February 17, 2014 |
Ding-dong, Cap One calling. Credit card issuer Capital One isn't shy about getting into customers' faces. The company recently sent a contract update to cardholders that makes clear it can drop by any time it pleases. The update specifies that "we may contact you in any manner we choose" and that such contacts can include calls, emails, texts, faxes or a "personal visit. " As if that weren't creepy enough, Cap One says these visits can be "at your home and at your place of employment.
February 16, 2014 |
Dear Liz: Recently I've paid off almost $20,000 in credit card debt and am determined not to go down that path again. Because I haven't used these cards in a while, though, I'm starting to get notifications from the credit card companies that they're closing my accounts because of inactivity. I know having long-standing accounts on your credit report is a good thing, but I don't want to be tempted to use these cards just to keep the account open. Is it a bad thing if almost all of my credit card accounts get closed?
February 16, 2014 |
The gig: Noel Massie is president of United Parcel Service's Southern California District, which has 20,000 employees and serves 144,000 customers in the area that includes the Southland, Hawaii and the southern tip of Nevada. On top of being responsible for a typical budget of $190 million, Massie oversees every aspect of the district's operation, including sales and customer relationships. Massie was installed as chair of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce this year. Early days: Massie grew up in an integrated East Oakland neighborhood, where his appreciation for people with diverse backgrounds would later apply to his work at UPS. Massie attended Berkeley High School for its math and science curriculum.
February 11, 2014 |
If ever a property had that déjà vu feeling it's the Studio City estate that just came on the market at $6.25 million. That's not because the Italianate two-story has been listed before. The villa has more film credits than many actors. Fans of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” have seen the 7,043-square-foot home standing in for the family home in countless episodes. “Melrose Place,” “Entourage” and “True Blood” viewers have glimpsed the seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom place too. “Chuck,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Chelsea Lately” have used the film location, as well as photo shoots and commercials.
February 7, 2014 |
Hugh Laurie only plays a doctor on TV, but he has a following among physicians in Germany who are crediting his fictional Dr. House with helping them diagnose a man with a life-threatening case of cobalt intoxication. The 55-year-old patient was referred to their clinic in Marburg in May 2012 suffering from severe heart failure. An echocardiogram revealed that his ejection fraction - a measure of how well his heart was pumping blood - was only about 25%. (In a healthy person, it's between 55% and 70%, according to the Cleveland Clinic .)
February 6, 2014 |
There's junk mail, and then there's nasty mail: San Francisco writer Lisa McIntire says Bank of America sent her a credit card offer addressed to "Lisa Is a Slut McIntire," and she posted photos of it Thursday on Twitter. The bank tweeted her an apology and pledged to investigate, but the problem apparently originated with an academic society that was marketing jointly with the bank. McIntire, 32, said in a phone interview that she learned about the mail in a text exchange with her mother, a screen grab of which she also posted on Twitter.
February 4, 2014 |
The blockbuster theft of credit card data from Target during the holiday shopping rush was just one example of the way outdated cards are leaving Americans more vulnerable to fraud and identity theft than shoppers are in other developed countries. The good news is that the credit card industry is in the process of fixing part of the problem. The bad news is that squabbling among retailers, banks and payment processors is getting in the way of a more complete solution. The United States is one of the few remaining places where credit and debit cards rely on a magnetic stripe, rather than a microchip, to store and transmit account information.
February 3, 2014 |
Mild temperatures make winter a good time to go horseback riding, hiking, mountain bicycling or just kicking back in Tucson -- and one dude ranch will pay you to fly there too. All-inclusive Tanque Verde Ranch offers up to $399 in airfare credit for guests who stay at least four nights. The deal: I like the Cold There? Fly Here! deal (even though it's far from cold here in L.A.) because of the credit, which guests receive when they present their proof of payment. Note that the perk is per booking, not per person.
February 2, 2014 |
Dear Liz: I'm confused about paying down credit card debt. Some say to pay the lowest-balance cards first and others say the highest balance or the one with the highest interest. I have almost $16,000 on credit cards ranging from a $4,930 balance on a card with an 8.24% interest rate to $660 on a card with an 18% rate. Answer: Actually, the first question you should ask is "How much credit card debt do I have compared to my income?" If your balances equal half or more of your annual earnings, you may not be able to pay it all off. You should make appointments with a legitimate credit counselor (such as one affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at http://www.nfcc.org)
January 31, 2014
Re "Banks put cost ahead of card risk," Column, Jan. 28 David Lazarus is correct that switching to chip-and-PIN cards would make for a much safer credit-card system. But his repeated mantra that lawmakers should impose heavy fines on companies whose customers' personal data are compromised is rather naive. Companies don't have as much control over the more intelligent hackers as he might think. Yes, I was one of those customers whose card was compromised when I used it at Target, but I feel sorry for the corporation, not bitter.