March 28, 2014
Thousands of homeowners shocked by wild spikes in their electric bills during the unforgiving winter were victims of a high-tech bait and switch, though a perfectly legal one. That's why Harrisburg officials need to be better consumer advocates. Household budgets hang in the balance, as well as confidence in the state's experiment with electricity competition. New safeguards are needed to protect against sharp increases under variable-rate electricity plans. Following a winter in which demand pushed energy prices to new highs, it's clear that state officials should have set upper limits on such rates - and must do so now. Imposing caps may lead to slightly higher prices per kilowatt, but it will shield consumers from budget-busting hikes down the road.
November 26, 2010
THERE'S A turkey joke looming for the Thanksgiving DVD release of "The Expendables," but I'll leave it alone, because many people mysteriously liked this movie. Sylvester Stallone's sloppily made "Magnificent Seven" earned $100 million thanks to its reputed screen union of action stars Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, and on and on. Most of these turned out to be bait-and-switch cameos, and those stars who did contribute something were stranded in a nonsensical story about mercenaries overthrowing the oppressive regime of a Central American government.
May 21, 1986 |
One of the questions most often asked of this butcher is: "Can I save any money on a side of beef?" My answer has always been a very highly qualified - maybe! If you have a big backyard and can raise your own steer, or if you have an uncle who owns a cattle ranch and packing house, you certainly should be able to save a little. If there is a good old-fashioned butcher shop or locker plant in your neighborhood that has been there since your grandmother was married, the chances are good that you can at least get a fair deal on a side of beef.
November 16, 1994 |
The advertised sale price of the television set made it a real bargain, but when the South Jersey woman got to the American Appliance store in Runnemede, the salesman had some disappointing news: Not only was the set not in stock; it wasn't at any of the other stores in the chain, either. He offered her another set, but there was a catch: It cost $100 more. The woman, Carol Ferrante, didn't know it back in 1991, but she had just become another victim of the old "bait and switch," authorities say. State officials related that story and at least a half-dozen others like it in a 27-page complaint lodged yesterday against American Appliances Inc., a major appliance dealer based in Pennsauken.
April 27, 2001 |
Although American Appliance's financial problems surfaced publicly only this week, the company had been cited several times for alleged deceptive advertising by state consumer offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware in recent years. American Appliance and owner William C. Rowland Jr., have entered into voluntary court agreements with state attorneys general in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 1990. In the agreements, the company agreed to pay thousands of dollars in fines, restitution and penalties to settle allegations of "bait and switch" sales tactics and other misleading advertising charges.
August 1, 2010 |
Question: About a month ago, I took advantage of a Travelocity e-mail fare alert for a flight from Minneapolis to Costa Rica. The deal seemed too good to be true: $230 round-trip on US Airways. I booked the flight for my September honeymoon and then went to a website and bid on our accommodations, which I also booked. A few days ago, US Airways notified me that it had dropped a connecting flight to Costa Rica, and that our only option was a full refund. I checked the ticket prices to Costa Rica and found that they had tripled.
August 20, 2012 |
Question: My wife insists that we split our housework 50-50 and thinks it's sexist of me to resist that. I feel that since I do way more than 50 percent of a lot of other things - I work longer hours, make more money, spend less money, spend way more time with her family than she spends with mine, etc. - it's unfair for housework to be the one thing that gets split 50-50. Do you think housework has to be split evenly? What about things like earning money and doing work outside the home?
November 25, 1994
One of the most popular clauses in the "Contract with America," which helped the Republicans take over the House for the first time in 40 years, was the promise of a congressional vote early next year on term limits. But brace yourselves, angry voters. Warning signs are cropping up that the GOP might play "bait and switch" on that clause. One was Newt Gingrich, the next Speaker of the House, saying he wants any term limit to have a "grandfather" clause so that it wouldn't apply to him - or anybody else who's already in Congress.
March 21, 1990 |
A federal grand jury yesterday indicted two businessmen in connection with sales of fraudulent tax shelters connected with energy-saving devices in schemes that grossed more than $24 million from unwary investors. Michael F. Logar, 45, formerly of Wayne, who once sought to be cheesesteak king of Philadelphia, and Jerome A. Cadden, 38, an attorney and accountant from Tampa, Fla., were accused of conspiring to defraud the IRS by promoting a fraudulent tax shelter in 1984 and 1985.
May 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The days of fixed-rate student loans could be coming to a close, with House Republicans on Thursday advancing a proposal that would link rates to financial markets. The GOP-led House Education and the Workforce Committee sent to the full House a bill that would offer some students a better deal at first. Democratic critics warned that graduates would face steadily climbing rates and costs over the long haul if the markets change. "Our families deserve better than this bait and switch," said Rep. George Miller of California, the senior Democrat on the committee, who led the opposition.