Archive for July, 2010

Good day today!
July 29, 2010

My morning started with a surprise visit from the President of Harris County Medical Society and a representative of the Texas Medical Association. They dropped by the station to present myself, investigative producer Brian Sasser and photojournalists John Barone and Jon Hill with an award for our “Swine Flu Family Guide” that aired last year.

Excuse the blurry photo!

Then I headed over to the Crossroads School in southwest Houston for a tour. I had the opportunity to emcee a charity gala for the school earlier this year. This was my first visit; and I am in awe of the work that the teachers and staff do. Crossroads is for children with learning disabilities. The student to teacher ratio in each classroom is 8 to 1.

My last stop of the day was to Hotel Za Za for an MDA event honoring the biggest givers in Houston. It’s called the Elite 50. The whole event had a speakeasy theme… so we all wore disguises. Thanks to everyone who contributes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association!

Hope your day was just as filled with good things and people!

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Free help tomorrow- Foreclosure, Debt Collectors, Tenant’s Rights
July 23, 2010

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS COMMUNITY MEETING

Join Lone Star Legal Aid, local community leaders and the Brentwood Business Development Association to help local residents learn more about consumer rights on topics like:

  • Tenant’s rights: Laws every Texan should know about
  • Simple Steps you can take when facing a foreclosure
  • Defending yourself against dubious debt collectors
  • Learn how you can fight illegal and abusive collectors

Saturday, July 24, 2010
9 am – Noon
Brentwood Baptist Church
13033 Landmark Drive, Houston, TX 77045

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS EVENT, PLEASE CONTACT:
KYLE WEBB @ 713-652-0077 EXT. 1149 (HBUINTERN3@LONESTARLEGAL.ORG)
ELIZABETH LOCKETT @ 713-652.0077 EXT. 1293 (ELOCKETT@LONESTARLEGAL.ORG)
BARBARA ELEY @ 832-725-8589

Money for Nothing
July 22, 2010

We all want to give money to charity, but at the end of month, that cash intended for a donation seems to disappear when we pay the electric bill, mortgage, gas, water and groceries.

One grocery store is helping customers contribute to their favorite charities just by shopping. Kroger’s “Neighbor to Neighbor” program lets you link your Kroger Plus card to a charity of your choice. Each time you shop at Kroger using your enrolled Kroger Plus Card, Kroger will contribute a portion of your eligible purchases to the Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor fund.

Any 501(c) (3) non-profit, church, synagogue or school (K-12) can enroll in the program to receive a percentage of the $1 million that the Kroger Southwest Division (Texas and Louisiana) awards annually to local groups.

Take a look at the Houston-area non-profits that received the biggest donations last year:

Organization Title Payout
Amount
City State
BAY AREA HABITAT FOR HUMANITY-HOUSTON, INC. $12,985.21 DICKINSON TX
CAN-N-KEYS FOOD BANK $11,204.22 HUFFMAN TX
LITTLE WOMAN HOME FOR ANIMALS $9,410.24 HUNTSVILLE TX
RITA B. HUFF ANIMAL SHELTER $6,507.16 HUNTSVILLE TX
BUCKALEW ELEMENTARY PTO $5,614.73 THE WOODLANDS TX
THE HOUSTON ZOO $5,541.84 HOUSTON TX
OLD RIVER TERRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH $5,518.36 CHANNELVIEW TX
NATIONAL MS SOCIETY, LONE STAR CHAPTER $5,481.24 HOUSTON TX
HOUSTON AREA ASSOCIATION FOR DECENCY $4,847.96 HOUSTON TX
KINGWOOD HIGH SCHOOL PTSA $4,681.03 KINGWOOD TX

If you would like to register your charity or find a charity you can support, go Kroger’s Neighbor to Neighbor website.

Operation Price Check #10
July 15, 2010

Tonight on Local 2 News at 10, I took my running blog post “Operation Price Check” to the air.

Out of 53 grocery shopping trips since Dec. 13, 2009, I have been overcharged 16 times. I was undercharged 4 times.  On 33 trips, I paid the exact price advertised on the store shelf.

If you’re just reading about “Operation Price Check” for the first time… check out the post from December 13th when I started the project. I’m doing this thing for a whole year. At the end, I’ll tell you how much I was overcharged and how much I got back for invoking Kroger’s policy of getting one item free for which I was overcharged. In December, I will donate all of that money to the Houston Food Bank.

Try out “Operation Price Check” at your house… and see how much you save at the grocery store.

Some things I’ve learned since I started the project 7 months ago:

  • It’s easier to get through the checkout line, review your receipt… and then request a refund for any overcharges at the Customer Service Booth.
  • Kroger’s “Scan Right Policy” does not apply to produce, meat or any item that does not have a bar code on it.
  • State laws prevent any store from giving you any tobacco or alcohol items for free.
  • If you pay for your groceries with a credit card, the store will issue your refund by crediting your card.

Overcharged Refunded Time Wasted Undercharged

12/13/09      .10     $1.61          4 minutes

12/18/09       No errors

12/20/09     No errors

12/22/09     No errors

12/26/09     .19                                                    $1.65  (Didn’t request refund of $1.44).

12/30/09    .10  (Didn’t ask for a refund of $1.89.) .31 undercharged

1/1/10            No errors

1/9//10         No errors

1/10/10        $8.18   $27.47     >5 min.      .14 undercharged

1/12/10      No errors

1/13/10       $1.30    $3.29       2 min.

1/16/10        No errors

1/19/10      .20      .89        Less than a min.  Randall’s

1/23/10     .75      3.09         2 minutes

1/26/10    $7.52      $13.54     7 minutes

1/31/10                                      Undercharged $4.86

2/3/10                                       Undercharged .44

2/6/10     $5.30     $14.34       11 minutes

2/14/10   No errors

2/19/10 .98       2.79                 12 minutes

3/3/10   $.1.49   $8.98            4 minutes

3/7/10    No errors

3/14/10                         Undercharged $3.33

3/15/10 No errors

3/20/10   .10   (Didn’t ask for a refund of $1.39)

3/30/10  No errors

4/5/10     No errors

4/8/10     No errors

4/10/10  No errors

4/11/10  .30   (Didn’t ask for refund)

4/13/10   No errors

4/18/10  $2.27   $6.26    20 min.

4/22/10  No errors

4/28/10  No errors

5/2/10  $1.32  $2.90   9 min.

5/3/10   No errors

5/9/10   No errors

5/14/10 $4.10   $4.10

5/18/10  $2.67  $3.97

5/22/10  No errors

5/23/10  No errors

5/25/10  No errors

5/31/10  $4.56  $6.06

6/6/10  No errors

6/7/10  No errors

6/20/10 No errors

6/22/10  No errors

6/24/10  No errors

6/27/10 No errors

6/29/10 No errors

6/30/10 No errors

7/2/10    No errors

7/5/10   $11.18  $11.18

iPhone4’s Dropped Calls- There’s an app for that!
July 8, 2010

Tonight at 10, we explained what some customers say is causing their iPhone4 to drop calls in mid-conversation.

Apple, after telling these folks to “just hold the phone differently,” also suggested that customers buy a $30 bumper that covers the antennas that go around the device. You could do that… but if you think you’ve already given Apple enough of your hard-earned money, KPRC Engineer Mike August told me clear packing tape placed right over the black plastic pieces separating the 2 antennas works just as well.

And David Martin who follows and blogs about all things Apple and iPhone-related told me “There’s an app for that!”

You can read his post about the app here.