Browse Questions

My Social Security number was compromised

April 5, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I recently purchased a home and the closing attorney's office did not send my documents via encrypted mail, which resulted in the exposure of my personal information, including my Social Security number. What guidelines do attorneys who practice in the real estate area have to follow regarding the safe handling of consumer's personal information?

I paid for merchandise that I never received

March 27, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I purchased custom shirts that were supposed to be ready within two weeks.  It’s now six months later and still no shirts. Is it a crime to take money and not produce the goods that you sold? What can I do?     

Car sold with wrong VIN number

March 12, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  A car dealer sold me a used car that was an automatic.  After purchasing it, my insurance company did a VIN number check, which indicated that the car had a manual transmission. I don’t know what to make of this, but it seems like the dealer may have misrepresented the car he sold me.  I purchased this car “as is,” but am wondering if I can return the car and get my money back, given this turn of events?

Optometrist won't send revised claim to insurance company

February 16, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I just had my eyes examined and my optometrist prescribed progressive lenses.  The cost for the new glasses was $650. My insurance allowance is only $300, so I had to pay $350 out-of-pocket.  Unfortunately, the new lenses did not work out for me, so I returned them a week later for less expensive ($400), single-vision eyeglasses, which the eyeglasses store is providing at no additional cost.  However, the store refuses to submit a revised claim to my insurance company so that I can get a refund for the $250 difference in price between the progressive and the single-vision lenses. What can I do?

Builder damaged my yard

February 9, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I have been dealing with a builder for over a year regarding damage done to my yard after they graded the home next door to mine. The damage has caused two sinkholes in my yard, but the builder maintains that there is no problem. What can I do?

Towing company damaged my car

January 23, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  Two months ago my Corvette was towed for being illegally parked in front of a business. During the tow, my car sustained $1,500 worth of damages.  I contacted the business and the towing company, but both disregarded my complaint.  How can I get them to pay for the damage done to my car?

Credit Card Balance Transfer Offers

January 2, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I keep receiving 0% balance transfer offers in the mail from credit card companies.  I’m carrying a little extra debt right now. How can I determine if it’s a good idea to transfer my existing credit card debt to the 0% card? 

Misleading free-trial period for mobile app

December 14, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:  My child has an iPad, which I have set up so that he cannot download apps unless I approve them from my device.  I recently downloaded an app for him that implied there was a free one-year trial period.  After downloading the app, I got an email explaining that while the subscription was for a one-year period, the free trial only lasted 30 days.  I think that is very misleading.  The other issue I have with this offer is that when I signed up it said I could cancel the app before it automatically renewed, but that I would have to do so from my child’s device settings.  It seems reasonable to me that if I can approve the subscription from my device, I should be able to delete it from my device as well.  Are there rules or laws about these issues?

Do I need insurance against damage to my water pipes?

December 1, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:  I received an insurance solicitation in the mail saying that the water pipes on my property are my responsibility and not the responsibility of the county. The letter contained an offer to purchase insurance on the water pipes in case they ever burst or got damaged. Is it true that I am responsible for that type of damage, and if so, should I buy this insurance?

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