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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- California retailers may be liable for large money awards if they falsely advertise that their products are on sale. A federal appeals court Tuesday revived a potential class-action lawsuit against Kohl's Department Stores for allegedly misstating in advertising that items had been marked down. The U.S. 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals said California consumer laws permit such lawsuits if the customer would not have made the purchase but for the perceived bargain.
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OPINION
August 22, 2013 | By Charles Duan
Patent trolls are a widely reported problem for big business and technology makers. They are companies that exist primarily to buy up patents and then collect money, in the form of licenses or lawsuit settlements, from alleged infringers of those patents. Trolls take advantage of a patent system with serious flaws, and their abuse of the system is creating, as a White House fact sheet recently put it, a "drain on the American economy. " And, as it turns out, a drain on you, the ordinary consumer.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Lee is making some changes in his life. He wants to know what happens if he renounces his U.S. citizenship and becomes instead a citizen of the Philippines. Can he keep receiving Social Security checks? An intriguing scenario. Lee doesn't say why he wants to switch teams, but it could have something to do with taxes. A number of Americans jump ship each year because they're displeased with the U.S. tax system. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In any case, the Social Security Administration does have a status for ex-citizens who may be due monthly checks.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Any buyer of a new car has faced this question: Should I plunk down extra money for an extended warranty? It can make sense if you'll sleep better at night knowing you have an additional layer of coverage for your wheels. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions But do the statistics bear this out? And do you have to decide right away, when the dealer is pressuring you to come across with more cash? For the answers, check out today's Ask Laz video.
BUSINESS
November 13, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Michael has a credit card he hasn't used in about two years. It has no balance but it does have a $6 monthly fee. Michael's question: If he cancels the card, will it affect his credit score? ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Generally speaking, creditors get fidgety anytime someone cancels plastic. They suspect that you're carrying beaucoup debt and thus represent a greater risk. So your credit score can go down. Should you worry? And how many credit cards should you have?
BUSINESS
February 14, 2001 | NEDRA PICKLER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The government released rollover risk ratings for 30 more vehicles on Tuesday, giving low marks to eight sport-utility vehicles and high grades to four cars. The ratings of the 2001 vehicles are based on a mathematical formula for measuring the vehicle's center of gravity and width. SUVs and pickup trucks are more top-heavy and thus more likely to get lower marks than a car or van.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Bill's daughter recently purchased a house, and it came with a home warranty. Then the trouble started. She took a shower and discovered that water was seeping out of the walls. Yow! Bill's daughter contacted the warranty provider and was told the policy didn't cover plumbing. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Bill asks: Is that how these things usually work? And the answer is: No. Most home warranties cover plumbing, along with most other major systems and appliances.
OPINION
June 28, 2012
Re "Suit targets consumer watchdog," Business, June 23 I found it amusing to read that C. Boyden Gray, an attorney in a suit challenging the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, complains about how unfair and wrong it is that "if you're a poor beleaguered financial institution … and you are set upon by this bureau, you have no access to the democratic system … to appeal what's happened. " Perhaps Gray might also consider the plight of a private individual set upon by one of those "poor beleaguered financial institutions.
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