sitting at home scanning the Black Friday sales ads… and couldn’t believe the one to the right.

Really? 20% off at Bed, Bath & Beyond? That’s unheard of! Oh- except for the 20% off coupon all of America gets in the mail every week. But don’t let that spoil your shopping plans. To get this deal on Black Friday you should be the first in the door at 5am!

Let me know where you’re headed. I still haven’t found anything that makes me want to head out at the crack of midnight.


The Price of Pie
November 26, 2009

I love pie! Creamy, gooey, delicious pie. The Flying Saucer Pie Company on Crosstimbers is definitely my favorite place to pick up a pie for Thanksgiving… but you’ve probably seen the lines. You pretty much need an inside connection to get hooked up with some strawberry pie if you don’t want to wait for hours in line. I was lucky enough to have the day off on Wednesday, but I didn’t have hours to wait. I had an errand to run over on Westheimer near the House of Pies, so I thought I could just swing by and pick up a “Bayou Goo” pie to take to my sister’s house today.  Swing by?? Ha! I kept on driving when I saw the scene below.

No Flying Saucer AND No House of Pies for Thanksgiving. Instead, I made a Double Layer Pumpkin Pie. Here’s the recipe:

Mix 4 oz. of softened cream cheese with 1/2 a container of cool whip, 1 tablespoon of milk & 1 tablespoon of sugar. Spread the mixture into a 6 oz. graham cracker pie crust.

Combine 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin, 1 cup of milk, 2 Jello-O Instant Pudding Vanilla mixes, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger & 1/4 tablespoon of ground cloves. Mix together. This mixture will be thick. Spread over the first layer in the crust. Refrigerate for 4 hours. When you’re ready to serve it, spread the other half of the cool whip on top. (I made real whipped cream for the top layer cause it takes so much better). Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

It’s 9:07pm. I bet I could get a Bayou Goo pie now with no line at all.

Conn’s Coughs up some Cash in Settlement
November 26, 2009

You might remember our investigation of Conn’s Appliances in early May.  A couple of weeks after our story, the Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the retailer, charging the company with misleading and deceptive sales tactics, among other things.

Now 6 months later, the AG says Conn’s has agreed to pay $4.5 million to help reimburse customers who were sold worthless warranties or otherwise lost money. You can read all about the settlement at the Attorney General’s website.  This type of settlement is exactly why I encouraged many of you who called me to file a complaint with the AG’s office. The state received more than 3500 complaints. They are now reviewing them all to decide how to distribute the money. If you have questions, call the AG’s office at (800) 252-8011.

On a side note, Conn’s has also agreed to give $100,000 to the University of Houston Consumer Law Clinic. You might have noticed in my first investigation I interviewed Robert Johnson with the UH Texas Consumer Complaint Center.  The center takes consumer complaints; and it’s a great resource. You can contact the Texas CCC online. Congratulations to the group on the well-deserved award!

File Your Proof of Claim in Royce Bankruptcy
November 23, 2009

Tonight on Local 2, we show you the fall out of the Royce Homes bankruptcy. There are dozens of homeowners, contractors and other consumers who lost money when Royce closed its doors.

If you are one of these people or businesses, November 26th is the deadline for filing a “proof of claim” in Royce’s bankruptcy. If you file, you may be reimbursed when any of Royce’s remaining assets are distributed among creditors. There’s no guarantee you will see any money. But it’s a sure bet you’ll never get a dime if you don’t file.

If you had a warranty on your home, but you haven’t been able to get the work done because of the bankruptcy, there is a value on the warranty that you are owed. If you put earnest money down on a home that never closed, and you never got a refund, you should file.

Here is how you do it. The directions are on this “Proof of Claim” form. Click it. Follow the directions for filling it out.

In the blank for “name of debtor,” type Royce Homes, LP. In the blank for “case number,” type in 09-32467.

You do have to attach documents that prove you are owed money. That might be a statement from your HOA dues if Royce stopped maintaining the property or paying for the street lights in your subdivision. If it’s a warranty issue, include your closing documents that show your home came with a warranty.

For now, the Royce bankruptcy trustee says Royce owes more than $17 million; but he believes it’s much more… and that many people just haven’t filed.

If this doesn’t scare you… nothing will.
November 1, 2009

I’m a TARP bailout. Cash anyone?

IMG_1560Disclosure: My Halloween costume in no way reflects my views on President Obama’s bailout plan. It’s merely a fun costume to make you smile 🙂

Afterall, I’m a reporter. I don’t have an opinion.