Archive for August, 2010

Texas AG sues Home Loan Company
August 31, 2010

Attorney General Greg Abbott says American  Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. used illegal debt collection tactics and intentionally mislead struggling homeowners.

“The defendant also failed to properly credit homeowners after AHMS agents withdrew funds from the homeowners’ checking accounts. Because of the defendant’s unlawful conduct , homeowners defaulted on their loans, leading to foreclosure proceedings.”

Now the state is suing American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. seeking $20,000 for each violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  You can read the full lawsuit here.

 If you’ve had a problem with this company, you should file a complaint with the AG’s office by following the instructions at this link. If and when the AG collects the penalties in this case, you may be reimbursed for money you lost to American Home Servicing, Inc.

Unsafe Levels of Lead in Some Bounce Houses
August 17, 2010

If you’ve been to a children’s birthday party in the last few years, there’s no doubt you’ve seen a bounce house. They’re all the rage.  You can rent them by the hour to entertain and exhaust rambunctious kids. Now, the Center for Environmental Health says they can also make your child sick. California’s Attorney General has sued 7 manufacturers of the oversized inflatable toys.

So does this mean you shouldn’t ever let your child jump again? A spokesman for the Center said you should just make sure you wash your child’s hands and face after jumping.

The AG in California is suing to force the makers to stop using vinyl that contains lead and to make rental companies post warnings about the lead in the bounce houses.   

You can read more in this New York Times article.

CenterPoint Rate Increase- Let the City Know What You Think TONIGHT
August 17, 2010

Two Public Meetings on CenterPoint Energy’s Proposed Rate Increase

The City of Houston has decided not to approve CenterPoint Energy’s request for an electric rate increase for Houston customers. As allowed by law, the city can suspend or deny the proposed rate change and Mayor Annise Parker has recommended that the rates be suspended, rather than be denied altogether, to allow the city’s experts to review the proposed rate increase to determine if it is justified, or if a rate reduction might be in order.

As part of its review process, the city will hold two public meetings to allow ratepayers the opportunity to voice quality of service concerns and/or objections to the proposed rate increase. The meetings will be held on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 and Tuesday, August 24, 2010, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., on the Public Level of the City Hall Annex, 900 Bagby, 77002.  All Houston customers served by CenterPoint Energy are welcome to attend.

By way of background, on June 30, 2010, CenterPoint Energy filed a request to change rates for Houston customers. If CenterPoint’s proposed rates went unchallenged, the average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month would experience an increase in their monthly electric bill of approximately 5 percent, or $5.53 per month, assuming an existing retail rate of $0.1115 per kWh. CenterPoint is proposing to increase rates for residential customers, while decreases are proposed for certain rate classes of commercial and industrial customers.

With a reported 760,000 in-city residential customers within the Houston service area, a proposed monthly increase of $5.53 for residential customers equates to an annual increase in revenues of approximately $50.6 million for CenterPoint.  CenterPoint is also requesting an additional $7 million increase in its rates for streetlights, which will directly affect the City of Houston as a customer.

For more information, please contact Tina Paez at Tina.Paez@houstontx.gov or 713-837-9630.

Big Oops by Macy’s
August 15, 2010

I tried to tell my husband I didn’t buy anything at Macy’s last month when we received a statement by email that said otherwise. Seems we weren’t the only ones. We got another message a few days later letting us know the first bill was a mistake. Did you get one of these phony bologna bills too? I wonder how many people just paid it.

I’ll make some calls Monday to get some answers. Let me know what you hear.

Kent Anderson
President
Dear Macy’s Customer,

On August 12, 2010, we sent you an e-mail that said your Macy’s Statement was ready. Due to a systems error the e-mail was sent to you by mistake.

I want to personally assure you that we take e-mail security very seriously, and I wanted to notify you of the situation. Please accept my sincere apology for any inconvenience this may have caused.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Customer Service Team at 1 877 493 9207.

Credit Customer Service is available Monday – Saturday, 9AM – 9PM Eastern/Pacific, and Sunday, 11AM – 8PM Eastern/Pacific.

Sincerely,

Kent Anderson
President
macys.com

Now this is marketing!
August 14, 2010

Happened to pass by the Not-so Lucky Village Chinese Buffet on Friday night (Fountainview & Westheimer). The typed note on the door lets everyone know the owner didn’t pay the rent and got locked out.

Just under the typed note was this handwritten note. Pretty smart of the folks at Lambo who realized people headed to Lucky Village would be craving Chinese.