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Consumer World Exclusive

2011 Return Policy Survey: Some Retailers Naughty, Most Nice

shopping bags Consumer World's annual survey of retail return policies reveals that a number of retailers are easing up a little bit by dropping restocking fees, but be warned, that other major stores are shortening the return period on electronics. Here is our full report.

Top Tips on Tippings

coin 'Tis the time to tip... but the questions always are: how much and to whom? Consumer Reports surveyed readers, and found out what they actually gave to various service people. What you are supposed to give is discussed here.

Be Smarter about Charitable Giving

Charities are looking for contributions in December, but times are tough. Here are tips on how to make your gift more meaningful. You can check out a charity at [BBB], CharityNavigator, or GuideStar. In addition, here are financial mistakes some people make when giving to a charity (and how to avoid them).

Thanks for Good Customer Service

roses 'Tis the season to publicly thank customer-oriented companies for providing good service. MrConsumer had extraordinary service from Aldi and Vistaprint recently. Read how they responded to issues, or add your own compliment about a different company that gave you great service.

Consumer Quickies

  • Don't Want that Giftcard? Sell it!
  • Study: Who Uses Coupons and Who Does Not
  • Perennial Dilemma: To Buy or Not to Buy the Extended Warranty
  • 5 Retailers Making Good Use of Facebook
  • Big US Detergent Makers Accused of Price Fixing in EU
  • Should Congress Mandate One Free Bag on Airlines?
  • Are You Owed a Refund After Being Infected with Scareware?
  • FCC Passes Rule Banning Louder TV Commercials
  • New NY Law Gives You a Choice of Local Pharmacies or Mail Order
  • 10 Things Vacation Rental Sites Won't Tell You
  • Weighing Ways to Pay Your Financial Advisor
  • Shoppers Read Nutrition Label Less Often Than Claimed
  • Complaints about Debt Collectors Mount
  • Consumer Advocates Worry about New Credit Reports
  • 98% Don't Eat According to USDA's MyPlate Recommendations
  • Purchases Charged to Cellphones Have Limited Protection
  • CFPB Wants Your Opinion of Proposed Mortgage Disclosures
  • Regs, Schmegs, Who Needs Consumer Protection?
  • Check Your Credit Score Free via iPhone
  • Bill to Allow Robocalls to Cellphones is Dead
  • NHTSA Thinks Cellphones and Cars Don't Mix

    2.5 cents/min Long Distance
    No Monthly Min.; Free 800 Number

    phonePay only 2.5 cents a minute for long distance on ECG's state-to-state plan. The rate is good all day, with no minimum usage and no monthly fee like $4.95 or $5.95 -- it is just 99 cents as of Jan. 1, 2010, with a 59˘ reg. recovery fee, along with the usual taxes. You are billed online, and must pay automatically by debit/credit. They use real phone lines, and there are no special codes to dial. Six-second billing saves money, and a free 800 number lets the kids call home easily. U.S. based customer service. Instate and HI/AK rates vary. More information. ++

    CW Exclusives

  • Sears Caught Cramming Service Contracts onto Appliance Orders
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Tablet Reviewed
  • Groceries Price Comparison Survey: Drugstores vs. Supermarkets
  • Flaw Lets Hackers Spoof Your Caller ID to Gain Access to Your Credit Card Account History at Major Banks
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Tablet Reviewed
  • Different Prices Coming for Cash vs. Plastic
  • 2010 Retail Return Policy Survey

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  • Price Check
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    Want a better bargain? Get an email alert when the product you want drops in price. Try it! ++

    Consumer World Exclusive

    Mouse Print* -- Ho, Ho, Ho, DC-Style

    mouse print Just in time for a little holiday cheer, MrConsumer found a novel disclaimer on a street sign in Washington, DC. Get a chuckle this week in Mouse Print* .

    Compare Prices of:
    Digital Cameras
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    MP3 Players
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    Consumer Reports Online

    Tips on Buying an eBook Reader

    It is Kindle versus Nook versus tablets if you are in the market for an eReader. Consumer Reports tells you what to look for when shopping for these devices.

    Consumer World's
    Mini Consumer Resource Guide

    Mini Consumer Resource Guide

    Bargain of the Week

    Verizon FiOS Triple Play - $79.99/mo + $300 Giftcard

    People seem to love Verizon FiOS as their cable provider. And now they are offering one of their most generous (and low-priced) offers ever. Order unlimited telephone, cable TV, and home Internet for only $79.99 a month for two years (contract), and get a $300 debit card back as a bonus. FiOS is NOT available in all areas, and the offer may vary regionally. Offer ends January 7 .

    Entertainment Coupon Books - $10 Off + Free Shipping

    [Entertainment just pulled their $19.99 offer. Sorry.] The Entertainment Coupon book [buy one, get one free meals, travel discounts, etc.] is $10 off plus free shipping. Order now for yourself and as gifts. Delivery by Christmas is extra. ++

    See also Hot Deals:

  • Name Your Own Price Tickets for Sports + Music. 10-50% Below Face Value, No Fees ++
  • No More Coupon Clipping! Load Them onto Your Store Loyalty Cards ++
  • Your Local Newspaper -- up to 50% Off++
  • 2012 Entertainment Coupon Book Sale++
  • 70 Magazines Under $5 Year
  • $25 Restaurant Certs - Usually $5 or less

  • Verizon
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