Kenneth Slusher bill

A lesson in cellphone cost reduction: the $2M phone bill

Ever opened an outrageous bill and thought it was time for some cellphone cost reduction? You aren’t alone. But once and awhile a truly extreme case comes along, and we’d like to introduce you to one of them. Meet Ken Slusher of Damascus, Ore. Until a few weeks ago, he owed Verizon Wireless over $2 million. Yes, take a moment to digest that. $2 million. His saga started late last year, when he and his girlfriend got new phones from the carrier. A short time later, he realized he was being overcharged on his bill – which sadly isn’t unusual

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Trucking Companies – Lost Income

“…hundreds of millions of dollars lost by truckers because loads are not optimized…” Trucking companies lose significant income in three main areas related to the management of load weights. These costs often go unnoticed simply because it‘s the method of operation that has become common practice. It’s just the way it is. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Shipping Underweight There are hundreds of millions of dollars lost by truckers because loads are not optimized in terms of maximum load weight. The risk of hauling overweight, and the significant costs associated with that, causes shipment after shipment to

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Down Syndrome Awareness – Paint Your Nails Blue

Those who often read the Schooley Mitchell Blog may recognize my name, Christine Wilson. I have been writing articles since June of 2013, and have learned a lot from the experience. Today, I would like to take a moment to discuss another experience of mine and all it has taught me. In September of last year, my friend Rebekah and I had the opportunity to begin volunteering with an amazing young woman named Steph. Steph has Down syndrome, and my friends and I spend two hours with her every Monday. We go to movies, bake, have dance parties, and basically

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FTC Seizing Assets of Phone Crammer

Telephone cramming may be illegal, but it sure is lucrative. Just ask Andrew Bachman, who lived a life of luxury off the proceeds of the sneaky scheme until being busted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In a settlement released earlier this month, the FTC is set to seize over $1.2 million in assets, including bank accounts, shares in start-up companies and a Ferrari and a Mercedes. Several high-end watches were also seized. It comes after Bachman and others were busted by the FTC for subscribing consumers to cellphone text message services without their consent. These subscriptions cost about $9.99

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Changes Coming to E-Rate Program

As an E-Rate specialist, I help clients make sense of what can be a confusing program. I recently shared this information about important changes to the E-Rate program with my clients, and am happy to share it here today as well. On July 11, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced steps to modernize the E-Rate program and expand access to digital learning technologies by providing support for Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries. The program increases focus on the largest and most urgent needs – closing the Wi-Fi gap – while transitioning support away from legacy technologies to 21st century

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FTC Launches Cramming Lawsuit Against T-Mobile

T-Mobile has had a few great months, experiencing substantial subscriber growth and favorable financial results. But the honeymoon appears to be over after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a hefty lawsuit accusing the company of ignoring customers’ complaints about bogus charges on their bills. According to the FTC, T-Mobile ignored cramming – where scammers fraudulently place unauthorized charges on a user’s monthly phone bill via their service provider – and subsequently gave the cold shoulder those who complained, waiving only a portion of the fee for some and continuing to bill others. Those charges were for “premium” SMS subscriptions

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FTC Sending Refunds in Credit Card Scheme

Nearly 5,000 consumers defrauded in a credit card telemarketing scheme should soon receive refund checks in the mail. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced recently that refunds were rolling following the July 2013 settlement with National Card Monitor, LLC. As part of the decision, Arizona-based National had its assets frozen, and was banned from telemarketing or otherwise selling credit card related products or services. The issue dates back to 2011, when the FTC says National began cold calling with the promise it could obtain low-rate credit cards for consumers, allowing them to transfer their current balances to save money on

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Should the U.S. Update Card Technology?

First it was Target, then Neiman Marcus. Word broke on Sunday that nationwide craft store chain Michaels suspects it too has been a victim of a data attack, leaving its customers’ credit and debit card information vulnerable. Though the security breach has not yet been confirmed, reports of fraudulent activity on customers’ cards have come to light, leading Michaels to issue a warning. “We are concerned there may have been a data security attack on Michaels that may have affected our customers’ payment card information and we are taking aggressive action to determine the nature and scope of the issue,”

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FTC files lawsuit against credit card processor

Sometimes consumers who are drowning in debt get desperate. Unable to make ends meet, they seek out quick-fix solutions to their financial woes. Enter the scam artists. While we are all too familiar with identity theft and online rip-offs, there’s a lesser-known hoax making the rounds: credit card debt relief scams. Most often, crooks will use a robocall service – automated phone calls completed using a computerized dialer – promising cash-strapped consumers relief from high credit card interest rates. Many will purport to have an inside connection that allows them to negotiate more favorable rates. It is understandable why people

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Apple files $53M lawsuit settlement

Schooley Mitchell has been keeping an eye on a massive class action lawsuit making its way through the U.S. District Court pertaining to water-damaged iOS devices. This week, Apple finally filed a preliminary class settlement agreement totalling $53 million – a sum that would give $200 refunds to disgruntled customers. The background on the lawsuit, filed in 2010, is this: Customers sent their iPod Touches and iPhones in for warranty repair only to be denied on the basis there was water damage to the units. How did Apple know this? A small indicator inside the handset changed color if exposed

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