The People's Lawyer Consumer News Alert
Center for Consumer Law
  Volume 63 Number 4

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The People’s Lawyer’s Tip of the Day

Your obligation to pay your credit card bill on time is satisfied when the check is received, not mailed. It is your responsibility to mail the check early enough to arrive before the due date. A good way to solve the problem of delayed mail is to pay your bill online. Click here for more.

The Death of Customer Service

Have you ever walked out of a store because the service was poor? Have you ever hung up on a customer service agent without having your problem resolved? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you're no different than the majority of American consumers. When consumers need help, airlines hide their phone numbers, cable companies avoid consumer calls, and many retailers simply refer consumers to an online FAQ (frequently asked questions). Last year, consumers registered 1.1 billion complaints against North American businesses, up 10% from 2009. What happened to customer service? Click here for more.

The True Value of a College Degree

What is the economic value of higher education? Well, it depends on your degree! For years, studies have linked college majors to career earnings. Can you make money with a liberal arts degree? It depends on who you ask. Apple's Steve Jobs endorses the study of humanities, while Microsoft's Bill Gates urges students to pursue more practical education. With so many people going to college, and so many possible degrees, is college really worth it? Yes! Although there are a wide range of career payoffs, a good college degree is probably worth the time and money spent.  Click here for more.

Man Fined for Paying With Pennies

A medical patient in Vernal, Utah was charged with disorderly conduct after he attempted to pay his $25 medical bill with pennies. After asking the clinic staff if they accepted cash payments, the man placed 2,500 pennies on the counter for the staff members to count. The clinic staff members were not amused and called the police. The arresting officer said the attempt to pay with pennies was a "protest" and served "no legitimate purpose." The man now faces a fine of $140. Will you think twice before you pay with pennies? Click here for more.

Your Money

How do exchange rates affect your foreign mutual funds? Click here for more.

For the Lawyers

Telephone message may violate FDCPA. The District Court for Minnesota held that leaving a phone message that was overheard by the consumer’s children may violate the FDCPA’s prohibitions on communication with third parties. The court also noted that the Act does not require an intent element to establish a violation of section 1692c(b). Click here for more.


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