Saturday, June 19, 2010

Episode 6: Movie Theater Prices and Free Software Sites!

Fees:  High Theater Tickets and Concession Prices! 

In this episode, Scott takes on a different kind of hidden fee:  Fee-tardiculously high prices designed to gouge consumers for corporate fun and profit. Scott picked as his first example of this the high cost of tickets and concessions at movie theaters.

Show audio here

Scott comparison shopped the prices of Popcorn, Soda and Candy at Walgreens and 7-Eleven stores (locally in Denver, Co., prices may vary across the U.S., but we believe they are similar), and then looked at prices for the equivalent sizes at movie theaters run by AMC and United Artists. 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Episode 5 Aftercast: Gift Card Legislation, ETF Cell Phone Fees, Bank Overdraft Lawsuit in Australia and we read a consumer's letter about Qwest!

1:15 Continuing on regarding the gift card fees, Scott covers how the Fed's new gift card rules addressed and did NOT address many of these fees.

show audio here

Consumer Reports article here. Here are the new rules on the Fed's website.

7:00 we suggest solutions to these gift card fees, and also how to escalate to complain to the Comptroller of the Currency about a bank adding fees to their card.
Complaint Form:

Episode 5: Gift Card Fees and More Great Deal Sites!

Thinking about getting a gift card from a bank with the credit card logo for a friend for birthday, or graduation?  Think again!

Scott lists out 10 of the sneaky fees that these bank cards have that you probably aren't aware of!

Show audio here

Bottom line, these gift cards are a BAD idea.  Scott will further cover legislation passed in Congress that addressed some but not most of these fees.  

Thanks to the Consumerist article for this information. Fed updated rules here

Then, Elaine covers three great deals money-saving websites: 

These are ( Groupon, ( Weekly Plus, ( Living Social, and ( Tippr.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Episode 4 Aftercast: More on Cell Phone Fees, Fee-baits and Deals

Here is the audio to our latest show. 

At 3:10, we discuss the problems with getting AT&T "Feebaits" on your telephone, and specifically refer to this article on the Visa Gift cards you get after 8 weeks of waiting - guess what, more hassles using the money they promised you.

At 5:49, we give out the executive contact information for all 4 big cell phone providers that charge upgrade fees in case you want to contact them to complain, escalate complaints or let them know how you feel about their fees and "customer service" quality. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Episode 4 - Cell Phone Fees and Gardening

For this episode, Scott fearlessly takes on Cell Phone Fricking Fees.

 The HandSet Fee!

Keeping your service but switching to a new handset?  Tired of the old one?  Well buying a phone isn't enough, no, you need to be PUNISHED for UPGRADING and staying with your cell phone company with a FEE.

Listen as Scott describes the "handset fees" as they pertain to Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T.  Additionally, he'll explain how CricKet keeps their costs low.

Each cell phone provider has a way to attach more fees just so that you can stay in business with them.

Beware when there are promotions for upgrading your phone, carriers will not advise you of them.  You must advise the customer service person.

The downfall with AT&T is that they will issue rebates in the form of a credit card.  Scott refers to them as "FEE-baits".  See a story on MoneyUnder30 blog by clicking here.

Cell phone providers never used to have these fees as described in an article by Bob Sullivan of the Red Tape Chronicles.  Click here to read the entire article.

On the Amazing Deals side, Elaine explains how to plant your own garden "on the cheap" compared to buying vegetables in the grocery store or worse yet - your local Sprouts or Sunflower Markets.  By growing your own garden, even a "balcony or patio garden", you save money, trips to the store and best of all - it's organic!

Elaine has started her own "balcony garden" and advises on how low cost it is by going to the Dollar Tree for gardening items vs garden centers and/or stores such as Home Depot and Lowe's.

Ohio State University has a horticulture and crop sciences department with white papers online to assist with care of your vegetable "crops". 

Listen to the podcast here

Monday, May 3, 2010

Notice Apple Itunes Subscribers!

If any of our iTunes Podcast subscribers don't see all of our episodes on our Apple Store podcast landing page, please upgrade to version 9.1.  Earlier versions of iTunes have a bug that will not show them all as per Apple Support.  However, you can subscribe and get all of them downloaded via the older versions.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Episode 3 Aftercast: Bank fees, and how to avoid and fight them!

Okay, here it is, the information you've waited years for:
- How bank fees got so prevalent, what they are
- How to avoid them
- How to complain about them, escalating to top management (contact info)
- How to report banks to regulators over fees
- How to file lawsuits against them.

Show Audio Here.

Here are all the links / sources used in the podcast by timestamp when they are heard in the show and some useful information in between: