November 26, 2013 |
Jared wants to know how he can find a certified financial planner who doesn't hit clients for huge commissions but instead wants only a fee for his or her services. First off, big props to you, Jared, for getting your financial house in order. Too many people let things slide instead of making prudent moves to shore up retirement plans or earn the most from their investments. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions It's true that many financial planners want a commission.
December 10, 2013 |
Godfrey is fed up with those subscription cards that come tumbling out of magazines. Why do publishers bother using them? The publishing industry calls these things "blow-in" cards, and they've been around for years as a way to attract new subscribers. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In 2009, the New York Times reported that blow-in cards appeared to be falling out of favor as digital distribution grew. But there's not much evidence to back that up. So why does this pesky practice persist?
February 14, 2001 |
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.
December 3, 2008
Re "U.S. tackles consumer debt market," Nov. 26 OK, I admit that I do not have a degree in economics. However, the information I am reading about "bailouts" defies any logic I know as a consumer. The latest is that the government plans to give billions to industries that will encourage consumer credit. Everyone I know is trying desperately to get out from under credit debt. Can someone who has credit-card debt explain how encouraging the use of further indebtedness through credit can help the average consumer?
June 7, 2009
Re: David Lazarus' consumer column, "Finally, AT&T writes a contract in plain English," May 31: "The 8,000-word contract was a triumph of consumer-unfriendliness" -- and clearly was written by lawyers on steroids! Michael Lohnberg Agoura Hills
August 22, 2013 |
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.
December 3, 2013 |
Kya sells ceramic masks online. A buyer recently instructed her to cash his check and then allow him to pick up his mask later. Kya asks: Is this some kind of scam? Answer: Probably. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions It sounds like a variation of a relatively common scam involving bogus checks -- a racket that the Federal Trade Commission says has become a fact of life online. For details of the scam and my advice for not getting duped, check out today's Ask Laz video.
November 14, 2013 |
Kyle says he receives a lot of unwanted email from his cable provider, Time Warner Cable. He also says the company appears to be sending him email from other companies. Kyle's question: Is my cable company a spammer? ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions And the answer is: Yup. Although Time Warner Cable would characterize it instead as notifying customers about goods and services in which they may be interested. What can you do about it? Check out the surprising process in today's Ask Laz video.