Consumer World

Week of July 8, 2019 (see last week)

Top Stories

Secret Scores: How Web Sellers Charge You More Based on Your Data

cash register What you pay online, the quality of the customer service you get, and what your return privileges are may vary depending on who you are and the data a website has about you. Interestingly, in one experiment, when the study's authors checked prices online, they were sometimes offered lower prices when they visited websites anonymously. They are asking the FTC to crackdown on sites that use secret scores to profile visitors.

She Got Ripped Off $1.99 at a Time

credit card Small fraudulent charges often go undetected by credit card holders and that is becoming a new way to ripoff consumers a couple of dollars at a time. And even if you spot the fraud, cancel your credit card, and get a new one, the fraudulent charges can continue because of a "benefit" that the big credit card issuers automatically employ.


You Can Now Pay Medicare Premiums Online with a Credit or Debit Card!

Medicare is finally coming out of the stone age, and is now allowing you to pay your premiums with a credit card ONLINE. Previously, you had to mail your invoice in with your credit card number. MrConsumer is thrilled to save that postage stamp every month. To find the payment page, go to, then My Account, then Online Premium Payment. This method works for folks who do not have their premiums deducted from their monthly check, and get a paper bill instead.


The Tricks Sellers Use to Post Fake Reviews on Amazon

Amazon The UK consumer organization Which? just published the results of an investigation into the posting of fake reviews on Amazon. They found clever techniques that sellers gaming the system used to give their wares five star reviews, even when the review is listed as being from a "verified purchaser."

Consumer World Original

Mouse Print* -- This Free Pet Food Rebate Turns the Tables on Retailers

mouse print Manufacturers sometimes make complying with the terms of a mail-in rebate difficult for consumers. One pet food company, however, decided to turn its latest rebate on its head by making the retailer do all the paperwork -- a pleasant surprise for any shopper who reads the fine print on the form. That is our Mouse Print* story this week.

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Bargain of the Week

Free 6-oz. Cup of Yogurt

Print this coupon to get a free cup of Green Valley lactose-free yogurt. You will need to install their coupon printer on your computer. Use their store finder to see which supermarkets carry this product. (Hint: Many Whole Foods do.)

Macy's Black Friday in July Sale

Starting July 8, Macy's is holding their big Black Friday in July sale, which includes a number of items that are free after mail-in rebate (in-store purchases only). These include wallets, junior shorts, a fry pan set, ruby stud earrings, Eau De Parfum, and even watches! See their circular cover [Macy's inexplicably took down their full circular]. They also have a variety of small appliances that are $9.99 after rebates.

See also: Hot Deals

Consumer Reports

Want to Cut Your Cell Bill? Think Small!

If you want to save money on your cell bill, Consumer Reports says you should consider a smaller company. These companies resell services from the big four carriers, but charge much less.

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