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Companies Consumers Trust (and Distrust)

The Temkin Group recently interviewed 6,000 consumers about companies they do business with to find out which companies they trust [pdf] and which they don't. Included are 143 companies involved in retail, wireless, insurance, cable TV and more.

With Purchase Habit Data and New Fangled Scores, They've Got You Profiled

Last week, there were two important revelations that affect your personal and financial privacy: (1) Visa and MasterCard are thinking of using your purchase history to target market products and services to you. (And Visa would even like to get your insurance information and DNA!) (2) FICO and the credit bureaus are creating new scores based on data they have obtained that are designed to predict how well you follow doctors' orders, how likely you are to file for bankruptcy, and what your income really is. Consumer and privacy advocates are worried.

A Few More Supermarket Tricks

cart The supermarket tricks used to get you to buy mentioned here last week are tame compared to a few experimental tactics being tested. This supermarket has sophisticated shopper monitoring tools, floor surfaces that slow your cart, and signage that creates a false sense of value.

Consumer Quickies

  • Most Big Banks Drop Monthly Debit Fee Plan (but not BofA yet)
  • Kids Can be Victims of ID Theft; Prevention Tips
  • Insurance Coverage Tips for Little Understood Conditions
  • Future: More Things Will be Web-Connected
  • Pay Yourself First Morphs to Gift Yourself First
  • HumanKiosk Brings Customer Service to In-store Video Screens [video]
  • How Women Shop vs. Men
  • Are Vitamin Supplements Now a No-No?
  • Tips on Choosing the Right Health Plan During Open Enrollment
  • New Dissolving Fruit Sticker Sanitizes Fruit When Wet
  • Drug Companies Use Tactics to Delay Generic Versions
  • Lesser Known and Cheaper Places to Retire
  • Q&A about the New Student Loan Payback Rules
  • So You Want to Make $$ from Your YouTube Video...
  • FTC Goes After Outrageous Debt Collection Practices
  • Take an African Safari on the Cheap(er)
  • New Fangled Camera Shoots First, Focuses Later
  • Redbox Raises DVD Rental Prices to $1.20
  • Longtime Consumer Advocate Virginia Knauer Dies
  • New Landline Phone Fee up to $2.50/mo Proposed
  • New Scores Go Beyond Credit to Health, Income
  • Beware These Credit Card CDW Coverage Loopholes
  • Why Unilever Pulled Plug on Hoodia for Weight Loss

    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

  • 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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    Consumer World Exclusive

    Mouse Print* -- Allstate's Free Lifetime Membership in Roadside Assistance

    mouse print You may have seen the commercials recently where Allstate is offering free membership in their Roadside Assistance plan. Don't cancel your AAA membership yet, says our trusty mouse. See why this week in Mouse Print* .

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    Consumer Reports Online

    Something's Fishy on the Menu

    Consumer Reports jumps on the bandwagon wagging a fin(ger) at restaurants and supermarkets in the New York area which label fish one way, but give you a cheaper species.

    Consumer World's
    Mini Consumer Resource Guide

    Mini Consumer Resource Guide

    Bargain of the Week

    Bissell Bagless Upright Vacuum - $59.94

    Get a full-size, full-power upright vacuum from Bissell (PowerForce Turbo) for $59.94 at Wal-mart, plus 97 cents shipping. Shoppers rate the vac four out of five stars. There is also a $10 rebate from Bissell (see link under price). Note that rebate says price must be $60 or higher. One Consumer World reader checked with Bissell and they told her they will not honor the rebate because of the six-cent price difference. It's probably worth submitting the rebate anyway, and then complaining to both Wal-mart and Bissell if it is not honored.

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