Stories tagged: Consumer affairs
Sun., Dec. 25, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Insulin price hikes aren’t sweet
A key feature of Republican plans to replace Obamacare is allowing market forces to boost innovation and competition among health care providers. “Unleashing the power of choice and competition is …
Sun., Dec. 11, 2016
Consumer Confidential: A warning about warning labels
Chances are, you encounter so many warning labels on a daily basis that you no longer bother reading them. And even if you do, it’s nearly impossible to determine if …
Sun., Dec. 4, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Scams can turn holiday glee to gloom
As the Black Friday shopping spree spilled over into Cyber Monday, the FBI warned consumers to watch out for “increasingly aggressive and creative scams” that will make your holidays considerably …
Sun., Nov. 27, 2016
Consumer Confidential: The high cost of ‘free’ video games
Kanye West and I have a lot in common. OK, not so much actually. But we do see eye to eye on this: We’re both miffed about in-app purchases.
Sun., Nov. 20, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Trump embraces cool parts of Obamacare – not the part that makes it work
When it comes to health care, President-elect Donald Trump made it clear that he’s all in favor of dessert but doesn’t want any Brussels sprouts.
Sun., Oct. 30, 2016
Consumer Confidential: AT&T-Time Warner merger could be blessing in disguise for consumers
We’ve been hearing about “convergence” since the earliest days of the internet. A computer in your living room! Movies streaming in your home! So it’s with a certain degree of …
Sun., Oct. 23, 2016
Consumer Confidential: DNA database could help predict your disease – then get you fired
Relatively little attention was paid last year when President Barack Obama called for creation of a database containing the DNA of a million volunteers as part of moves toward “precision …
Sun., Oct. 9, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Soaring drug prices sickening for pets
Soaring prices for prescription drugs aren’t just a problem for human patients. They’re also a big issue for pets.
Sun., Oct. 2, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Did Wells Fargo go after seniors?
Wells Fargo may have gone out if its way to take senior citizens to the cleaners when the bank’s workers fraudulently opened as many as 2 million accounts without customers’ …
Sun., Sept. 25, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Sick: The biggest increase in health care costs in 32 years
Health care is very much in the news, but for all the wrong reasons. On the one hand, we had Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visiting the “Dr. Oz” show …
Sun., Sept. 11, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Crazy prices for rabies shots
Jan Kern was bitten by a stray dog while traveling abroad and ended up with a jaw-dropping illustration of why the U.S. health care industry is completely sick. That’s because …
Sun., Sept. 4, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Same drug, wild cost difference
As sky-high EpiPen costs show, price gouging of patients by greedy drug companies is one part of our dysfunctional health care system. Another is what may appear to be the …
Sun., Sept. 4, 2016
Are store rewards programs worthwhile?
You grab the gallon of milk you forgot yesterday, pick up the cheapest toothpaste, and head over to the checkout line. Just when your quick trip to the grocery store …
Sun., Aug. 28, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Consumers want court date when banks don’t play fairly
The vast majority of consumers want to know they can seek their day in court if they get in a beef with a bank. That’s the main takeaway of a …
Sun., Aug. 21, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Medical bills could leave you feeling sick
Denis Robinson wasn’t bothered in the least that he was billed nearly $100,000 by Providence Tarzana Medical Center in Los Angeles for the recent removal of his gallbladder. “What do …
Sun., July 17, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Starbucks serving up less health care
Starbucks announced Monday that it will give its U.S. workers a raise that will boost compensation by 5 percent to 15 percent. That’s very cool. The coffee giant also said …
Sun., July 10, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Big companies pad their bank accounts instead of passing the savings to consumers
JPMorgan Chase patted itself on the back earlier this year after announcing plans to close hundreds of branches and increasingly shift customer transactions to ATMs and online banking. A deposit …
Sun., June 26, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Is your TV set-top box a spy?
Your TV’s set-top box is ratting you out to advertisers. At least that’s the contention of consumer groups that have filed complaints with federal authorities demanding a crackdown on overzealous …
Sun., June 5, 2016
Consumer Confidential: A la carte channels looking more likely
If you talk to pay-TV insiders and analysts, the buzz these days is about so-called skinny bundles. Fewer channels. Lower monthly costs. Almost every pay-TV provider is cooking up a …
Sun., May 22, 2016
Consumer Confidential: What it means to ‘buy’ digital goods
Buy an e-book on Amazon or an album on Apple’s iTunes and you own it, right? Maybe not as much as you think.
Sun., May 15, 2016
Consumer Confidential: What does a corporation owe you after a data breach?
It’s a question that grows in importance with each new report of a data breach: How much responsibility should companies take for protecting people’s privacy? The most common response when …
Sun., March 27, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Grieving passenger has bumpy ride with American Airlines
Airlines have been doing away with bereavement fares, and not being very nice about it.
Sun., March 13, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Why is a group of lawmakers working to undermine tighter rules for the payday-loan industry?
In a bizarre display of bipartisan cooperation, a handful of Democratic lawmakers have joined Republicans in trying to cripple the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Sun., Feb. 7, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Why is University of California investing in payday lender Ace Cash Express?
The University of California makes money when American workers become trapped in endless cycles of high-interest debt. That’s because the university has invested millions of dollars in an investment fund …
Sun., Jan. 31, 2016
Consumer Confidential: When collectors call, demand proof of your debt
Consumer debt is growing again, and that’s emboldening debt-collection firms that purchase obligations for pennies on the dollar and aggressively try to squeeze cash from borrowers.
Sun., Jan. 17, 2016
Consumer Confidential: FTC is falling short in protecting consumers’ data used by businesses
It’s about time more official attention was paid to ways that companies invade our privacy. But federal authorities can do more, much more, to level the playing field.
Sun., Jan. 10, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Carmakers’ focus on connected lifestyle may lead to distracted driving
Ford and Fiat Chrysler apparently have concluded that safety takes a back seat to amusement when it comes to pleasing drivers.
Sun., Jan. 3, 2016
Consumer Confidential: A big political battle over Dodd-Frank financial reforms is coming in 2016
Forgive and forget. Or just pretend that banks’ greedy and reckless behavior never happened. That seems to be the sentiment behind what’s certain to be one of the biggest political …
Sun., Jan. 3, 2016
Consumer Confidential: Battle with Bank of America provides a ‘Wonderful’ lesson
Jimmy Hawkins, who played little Tommy Bailey in the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” told me this week that he was battling Bank of America over an overdraft involving …
Sun., Dec. 27, 2015
Consumer Confidential: Supreme Court’s arbitration ruling is another blow to consumer rights
The U.S. Supreme Court made it clear last week that, regardless of what the Constitution says about a consumer’s right to sue, businesses are absolutely entitled to block people from …