As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Consumer

Are You Ready For Higher Cell Phone Bills?

by Luke Landes
Tablet

As more consumers in the United States are jumping on the smartphone and tablet bandwagon — personally, I contribute to this mess with one of the latest phones with Android software as well as a first-generation iPad — there’s less room in the limited airwaves for customers’ needs to access the internet and occasionally make […]

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Do Retailers Know Too Much About Shoppers?

by Luke Landes
Target

It’s no surprise that retailers track your purchases. It’s obvious at the grocery store, particularly if you sign up for the supermarket’s loyalty discount program. If you provide your address, you’ll receive coupons and ads tailored specifically to your buying habits. My local supermarket allows customers to sign up anonymously; the coupons are offered right […]

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Amazon.com Retail Stores: Another Threat to Small Businesses?

by Luke Landes
Books

I was torn when Amazon.com, the online-only retailer for books, music, and movies, became popular. I liked the convenience, but it was clear that local brick-and-mortar bookstores would have difficulty competing with Amazon’s prices in the long term. I was swayed enough to the side against Amazon when I participated in a boycott of the […]

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Top Ten Personal Finance Start-Ups

by Luke Landes

The financial industry has been mostly static for centuries, with companies doing business and offering services not much different from how the companies operated for earlier generations of consumers. When there is innovation in the industry, it generally comes from smaller companies and entrepreneurs looking to fill a need that isn’t covered by larger, less […]

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Wants Payday Loan Feedback

by Luke Landes
Check

While the mainstream financial industry has faced a dizzying array of government and quasi-government regulations through most of the last one hundred years, non-bank financial products have, for the most part, evaded regulations. Catering to lower-income communities, payday loan storefronts and check cashing establishments have managed to justify their business models. The more desperate you […]

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The Power of Customer Outrage

by Luke Landes

In what almost seemed like a staged publicity stunt, Verizon Wireless quickly rescinded their plans for a new $2 fee for most bill payment options. An employee leaked an internal memo describing the new fee, and within twenty-four hours, the wireless company both confirmed and then rescinded the fee, citing their policy of listening to […]

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Verizon Wireless Plans Then Rescinds $2 Fee for Paying Your Bill

by Luke Landes
Verizon Wireless

Update: Less than a day after a Verizon Wireless employee leaked a memo with this information, the company has announced that it will not be moving forward with the implementation of this $2 fee. The sad fact is we now live in a world where many companies have left their customers behind in the search […]

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The 3/50 Project: Help Your Local Economy

by Emily Guy Birken
Bakery

This is a guest article by Emily Guy Birken, author of The SAHMambulust. In this article, Emily explains and reviews the 3/50 Project, a movement designed to boost local economies. The presents have been given out, the wrapping paper has been cleaned up, and Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday from American Express […]

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Paying Off Layaway Accounts at Kmart

by Luke Landes
Kmart

When I first read the news about alleged Good Samaritans and Secret Santas paying off Kmart customers’ layaway accounts, the cynical side of my mind took over. What a great marketing maneuver for K-Mart. With mystery lay-off angels, they are saying, “Buy your gifts on layaway here, an action that could very well be profitable […]

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Free Shipping Day

by Luke Landes
Package Delivery

Today is Free Shipping Day, and thousands of online merchants are participating in this movement, offering free or reduced price shipping so customers have an opportunity to receive last-minute orders in time for the holidays. Free Shipping Day was founded by an entrepreneur-couple in December 2007 as a location for finding shipping discounts offered by […]

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