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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 1993 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When Halina Douglas and her family gathered at a Sizzler's restaurant five years ago to celebrate her certification as a paralegal assistant, it was a poignant measure of how far she had come from the days when she was forced to flee war-torn Ukraine during World War II. But Douglas' moment of victory turned to disaster when a large menu sign fell from the wall and slammed into her head.
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BUSINESS
April 7, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
California-based Virgin America ranked highest among the nation's top 15 carriers in a study that looked at on-time performance, customer complaints and lost bag rates, among other factors. The study, known as the Airline Quality Rating report, also found that airline performance improved in 2013 over the previous year. The ratings report was produced by researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University and was based on data collected by the U.S.
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BUSINESS
March 17, 2014 | David Lazarus
Time Warner Cable has assured customers that the company's $45-billion acquisition by Comcast will improve service and innovation. Customers might wonder how the pairing of two profit-hungry cable giants will remedy the biggest problem: ever-increasing monthly bills. Time Warner Cable has just sent out notices of its latest rate hikes, which take effect with the next bill. As usual, the company says higher prices were unavoidable. On the one hand, it says, "the rates that TV networks and programming providers are charging us to deliver your favorite channels have risen to new highs.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | Andrea Chang
Instacart is bringing its same-day grocery delivery service to Los Angeles, utilizing a crowdsourced model of personal shoppers who provide their own transportation and smartphones to shop for and deliver groceries to customers. Starting Thursday, customers can order groceries and other items from Whole Foods Market and have them delivered in as little as an hour. Additional stores will be added in the coming weeks; shoppers will be able to combine items from multiple stores into one order.
BUSINESS
January 25, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
No more missing inches: Subway says that never again will a Footlong sandwich meet a ruler it can't match. In the company's own words: “We regret any instance where we did not fully deliver on our promise to our customers. We freshly bake our bread throughout the day in our more than 38,000 restaurants in 100 countries worldwide, and we have redoubled our efforts to ensure consistency and correct length in every sandwich we serve. Our commitment remains steadfast to ensure that every Subway Footlong sandwich is 12 inches at each location worldwide.” This after an outcry when an Australian customer posted a photo of a Footlong sub on Subway's Facebook page.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2014 | By Joe Flint
The Weather Channel wants DirecTV to waive its steep cancellation fees for customers seeking to drop the satellite service because it no longer carries the network. The request is being made in an open letter being sent to DirecTV's board of directors Wednesday morning and in advertisements scheduled to be published in several newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and New York Times. In the letter, Weather Co. Chairman and Chief Executive David Kenny writes that since the network was dropped Jan. 13, "many thousands have called your customer service centers asking to terminate their contracts since they are now getting less content for the same price.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2011 | By Nathaniel Popper, Los Angeles Times
Dorothy Ouma began trading foreign currencies after seeing a TV commercial touting it as a way to make extra money, something she could use as a single mother raising three children. "The ads made me think, 'This is easy,'" said Ouma, 52, an administrator with the Grand Prairie, Texas, police department. Ouma used her credit card to fund an account with an online currency broker. Within a few weeks of swapping dollars for yen and euros, she said, her $3,000 of borrowed money was gone.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
After kicking off a trade-in program specifically for loyal BlackBerry users, T-Mobile said it has experienced 15 times the amount of device trade-ins that it normally receives. But surprisingly, most of the customers are dumping their BlackBerry devices. An internal memo sent within T-Mobile indicates that 94% of customers participating in the BlackBerry trade-in program have switched to other types of devices, according to a report by TmoNews . VIDEO: Unboxing the Quirky Spotter multipurpose sensor Those results are notable considering what led to T-Mobile launching the trade-in campaign in the first place.
BUSINESS
March 13, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Adolfo Flores, Los Angeles Times
Some taxpayers splurge on big-screen televisions or pay off their credit cards with their tax refund, while others, like Brandon Frank, count on it to pay rent. The 25-year-old former construction worker from Michigan and father of three may have to wait as long as six weeks before he sees his refund, because of a filing error by H&R Block. "I was counting on it for rent," said Frank, who's been unemployed since October and is attending college. "I'm probably going to have to go to one of the cash-advance places, because the money I was expecting isn't there.
OPINION
January 29, 2014
Re "Cluing in AT&T to its own cellphone rules," Jan. 24 David Lazarus mentioned the discrepancy in information provided by different AT&T service reps. That brought to mind my recent experience with the company. I spoke with one service rep on the telephone and later chatted online with another one. Each quoted a different selection of long-distance plans and different charges for the same plans. The online rep told me that the telephone customer service people might offer different options than those online.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Electricity customers in Southern California would receive $1.4 billion in refunds on their bills over the next eight years as part of an agreement between two utilities and ratepayer organizations over the closing of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. The proposed settlement, announced Thursday, still needs approval from the California Public Utilities Commission. Both ratepayer advocates and executives at Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. said they were satisfied with the deal.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Two years ago, California's two giant telecom companies and their Silicon Valley allies won passage of a law freeing phone-over-the-Internet calls from government regulation. The 2012 law was essential to the creation of high-tech products and services, the industry argued. Its proposal bowled over opposition from consumer advocates. But this deregulation was never supposed to affect phone customers who didn't want to give up their traditional copper-wire land lines, the bill's author, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2014 | By Kate Mather and Carla Rivera
The California Department of Motor Vehicles said Saturday that it is investigating a potential security breach of its credit card processing services, but officials said the agency had no immediate evidence that its computer system had been hacked. The DMV was alerted by law enforcement officials about the possible breach and has "heightened monitoring" of all of its Web traffic and credit card transactions, the agency said in a prepared statement. The agency is also in contact with credit card companies and the vendor who processes its online transactions.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2014 | By Shan Li
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said Wednesday it is hiring more workers and simplifying applications for customers who install solar panels on their roof. The efforts come as the utility faces criticism from many Angelenos who complain of long waits and bureaucratic hurdles when trying to get solar systems hooked to the power grid. The utility has doubled its staff for processing applications, and will also hire more workers to man its hotline, the LADWP said in a Wednesday statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
About 5,400 people were without power Tuesday night in neighborhoods in northern Glendale. Officials with Glendale Water and Power said on the utility's Twitter account that the outage was in the Sparr Heights area of the city. Crews "are working on power restoration as quickly as possible and are aware of all areas affected," the utility said. [Updated, 10:14 p.m. PDT, March 18: Parts of La Crescenta were also affected by the outage, the utility said.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2014 | David Lazarus
Time Warner Cable has assured customers that the company's $45-billion acquisition by Comcast will improve service and innovation. Customers might wonder how the pairing of two profit-hungry cable giants will remedy the biggest problem: ever-increasing monthly bills. Time Warner Cable has just sent out notices of its latest rate hikes, which take effect with the next bill. As usual, the company says higher prices were unavoidable. On the one hand, it says, "the rates that TV networks and programming providers are charging us to deliver your favorite channels have risen to new highs.
OPINION
September 20, 2013
Re "Senator tells Edison to fix blackouts," Sept. 17 Cheers to state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) for his work in making Southern California Edison aware of its responsibilities to its customers. Thinking back on my experience with utility service failures, a better solution to the problem of making utilities like Edison responsible might be to require the company to give deep discounts to customers affected by "massive, recurring and unacceptable power outages," as Lieu called them.
BUSINESS
December 24, 2013 | By Andrea Chang
It's a perk wireless customers have come to expect: Sign up for a two-year service contract, and get a new smartphone at a deeply discounted price or sometimes even free. But the reign of cellphone subsidies could be ending as customers demand more flexible mobile plans, forcing wireless carriers to look for alternatives to the long-standing practice. AT&T Inc. hinted this month that it was considering doing away with phone subsidies. Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said subsidizing a smartphone every two years was an expensive undertaking that he didn't think the company could afford.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 2014 | By Jill Cowan
For years, Orange County has been the contrarian while its neighbors have used distinctive and easy-to-spot letter grades to alert would-be diners what to expect when they swing open the door to a restaurant. Now, Orange County is studying whether it too should move in that direction - but rather than assign letter grades, it's considering using colors. Think traffic lights. The color-coded system advanced by the county grand jury - green, yellow and red - would be similar to those used in Sacramento and Alameda counties.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will undergo a state audit of its troubled computer billing system after a committee of state lawmakers voted Wednesday to examine what went wrong. The state audit, proposed last month by Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), will scrutinize the rollout, costs and fallout of the system that sent erroneous and inflated bills to some customers. It will assess what it cost the city to address problems after the system went into effect, how the contract was awarded and the share of customers getting late or inaccurate bills, among other issues.
Los Angeles Times Articles
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