Category: Consumer Protection

I’m not donating this year to charities that spent my money asking me for more money

By , December 12, 2016

Last year, I gave donations to a number of charities, and this year I’m donating again to all of the same nonprofit organizations except for two: the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

My decision NOT to donate to these organizations is based on the volume and apparent cost of their continuing mailings to me, asking for more donations. Quite simply, it appears that they’ve spent about as much money as I donated to them, on printing and postage (for US Postal Service mail) asking for more donations. Read more »

Another startup nightmare: by Penny Kim

By , September 6, 2016

An excellent “experience story” about a nightmare startup:

“I Got Scammed By A Silicon Valley Startup” (Penny Kim):  Read more »

Moving a Convention from North Carolina, because of a discriminatory, hateful law

By , August 19, 2016

September 8, 2016: I was pleased to receive this announcement from Informa today: “Informa and Channel Partners value and celebrate diversity in all its forms within our workforce and among sponsors and attendees.  With that in mind, Channel Partners finds North Carolina’s recently passed law, known as HB2,  incompatible with its values and cannot therefore move forward with plans to hold the Channel Partners Evolution event in Charlotte in September 2017.” Read more »

Fake USB Flash Drives (eBay)

By , June 19, 2016

There are Bad People out there, who sell USB flash drives designed to show fake capacity values.

Over the past year, I’ve purchased a few dozen USB flash drives, with capacities ranging from 8GB to 256GB.  Some were genuine; most were fakes. Read more »

Unicorn Startups: The Rules Don’t Apply to Us

By , May 9, 2016

Excellent article about a “unicorn” startup: “Zenefits Was the Perfect Startup. Then It Self-DisruptedWhat happened when an HR firm had some epic HR problems” (http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-zenefits/) in Bloomberg, by Claire Suddath and Eric Newcomer.

Like some other “unicorns” in recent years, Zenefits decided that the rules didn’t apply to its company: in this case, state-by-state licensing requirements when selling insurance, and the training and compliance requirements for such sales. Read more »

Google Gets Creepier – pre-filled subscribe box in search ad

By , November 7, 2013

This just seems creepy and wrong: Google (AdWords) allows advertisers to create Search ads which pre-fill forms with Google Account data. In this example, my email was pre-filled next to a “subscribe” button which doesn’t say what I’d be subscribing to — alongside a completely meaningless “Privacy” link which doesn’t disclose how the email address would be used. Read more »

Priceline’s Scam (Bait and Switch)

By , July 24, 2012

Back in December 1999, I wrote about my frustrations with Priceline.com and another travel web site, both of which which proved completely useless. Today, I confirmed that PriceLine has upgraded from a useless service to a “bait-and-switch” operation.

Read more »

Amazon Goes Wild! (On My Credit Card, for MP3 & Kindle items)

By , April 25, 2012

Check your credit card statements for any improper charges by Amazon!

I just found a series of unexpected small transactions from Amazon on my credit card.

Read more »

Amazon’s Frustrating Kindle eBook Pricing

By , April 3, 2012

A quick observation about Amazon’s book pricing: While the Kindle price for a book is generally less than the “new book” price from Amazon itself when a book is first released, the price never seems to go down.  Thus, for most books, the Kindle price never seems very attractive:

Read more »

Beware: Focus Group & Survey Scams

By , March 22, 2012

I’ve never participated in a focus group, but recently I’ve seen a surge in ads (on Craigslist and other employment sites) promising $50, $100, or more to participate in a focus group. Unfortunately, most of these ads are scams.

Read more »

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