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April 24, 2014 | David Lazarus
As far as corporate notices go, they don't get much creepier than this recent alert from Verizon Wireless. The company says it's "enhancing" its Relevant Mobile Advertising program, which it uses to collect data on customers' online habits so that marketers can pitch stuff at them with greater precision. "In addition to the customer information that's currently part of the program, we will soon use an anonymous, unique identifier we create when you register on our websites," Verizon Wireless is telling customers.
March 29, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
Here's how to make a $455-million consumer class-action settlement disappear. First, require the aggrieved customers to sign and mail in a claim form comprising 10 pages of legal Esperanto before receiving any money. Make sure the customers know they're signing "under penalty of perjury. " Second, let the company keep any money that isn't paid out. At least, that's how the huge settlement reached in a case involving Farmers Insurance Group works out, in the opinion of Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog.
March 11, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
It's sad indeed when a respectable business organization gets so puffed up by its own reputation that it decides there's no downside to treating its customers like chumps. Here's the latest example of such corporate arrogance in action: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Advance ticket sales for Angels soared after the team announced its 10-year, $250-million contract with slugging superstar Albert Pujols in December. That's the good news. The bad news is that over the last week, they've squandered considerable fan goodwill through an execrable display of contempt for their paying customers.
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.
April 25, 2000
Power was knocked out Monday afternoon to 4,200 residential and commercial customers in Oxnard, according to Southern California Edison officials. The cause of the outage was still unknown late Monday, but company spokesman Rudy Gonzales said power had been restored to all customers by 7:15 p.m. The affected area was south of Gonzales Road, north of Wooley Road, west of Oxnard Boulevard and east of Victoria Avenue. The power first failed about 3:12 p.m.
March 24, 1986
Quotron Systems Chairman Milton E. Mohr said several customers and joint-venture partners, including AT&T, have voiced concerns about Citicorp gaining access to their confidential business plans if the banking firm acquires Quotron. Mohr said, however, that he doesn't know if any customers will withdraw their business if Citicorp's $680-million bid succeeds.
December 3, 2000
I cannot believe what Adelphia Cable has recently forced upon us: digital TV ["Adelphia Sending L.A. Cable Customers a Digital Warning," Nov. 17]. My neighbors and I are in an uproar over the fact that we were not given any choice as to whether or not we want to keep the cable we have, or have a box installed, get 200 channels (150 too many) free for a month, then call and tell them whether to keep our original channels or not. The caveat is, if you don't call within the month, you'll automatically be charged $74.50 per month, so be on the alert in December.
July 12, 1992 | SOPHIA WYATT, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Sophia Wyatt is a British journalist based in Santa Monica and a longtime customer of Henshey's
Stores come and go. So what is so special about Henshey's? A survey of people on both sides of the counter provides some answers. "Henshey's is such a nice place to work--comfortable," said Marianne Booth, who started in gift-wrapping 26 years ago and has since graduated to accounts payable. "In other stores you are lucky if you can find a salesperson, but here there's a special camaraderie with everyone--staff and customers.
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.
March 16, 2010 | David Lazarus
Lawmakers and consumer advocates have heaped accolades on Bank of America for its announcement that it will stop hitting customers with $35 overdraft fees any time they don't have enough cash to cover a debit-card purchase. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who has spearheaded efforts in Congress to crack down on abusive bank practices, was typical of those showering BofA with love. She declared, "Let me now praise Bank of America!" It's understandable that folks who regularly criticize banks would want to hand out milk and cookies when they see something beneficial for consumers.
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