Can landlord force residents to pay rent online for a fee?

Dear Consumer Ed:  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, my landlord has been forcing residents to pay their rent online, which incurs an $18 to $30 fee. Is this legal?

Is it legal for doctors and pharmacies to require that I provide my date of birth?

Dear Consumer Ed:  Is it legal for pharmacies and doctors’ offices to require me to provide them with my date of birth? I’m told they can’t look up my file without it, but it seems like I’m giving out my DOB on a daily basis and I worry about identity theft. 

Camp cancelled but won't refund deposit

Dear Consumer Ed: I put a deposit down on summer camp for my kids six months ago. Now camp has been cancelled for health and safety reasons due to COVID-19, but they won’t give me a refund. What do I do?

How can you tell if a work-from-home job is a scam?

Dear Consumer Ed:  My regular work hours have been cut back, so I’ve been looking for a work-from-home job to supplement my income. I see work-from-home jobs advertised online, but my friend says most of them are scams. How can I tell if a job posting is legitimate or not? 

Is there a legal limit on restocking fees?

Dear Consumer Ed:  Is there a legal limit on restocking fees?

Extended-Stay Hotel Evictions

Dear Consumer Ed:  My family and I have been living in an extended-stay motel for the past six months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I lost my job, and my husband’s work hours were cut in half. We have not been able to pay our motel bill for the last two weeks. The manager is now threatening to kick us out if we cannot pay by the end of the week. Is this allowed? Do we have to move out immediately? 

Can Social Security benefits be garnished?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I receive monthly Social Security benefits that are deposited directly into my bank account.  I just received notice that my bank account was garnished by a creditor and that my funds have been frozen and will soon be turned over to the court.  I thought that Social Security benefits were exempt from garnishments of creditors.  What can I do to stop the garnishment and get access to my money?

Debt collector is harassing me

Dear Consumer Ed: A debt collection agency has been harassing me about a retail debt that was incurred many years ago.  They are calling relatives and my employer and going into details about the debt, providing home addresses and vehicles my children own. They are threatening to send legal documents to my employer even though there has been no filing with the courts. When I asked the caller to provide the spelling of the company name and the address, the woman would not provide the information and proceeded to yell, curse and insult me.  Aren’t these actions illegal? I just want to get them to stop calling me and others about this. What can I do? 

Price Gouging

Dear Consumer Ed:  I see stores charging exorbitant prices for groceries, toilet paper and hand sanitizer.  One store I went to is charging $11 for six rolls of toilet paper and $6 a pound for ground beef. Isn’t this price gouging?  

Are vehicle service warranties transferable?

Dear Consumer Ed:  Are vehicle service warranties transferable to new owners of those vehicles?