Archive for February, 2009

Best customer service

BusinessWeek magazine names its “Customer Service Champs” in its March 2 issue.

Tops are, USAA, Jaguar, Lexus and The Ritz-Carlton. The top 25 list is the magazine’s third annual.

I’ve had generally great luck with purchases at, and USAA often tops the customer satisfaction lists for a variety of financial services, many of which are […]

Couponing grows

Coupon redemption in the fourth quarter of 2008 grew nearly 10 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2007, the first jump in redemption since the early 1990s, according to The weak economy was a major factor in stopping the steady decline that coupon redemption had seen in the years prior to 2006, the […]

Consumer Reports auto issue

CR is out with its annual auto issue, which is a good resource.

As always, it’s important to mention that the Spending Smart way to buy a vehicle is to buy a one- to three-year-old one to avoid the tremendous depreciation during a new car’s first year. Fortunately, CR names the most reliable used cars in […]

New online budgeting site is probably the most popular online budgeting tool. Others are,, and A new one is called Green Sherpa. These are generally less robust that such software applications as Quicken and Microsoft Money. But they can be useful.

Money saving tips

Uniroyal, the tire company, has teamed up with Kim Danger of to provide money-saving tips on its Web site. It offers videos and ebooks. Find those tips here.


Cable TV on PC?

Cable TV giant Comcast has said it will allow subscribers to watch some cable TV content on their computers for free. Is this something you would do?

 Research firm TDG contends it’s a bad move by Comcast. Its research shows that of the 29 percent of broadband Internet consumers would pay at least $10 per month […]

Some good news for consumers

Amid all the distressing financial news, let’s take good news where we can get it. Like:

American Express is paying $300 to some of its customers to go away.

USAirways is back to providing free non-alcoholic beverages on flights.

Shares of Citigroup stock, which trade at about $2, now cost less than a Citibank ATM fee.

Across the U.S., […]

Do you feel confident?

An economic indicator called “consumer confidence” plummeted in February to new all-time lows (with all-time being since the Consumer Confidence Index began in 1967).

Release of that news this morning just seems like a piling on. There’s been very little good economic news lately, either on a macro level or a household level.

How about you? What […]

Is it snowing at your house?

Got snow on your TV today? Or maybe just a blank screen?

This whole conversion to digital TV has been quite an episode. Yesterday, Feb. 17, was the date that all over-the-air TV signals – those you get with a simple antenna rather than cable or satellite – were supposed to switch to digital from analog. […]

Credit agency to deny access to consumers

There are three major credit reporting agencies that calculate your three individual credit scores – or, at least, only three that matter. Your credit score determines whether you can get a loan and how much interest you’ll pay. And today, credit scores can also determine how much you’ll pay in auto insurance premiums or whether […]