So many problems, so little time

This blog gets a daily average of 9,380 hits (up from 5,900 a year ago).

It pops up prominently when people with problems search the Internet.

So, please permit me to use today’s post for a panoply of complaints that can’t find a home elsewhere.

(OK, enough P words.)

“An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure,” said Benjamin Franklin. But I won’t say it because I promised not to persist in this practice.

Author: Ellen Roseman

Consumer advocate and personal finance author and instructor.

14 thoughts on “So many problems, so little time”

  1. Congrats on the growth! My little site only gets one tenth of that daily now, but it’s growing, too:) I can just imagine what you’re learning from all the search terms that come in on here!:)

  2. While I have sympathy for the other posters here, “Frustrated” is clearly in the wrong here.

    Frustrated has borrowed money before from others, and failed to pay it back (it might be called a ‘consumer proposal’ but that’s the gist — you aren’t paying back what you said you would) and then Ford doesn’t want to loan you money…. good for them.

    The fact that you are current on some bills does not excuse you for not being on others, nor does the fact that there are others in the same boat.

    I’m not trying to be harsh, and I don’t know the situation involved, but I do know that you’re on here, complaining that because of your credit history, you were refused credit, as if it’s Ford or anyone else’s fault. As for the interest rate you’re being charged, that’s what that company is charging to accept the risk of you being a creditor to them, given your own history.

    You hit the nail on the head when you wrote: “Although we argued that we both make pension and salary incomes totaling more that $100,000, we were unfit for most forms of credit.” Yes, it’s clear, you are but more worrisome is that you don’t seem to understand why.

  3. A friend of mine just had an incredible story with Bell. He has been a customer for more than 20 years. Do you remember the days when users had to rent telephone sets from Bell? Well, this friend had been renting a telephone set from Bell for the past 15 years, paying a monthly fee of $15.

    In 2006, realizing what a raw deal this is, he decided to return the set and was told to take it back to one of the Bell stores, which he did. He asked if he needs to do anything else or if he should get a confirmation number and was told no and that it’s already ‘in the system’ and the charges will stop.

    Fast forward to today. He is checking his bill and realizes that Bell is STILL charging him for the telephone set rental he returned in 2006! He decides to call them and is told that he must report back to the store where he returned it. He does, only to be told there is nothing they can do for him.

    Back to customer service. After 1.5 hours on the phone, he is told they can’t help him and the only thing they can do is stop charging him from now on, and offer him a one time discount of $10!

    Not only have they been charging $15 monthly on a telephone set for the past 15 years, but they would not return the money they charged since he returned the set 3 years ago! … OK, he should have been less trusting and checked his bill more closely, but the fact is these things happen too often to be classified as ‘mistakes’. They are done systematically and on purpose to pad the bottom line of these companies, preying exactly on the kind of people that don’t track their bills vigorously.

    One last thing to say, it’s not only Bell’s fault. The truth is there is a government body that is supposed to regulate the telcos and protect rights of the consumer. It has completely failed its intended purpose. I’m talking about the CRTC.

    The CRTC today is completely in the pocket of Bell and the big telcos. Look at the recent examples to allow Bell to throttle internet service, charge usage based billing for independent carriers (which would kill 3rd party internet providers), violate net neutrality, Rogers to modify dns redirecting. Not only that, but the CRTC is also trying to protect Bell and Rogers from competition from cell phone entrants such as Globalive.

    It’s time for the question to be asked: Whose interests does the CRTC serve? The consumer or the large telcos, with whom the regulators are in bed? Unfortunately, it seems they could care less about the consumer.

    Its time for action, sign the petition, spread the word:

  4. I was surprised by the number of illiterate Canadians. But it must have always been high since we have a continual flow of immigrants from underdeveloped countries.

    I’ll bet there are many Canadians over 65 who emigrated from Europe who never learned to read or even speak English.

    Add the more recent new Canadians (and their parents) who have limited mastery of the language and the numbers are bound to be high.

    I guess the key figure was the 20% of people who have post-secondary education and are still substandard.

    Maybe they’re good with numbers.

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