“Even semiprofessional consumers like me run into our share of problems. These are particularly irksome, since we should probably know better than to find ourselves on the wrong end of a busted product or poorly delivered service.So this week, I’m pleased to share with you the single best tool I’ve ever found for getting my money back or my money’s worth. In fact, it has never failed me.
It’s called the Executive Email Carpet Bomb (E.E.C.B. for short) — a well-written message to the right group of corporate executives, whose email addresses are often pretty easy to figure out. A group of renegades at a blog called Consumerist first published the concept 10 years ago this month.”
“In analyzing the attack on net neutrality, one looks in vain for the problem that needs to be fixed. Net neutrality refers to rules intended to ensure that broadband providers cannot block content or provide faster delivery to companies that pay more. The policy was put in place in the George W. Bush administration, where it enjoyed bipartisan support. In the years since, it has sheltered bloggers, nonprofit organizations like Wikipedia, smaller tech companies, TV and music streamers, and entrepreneurs from being throttled by providers like AT&T and Verizon that own the “pipes.” ”
Rule of thumb. If At&t and Comcast are for it, I’m against it. These jerks think customers are fleecing opportunities.
I recommend a video on youtube by John Oliver last year on this subject.
Here is a comment that I found helpful:
The point is, should Net Neutrality laws be abolished, ISPs like Comcast & Time Warner will be able to charge more monthly for internet services. So not only will consumer’s be charged the monthly/yearly fee for their internet, but they may be charged more for using certain online services like YouTube and Twitter. This is the internet equivalent of your electric company charging you extra for using it to power your desk fan. The company doesn’t have the right to charge you for what you use it for, only for the service itself. Furthermore, these ISPs most likely own TV & cable services & can dictate what competes & what doesn’t. Killing net neutrality kills the open internet.
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Source: Strawberries | EWG’s 2017 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce
“Mr. Cain said he never knew the lawsuit had been brought against him until the money was gone. Neither did other Baltimore residents who were among the hundreds of people sued by the collector, Midland Funding, a unit of the Encore Capital Group, in Maryland State Court. Some of them said they did not even owe any money, or their debt had long expired and was not legally collectible, according to a review of court records.In any case, the Encore subsidiary was not licensed to collect debt in Maryland.Yet when Mr. Cain brought a class action in 2013 against Midland Funding, the company successfully fought to have the lawsuit dismissed.If the plaintiffs wanted to try to recover their money, they would have to do so in private arbitration. And because class actions are banned in arbitration, Mr. Cain and the others would have to fight the unit of Encore — one of the largest debt buyers in the country with vast legal resources — one by one.”
Source: Sued Over Old Debt, and Blocked From Suing Back – The New York Times
The AdChoices logo, which allows consumers to opt out of personalized ads, is seen more than a trillion times a month, but critics say the program is too complicated to use.
Source: Key to Opting Out of Personalized Ads, Hidden in Plain View – The New York Times
“Chicago — THE integrity of research and expert opinions in Washington came into question last week, prompting the resignation of Robert Litan, an economist, from his position as a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution.Senator Elizabeth Warren raised the issue of a conflict of interest in Mr. Litan’s testimony before a Senate committee examining a proposed Labor Department rule designed to protect consumers in their dealing with retirement-plan brokers.The testimony was based on a paper Mr. Litan had prepared for the Capital Group, a mutual fund company. Mr. Litan disclosed that the Capital Group, which has a stake in the debate, had funded his paper, but he did not disclose that it had also commissioned it. Mr. Litan concluded that the regulatory rule, while well intentioned, would be too costly. He resigned because he testified as a Brookings fellow, violating a recent Brookings rule change that would have prohibited that.”
Source: Is Money Corrupting Research? – The New York Times
“A vast majority of the more than 10 million Americans who have defaulted on or are behind on repaying their student loans could have benefited from income-driven repayment plans that are intended to ease pressure on distressed borrowers and keep them from defaulting on their federal loans.These plans can allow borrowers with low income or high debt — or both — to pay less each month, or even nothing, until their finances improve without being penalized or going into default. But many borrowers never even hear about these payment plans, thanks to poor customer service by the companies that are paid more than $600 million a year by the government to manage these accounts, process monthly payments and enroll distressed borrowers in alternative repayment plans.”
Source: Why Student Debtors Go Unrescued – The New York Times
Here is a comment from the Times which I suport:
We are way past the point of effete “oversight.” These deadbeat companies should be nationalized, their assets should be redistributed to the borrowers that they have defrauded, and their execs should stand trial. Or, we can wait for this problem to manifest itself, once again, in the streets. ”