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BUSINESS
September 5, 2010 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
Jeff Gelles' column, "Consumer 10.0," does not appear this week.
NEWS
May 23, 2000 | By Dave Barry
What lies ahead for the U.S. economy? To answer this question, we need to understand how the U.S. economy works. We'll start by following an imaginary dollar bill as it circulates through our economic system: Our dollar is "born" in the U.S. Mint. It then travels, with millions just like it, on a conveyor belt to the Treasury secretary, who sits at his desk 24 hours a day with a pen and a huge bottle of amphetamines. After he signs the dollar, he places it into circulation by tossing it out the window behind him. At this point, we lose track of it. All we know is that it eventually winds up in the possession of Bill Gates.
REAL_ESTATE
November 28, 1999 | By Alan J. Heavens, INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Pennsylvania's new real estate agency law, Act 112, took effect Thanksgiving Day, a year after it was signed into law by Gov. Ridge. The law amends the state's real estate licensing act to require, among other things, that real estate agents provide consumers with a disclosure statement that defines agency - the business relationship between the consumer and the agent. The law also lists the duties of each kind of agency, and details the kinds of things that are negotiable, such as contract duration and fees.
NEWS
March 31, 1992 | By ELLEN GOODMAN
I arrive at the supermarket for my weekly round of speed shopping. It is late afternoon, and I am dressed for success in this sporting event. I wear low heels and carry a list, a checkbook and an attitude. But today I will fall way off my best time. The fast track, Aisle 6, that runs down the length of cereal options from pure bran to sugar-coated alphabet letters has become an obstacle course. A vanload of elderly women, who bear the unmistakable accents of their Russian homeland, have come to market and are now at a full stop in front of me. One cluster is studying each box, another is holding a seminar on comparative cereals.
NEWS
October 28, 2001 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
About 18 years ago, Mike Albert was selling real estate when the father of his firm's owner died. "He needed a rush appraisal of a property, and asked me to do it," Albert recalled. "I had no idea what I was doing, but I really enjoyed it. " After almost two decades, Albert, of M.H. Albert in New Hope, has no regrets about his shift from selling real estate to appraising it. As an independent appraiser, Albert has the job of coming up with an estimated market value of a property based on a physical inspection of the exterior and interior and on sales data from a variety of sources.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2000 | By Susan Warner, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Less than two years ago, the vital signs for Internet health-care information sites were strong. Entrepreneurs and their backers launched an estimated 15,000 health Web sites in a rush to win a chunk of the nation's $200 billion health-care bill. Jim Clark, the founder of Netscape Communications Corp. and Silicon Graphics Inc., set out for a trifecta with Healtheon, an Internet medical company. Even former surgeon general C. Everett Koop, at age 82, went dot-com. But since those days, consumer health-care sites have taken a turn for the worse, with swooning stock market values and widespread consolidation.
NEWS
June 26, 1986 | By Walter F. Roche Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
In a move hailed by consumer groups and condemned by electric utilities, the state House overwhelmingly approved a measure yesterday setting new controls over what utilities can charge their customers. The bill, which also extends the life of the state Public Utility Commission, was approved on a 173-26 roll-call vote without a word of opposition. The vote came only a few hours after the compromise measure was approved by a six-member House-Senate conference committee.
BUSINESS
September 4, 2011 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
Jeff Gelles' column, "Consumer 11.0," does not appear this issue.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
July 24, 2016 | By Kevin Brasler, DELAWARE VALLEY CONSUMERS' CHECKBOOK
Credit cards are more than just a convenient way to pay for stuff. When you use one, you automatically get very strong protection against most lousy-service scenarios and companies that sell faulty goods. The genesis of these protections is the federal Fair Credit Billing Act, a law that protects you from fraud by requiring credit-card companies - not consumers - to deal with fraudulent charges. The law also provides important protections against billing errors. What many consumers don't know is that the law also requires your credit-card company to give you the chance to dispute charges and withhold payment for goods and services that you didn't accept or weren't delivered as promised.
BUSINESS
June 14, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, Staff Writer
The prospect of being able to buy wine in supermarkets captured much of the public attention last week when Gov. Wolf signed Pennsylvania's most significant liquor reform bill since Prohibition. But for the state's most devoted wine lovers, a much bigger deal is the adoption of direct-to-consumer shipping from winemakers nationwide - putting Pennsylvania in line with 43 other states that give residents access to wine clubs from obscure West Coast wineries. Jeremy Benson, executive director of Free the Grapes!
BUSINESS
May 28, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
This week's capacity auction for the regional power grid contained some good news for consumers: Prices are down. But the results will increase pressure on generators struggling to compete in a new energy world dominated by abundant natural gas. Payments from consumers to suppliers that can guarantee capacity in the year starting June 2019 will fall by $4.1 billion to $6.9 billion, said PJM Interconnection L.L.C., the Valley Forge grid operator that...
NEWS
May 22, 2016 | By Rita Giordano, STAFF WRITER
Somewhere this weekend, the lovelorn, the lonely, the lustful will stand alone before an open freezer with a single spoon, ready to plunge into the consolation only an entire container of something creamy with fudge ribbons and caramel swirls can bring. Ignoring the calories, the fat grams, the added sugars on the label is easy. Who can read that tiny type at such a time? Over-consumers are about to have a tougher time looking the other way. First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Friday the long-awaited overhaul of the familiar Nutrition Facts labels.
NEWS
May 13, 2016
A federal indictment Tuesday charged Democratic State Sen. Larry Farnese of Philadelphia with providing a phony scholarship taken from campaign funds for the daughter of a party foot soldier. The allegations earn him membership in a growing club of indicted Philadelphia legislators and a particularly impressive series of indicted state senators from the city's First District: Farnese makes three in a row. Unlike his indicted (and convicted) predecessors Vincent Fumo and Henry "Buddy" Cianfrani, Farnese never rose to become more than a backbencher in Harrisburg.
BUSINESS
May 10, 2016 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Staff Writer
Tucked into our cellphone bills, credit-card statements, checking accounts, car leases, and private student loans is language most of us never read. If we have a problem with the company, it says, we can't sue. Instead, we have agreed to something called arbitration. That may be about to change. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unveiled last week a proposal that could allow U.S. consumers to sue rather than be subject to mandatory arbitration. The agency is seeking comments from the public until June 12. The outcome could be a win for the consumer, advocates say. "We applaud the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for proposing a strong rule to prevent lawbreaking financial institutions from using 'fine print' arbitration clauses to ban class actions," said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice and Democracy.
NEWS
April 28, 2016 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, STAFF WRITER
Safety advocates are pressing federal regulators to make Ikea stop selling a popular line of bedroom dressers, after a Minnesota toddler became the third child in two years to die when his dresser toppled onto him. In a letter sent Tuesday to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a coalition representing four groups said buyers of the Malm line should be allowed to return them for a full refund. It also scolded the safety commission and the retailer over Ikea's decision to keep selling the dressers, despite knowing they fail to meet industry-accepted stability standards.
REAL_ESTATE
April 25, 2016 | By Alan J. Heavens, REAL ESTATE WRITER
There just aren't enough single-family homes under construction in the suburbs to satisfy consumer demand. That's the complaint of buyers who don't want to move to the city but prefer to live in suburbs close to urban areas, or so a recent National Association of Realtors survey says. The Realtors group's survey showed an overwhelming consumer preference for single-family suburban homes, with only 15 percent of homeowners and 21 percent of renters saying they would buy in an urban area.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2016 | By Linda Loyd, Staff Writer
If you're a business traveler flying to St. Louis then on to Chicago to see a client, with a stop in Cincinnati on the way home, that multi-city itinerary may now cost you a lot more. The nation's largest airlines - American, Delta, and United - on April 1 changed the way they price multiple-city trips. Until very recently, reservations computers would find the lowest non-refundable fare for each one-way flight in an itinerary and tally them for one cost of the trip. Starting this month, however, the big three airlines changed their "combinability" fare rules so that customers cannot string together what airlines call "discounted local fares.
NEWS
April 1, 2016 | By Julia Terruso, Staff Writer
Mayor Kenney has contended that thirsty Philadelphians won't bear the full brunt of his sugary-drinks tax if it's passed. Rather, it would be partly absorbed by distributors and retailers, he says. But, at the same time, it seems the mayor's revenue projections assume the opposite: that the entire 3-cents-an-ounce tax gets passed on to consumers. "It's not contradictory," city spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said Wednesday. "The administration has said we think it's unlikely the entire tax will be passed on to customers based on what we've seen in Berkeley.
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