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By Consumers' Checkbook

A Consumers' Checkbook podcast empowering consumers to save money and make smarter choices. Hosted by "The ConsumerMan" Herb Weisbaum.
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Currently playing episode

7 - 65 Things You (Probably) Shouldn't Pay For

ConsumerpediaJan 13, 2022

52 - Shop Safely Online This Holiday Season
Nov 30, 202327:58
51 - How to Hire a Reliable Roofer
Nov 16, 202320:13
50 - Finding a Credit Card That's Right for You
Nov 03, 202329:18
49 - Shop Like a Pro

49 - Shop Like a Pro

Whether you enjoy shopping or just grin and bear it, there are things you can do to score the best prices and make the process easier.

In this episode, we explain how to ignore the flood of marketing hype and avoid the fake sales designed to mislead you. Also, where to find hidden discounts and cash-back offers, and the potential downsides of using buy now, pay later.

Oct 19, 202327:51
48 - How will Scammers Use AI?
Oct 05, 202330:55
47 - Guide to Buying New Windows
Sep 21, 202320:38
46 - Health Apps & Websites Often Share Your Data
Sep 07, 202328:01
45 - Even 'Good' Companies Often Treat Their Customers Poorly
Aug 10, 202325:15
44 - Should You Repair or Replace a Broken Appliance?
Jul 27, 202323:45
43 - The CFPB: Protecting Consumers in the Financial Marketplace

43 - The CFPB: Protecting Consumers in the Financial Marketplace

The Consumer Financial Bureau (CFPB) is one of the newest federal regulatory agencies. Its prime directive is to ensure that financial products offered to you are fair, transparent, and competitive. The CFPB’s jurisdiction includes mortgages, auto loans, student loans, credit cards, credit reporting, and debt collection.

In this episode, a look at the initiatives and proposed rules in the pipeline that you should know about and may want to comment on. Also, how the CFPB is working to eliminate junk fees and how it may be able to help if you feel cheated or deceived by a company it regulates.

Jul 13, 202325:22
42 - An Electric Vehicle Update

42 - An Electric Vehicle Update

In the last year or so, we’re finally beginning to see a robust market for electric vehicles. More manufacturers are now in the game, which provides buyers with more choices. So, should you go electric now, or wait, or maybe split the difference and go hybrid?

In this episode, find out about the latest EV options, how federal tax credits might help lower prices, and why leasing may be a smart move right now. Also, how reliable are the new EVs, and what’s happening to increase the number of charging stations?

Jun 29, 202329:04
41 - Hotel Intel: Finding the Best Rates
Jun 15, 202326:29
40 - Insuring Your Home
Jun 01, 202326:51
39 - Got a Gripe?
May 18, 202327:21
38 - Travel Tips from a Travel Expert
May 04, 202326:35
37 - Why You Shouldn't Buy a Home Warranty
Apr 20, 202322:08
36 - Dark Patterns: Sales Tactics Designed to Deceive
Apr 06, 202325:17
35 - Aging in Place
Mar 23, 202324:25
34 - How to Be a Smarter Consumer

34 - How to Be a Smarter Consumer

It takes some extra effort to be a good consumer; to make sure you’re getting a good price on quality merchandise, to find top-notch service providers, and to protect yourself from liars and cheats who want to rip you off or steal your identity. But the time it takes to do it right is nothing compared to the hassles of dealing with problems that can result from making poor choices.

To celebrate National Consumer Protection Week (March 5 – 11, 2023), we’ve assembled a group of experts and asked them to share some important consumer advice.

Guests: Kevin Brasler (, Edgar Dworsky (, Amy Nofziger (AARP Fraud Watch Network), John Breyault, (, and Kimberly Palmer (NerdWallet)

Mar 09, 202326:22
33 - Auto Insurance Based on How You Drive in Real Time. Good Choice or Not?

33 - Auto Insurance Based on How You Drive in Real Time. Good Choice or Not?

Auto insurance companies base their premiums on a host of factors, such as the vehicle, driving record, and, in most states, your age, gender, marital status, and credit history. Some also offer discounts if you agree to install telematic technology on your car, which monitors when and where you drive—and how safe or reckless you drive to get there. Is it worth giving up your privacy to see your insurance bill drop by as much as 30 or 40%?

In this episode, we talk to Michael DeLong, an advocacy associate with the Consumer Federation of America, about telematic data collection: How it works, how it can get things wrong, and whether you should even consider trading your privacy for lower insurance rates.

Feb 23, 202325:31
32 - Grocery Delivery Services
Feb 09, 202324:43
31 - Watch Out for These Common Fraud Tricks & Traps

31 - Watch Out for These Common Fraud Tricks & Traps

Americans lose billions of dollars each year to fraud. Anyone, even a savvy consumer, can get swindled by professional con artists. The best way to fight back is to understand the tricks fraudsters use to manipulate you.

In this episode, Sam Levine, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, explains how dishonest businesses and scammers try to lie, cheat, and mislead you. Plus we cover what the FTC is doing to crack down on these fraudulent business practices.

Jan 26, 202324:47
30 - HVAC: Finding Good Contractors & Choosing New Equipment
Jan 12, 202325:30
29 - Home Security: Installers, Equipment, & DIY
Dec 29, 202222:14
28 - Being a Better Consumer of Social Media
Dec 15, 202227:07
27 - Checkbook's Top Holiday Shopping Tips
Dec 01, 202226:58
26 - Sale Prices Are Rarely Real Deals
Nov 17, 202224:33
25 - Dealing with Debt
Nov 03, 202223:55
24 - Finding an Auto Body Shop That Will Do a Bang-Up Job
Oct 20, 202221:48
23 - Frequently Frustrated Flyers: How to Fix a Broken Airline Industry
Oct 06, 202227:06
22 - How to Find a Top Doc
Sep 22, 202224:11
21 - Auto Glass Class: How to Get Repairs and Replacements
Sep 08, 202217:12
20 - Whatever Happened to Truth in Advertising?

20 - Whatever Happened to Truth in Advertising?

False or deceptive advertising costs American consumer billions of dollars a year. Companies big and small now use blatant lies, clever wording, and fine print to confuse or mislead us.

Truth in Advertising (, a consumer advocacy group based in Connecticut, points the finger at bad actors and calls them out for their deception. It also works to empower people to protect themselves against false advertising and deceptive marketing.

In this episode, we’ll explore some of the tricks advertisers use to fool us, explain why some big-name celebrities are on the group’s Wall of Shame, and provide tips on how to spot misleading ads.

Special Guest: Bonnie Patten, Executive Director, Truth in Advertising (

Additional Resource:

Think You’re Getting a Deal? 30 Tricks Sellers Use to Make You Pay Up and Pay Too Much

Jul 14, 202225:16
19 - Estate Planning Tasks and Tips
Jun 30, 202218:34
18 - Lessons Learned: A Visit with Our Founder

18 - Lessons Learned: A Visit with Our Founder

After more than 45 years, Robert Krughoff, Consumers' Checkbook’s founder and president, is retiring. Robert joins us to chat about how he got the idea for Checkbook, and the challenges he faced getting it started—and gathering all the relevant data he needed to help members. Plus, what he learned as he became one of the world’s foremost consumer experts and advocates.

Special Guest: Robert Krughoff, founder of Consumers' Checkbook

Jun 16, 202216:01
17 - Travel Tips: How to Find the Best Deals on Airfare

17 - Travel Tips: How to Find the Best Deals on Airfare

Rising demand for fewer seats has airfare soaring. Hear advice from seasoned traveler Kevin Brasler, Checkbook’s executive editor, in this episode. He shares strategies for finding low rates and warns about common problems when searching for deals. We also tackle frequent air-travel booking questions, such as: When is the best time to book? Should I avoid basic economy tickets?

Jun 02, 202224:27
16 - Dealing with Death: Planning and Paying for a Funeral
May 19, 202228:28
15 - Those &#@X%*! Robocalls: Can’t Anything Be Done to Stop Them?
May 05, 202229:29
14 - Growing Concerns: How to Buy Plants and Get Good Lawn Care
Apr 21, 202222:43
13 - Thinking About Buying an Electric Vehicle? Here's What You Need to Know
Apr 07, 202224:55
12 - How to Find the Best Vet for Your Pets
Mar 24, 202222:47
11 - Stop, Thief! How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Mar 10, 202227:52
10 - Here Comes the Sun? This May Be the Best Time to Go Solar
Feb 24, 202223:51
9 - To Your Credit: Understanding How Credit Scores Work
Feb 10, 202226:31
8 - Saving Energy at Home
Jan 27, 202224:03
7 - 65 Things You (Probably) Shouldn't Pay For
Jan 13, 202222:28
6 - Finding a Dentist Who Will Make You Smile
Dec 30, 202125:48
5 - Cyber Crime: A Former Cyber Crook Explains How to Protect Yourself
Dec 16, 202129:08
4 - How to Buy a Car During the Pandemic
Dec 02, 202123:15
3 - Buyers Beware: Tricks Sellers Use to Make You Buy Now and Pay Too Much
Nov 18, 202119:35