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Consumer World Exclusive

Mouse Print* -- Costa's Cruise Contract Constrains Cruisers' Claims

mouse print The 3200 poor souls on the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship may find their claims rights curtailed by the fine print of their cruise contract. We take a look at it this week in Mouse Print* .

Airlines to Advertise Complete Fares Starting January 26, Maybe

airplane For years, airlines have cleverly advertised low fares that failed to include mandatory fees, surcharges, and taxes. That is supposed to end on January 26 when new federal rules requiring the disclosure of complete fares are scheduled to go into effect (unless delayed by a court). Here is a critique of the airlines' current practices, and their whining about the disclosure rules being a violation of their free speech rights.

10 Tax Deductions That Won't Fly

Leave it to clever taxpayers to come up with justifications for questionable deductions. See how some people tried to deduct bounced check fees, services of a prostitute, designer clothing, and the poor workmanship they found in a new house.

Consumer Quickies

  • Changes to 1040 Tax Form: Part 1, Part 2
  • HGTV's House Hunters Reality Show is Sometimes Faked
  • The Story Behind the House Hunters Story
  • Your Major Appliances May Soon Talk to Your Smartphone
  • What Happens (to it) When You Recycle that Computer?
  • These Earphones Don't Go in Your Ears!
  • Your Next PC May be an Ultrabook
  • This Window is Also a Flat Panel Computer!
  • Google Unveils Online Safety Website
  • Don't Fall for This Facebook Scam
  • The Case for Getting a Second Medical Opinion
  • Zappos Gets Zapped by Hackers; Passwords Taken
  • New ATM Pays You Cash for Your Old Cellphone After Testing it (watch video)
  • Phase Out Dates for Energy Inefficient Lightbulbs
  • Can an Unpaid Speeding Ticket Affect Your Credit Score?
  • Study: Size and Color of Dinner Plates Affect Amount You Eat
  • Cruise Tragedy May Trigger Bigger Discounts
  • Tech Products that Had Issues Over the Holidays
  • Airfare Comparison Sites Don't Always Find Lowest Price
  • Which Credit Cards are Best for Balance Transfers?
  • Return Fraud Jumps in 2011 (pdf report)
  • AT&T Raising the Price of Data Plans
  • Study: 70 Items for $29 is Better Deal than $29 for 70 Items
  • Unused Recycled Paper Towels a Source of Bacteria
  • He Advocates Eliminating All Senior Discounts (Boo!)
  • Groupon's New Clicky Discount Wheel Yields Few Discounts
  • Don't Fall for a Valentine's Scam

    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

  • 2011 Return Policy Survey
  • 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

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    100 Best Value Public Colleges

    Most families probably can't afford to send all their kids to Harvard, so here is a list of the top 100 "value" public colleges (with value measured by comparing costs, financial aid, competitiveness, graduation rate, and academic support).

    Thanks for Good Customer Service

    roses Here's a place to publicly thank customer-oriented companies for providing good service. MrConsumer had extraordinary service from Aldi, Vistaprint, and Stop & Shop Pharmacy recently. See what they did, or better yet, add your own compliment about a different company that gave you great service. [No whining allowed.]

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    Consumer Reports Online

    Best/Worst New Car Values

    Consumer Reports just evaluated dozens of new 2012 cars to figure out which were the best values and worst values when it comes to cost, reliability, and performance.

    Consumer World's
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    Bargain of the Week

    25% Back at Staples

    Through January 25 only, with this coupon, you will get back 25% of your Staples in-store purchases via a rewards merchandise check in February. Note that certain categories of items are excluded.

    See also Hot Deals:

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