ConsumerpediaJan 13, 2022
52 - Shop Safely Online This Holiday Season
While convenient, online shopping can be risky. E-commerce creates all sorts of new opportunities for cyber criminals to do their dirty work, so you need to be careful. U.S. consumers reported losing $358 million to online scams last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
In this episode, we talk to John Breyault, a vice president at the National Consumers League, and Melissa Lanning Trumpower, executive director of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, about how to spot the tricks con artists use to fool you and how you can protect yourself. Also, the smart way to pay when shopping online, and how to fight back against porch pirates.
BBB Scam Tracker is a free tool anyone can use to report suspected scams. Your reports warn others so they can avoid similar cons.
Fraud victims can report scams to the National Consumers League’s Fraud.org website. This information is shared with a network of 100 law enforcement partners across the U.S. and Canada.
51 - How to Hire a Reliable Roofer
Roofing work is expensive. If you hire the wrong contractor, you can overspend by thousands of dollars and still get terrible work done. It takes time to find a good roofer who will do the job for the best price—you don’t just hire the first company that gives you an estimate.
In this episode, we’ll explain how to find a reliable roofing company, how to review proposals for that job, and how to compare warranties. Plus, ways to avoid getting ripped off by a shady contractor.
50 - Finding a Credit Card That's Right for You
The market is flooded with credit card offers, and some of the signup bonuses are mighty appealing. But slow down—applying for a credit card is something that shouldn’t be rushed. You need to cut through the marketing hype and understand all the terms, conditions, and fees. If you’re not careful, you could choose a card that hurts your financial well-being.
In this episode: How to shop for a credit card—things you should do before you apply for any card, and what to look for when comparing offers. Plus: Is a rewards card really right for you? And how a balance transfer card might help you pay down a large balance on another card.
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.
48 - How will Scammers Use AI?
Artificial intelligence has been around for decades, but the world changed in November with the introduction of ChatGPT, the AI app that lets anyone harness the power of this amazing supercomputing technology—including criminals.
In this episode, a look at how fraudsters might be able to use AI to their benefit. Will it change the types of scams they create or simply make it easier for them to fool us? Can AI companies make it harder for crooks to use their technology against us? Can the good guys use AI to fight fraud more effectively?
Special guests: Chester Wisniewski, Field Chief Technology Officer for Applied Research at Sophos, the global digital security company. Lorrie Cranor, Director of the CyLab Security and Privacy Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Brett Johnson, a convicted cyber-criminal who stole millions, and now works as a digital security consultant.
47 - Guide to Buying New Windows
Today’s windows are technological marvels. They provide better insulation, reduce drafts, are easier to clean, and help lower home energy bills. But all these benefits come with very high price tags.
Window companies generate numerous complaints about high-pressure sales tactics and substandard installation. Checkbook cautions that some companies greatly over-promise the energy savings that will result from their windows.
In this episode, Kevin Brasler, Checkbook’s executive editor, cuts through the marketing hype, compares the pros and cons of various types of windows, and explains how to find a reliable contractor.
46 - Health Apps & Websites Often Share Your Data
Wearable devices, health apps, and online medical resources can help us stay fit and healthy. They also collect highly personal information that you might assume is confidential. In most cases, this data can be—and often is—shared and sold without your knowledge or permission.
In this episode, how to tell if your health information is protected by the federal privacy law known as HIPAA, and what to do before you use medical apps, smart devices, or go online for medical advice. We talk with Pam Dixon, executive director of World Privacy Forum, and Jen Caltrider, a privacy researcher at the Mozilla Foundation.
45 - Even 'Good' Companies Often Treat Their Customers Poorly
“Buyer beware!” It’s more important than ever for you to heed this warning when buying goods and services. Consumers’ Checkbook regularly reports on scams and shameful selling practices that continue to become more rampant. Unfortunately, even “reputable” businesses treat consumers unfairly, often by using new technologies.
In this episode, we discuss how many companies prioritize profits ahead of their customers—and what you can do to fight back.
Special Guest: Adam Levin, consumer advocate, digital privacy expert, and host of the “What the Hack?” podcast
44 - Should You Repair or Replace a Broken Appliance?
Sooner or later all appliances will need to be repaired or replaced. But when the fridge is on the fritz or the oven is burnt out, how do you decide what to do? New home appliances are expensive, but it’s not always easy to know how much repair work will cost.
In this episode, how to decide whether to fix what you have or buy something new. When it’s time to go shopping we have advice on how to avoid the misleading sales hype to get a real deal.
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.
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?
41 - Hotel Intel: Finding the Best Rates
There’s a lot to consider when booking a hotel room: location, amenities, and quality. But for most of us, the deciding factor is price. In many cases, your room will cost significantly more than your flights. So, how do you find the best deal? Consumers’ Checkbook did nearly 2,000 searches looking for the best hotel rates.
In this episode, find out what our researchers discovered when shopping for hotel rooms. Does it make sense to book with the hotel or an online travel agency, like Expedia or Travelocity? What sorts of tricks do travel websites use to get you to book now? Does it pay to call the hotel directly? And what do you have to do to get an honest-to-goodness lower price? The lessons we learned should help you the next time you plan a trip.
40 - Insuring Your Home
Most homeowners pay too much to insure their houses. They waste money on worthless optional coverage—or worse—stick with the same insurers year after year without checking if lower premiums are available from other companies.
The potential savings from making a switch are dramatic, and you don’t have to sign up with a poorly rated company or get a bare-bones policy to get a better deal. Checkbook finds that some homeowners will save more than $1,500 a year by switching companies.
Yes, shopping for insurance is a bit of a pain, but the potential savings make it well worth your time to request pricing information and evaluate potentially wasteful coverage.
In this episode: How much coverage do you need, and how do insurance companies set their rates? Also, why Checkbook believes insurance companies should be prohibited from using credit scores to set premium prices.
39 - Got a Gripe?
Companies always say their top priority is customer service, but all too often they fall short of that goal. What bugs you as a consumer? Is it the fine print in advertisements? Fake discounts? Maybe problems making returns or repair people who can't make the fix?
Something a little different in this episode. We’ll hear from a few members of the Checkbook team and several subscribers who have gripes they want to share.
Do you have a gripe about something in the marketplace? Tell us about it. Be advised: We can’t solve individual problems, but we may ask you to join us on a future episode.
38 - Travel Tips from a Travel Expert
Demand for plane tickets, hotel rooms, vacation rentals, and other travel services is up—way up. If your summer getaway involves flights, brace yourself for problems; like last year, planes will be packed, and the system will be stretched to its limits.
In this episode, advice from someone who loves to travel—and makes his living doing it. Christopher Elliott writes the syndicated “On Travel” and “The Travel Troubleshooter” columns. We caught up with him in New Zealand.
37 - Why You Shouldn't Buy a Home Warranty
Home warranty companies promise to save you thousands of dollars if you need an expensive repair. But Checkbook found these plans are terrible deals for most homeowners. Warranty companies are the subject of thousands of complaints to consumer agencies. After paying $400 to $1,000 for the coverage, consumers find that home warranty contracts often have numerous fine-print exclusions that stick them with much of the costs for product repairs or replacements. Plus, you don’t get to decide who does the work—and the best repair services usually refuse to work for home warranty companies.
Additional Resources: Home Warranties Are Lousy Deals
36 - Dark Patterns: Sales Tactics Designed to Deceive
Some companies try to boost business by doing things that are meant to mislead and manipulate customers. These include pre-checked boxes that obligate you to more than you bargained for, hard-to-find disclosures, and confusing cancellation policies. These practices are called “dark patterns,” and as more commerce moves online, they’re growing in scale and sophistication.
The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on illegal dark patterns, but because the problem is so widespread, you need to know what to look for to protect yourself. In this episode, Sam Levine, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau, talks to us about some of the most common dark patterns.
Consumerpedia Episode 31: Watch Out for These Common Fraud Tricks & Traps
35 - Aging in Place
For most aging adults, there really is no place like home. Surveys done by AAPR consistently find that nearly 80% of those 50 and older prefer to age in place rather than move in with relatives or into senior communities.
The aging-in-place movement can help you stay safe and comfortable in your home as you grow older. But it’s something you’ll need to plan for, the sooner, the better.
In this episode, learn what’s important when remodeling or retrofitting your house, as well an option that’s growing in popularity across the country: Neighborhood-focused networks, or “villages,” that offer social, medical, and household resources.
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 (Checkbook.org), Edgar Dworsky (Consumerworld.org), Amy Nofziger (AARP Fraud Watch Network), John Breyault, (Fraud.org), and Kimberly Palmer (NerdWallet)
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.
32 - Grocery Delivery Services
If you find going to the grocery store a hassle, having your avocados, Doritos, and whatnot delivered is a convenient and time-saving option. And these services are a great help to those who can’t get to local markets due to physical impairments or a lack of transportation.
But you’re going to pay to have someone gather your groceries and bring them to you. At some stores, extra costs for delivery are only a few dollars per order; at others you’ll pay a sizable fee to skip the store.
In this episode, we discuss the pros, cons, and costs of having someone else do your shopping. How much do prices vary? Which services rate the best with Checkbook subscribers? Plus, tips to help you get the best prices should you decide to shop this way.
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.
30 - HVAC: Finding Good Contractors & Choosing New Equipment
Keeping your house comfortable requires the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to be properly installed and maintained. And when they need repairs or new equipment, you want a company you can trust to do quality work at a fair price.
In this episode, we’ll go over the things you should know about your HVAC before having work done, plus what you can do to maintain your system. And we’ll answer the question: Is it time to consider getting a heat pump?
29 - Home Security: Installers, Equipment, & DIY
It seems like every big company—from Google and Amazon to telephone and cable TV operators—now sells home security services and equipment.
Rather than spend thousands of dollars to have a security company install a system, you can do it yourself for a couple of hundred dollars and monitor things on your smartphone. But does any of this tech do any good?
In this episode, we’ll look at the pros and cons of professional systems vs. inexpensive DIY options, and run down some free security practices that will make your house less attractive to burglars.
28 - Being a Better Consumer of Social Media
Social media was designed to bring us together, but it often fosters scams, spreads misinformation, and amplifies hate. The problem isn’t going to go away, so we need to become better consumers of what shows up on our feeds.
In this episode, Emmy-award winning sportscaster and journalist Bob Costas talks about social media responsibility. Bob tackled the subject head-on in a recent episode of his HBO show, “Back On The Record,” discussing the highly-publicized case of Brooklyn Nets all-star guard Kyrie Irving, who recently shared a link to an antisemitic movie.
27 - Checkbook's Top Holiday Shopping Tips
The holiday shopping season is in full swing—and you need a plan. The super shoppers at Checkbook.org are here to help.
With inflation driving up prices, it’s more important than ever to be a savvy holiday shopper. The National Retail Federation expects the average shopper to spend about $833 on gifts and other holiday items this year, up a few dollars from last year.
26 - Sale Prices Are Rarely Real Deals
Consumers' Checkbook’s researchers spent 33 weeks tracking sale prices at 25 major retailers and found that most stores’ discount claims aren’t really discounts at all. And the shady sales practice is worse than ever before. Checkbook discovered that most stores’ sale prices—even those that advertise big savings—are bogus discounts, with retailers offering the same “sale price” more than half the time.
In this episode, we’ll tell you which stores ran sales that were USUALLY or OFTEN misleading, as well as the few that had sales that were only SOMETIMES misleading. Plus, tips on how to find the real deals that will save you money.
25 - Dealing with Debt
To deal with record inflation, many Americans are making ends meet by piling up record amounts of credit card debt. A trained credit counselor can help you pay down that debt, even if it seems insurmountable, and learn how to have a successful financial future.
In this episode, you’ll hear a real-life success story. Cara, who lives near Boston, was drowning in credit card debt five years ago. Today she is debt-free and has good credit.
We’ll also talk to Bruce McClary, a senior vice president at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people deal with debt and better manage their finances. Find out how the counseling process works, and why some of the advice provided by for-profit debt relief companies can make your situation worse.
To find a nonprofit credit counseling agency, visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or call 800-388-2227.
24 - Finding an Auto Body Shop That Will Do a Bang-Up Job
The best body shops not only do great work but employ staff who can explain and justify exactly what needs to be done. An articulate representative at the body shop will be the key to getting all the work you need performed and paid for by your insurance company.
In this episode, we’ll walk you through the collision repair process from the estimate to the guarantee. We’ll also explain the differences between the three types of parts that might be used, and how to deal with the insurance company—especially if the shop wants to do one thing and they want to do something else.
23 - Frequently Frustrated Flyers: How to Fix a Broken Airline Industry
U.S. airlines are failing their customers by prioritizing profits over realistic schedules, resulting in too many cancellations and long delays, according to consumer advocates. They say more could and should be done to protect passengers.
In this episode, we explain what domestic airlines are required to do when your flight is delayed or canceled (spoiler: not much). We also discuss how the Department of Transportation has failed to effectively oversee the airlines, and what consumer advocates want done to protect the flying public.
Our special guest, Bill McGee, is an award-winning travel journalist, and author of the book, Attention All Passengers. Currently, he’s senior fellow for aviation and travel at the American Economic Liberties Project, a nonprofit that works to fight monopolistic practices in the U.S. economy.
22 - How to Find a Top Doc
Physicians are at the center of your healthcare experiences. They set up diagnostic procedures, devise treatment plans, guide you through care decisions, prescribe medications, authorize hospital admissions, refer to other physicians and other providers…and much more.
In this episode, we talk about how to find good doctors and the best medical facilities near you, how to take charge of your medical care, and what Checkbook has learned by analyzing data on tens of thousands of doctors across the country.
21 - Auto Glass Class: How to Get Repairs and Replacements
You're driving along when a pebble kicked up by the vehicle in front of you hits your windshield... and cracks it. Chances are that little rock just cost you $800 to $1,500 or more, depending on your ride. These days, a windshield is more than a big piece of glass; there's a lot of technology embedded in it or located behind it. These sensors feed data to software controlling automatic wipers, lane-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and advanced steering and braking systems.
No matter how big or small the job, you want it done quickly and for a fair price. In this episode, Checkbook Editor Kevin Brasler explains how to choose a good shop, how to decide about replacement parts—original manufacturer or third-party parts—and how to deal with your insurance company.
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 (TINA.org), 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 (TINA.org)
19 - Estate Planning Tasks and Tips
Most American don't even have simple wills, and even fewer have living wills or designated healthcare surrogates. While doing this work might seem sobering, once you've made an estate plan, you'll find it calming and reassuring to you and your family. The goal is to communicate your end-of-life healthcare wishes, document what you have and who gets it after you die, and set up a trouble-free way to transfer your assets to your heirs or preferred charities while minimizing payouts to probate courts, attorneys, accountants, and Uncle Sam.
In this episode, some basic do's and don'ts when it comes to planning what happens after you leave this world. We hope these tips will save you hassles and money—and enable you to avoid some common mistakes.
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
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?
16 - Dealing with Death: Planning and Paying for a Funeral
Grieving for a loved one is acutely difficult just after the loss, and it's not a time when you want to sit across the desk from a salesperson in a high-pressure, time-sensitive situation. You’re vulnerable to making hasty, costly decisions that might not make sense if you'd just had a little more time.
Funeral homes provide important services, but they are businesses with a goal of maximizing each sale. They make money by selling products and services, some of which you and your family may not want, need, or be able to afford.
In this episode, we review the many choices you have when a loved one dies, what funeral homes are required to disclose, and the marketing tricks some use to push unnecessary or high-end products. Plus, we explain why it’s important to pre-plan your funeral.
15 - Those &#@X%*! Robocalls: Can’t Anything Be Done to Stop Them?
For years, we’ve been promised that new technology would stop those annoying robocalls. But the phones keep ringing—and now, we’re being flooded with spam texts. Fraudsters use these bogus calls and texts to steal our money and personal information.
In this episode, we talk how to spot a robocall scam, how con artists use them to trick you, and ways to protect yourself.
14 - Growing Concerns: How to Buy Plants and Get Good Lawn Care
Even the greenest thumbs need help sometimes—and a lot of it—with where to buy plants, how to keep the lawn lush, and how to keep the landscape in shape. The best-run garden centers, landscape contractors, and lawn-care services have the answers.
In this episode: How to find great lawn-care services, and what to consider when hiring a landscaper. Plus, for DIYers, how garden centers rate for price and quality.
Here are more resources on lawn care services, landscapers, and garden centers. Checkbook’s ratings find that the quality of the work—and the prices charged for essentially the same services—vary greatly.
13 - Thinking About Buying an Electric Vehicle? Here's What You Need to Know
Higher gas prices have a lot of people thinking about making the switch to electric vehicles, and automakers are racing to provide customers with options—sedans, sports cars, SUVs, and trucks.
In this episode, we look at where things stand right now, what’s coming down the road, and things to consider before buying a plug-in hybrid or fully electric vehicle.
12 - How to Find the Best Vet for Your Pets
Just like humans, pets get hurt or sick and need routine healthcare. While most vets get high marks for competency and caring, Checkbook's undercover shoppers found huge differences in prices for the same procedures.
In this episode we share tips to help you choose—and deal with—a veterinarian who will provide the care, service, and reasonable charges you want. We also discuss the pros and cons of pet insurance, and what to look for if you decide to buy a policy.
11 - Stop, Thief! How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Identity theft is a serious and growing crime—and we’re all at risk. The losses are staggering: By one estimate, identity theft victims in the U.S. lost $56 billion in 2020. Last year, the FTC received more reports about identity theft than any other type of complaint.
Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center, explains how criminals get your personal information, how they use it, and how to fight back.
10 - Here Comes the Sun? This May Be the Best Time to Go Solar
Solar-energy technology continues to advance in ways that can greatly benefit homeowners. Solar panels sold today cost less than those available just five or six years ago, plus they produce more electricity. These efficiency gains mean most families can install fairly small projects to cover all their electricity needs. However, solar projects still come with hefty upfront price tags.
In this episode, we'll discuss the options and look at how much you can really save by going solar. Plus, we have tips on how to find a good installer and ways to pay for a solar project.
9 - To Your Credit: Understanding How Credit Scores Work
Good credit is important. Bad credit can make it difficult—or more expensive—to get a loan or credit card, rent an apartment, or get cell phone service. Surveys show few people truly understand how the system works: What makes their credit scores go up, and what causes them to plunge. In this episode we’ll demystify the process, and separate credit facts from credit myths.
Special Guest: Liz Weston, a personal financial columnist for NerdWallet, and author of the best-selling book “Your Credit Score.”
8 - Saving Energy at Home
Our homes rely more than ever on energy for heating, cooling, lighting, hot water, and to power all our gadgets. Most of our abodes still unnecessarily waste lots of energy, contributing to pollution and climate change while sucking away our money.
In this episode, we look at some simple repairs and improvements that will yield big energy savings for most families, plus projects with bigger upfront price tags that still make sense from a cost-benefit standpoint.
For more tips, read our article 32 Ways to Save Energy at Home.
7 - 65 Things You (Probably) Shouldn't Pay For
We all spend money on stuff we don't need, from top-of-the-line appliances with features we'll never use to designer clothing we'll rarely wear. But there's a big difference between splurging on luxuries and throwing away money on products and services that are worthless or unnecessary—or that you could get for free. Here are some of them and why they're a waste of money.
6 - Finding a Dentist Who Will Make You Smile
No one looks forward to going to the dentist, but oral hygiene is an important part of your overall healthcare. Most dentists do a good job, but some are better than others at making their clients feel comfortable. Price may also be a consideration. Checkbook’s undercover shoppers found astounding price differences from practice to practice for the same procedure. Based on our subscriber surveys, there is no relationship between price and quality. In this episode, we’ll also talk about the pros and cons of dental insurance.
5 - Cyber Crime: A Former Cyber Crook Explains How to Protect Yourself
Online fraud is a serious problem, and it keeps getting worse. Cyberthieves are getting better at stealing money and sensitive personal information, which is why it’s so important to understand the risk and what steps you can take to protect yourself.
Special Guest: Brett Johnson, a cyber security consultant and former identity thief. Few people know more about cybercrime than Johnson, who was once on the Secret Service’s Most Wanted list. Johnson made millions developing online fraud techniques before getting busted (several times) and spending more than six years behind bars. Johnson started AnglerPhish Security to share his insider’s knowledge about fighting cybercrime.
4 - How to Buy a Car During the Pandemic
The pandemic has turned the car market upside-down: inventory is low, and prices for new cars keep going up. That means it's more important than ever to have a plan. Should you wait? Should you buy used? Is leasing something you should even consider? Get answers to those questions, plus learn about a sure-fire way to get the best price on any new vehicle. Special Guest: Jack Gillis, author of The Car Book, has been steering consumers to safe and reliable cars for more than 40 years. Gillis is also executive director of the Consumer Federation of America.
Additional car-buying resources:
Consumerpedia listeners who aren't Checkbook subscribers are invited to access our ratings, undercover price research, and expert advice free for 30 days using this link: https://checkbook.org/consumerpedia
3 - Buyers Beware: Tricks Sellers Use to Make You Buy Now and Pay Too Much
Companies use an arsenal of marketing tricks to convince customers they’re scoring bargains, often duping them into spending more or paying right away without checking the competition. While many of these tactics have been used for centuries, we’ve found that the methods are increasingly sophisticated, and the dishonest claims are bolder. Special Guest: Edgar Dworsky, founder and editor of ConsumerWorld.org, a nonprofit website that features buying advice, consumer news and information, scam alerts, and bargains.
Consumerpedia listeners who aren't Checkbook subscribers are invited to access our ratings, undercover price research, and expert advice free for 30 days using this link: https://checkbook.org/consumerpedia