A few weeks ago, Zappos customers were alerted that their personal information–names, phone numbers, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, the last four digits from credit cards and more—was likely accessed by hackers from their database. The company’s suggestion was for customers to immediately login to their account and change their password. But is that enough? How do you protect yourself and your credit while shopping online?
Image by *Luana* via Flickr
Whether you’re a techno-geek or a Luddite, eventually you end up with electronic waste. Those old computers, cell phones, and other gadgets that go unused and obsolete. What do you do with them? It may depend on where you live.
It’s happened again. Just two months after Bank of America reversed its decision to charge a debit card usage fee “in response to customer feedback,” now Verizon Wireless is doing a the same. Last Friday, Verizon announced a new fee that would charge customers $2 each time they make one-time payments online or over the phone. The very next day, Verizon reversed their decision, citing customer complaints. Whether it was an actual decision or part of a publicity ploy (as some blogs have posited), it’s another example of consumers speaking up and showing their power.
Did you realize how much power you have? What are some ways you can get involved as a savvy consumer?
This holiday season was big for retail gift cards–it was estimated that $28 billion would be spent, with 58% of shoppers saying they’d be happy to receive them as gifts.
Gift cards are easy to give and can be easy to spend, but apparently they can also be a tremendous waste. This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that $41 million has gone unused in gift cards since from 2005-2011. Amazing!
Are you among those letting gift cards go to waste? Take a few minutes this week to make a plan for your gift cards, so you can keep your money:
On Tuesday, Congress rejected a temporary measure that would extend a 2% payroll tax cut to over 160 million workers in the U.S. The payroll tax covers the amount collected for federal Social Security and is applied to the first $106,800 you earn. With no plan in place, the tax will increase to 6.4% on January 1 and will cost the average family $1,000 over the course of the year.
While a reduction in pay is not a good thing for anyone, is there another way to fill in that missing $1,000 in your budget? Try these four strategies for extra earnings or savings in 2012:
Image by mhofstrand via Flickr
How much of your privacy are you willing to give up just to score a shopping deal? Do you sign up for every e-newsletter, coupon and discount available through company websites, store loyalty cards, and Facebook? While online consumers are typically reluctant to share information about their shopping behavior, a recent survey by KPMG reports that 52% of U.S. consumers said they would be willing to give up their privacy for discounts or free online content. This is similar to what many consumers already do at the grocery store each week; by providing their personal information to receive a store loyalty card, shoppers receive sale prices and discounts while the store tracks their purchases and habits.
It’s become so commonplace that we often don’t question the intentions of the store.
It’s a common argument in many households: “Let’s dump the cable subscription and save $80-150 per month.” I raise the prospect every year or so with my husband, but we haven’t made the leap yet.
With the news this week from Microsoft launching improved usability, streaming video options and live TV through the Xbox 360 console, we’re one step closer to that goal.