Extended Warranties for Cars Are ‘Fraught With Peril for Consumers’

While reputable options exist, the robocalls are almost certainly scams, an industry group warns. And for consumers who feel they have been ripped off, there is no guarantee anyone will help.

#automobiles, #better-business-bureaus, #consumer-protection, #content-type-service, #customer-relations, #federal-trade-commission, #guarantees-and-warranties, #national-assn-of-insurance-commissioners, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #telemarketing

Banks Slowly Offer Alternatives to Overdraft Fees, a Bane of Struggling Spenders

Aggressive overdraft fees are worth tens of billions of dollars a year to the banking industry. Account holders are finally getting some better options.

#ally-financial-inc, #banking-and-financial-institutions, #chime-bancorp-bank, #consumer-protection, #customer-relations, #fines-penalties, #jpmorgan-chasecompany, #personal-finances, #warren-elizabeth

Amazon’s Great Purge

Evictions of some popular products tell us a lot about untrustworthy internet reviews.

#amazon-com-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #consumer-reviews, #customer-relations, #e-commerce

A Grudge Match in Japan: One Corner, Two 7-Elevens

Inside the war between a very powerful company and a very stubborn franchisee, complete with threats, spies and videotape.

#7-eleven, #convenience-stores, #customer-relations, #franchises, #matsumoto-mitoshi, #osaka-japan, #suits-and-litigation-civil

Restaurants Fought for Covid Survival, With Some Tech Helpers

Being “online” in the pandemic, many chefs learned, meant much more than having an Instagram account.

#bars-and-nightclubs, #bentobox, #bernstein-sam, #brannigan-bobby, #chefs, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #e-commerce, #food, #mercato-inc, #moyabeni-krystle, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #restaurants, #small-business, #table22

Delta Air Lines to Resume Booking Middle Seats in May

The company, which started blocking middle seat bookings in April 2020 to give passengers peace of mind, is the last of the four big U.S. airlines to get rid of the policy.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #delta-air-lines-inc

Coinbase Users Say Crypto Start-Up Ignored Their Pleas for Help

As Coinbase prepares to be the first major cryptocurrency company to go public, it is struggling with basic customer service, users said.

#banking-and-financial-institutions, #bitcoin-currency, #coinbase-inc, #customer-relations, #cyberattacks-and-hackers, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #virtual-currency

Is This the End of Tipping?

The restaurant industry is in crisis. But some see how bad things are for servers — including “maskual harassment” — as a unique chance to make life better.

#anxiety-and-stress, #consumer-behavior, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #labor-and-jobs, #minimum-wage, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #restaurants, #service-industries, #sexual-harassment, #tips-and-tipping, #united-states-economy, #wages-and-salaries, #women-and-girls, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Robinhood’s C.E.O., Vlad Tenev, Is in the Hot Seat

Vlad Tenev has incited the fury of the trading app’s fans amid a stock market frenzy. His lack of preparedness on nuts-and-bolts issues was part of a pattern, former employees and analysts said.

#banking-and-financial-institutions, #bhatt-baiju, #computer-and-video-games, #computers-and-the-internet, #customer-relations, #financial-brokers, #gamestop-corporation, #millennial-generation, #mobile-applications, #robinhood-financial-llc, #social-media, #start-ups, #stocks-and-bonds, #tenev-vladimir

With Online Terms of Service, What Happens When You Click ‘Agree’?

The same legalese that can ban Donald Trump from Twitter can bar users from joining class-action lawsuits. It’s time to fix the fine print.

#antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #computers-and-the-internet, #customer-relations, #law-and-legislation, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry

Some Hot Pockets Recalled Over Possible Glass and Plastic

Nestlé Prepared Foods said the product might be contaminated with “extraneous materials,” including glass and hard plastic.

#customer-relations, #food, #food-contamination-and-poisoning, #food-safety-and-inspection-service, #hot-pockets, #nestle-sa, #recalls-and-bans-of-products

Consumer Groups Target Amazon Prime’s Cancellation Process

A Norwegian group filed a complaint with regulators, saying Amazon had deliberately made it difficult to end memberships to its Prime service. Groups in Europe and the U.S. back the effort.

#amazon-com-inc, #consumer-protection, #customer-relations, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #europe, #norway, #public-citizen, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #united-states

Bed Bath and Beyond’s Big, Ubiquitous Coupon: An Oral History

Bed Bath & Beyond’s plus-size mailer, known as Big Blue, has made it to TV, eBay, even a mobster’s kitchen drawer. “The poor mailmen,” the company’s former marketing V.P. said, “what we did to them.”

#advertising-and-marketing, #bed-bathbeyond-inc, #berenter-greenhousewebster, #coupons, #customer-relations, #discount-selling, #eisenberg-warren, #feinstein-leonard-j, #little-rita, #postcards, #shopping-and-retail

Robinhood Settles S.E.C. Charges Over Misleading Customers

Millions of investors have turned to Robinhood in recent years, lured by a sales pitch of no trading fees. The charges announced on Thursday apply to Robinhood’s disclosures from 2015 to late 2018, the regulator said.

#customer-relations, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #robinhood-financial-llc, #securities-and-commodities-violations, #securities-and-exchange-commission, #stocks-and-bonds

Store Workers to Get New Training: How to Handle Fights Over Masks

The biggest U.S. retail trade group will offer the Covid-19 Customer Conflict Prevention credential to help de-escalate disputes.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #crisis-prevention-institute, #customer-relations, #masks, #national-retail-federation, #shopping-and-retail, #united-states, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

When Your Last $166 Vanishes: ‘Fast Fraud’ Surges on Payment Apps

People are getting defrauded as they turn to Square’s Cash App and PayPal’s Venmo to do more online banking in the pandemic.

#banking-and-financial-institutions, #computers-and-the-internet, #consumer-reviews, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #e-commerce, #frauds-and-swindling, #mobile-applications, #mobile-commerce-and-payments, #paypal, #security-and-warning-systems, #square-inc, #zelle-early-warning-services-llc

Major U.S. Health Insurers Report Big Profits, Benefiting From the Pandemic

Consumers are probably entitled to millions of dollars in rebates under Obamacare rules that cap companies’ profits.

#aetna-inc, #anthem-inc, #blue-cross-and-blue-shield-assn, #cigna-corporation, #company-reports, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #cvs-caremark-corporation, #finances, #health-and-human-services-department, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #hospitals, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #presidential-election-of-2020, #rebates-and-refunds, #stocks-and-bonds, #united-states-politics-and-government, #unitedhealth-group-inc, #your-feed-healthcare

Trader Joe’s Defends Product Labels Criticized as Racist

The company had previously said the names of international-themed products that were intended to promote inclusiveness, such as Trader José and Trader Ming’s, “may now have the opposite effect.”

#aunt-jemima-milling-co, #customer-relations, #labeling-and-labels-product, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings, #quaker-oats-co, #supermarkets-and-grocery-stores, #trader-joes

There’s a Wrinkle in Stores’ Mask Policies: Enforcement

A number of large retailers have said that all customers must wear masks, but some employees have been told they cannot force those who refuse.

#albertsons-inc, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #customer-relations, #firearms, #masks, #shopping-and-retail, #walgreen-co, #walmart-stores-inc, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Everlane’s Promise of ‘Radical Transparency’ Unravels

Employees past and present are challenging management, saying the company’s ethical image was an illusion.

#advertising-and-marketing, #corporate-social-responsibility, #customer-relations, #design, #discrimination, #everlane-inc, #fashion-and-apparel, #labor-and-jobs, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #race-and-ethnicity, #san-francisco-calif, #shopping-and-retail, #social-media, #start-ups, #workplace-environment, #your-feed-fashion, #your-feed-selfcare

Help! My Ship Is Supposedly Still Sailing, and I Don’t Want to Be On Board

The future of the cruise industry remains very unclear, so it’s not totally unreasonable to be anxious about what next spring will look like.

#carnival-cruise-lines, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cruises, #cunard-line-ltd, #customer-relations, #rebates-and-refunds, #travel-and-vacations, #viking-river-cruises-inc

Help! I’m Owed a Refund, But the Hotel Owner Refuses to Budge

Here we are, wondering aloud about the oversight capabilities of hotel franchises, and what powers they can exert over their thousands of individual owners. Thanks Covid-19.

#best-western-hotels, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #hilton-worldwide-holdings-inc, #hotels-and-travel-lodgings, #rebates-and-refunds, #travel-and-vacations

A Suicide, an App and a Time for a Reckoning

Companies like the stock-trading app Robinhood can seem not just careless but also predatory.

#customer-relations, #gambling, #robinhood-financial-llc, #sequoia-capital, #start-ups, #stocks-and-bonds, #suicides-and-suicide-attempts

‘Banking While Black’: How Cashing a Check Can Be a Minefield

Black customers risk being racially profiled on everyday visits to bank branches. Under federal laws, there is little recourse as long as the banks ultimately complete their transactions.

#bank-of-america-corporation, #banking-and-financial-institutions, #black-lives-matter-movement, #black-people, #citigroup-inc, #civil-rights-and-liberties, #customer-relations, #discrimination, #george-floyd-protests-2020, #jpmorgan-chasecompany, #law-and-legislation, #race-and-ethnicity, #racial-profiling, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #wells-fargocompany

Zappos Offers to Listen to Pandemic Worries

In response to rising anxiety over the coronavirus, the shoe retailer Zappos started a customer service line that people can call for anything — even to chat.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #las-vegas-nev, #new-york-city, #quarantines, #rose-wang, #zappos

When the C.E.O., Already Facing a Crisis, Gets the Coronavirus

Business cratered at Booking Holdings, the online travel giant. Then its chief executive found out he was sick, too.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #booking-holdings, #booking-com, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #fogel-glenn-d-1962, #kayak-com, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #opentable-inc, #priceline-com-inc, #quarantines, #reservations-airlines-hotels-etc, #travel-and-vacations

Poor Americans Face Hurdles in Getting Promised Internet

Broadband companies like Charter and Comcast vowed to help low-income people during the pandemic. But taking them up on the offer hasn’t always been easy.

#charter-communications, #comcast-corporation, #computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #education-k-12, #families-and-family-life, #telephones-and-telecommunications

How Will We Buy Our Perfume Now?

Sales are down leading up to this Mother’s Day, though candles and room sprays are doing OK. As some stores reopen, an industry ponders how to spritz safely.

#computers-and-the-internet, #customer-relations, #e-commerce, #perfumes-and-fragrances, #shopping-and-retail, #shutdowns-institutional

Needing At-Home Workers, Call Centers Turn to People With Disabilities

Companies caught short by the pandemic are hiring from a pool that was already prepared to handle a surge in phone traffic away from offices.

#americans-with-disabilities-act, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #disabilities, #labor-and-jobs, #national-telecommuting-institute, #outsourcing, #shutdowns-institutional, #telecommuting

Banks Gave Richest Clients ‘Concierge Treatment’ for Pandemic Aid

Some businesses seeking coronavirus loans got to avoid flaky online portals or backed-up queues. Many other small businesses couldn’t get their loan requests submitted before the money dried up.

#banking-and-financial-institutions, #citigroup-inc, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #customer-relations, #high-net-worth-individuals, #jpmorgan-chasecompany, #small-business, #small-business-administration, #us-bancorp

Making the Most of Hotel Loyalty Programs When You’re Not Traveling

Some loyalty programs are extending customers’ elite status, lengthening expiration dates on rewards and more. Here’s how to navigate them.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #credit-cards, #customer-loyalty-programs, #customer-relations, #hilton-worldwide-holdings-inc, #hotels-and-travel-lodgings, #hyatt-hotels-corp, #marriott-international-inc, #travel-and-vacations

When Even Amazon Is Sold Out of Exploding Kittens

Sometimes products are in stock. Sometimes they aren’t. And delivery times vary widely. A virus-fueled surge in orders has created chaos behind the scenes, and confusion for customers.

#amazon-com-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #consumer-protection, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #shopping-and-retail

Help! The Coronavirus Struck and I Want a Refund

In this week’s column, Sarah Firshein investigates the ever-changing refund policies offered by travel companies.

#abercrombiekent, #airbnb, #airlines-and-airplanes, #all-nippon-airways, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cruises, #customer-relations, #epidemics, #hotels-and-travel-lodgings, #norwegian-air-shuttle-asa, #priceline, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #quarantines, #travel-and-vacations, #travel-warnings