Posts Tagged ‘consumer awareness

12
May
10

What a Wonderful Life

I’ve had a few things on my mind, lately, so I’m going to use this as an opportunity to get some of them off my chest.

1.  First and foremost, I want to punch all the people who said that Windows 7 was their idea. If they had anything to do with another buggy software product from MicroSoft, they deserve a good smacking.

2.  Most modern-day so-called “rock” music only seems to rock me to sleep. I guess that’s what they mean by “rock,” these days.

3.  Companies that say you can get a new laptop computer for only “$29.99 per week for 12 months” are rip-off artists.  You can currently get a brand new laptop at major office supply stores for only $299.99, so why in the world would you pay $1559.48 for one? Don’t fall for this crap!

4.  Same goes for “free credit report” services. If you have to buy a product or service before you can get a report, it isn’t free. If you want a truly free credit report, you can get one every year by writing to the credit bureaus and simply requesting one.

5.  I’m really getting tired of seeing Safe Auto car insurance commercials that use the threat of police officers locking you up, or taking your car away, in an effort to sell their insurance. Personally, I wouldn’t use them if they were the last insurance company on the planet, because of it. Friends do not let friends buy Safe Auto insurance!

6.  If you’re going to hold up traffic, it’s probably a good idea to drive something other than a company vehicle. There are some companies I will not do business with, because their drivers have a regular habit of doing stupid crap on the highway–and because they were stupid enough to let me know where they work, I’m going to do my best to give their competitors my money.

7.  Speaking of bad driving, please stop holding up traffic so someone can make a turn across multiple lanes! So many accidents are caused by someone holding up traffic to make a gap for another car to cross through, while a car in the adjacent lane doesn’t see what’s going on and…BAM! Traffic collision. Don’t do it! Let them think you’re a prick, if they must. At least you’re safer. Get the driver of the other car to realize he needs to go to the nearest intersection and turn. Don’t take a risk of causing an accident, just because someone doesn’t feel like driving a few extra yards to a traffic light.

8.  Reading “a shine that lasts for weeks” on tire shine products really irritates me, because I know that the shine may “last for weeks” only if you don’t actually drive the vehicle. If you must actually drive it, the shine typically lasts for 3 to 5 days.

9.  Ever notice how the burger or sandwich you get at the fast food joint never looks like the product they display in those (false advertising) commercials? Getting a compressed, dried-out, lukewarm sandwich that looks to be about half the size of what I saw in the commercial is not cool, at all.

Okay, I think that’s enough venting for now. I’m sure I’ll have more to add, soon, because it seems the world is full of people who don’t get it or don’t care–or both.

Stay tuned…

11
Jun
09

Free Credit Report Scams

I’m REALLY getting tired of seeing the “free” credit report commercials on TV, because they can end up being anything but “free,” if you aren’t careful.

Most people don’t realize it, but you can get truly FREE copies of your credit reports just for asking for them, each year. You don’t need to sign up and pay for any service, in order to get them.

From the FTC:

Q: How do I order my free report?

A: The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual report.

To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The form can be printed from ftc.gov/credit. Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228, and Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies at the same time, or you can order your report from each of the companies one at a time. The law allows you to order one free copy of your report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies every 12 months.

A Warning About “Imposter” Websites

Only one website is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under law — annualcreditreport.com. Other websites that claim to offer “free credit reports,” “free credit scores,” or “free credit monitoring” are not part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program. In some cases, the “free” product comes with strings attached. For example, some sites sign you up for a supposedly “free” service that converts to one you have to pay for after a trial period. If you don’t cancel during the trial period, you may be unwittingly agreeing to let the company start charging fees to your credit card.

Some “imposter” sites use terms like “free report” in their names; others have URLs that purposely misspell annualcreditreport.com in the hope that you will mistype the name of the official site. Some of these “imposter” sites direct you to other sites that try to sell you something or collect your personal information.

Annualcreditreport.com and the nationwide consumer reporting companies will not send you an email asking for your personal information. If you get an email, see a pop-up ad, or get a phone call from someone claiming to be from annualcreditreport.com or any of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies, do not reply or click on any link in the message. It’s probably a scam.

Q: What information do I need to provide to get my free report?

A: You need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. To maintain the security of your file, each nationwide consumer reporting company may ask you for some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Each company may ask you for different information because the information each has in your file may come from different sources.