I’m writing my fifth blog post in a week to celebrate my blog’s fifth anniversary.
It feels good to have lasted this long without accepting any ads or paid links. This is a place where readers can trade stories, facts and opinions and learn from each others’ experience.
Here’s another of my posts where I spread the word about marketplace traps, using cautionary tips from Star readers.
SR wants to tell everyone to get a home inspection before buying a property. His real estate agent insisted he do so — to his lasting benefit. Here’s his story.
I bought a condo/townhome on Lake Simcoe. Since it seemed in wonderful shape and less than 20 years old, I considered not having a home inspection, thus saving $400.
But my Coldwell Banker real estate agent, Pamela Park, was quite insistent. She said she was putting it in the offer. I would have to strike it out and initial it if I didn’t want the inspection.
So I decided to heed her advice. Am I ever fortunate I listened to her. (I also understand the seller’s agent said there had been very few inspections done on these resale condo homes over the years!)
The home inspector found the attic had been altered and some necessary trusses had been removed, thus changing the “structural integrity” (that is, the strength/support of the roof had been compromised).
I continued with my offer, but with a condition that the roof be put back to the original specifications and that a structural engineer sign off on it.
This was done by the seller at his cost (the original plans had to be reviewed and new wood had to be put in). And now I have some peace of mind.
Can you imagine what could have occurred with a heavy snowfall or when I went to sell it? This problem could have cost me $ thousands.
So, even if everything appears OK and there are multiple offers, don’t buy a property without putting a home inspection condition in in your contract. Caveat emptor!
Many people responded to my recent column about checking your bills for errors. They had chilling tales of companies overcharging them for years — and in some cases, undercharging for years and then sending a massive catch-up bill.
Greg Smith has a beef with Bell Canada (who doesn’t?). Here’s his story.
When we moved from Belleville to Barrie, Ont., we decided to bundle our phone and Internet services with Bell.
I checked with stores in both Belleville and Barrie and was assured that high speed internet was available at the address I was moving to (well within the city limits).
After nearly three months of no service, I was finally informed that service ended 100 miles away, but would be connected â€œsometime in the next two years.â€
I asked for a refund and was told I was not eligible since I could have used dial-up.
Rogers was looking good, so I wrote to Bell (using the address on my account) and cancelled my service at the end of my contract period. The bills kept coming.
I kept calling. Eventually, I was told that I had to phone in and cancel. Writing is not considered a valid form of cancellation â€“ and where had I found an address anyway?
I was then chased by Bell and threatened with all kinds of legal action and basically bullied into paying for three months of service I did not use.
When the nice telemarketers from Bell call, I politely decline, as I know they are not part of the scam. I do ask them if the offer includes three months of free services, though.
Have you have wrestled with “bad bills” and managed to get them fixed and refunded?
If so, please let others know what worked in your fight to get attention.