Archive for December, 2013

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Customer Complaints 11 times more likely via phone vs. via Internet

Customer Complaints 11 times more likely via phone vs. via Internet

New Customer-Rage Study Out for Holiday Shopping Season: We’ve Got More Problems & Anger, despite Customer-Care Efforts With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday shopping season about to start, a new customer-rage study shows more American consumers than ever are dissatisfied with the products and services we buy. Also, despite companies’ big-money efforts to create […]

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Target breach – Can the FTC fine businesses for failing to protect consumer’s information?

Target breach – Can the FTC fine businesses for failing to protect consumer’s information?

Senator calls for accountability in Target breach Sen. Robert Menendez wants the federal government to hold companies accountable when their customers’ financial information is stolen. The New Jersey Democrat is taking on the topic after last week’s revelation that information about 40 million Target customer accounts had been stolen. At a news conference Thursday outside […]

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Employee screening / background checks increase FCRA lawsuits

Employee screening / background checks increase FCRA lawsuits

Class Action Lawsuits for Failing to Perform Background Checks Properly Becoming Even More Prevalent Given the need for employers to exercise due diligence in hiring and at the same time comply with the complex legal environment regulating hiring, employers can expect to see an increase in legal actions in 2014 – including class action lawsuits […]

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How to Avoid TCPA liability

How to Avoid TCPA liability

Five Ways to Avoid a Lawsuit in Wake of Latest Telemarketing Rules Do you know what type of phone numbers are on your outbound marketing call lists? Chances are your telemarketing calls, prerecorded or live, are being made to consumer phone numbers provided by third-party sources. And, if you’ve been paying attention, landlines are a […]

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CFPB may issue rules exempting credit collections from the TCPA

CFPB may issue rules exempting credit collections from the TCPA

Could the CFPB Help Stem the Tidal Wave of TCPA Lawsuits? For the past month, the debt collection industry has been abuzz over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for debt collection. While the stated purpose of new rules is to update the aging Fair Debt Collection Practices Act […]

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What is Do Not Track – Pros & Cons

What is Do Not Track – Pros & Cons

All About Do Not Track (DNT) What is DNT? When you choose to turn on the DNT setting in your browser, your browser sends a special signal to the web sites, analytics companies, ad networks, plug in providers, and other web services you encounter while browsing. How Do Companies Use It? There is no consensus […]

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Western Governors assert State rights – 8 new Policy Resolutions regarding Resources, Waste and Revenues

Western Governors assert State rights – 8 new Policy Resolutions regarding Resources, Waste and Revenues

Western Governors approve resolutions on water, radioactive waste, mine reclamation, Secure Rural Schools Western Governors have announced eight new policy resolutions on a variety of issues that range from water to radioactive waste, bonding for mine reclamation to Secure Rural Schools. The new resolutions approved by the Governors were announced by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, […]

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Survey of Household Participation in Government Benefit Programs (2008 – 2011), SNAP and Medicaid rise sharply

Survey of Household Participation in Government Benefit Programs (2008 – 2011), SNAP and Medicaid rise sharply

United States Census Bureau MEASURING AMERICA More American Households Rely on Government Benefit Programs This infographic uses statistics from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to show differing levels of government benefit program participation in American households during and after the recession. As illustrated below, participation in government benefit programs grew during the […]

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DOT and FAA asked to recognize Airline Passengers Bill of Rights

DOT and FAA asked to recognize Airline Passengers Bill of Rights

Airline Passengers Group To Feds: “We Have Rights !!!” The nation’s largest consumer organization representing airline passengers, FlyersRights.org, will demand that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognize an “Airline Passengers Bill of Rights” at two events this week: A hearing of the DOT’S Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection on […]

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Economists’ Predictions for 2014

Economists’ Predictions for 2014

AP survey: US income gap is holding back economy The growing gap between the richest Americans and everyone else isn’t bad just for individuals. It’s hurting the U.S. economy. So says a majority of more than three dozen economists surveyed last week by The Associated Press. Their concerns tap into a debate that’s intensified as […]

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Hand soap anti-bacterial claims must be proven, reformulated, relabeled or removed from the market – FDA revisiting safety

Hand soap anti-bacterial claims must be proven, reformulated, relabeled or removed from the market – FDA revisiting safety

Prove it, FDA tells makers of anti-bacterial soap After more than 40 years of study, the U.S. government says it has found no evidence that common anti-bacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs, and regulators want the makers of Dawn, Dial and other household staples to prove that their products do not pose health risks […]

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America’s Health Rankings – Healthiest and Unhealthiest States

America’s Health Rankings – Healthiest and Unhealthiest States

America’s Most (and Least) Healthy States The United States is far from being the healthiest country in the world. The country struggles with obesity and heart disease, and life expectancy is worse than in countries such as Slovenia and Chile. However, according to one study, the country’s state of health may be turning around. In this […]

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Continued Scrutiny of Financial Services Companies in 2014

Continued Scrutiny of Financial Services Companies in 2014

Fraud And Corruption Trends To Watch In 2014 Fraud may be a moving target, but banks of all sizes are going to be under closer scrutiny than ever in the coming year for potentially fraudulent actions. That’s the warning from advisory firm EY, which has identified several key themes on the fraud and corruption front […]

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Car Dealers and TrueCar – FTC Antitrust Investigation

Car Dealers and TrueCar – FTC Antitrust Investigation

U.S. Asks If Car Dealers Ganged Up on Shopping Website TrueCar It used to be that people in the market for a new car could go to the car-shopping website TrueCar.com, which collects bids from auto dealerships, and get dealers to undercut one another on price. Dealers could see the rival prices, so prices tumbled […]

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A 2011 article about Privacy Laws – e-mail  privacy protections and the ECPA

A 2011 article about Privacy Laws – e-mail privacy protections and the ECPA

1986 Privacy Law Is Outrun by the Web Concerned by the wave of requests for customer data from law enforcement agencies, Google last year set up an online tool showing the frequency of these requests in various countries. In the first half of 2010, it counted more than 4,200 in the United States. Google is […]

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Christmas Charity Scams Taking Advantage Of The Season

Christmas Charity Scams Taking Advantage Of The Season

Asking questions can protect you from charity scams During the holiday season, Americans give to charities with open hearts and wallets. To those in need, every dollar counts and legitimate charities depend on the generosity of people like you. Unfortunately, the busy holiday season is the perfect time for fraudsters to catch you unaware. Although […]

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TCPA does not preempt Indiana law banning robocalls

TCPA does not preempt Indiana law banning robocalls

Indiana Robocall Ban Given New Life By Federal Court An Indiana state law banning a variety of automated telephone calls was given new life as a federal appeals court concluded that the law was not preempted by federal law. In a decision released late on Thursday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago […]

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Overview of the Compounding Quality Act and the Drug Supply Chain Security Act

Overview of the Compounding Quality Act and the Drug Supply Chain Security Act

United States: Drug Quality And Security Act: What You Need To Know In recent years, Congress and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have worked on several legislative measures designed to address weaknesses in the U.S. drug supply. In response to the fungal meningitis outbreak linked to unsanitary conditions at a compounding pharmacy in the […]

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Customer Rage Survey

Customer Rage Survey

What’s behind customer rage? At ConsumerAffairs, we see it on a daily basis. Consumers post reviews complaining – often bitterly – about a product or service. Often the complaint revolves around customer service issues. The consumer is told something by a customer service rep that turns out not to be true. Or the consumer is […]

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Publicly Traded Tech Companies Could Have A Lawsuit In The Future

Publicly Traded Tech Companies Could Have A Lawsuit In The Future

Shareholder Suit Accuses IBM of Concealing an Anti-Snowden Backlash in China Here’s a new twist on the whole NSA spying controversy that continues to unfold: Shareholder lawsuits against companies that suffer sales declines in international markets as suspicion of American tech companies grows overseas. A Louisiana pension fund sued IBM in a federal court in […]

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Tablet vs. PC - Points You Should Consider Before Purchasing Either

Tablet vs. PC – Points You Should Consider Before Purchasing Either

Personal Computers: Defined by Possibilities There continues to be a great deal of mis-understanding within the discussion of the PC vs. the tablet. It is easy to say that no one wants a PC and everyone wants a tablet. The reality is that this is only partially true. But more importantly it does not tell […]

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Amazon's Camperforce Helps Keep Orders Flowing

Amazon’s Camperforce Helps Keep Orders Flowing

Campers help Amazon keep up with holiday rush Twinkling lights, ornament-strewn trees and bustling campgrounds. Those are signs of the Christmas season in this Kentucky town, where the Amazon.com distribution center recruits an armada of RV owners as seasonal workers to help fill holiday orders. They’re dubbed the “CamperForce” by the world’s largest online retailer. […]

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Eight Ways CEO's Are Commonly Overpaid

Eight Ways CEO’s Are Commonly Overpaid

Eight Outrageous CEO Perks 1. Personal security 2012 value: $1,531,675 CEO: Lawrence Ellison Company: Oracle Corporation Larry Ellison, Oracle’s high-profile founder and CEO was recently thrust into the spotlight during The America’s Cup races in the San Francisco Bay Area. Team USA came from behind to win eight straight races to beat the New Zealand team. […]

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Should the Federal Reserve be audited?  It sits atop the CFPB and Quantitative Easing is drawing Strong Criticism.

Should the Federal Reserve be audited? It sits atop the CFPB and Quantitative Easing is drawing Strong Criticism.

Call Your Congressman In Favor Of Rand Paul’s Fed Audit Since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked the nuclear option, it is now significantly easier to pass nominations out of the chamber. On the same day, Janet Yellen’s nomination to chair the Federal Reserve passed the Senate Banking Committee. The Fed has been engaged in […]

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Governments don’t like audits.

Governments don’t like audits.

Conservatives muzzle key players from testifying on Duffy audit View Related Video Here Conservatives in the upper chamber prevented one of two key players at the centre of a storm over Sen. Mike Duffy’s audit from testifying about what he knew, and were equally unwilling to let a top Tory senator testify as well. The […]

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Google collides with multiple European privacy laws about prior consent, privacy policies, hearings and data protection law fines.

Google collides with multiple European privacy laws about prior consent, privacy policies, hearings and data protection law fines.

Dutch regulator: ‘Google spins an invisible web of our personal data’ A Dutch regulator on Thursday said that Google’s privacy policy update in March 2012 that covers all the online services offered by the search giant is in breach of local laws. “Google spins an invisible web of our personal data, without our consent,” Jacob […]

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Shiny new apps need to be aggressively vetted before users can trust them!

Shiny new apps need to be aggressively vetted before users can trust them!

Here is the up / down on encryption and privacy service offerings Post Snowden. Techies vs. NSA: Encryption arms race escalates Encrypted email, secure instant messaging and other privacy services are booming in the wake of the National Security Agency’s recently revealed surveillance programs. But the flood of new computer security services is of variable […]

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Finally, some penny stock enforcement.  SEC increases Microcap investigations.

Finally, some penny stock enforcement. SEC increases Microcap investigations.

SEC ups efforts to combat manipulations of ‘microcap’ stocks The Securities and Exchange Commission is redoubling its effort to combat the manipulation of “microcap” stocks, opening about half a dozen investigations each month into schemes suspected of bilking mom-and-pop investors, agency officials said. As the SEC describes it, the term microcaps typically refers to the […]

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realincome1_large

America Median Income, Life Expectancy, Elder Labor force Participation statistics

Everything Is Amazing and Nobody Is Happy Comedian Louis C.K. does a great skit showing how oblivious we can be when complaining about our lives. We get frustrated when our cell phone reception goes out for 30 seconds without realizing how amazing cell phone technology is. “Can you give it a second?” Louis asks. “It’s […]

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Canada Court finds Freedom of Expression supersedes Right to Privacy

Canada Court finds Freedom of Expression supersedes Right to Privacy

Canada Supreme Court Declares Alberta Privacy Law Unconstitutional On November 15, 2013, the Supreme Court held Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”)  to be unconstitutional, holding that an individual’s right to freedom of expression in the labor strike context outweighs the individual’s right to control his or her information in public. The ruling is suspended […]

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Merchant Category Codes (MCC Codes) Who, What, When, Where, Why

Merchant Category Codes (MCC Codes) Who, What, When, Where, Why

Visa Commercial Solutions Merchant Category Codes for IRS Form 1099-MISC Reporting Check this document to confirm that your business is receiving Visa credit card rewards points back for the appropriate categories of spending. The document contains frequently asked questions and a list of all Merchant Category Codes. View PDF Document Here Author’s Site

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The Health Plan Marketplace in Ohio – how did the ACA boil down for Ohio for 2014? (Video)

The Health Plan Marketplace in Ohio – how did the ACA boil down for Ohio for 2014? (Video)

Now that you have had a little time to warm up to this new health insurance marketplace, it’s about time we find out what plans you should give the time of day. With every major health insurance company in Ohio rolling out a completely new lineup of plans to meet the mandates and regulations under […]

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Companies That Disregard Their Own Privacy Policies

Companies That Disregard Their Own Privacy Policies

Examples of FTC Cases: Companies that Violated Their Own Privacy Policy Here are some examples of cases in which the FTC has taken action against businesses that violated their own privacy policy (in addition to other violations in some instances):News Release: 06/24/2010 – Twitter Settles Charges that it Failed to Protect Consumers’ Personal Information; Company Will […]