March 8 (Reuters) – If you’ve been hoarding hotel rewards
points for your next vacation, you could be in for a jolt when
you try to book your free room. Most of the major hotel chains
have either devalued their points already or will soon.
“This is the worst year I’ve seen for this,” says Brian
Kelly, of ThePointsGuy.com, a website that monitors loyalty
programs. “It has been a really bad year for hotel points.”
NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) – After a tough day at work as a
publicist in Minneapolis, Becca Bijoch would often indulge in a
little retail therapy. She usually headed out to the stores as
she did not care much for online shopping.
That changed last year when the 26-year-old joined
Pinterest, a photo-sharing website that allows users to “pin”
images to online bulletin boards based on their interests and to
follow others. Bijoch says she has found all sorts of things
that she bought after seeing them on Pinterest, from great
kitchen tools on CrateandBarrel.com to clothes at Asos.com.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Madison Mabin never received some shirts she had ordered online, she called and emailed the company’s customer service department multiple times, but to no avail.
Since the 22-year-old Rockford, Michigan, resident was not getting anywhere on her own, she posted a complaint on a new dispute-resolution website called Scambook. The difference was immediate.
NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) – J.P. Pagoadacruz was sitting in
a restaurant with friends one night when he realized he had
forgotten his wallet. What might have been an embarrassment
turned out to be no problem, though, because he had remembered
to bring his phone. In a matter of seconds, he transferred money
to a friend, using an app for a payment service called Venmo.
The 30-year-old office manager of a San Francisco hotel is
part of a growing number of people who use a person-to-person
payment system to transfer money directly from their bank
accounts to those of friends and other individuals using mobile
phones, computers and tablets.
By Mitch Lipka
(Reuters) – If HBO cuts out on you in the middle of the latest “Girls” episode, and you have Charter Communications Inc as your cable provider, don’t try tweeting your dismay to their customer service department. Nobody will hear your lament.
Charter, the fourth largest cable provider in the U.S. with 5.2 million customers across 25 states, closed up its social-media based customer service team in December. “Umatter2Charter,” as it was known, had been taking customer complaints over Twitter and Facebook and trying to resolve them, but the company says it is now done with working out customer service issues in social media forums.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – If you use a lot of postage stamps, now is a good time to stock up.
At the end of January, the cost of a stamp will rise another penny. If you buy a so-called Forever stamp for 45 cents today, it will work just as well as the one you will pay 46 cents for starting on January 27. Consider buying enough to last a year or more and you’ll not only save a few dollars, but a few trips to the post office, too.
NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) – If you use a lot of postage
stamps, now is a good time to stock up.
At the end of January, the cost of a stamp will rise another
penny. If you buy a so-called Forever stamp for 45 cents today,
it will work just as well as the one you will pay 46 cents for
starting on Jan. 27. Consider buying enough to last a year or
more and you’ll not only save a few dollars, but a few trips to
the post office, too.
By Mitch Lipka
(Reuters) – Carol Stuber was going through her mail and stumbled on a bill that made no sense – $3,300 for goods purchased from Apple using an instant-approved financing plan. “I said, ‘What the heck is this?” she recalls.
Stuber, 70, a longtime tax preparer of Westbury, New York, had not applied for any credit plan or received any merchandise from the company.