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CONSUMER TIPS

Netflix, Inc.

Dell Home Systems

 quick notes

WATCH THAT LOCAL "QUICK lUBE" or other fast oil change establishments.  Walmart will beat their prices especially if you're using "synthetic oil."  Many times these companies charge you trivial fees to make money.  For example, they may charge you extra if they have to open a can instead of using bulk oil.  

WANT TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR GROCERY BILL?  Your local food store such as Kroger is not the place to go.  Walmart is the best buy in town. Check it out!!!

CREDIT UNIONS are usually a better deal than banks.  Fees are lower, interest rates are lower and service is usually better.  Watch banks closely!  They love fees!  Also, credit unions may give you a better deal on credit cards without the "Financial Terrorist" tactic of arbitrarily raising interest rates for the least little reason like MBNA, Fleet and many other credit card companies routinely engage in. 

concerned about cancer and looking for information on medical trials?  Try this link www.cancer.gov/trials.

New tax break for 2004 and 2005 allows consumers who itemize on their federal tax returns to deduct sales tax.  Start saving those receipts (you will need them if you get audited) unless you want to use the IRS guidelines to write-off the tax.

The 2005 Toyota Prius has been IRS certified for the clean burning fuel deduction for 2004.  this means you get a $2000.00 "above the line" tax deduction if you buy a new Prius this year.

Google searches the web at lightning speed - Now Google will search your hard drive at the same lightning speed and it's free!!  To download it go to www.desktop.google.com (it only works with Windows based PC's and accesses the C drive only).

thinking about buying a plasma tv? -  According to Consumer Reports "Plasma" TV's have a usable full bright screen life of approximately 3 years of viewing as opposed to 10 years of viewing with an "LCD" screen.  Let the buyer beware!!

Time to refinance or buy that house - Mortgage rates are at the lowest point in 20 years.  If you want to buy or refinance a house?  Now is the time to do it.  A good mortgage company  can get you into a home even if you have bad credit.  For help with a mortgage or locating a company click HERE.

worried about lawsuits or divorce? need financial privacy? This company will help insure your financial privacy and provide "Bullet Proof Asset Protection".  Call 1-877-206-4736 or send for information via e-mail by clicking on Perceptive Strategies Inc.

Important information for anyone who has been screwed by Ticketsupfront!!!!!! (Tara Hollants, Ottawa, Ontario)  I as well as many others are involved in a case against the company by the Attorney Generals Office of Indiana! It is important that you join us and file an online complaint!!!  http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/consumer/index.htm, then click on file complaint at bottom of the page.  He needs as many people to come forward as possible to help the case!

What should you be paying for Long Distance Service?  Not more than 4.9 cents per minute with no upfront fee.  If you're paying more than that, you are paying to much.  

medical bills for beloved pets can be devastating Try this link www.petinsurance.com

if you own a home with EIFS Synthetic Stucco you may be able to participate in a class action lawsuit.  For complete information including the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement and Claim Form, call 1-800-320-9415 or visit the website www.stuccosettlement.com.

Class action suit for Californians who smoked between June 1992 and April 2001 has been filed in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of San Diego, entitled Brown et al. v. The American Tobacco Company Inc. et. al. Case No. 711400 (JCCP 4042).  This suit affects smokers of all ages who lived and smoked in California, including minors under 18.  You may get more information at www.calsmoker.com or by calling 1-800-494-6975.

September 11th victim compensation fund will make payments to individuals who suffered physical injury and/or are beneficiaries of those killed.  Call 1-888-714-3385/TDD 1-888-560-0844 or visit the web site at www.usdoj.gov/victimcompensation .  You may receive one on one help by visiting a "Claim Assistance Site."  Directions to the sites can be found on the web site.    

need an accurate time check?  Call 202-762-1401 for the atomic clock at the Naval Observatory.

encouraging progress on aids vaccine comes from Merck Research Laboratories in West Point, Pa.  A new vaccine, still in testing, has been developed which keeps those already infected with the virus from becoming ill.  The new vaccine which is a DNA-advenovirus combination was injected in monkeys and prevented them from getting sick.  It did not prevent them from becoming infected with the virus.  Injections in humans began in December 2001, but the results are not yet available.

want to get information about president bush's volunteer initiative?  Click on www.usafreedomcorps.gov or 1-877-USA-CORPS.  

remember unless the product is manufactured, shipped from your state, or the company has offices in your state, you don't pay sales tax for purchases on the internet.  

new poison control hotline can be reached by dialing 1-800-222-1222.  By dialing this number, you can reach any of the 65 poison control centers in the country.  The American Center of Poison Control Centers (ACPCC) is promoting the use of this number and says "75% of calls to poison control centers can be handled over the phone."

need to save money on hotels?  Try this link for discounts of up to 70% on hotel rates!  www.hoteldiscount.com.

remember, when an unauthorized person uses your credit card to make a purchase on the internet, you are not responsible for the bill.  Who is?  The internet company who accepted the card as payment is responsible.Review those credit card and check card statements.

REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF ANTHRAX INFECTION by 80% by using a face mask when handling mail or in a risky area according to Mark Nickess, an Anthrax expert at the University of California Berkeley.

ANTIBIOTCS THAT TREAT ANTHRAX:  Ciprofloxacin, Penicillin, Doxycycline, Tetracycline, Clarithromycin, Vancomycin, Clindamycin.  

OTP PREM4

legal help for victims of the terrorist attacks:  The Association of Trial Lawyers of America has formed "Trial Lawyer Care," an organization to provide free legal services to those applying for aid from a federal fund established to compensate victims of the terrorist attacks.  Click on www.911LawHelp.org

reverse mortgages:  Are you retired, on a tight budget, but have alot of equity in your house.  You might want to try a reverse mortgage where the lender pays you either a lump sum or a monthly check to live in your house until you either sell it or die.  This is a way to supplement your income without selling your house.  Get all the information you need by contacting your mortgage company or bank.  You can get a list of lenders participating in this program from Fannie Mae by calling 800-732-6843, from the AARP by calling 866-264-4466, or by clicking on the following:  www.reversemortgage.org or in Texas www.perceptivestrategies.com.

traveling?  This site will help you decide where the safe spots in the world are.  Or, if you are a business and concerned about the security of your workforce you can contract with this company for travel security services.  The company, Air Security International located in Houston, scours the globe for security risks and advising travelers on how to protect themselves from security risks.  The most relevant ones are included in "Hot Spots" a free online newsletter. Click on:  www.airsecurity.com

FREE VIRUS SCANS:  Remember, don't open e-mail your not expecting or if you are uncertain as to its content.  For free virus scans log on www.securityfocus.com or www.antivirus.com 

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The IRS has setup a special telephone line for taxpayers who have been affected by the terrorist attack on 11 September.  If you are having trouble meeting your obligations and need tax help call the irs toll free at 1-866-562-5227 or www.irs.gov.

Dead Cell Phone Zones:  Click on the following link if you would like to add a poor reception area to a web site trying to get improved reception around the country.

www.deadcellzones.com


coming events

Trial of michael Jackson for several child related issues.  Not Guilty

trial of kobe briant for raping a hotel employee in Colorado. Charges Dropped/Civil Suit Pending

trial of scott peterson in California for killing his wife.  Guilty and Sentenced to Death

Trial of Martha Stewart for Securities Fraud, lying to investigators and other issues. Guilty 6 months

trial of wynonna ryder for shoplifting and drug possession, in Los Angeles, California. Found guilty!

trial of David westerfield for raping and killing a 7 year old girl in San Diego, California.  Found guilty the jury recommended the death sentence.  

Trial of barbara atkinson, 30,  and keneth atkinson, 34 accused of locking their 8 year old daughter in a closet for months.  When found she weighed 25 pounds, was near death and covered with her own excrement (see The Good, The Bad and the Ugly).   Barbara Atkinson has been found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

trial of bobby cherry accused of murder in the church bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama church in 1963 will begin soon.  He has been ruled competent to stand trial.  Four black girls died in the bombing which was the deadliest crime of the civil rights era.  Verdict - Guilty

murder trial for michael skakel: The trial date will be set shortly.  A court has found that Michael Skakel, the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, wife of the late Robert Kennedy, will be tried as an adult. He is accused of murdering Martha Moxley 26 years ago when they were both 15.  A court has held he will be tried as an adult.  Trial begins April 2, 2002. Verdict - Guilty

murder trial for andrea yates:  The trial of the  Clear Lake, Texas mom who is charged with drowning her five children in the bathtub will begin January 7, 2002.  Jury selection is expected to last 5 weeks with testimony beginning in February.  Guilty is the verdict!! Life in prison.  What a tragedy!


TRAVEL 

 Arrive at the gate at least 1.5 hours before departure, get your seat, and avoid that center seat!!

Cheap tickets get bumped first on over-sold flights..  

avoid that dreaded security wanding/frisking by making sure you empty all pockets of metal objects, take off all metal jewelry including watches, remove glasses with metal rims.  Put objects in the pocket of a coat, if you have one, and put it on the conveyor.  Empty pockets before you get to the front of the line so you can hurry through.  If you don't set off the metal detector, you probably will not be wanded and frisked unless you are selected for a random search.

Try to carry on your luggage, to avoid loss.  Or carry one bag with overnight essentials! Under the new law, you may carry on 1 bag plus a purse, briefcase or computer bag etc.

You may "gate check" luggage that will hot fit in the overhead.  This means you can carry it onto the airplane first.  If it will not fit, the Flight Attendant will check it for you.

Make reservations 7 to 30 days (or more) in advance and get cheaper tickets!!!

Flight Attendants are not required to help put bags in the overhead bins due to possible "lifting injuries."

SHOP PRICES!!  Airline ticket prices are extremely volatile, and good deals can be found.  www.travelocity.com, www.priceline.com, www.airntour.com can also be of help, sometimes. 

Join a "frequent flyer program,"  a "frequent guest program," and a "frequent car rental program."  Lots of savings available.  

Children under two are free and may be carried on your lap.  However, if a seat is available next to you, you may put the child in that seat. 

American Airlines have more legroom in most of their aircraft.  Eventually, all aircraft will be modified for more legroom.  This is a major plus, especially for "big" people, on long trips.

Key West, Florida has many hotel and resorts which require a ten day to two week prior notice in order to cancel reservations without a significant penalty.  BEWARE!!!  This is a rip-off and will cost you plenty of money if you get sick, have an emergency or other problem and can't show up. 

 

ALWAYS CHECK THE CANCELLATION POLICY OF YOUR HOTEL, RESORT, CRUISE, ETC!!!  Avoid hotels etc. that have a cancellation policy which requires cancellation more that 3 days prior to your reservation!!  Most hotels in the United States have a same day prior to 6PM cancellation policy. 

Going Abroad?  A few tips!!!  Don't be in possession of drugs!!!  Better not to drive in a foreign country!!! Watch those prescriptions and keep a copy of the written prescriptions with you.  Also watch those muscle enhancing supplements and keep them in the original containers.  Don't carry firearms, Don't carry pornography.  Don't get drunk and act up in public.  YOU DON'T WANT TO GET ARRESTED ABROAD!!! 

Washington DC Speed Traps!!!!!  Going to Washington D.C. for a vacation or business?  Watch their automatic radar reporting system.  As the police cruiser passes you he reads your speed.  If speeding, he automatically takes a picture of your license plate and traces it to you.  You receive a ticket in the mail.

 


HOT ITEMS

1.  Good deals on Cell Phone Rates  with Sprint PCS.  If you work for a large company, you might be able to take advantage of corporate discounts.  Call Sprint at 888-445-4430 and ask if your business is on their list.  They still have good rates even without corporate discounts.

2.  Best Food Prices!!!   Wal-Mart Super Centers!!!  Will probably be the biggest grocer in America in the coming years.

3 Great Long Distance Rates!!  POWERNET GLOBAL 4.9 cents per minute plus great overseas rates (United Kingdom 10 cents per minute). Customer Service 1-800-860-9495.

 


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Last modified: March 22, 2011, 0645 CST