Archive for the ‘consumer advocacy’ Category

Consumer Team Welcomes Timeshare Exit Team

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TEXAS — Consumer Team News)   Consumer Team host Pete Thomson today announced that Timeshare Exit Team is joining The Consumer Team as a sponsor.   Timeshare Exit Team is a company that helps consumers get out of timeshares.  Commenting on the on-air partnership, Thomson commented, “We have been aware of Timeshare Exit Team for some time.   I’m very impressed with their track record of helping consumers successfully get out of timeshare deals.  We are excited to have them on The Consumer Team.”   In addition to their presence on Consumer Team in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Thomson’s endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team  will also air in TSN news programming throughout Texas on The Texas State Networks.    Thomson added, “We applaud Timeshare Exit Team for their commitment to educating consumers throughout the Lone Star State.  As a result of this campaign partnership, thousands of consumers in Texas will get relief from timeshare deals that are no longer the right fit for their lifestyle.”

Timeshare Exit Team - Endorsed by The Consumer Team

Timeshare Exit Team – Endorsed by The Consumer Team

According to Thomson, the burden of some timeshare agreements is a significant consumer issue.   He said, “Based on our research we know that consumers can feel trapped in timeshares.   Oftentimes they don’t even use the timeshare.  Also, the maintenance fees can become a big issue.   With further research we found that Timeshare Exit Team is ‘best practices’ for helping consumers get out of a timeshare safely and permanently. ”

Pete Thomson - The Consumer Team

Pete Thomson – The Consumer Team

Thomson said leadership from Timeshare Exit Team will be joining The Consumer Team as regular contributors.   Thomson added, “Our interviews with Timeshare Exit Team leadership will be very educational and will help consumers understand what the options are regarding timeshare agreements.”   Thomson commended Timeshare Exit Team for their transparency and customer focus.  He said, “I love the fact that consumers can get a free consultation from Timeshare Exit Team.   Without spending a dime, you can find out what your options are.  This is an outstanding service.”

The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is one of the most listened to consumer advocacy programs in the country.    The Consumer Team is broadcast Saturdays, 6-8 PM on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

DFW Go Local: Nick Nemeth Best Attorney for Solving IRS Problems

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX – Consumer Team News)   The Consumer Team’s DFW Go Local campaign will officially kick-off in January 2017, but host Pete Thomson has started outlining how the initiative will work.   He said, “Our goal with Go Local DFW! is to promote the best-of-the-best local businesses in Dallas and Ft. Worth.   Good things happen when consumers spend them money in their hometown.”

Nick Nemeth - DFW Tax Attorney

Nick Nemeth – DFW Tax Attorney

This Saturday (9-17-16) Thomson will interview DFW attorney Nick Nemeth on The Consumer Team. Nemeth helps consumers who have issues with the IRS.   Thomson says Nemeth exemplifies his vision for Go Local DFW.  He said, “Nick Nemeth is a great example of why we need to make the choice to support local DFW business owners.   When it comes to dealing with the IRS, Nick can do so much more than an out-of-town law firm.  First, his office is within walking distance from the IRS and he’s right here in DFW where his clients can meet him face-to-face.”

Nick Nemeth offers a complimentary initial consultation which is an outstanding value for consumers. Thomson added, “The fact that Nick Nemeth offers a free initial consultation is indicative of a man who really wants to help the consumer.   Without spending a dime, you can truly find out what your options are for getting a resolution of your IRS tax issue.”

The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is broadcast Saturdays from 6-8 PM on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas.

 

 

Consumer Team: Nick Nemeth is “Best Practices” for Helping Consumers

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TEXAS – Consumer Team News)   The Consumer Team’s Pete Thomson regularly promotes ‘shopping local’ on his consumer advocacy radio program.   When it comes to getting help dealing with an IRS tax issue, Thomson says picking a local attorney is critical.   “We believe shopping local is very important to achieving success as a consumer.  When it comes to dealing with an IRS tax issue, hiring a local attorney is very important.   Nick Nemeth is our choice on The Consumer Team.”

Nick Nemeth - DFW Tax Attorney

Nick Nemeth – DFW Tax Attorney

Nick Nemeth is a regular contributor to The Consumer Team talk radio program which is broadcast Saturdays, 6-8 PM on CBS Radio’s KRLD.   Thomson commented on Nemeth’s contributions to The Consumer Team.  He commented,  “Besides being local, Nick Nemeth is what we consider best practices when it comes helping consumers in North Texas get IRS problems resolved.   He’s smart, honest and very consumer friendly.”

The consumer waters are filled with sharks, according to Thomson, when it comes to tax resolution services.   “Just listen to talk radio or surf the web,” Thomson added, “and you’ll find a number of national companies that aggressively market their services.   They make big promises but, in the end, deliver little to the consumer.   With some of the national companies, the consumer doesn’t even talk to an attorney.   It’s a bad deal for consumers.”

Thomson encourages anyone dealing with an IRS tax issue to call Nick Nemeth.  He added, “We love the fact that Nick offers a free initial consultation.   During that time, a consumer can get good counsel from an attorney who is well respected in Dallas-Ft. Worth.”    To reach Nick Nemeth, call 972-484-0829.

The Consumer Team is DFW’s longest running and highest rated consumer advocacy radio program. The program is focused solely on Dallas-Ft. Worth and promotes locally owned and operated business sponsors.   The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, Texas.

 

Consumer Team Welcomes Tax Attorney Nick Nemeth

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TEXAS – Consumer Team News)   Consumer Team host Pete Thomson today announced that Dallas-Ft. Worth tax attorney Nick Nemeth will be appearing as a regular contributor on The Consumer Team.  Nemeth, who helps consumers resolve IRS tax issues, will join Thomson for a series of educational broadcasts.   Regarding the addition of Nemeth to The Consumer Team, Thomson said “We’re very excited to welcome Nick Nemeth to The Consumer Team.  He represents best practices in the category of tax resolution.”

Nick Nemeth - DFW Tax Attorney

Nick Nemeth – DFW Tax Attorney

The Consumer Team broadcasts with Nick Nemeth will address common consumer mistakes made in tax resolution, according to Thomson.   He added, “The first and often biggest mistake consumers make is calling one of the national advertisers that make big promises in their radio advertising.  Oftentimes consumers pay big retainers and don’t even speak with an attorney.  Nick Nemeth is a local, DFW tax lawyer who has a very good reputation for helping consumers resolve IRS tax issues.  We recommend Nick for any consumers needing to deal with an IRS issue.”

The addition of Nemeth to The Consumer Team is consistent with the program’s commitment to the Dallas-Ft. Worth Market.  According to Thomson, large consumer services that cover multiple markets can’t offer focus or quality.  He added, “The big consumer sites that cover multiple markets are the new yellow pages.  If a business owner can fog a mirror and has a valid credit card, they’ll be recommended.  In our view, that’s not a reliable method for the consumer.  On The Consumer Team I’ve chosen to take a different approach.   We want to be very effective for North Texas.   The only way to truly accomplish that is to stay local.  I know all of our sponsors personally.  Some of these folks, I’ve known for over a deade.  There’s no way I could achieve that kind of focus in more than one market.”

The Consumer Team airs Saturdays from 6-8 PM (Central) on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas-Ft. Worth.  The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, Texas.

 

Consumer Team: Ventana is Changing Retirement in Dallas

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX – Consumer Team News)   The corner of Northwest Highway and Central/Hwy 75 is about to change in a big way. Ventana, a luxury high rise retirement community, is being built at this location by Buckner Retirement Services.   The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is airing a series of educational segments on retirement in DFW and the new Ventana.

Ventana - Coming to Northwest Highway & Central in Dallas

Ventana – Coming to Northwest Highway & Central in Dallas

Pete Thomson, host of The Consumer Team, says  he considers Ventana to be the future of retirement living. Thomson said, “People are very impressed with the the luxury of Ventana.  It will be a stunning community with beautiful views of the Dallas skyline.   There are some other major benefits.  First, Buckner Retirement Services is building Ventana.  Buckner is one of the most trusted names in North Texas.   Beyond that, Ventana will be a continuing care retirement community which means that residents will have access to many healthcare and medical services on-campus at Ventana, and at rates that are very predictable.   Over the span of a person’s retirement, we believe that Ventana’s pricing model delivers much more for the dollar and gives consumers more control over their budgets during retirement.”

The Consumer Team will feature different aspects of Ventana during on-air interviews on 1080 KRLD Radio.   Thomson said, “Our interviews on retirement and Ventana will be very educational.  We’ll be talking to the leadership of Ventana and Buckner Retirement Services.   We’ll also feature several people who will be among the first to move to Ventana when it’s complete.”

The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is broadcast Saturdays from 6-8 PM on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, Texas.

Consumer Team Hits Milestone on KRLD

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TEXAS – Consumer Team News)   The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson has hit a milestone; starting its 5th year of broadcasting on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.  The program is heard Saturdays from 6-8 PM.

Pete Thomson - The Consumer Team

Pete Thomson – The Consumer Team

Consumer Team host Pete Thomson said that starting year #5 is a significant milestone for the consumer advocacy radio program.   Thomson said, “I’m really proud of the job that our team has done. We’ve stayed true to our vision which has been to be a resource for consumers in Dallas and Ft. Worth.” Thomson regularly talks about the two missions of The Consumer Team.  He commented, “Each week we’re focused on accomplishing 2 things:  First, we want to keep our listeners current on important consumer news and information.  In addition, we want to connect our listeners to businesses from North Texas that they can count on.”

KRLD is the top rated news-talk station in the DFW market.   Thomson said he believes being on KRLD has been a significant contributing factor to the program’s success and longevity.   He added, “KRLD is an amazing station.  It has tremendous reach into the DFW market.  The partnership with CBS and KRLD has been a very good experience.  They’ve been very supportive of The Consumer Team.   They really appreciate what the program is bringing to the airwaves.”  The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

 

 

Fake Sales: When a Sale Isn’t a Sale

American Consumers love a sale, and retailers know it.  Shoppers love to think that they’re getting a great deal on a product…and retailers are more than happy to tell them what they want to hear, even if it means stretching the truth to make a point.  Fake Sales….they’re everywhere.  Who’s doing it?   Well, it’s easier to identify the retailers that don’t do the take sales.

Fake Sales - The Consumer Team Investigates

Fake Sales – The Consumer Team Investigates

Big retailers love fake sales.   T.J. Maxx and Marshalls were the subject of a Class Action lawsuit charging that the retailer tricked customers into thinking that they were getting a super discounted value because the ‘compare at’ prices on merchandise were so much higher than the sale price.  Kohl’s and Jos. A. Bank have been taken to task for their sales practices.  Even Hobby Lobby, the squeaky clean retailer out of Oklahoma City, has been called out for fake sales.  In fact, in a settlement with the New York Attorney General, Hobby Lobby agreed to pay civil penalties.

To illustrate how much consumer love a sale, let’s consider the case of J.C. Penny.   Several years ago, J.C. Penny decided to abandon sales in favor of an everyday low price strategy.   From a transparency standpoint, everyday low pricing is a more credible way to price products.    However, the customers didn’t like honesty and Penny’s sales tanked.  J.C. Penny ultimately returned to ‘door buster sales’ and their business has improved.   Consumers love sales!

Some lawmakers and consumer advocacy groups believe more laws are needed to protect us from fake sales.   Just put the hammer down on the retailers and they’ll behave, right?   I think we need less government regulation and more consumers that are smart enough to recognize a bad deal.  Being smart starts with understanding the fact that sales are rarely sales….they’re retail promotions designed to drive revenue.  Once you get over the fact that sales aren’t real, then you can start getting good deals.   Then you can start voting with your feet.

The fastest way to identify the lowest price on a product is the online bots that compares prices. Websites such as Bizrate, DealTime, MySimon, Price Grabber and Shopping.com are ‘one stop’ sites for price comparison.  Based on the information you enter into the site, it will search the web for the best deals.

Consumer Team's Pete Thomson: "More than regulations, we need informed consumers to vote with their feet."

Consumer Team’s Pete Thomson on Fake Sales: “Instead of more regulations, we need informed consumers to vote with their feet.”

If you’re in a store, use a scanner app like Red Laser or Scan Life to scan bar codes and find lower prices. Many retailers are price matching if you can show proof of a cheaper price at a competitor.

Consumer Reports recommends using Groupon and Living Social for their discounts and daily deals. Personally, I prefer the bots over the daily deal sites which seem to always send me offers I will never need, such as half-price deals on a Brazilian Bikini Wax.   Some consumers are reporting that Google Daily Deals is a good resource.

Sales aren’t going anywhere.   After all, the American consumer loves and expects them.  But for discerning and educated consumers who understand the marketplace, information is power.  With all the resources available to accurately find the lowest price, sales aren’t needed to get a good deal.

I welcome your comments on this topic.  Email me at pete at myconsumerteam dot com. Below are links to several sources we consulted for this blog post.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/07/31/this-retail-trick-might-have-claimed-another-victi.aspx

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/06/don-t-be-taken-in-by-fake-sales/index.htm

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/retail-stores/buying-guide.htm

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/04/advertising-tactics-that-bug-americans-the-most/index.htm

Editor’s Note:  The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is broadcast Saturdays from 6-8 PM Central on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas, Texas.

The Consumer Team: Understanding The Organic Food Scam

Organic….Natural…..Locally Grown.   These words are common in the marketplace because consumers are demanding fresh and healthy.  Natural News estimates that 2014 profits from the sale of organic and natural food were over $35 billion.   Consumers want healthy and we’re willing to pay for it.  The prices of organic food products are often much more than food that doesn’t have the organic seal of approval.  In some cases the price is over 100% more than non-organic products.  The profits from organic food combined with a weak inspection system in the US has resulted in a consumer world where food that is advertised as organic is often far from it.  We’re paying a ton of money for organic food and, oftentimes, getting junk.

The Organic Food Scam - The Consumer Team Investigates

The Organic Food Scam – The Consumer Team Investigates

In 2015, Forbes published an investigation of the organic food industry.  “The Colossal Hoax of Organic Agriculture” is a well researched work that shines a light on a number of issues, including how misinformed the consumer is regarding organic food.  Consider pesticides.  Although it’s generally true that chemical pesticides are prohibited in organic products, there are exceptions including natural pesticides.  Natural pesticides can be toxic.  Another consumer misconception is regarding GMOs, genetically modified organisms.   Consumer perception is that organic means GMO free.  It doesn’t.  As long as organic food is produced using an authorized process (which is not closely inspected), the presence of GMOs in food is not a violation.

So how can this all happen?   Why aren’t testing standards protecting the consumer?  Just follow the money to understand the scam.  The sheer profits that organic food produces, including a super-high premium paid by consumers, has created an incentive for food producers to create a system that is lax and offers plenty of wiggle room.   According to the Forbes study, for the majority of organic products, no tests can determine the difference between organic and non-organic.   And when tests or inspections are present, they’re often incorrect or incomplete.  Forbes cites a 2014 Wall Street Journal investigation that found that almost half of USDA inspection agents failed to uphold USDA standards.   The organic food inspection system is totally loose.   And the organic food lobby is so big and well-funded that their lobbying effort has been successful in preventing any changes to the system.  Show me the money.

The poster child for bad behavior in organic foods is Whole Foods Market.  According to the Forbes investigation, the food retailer was found to be importing large amounts of produce from China. Yes, the same China where the air is not breath-able.  And the Whole Food’s scam gets even better.  They advertised their Chinese “glow-in-the-dark” produce as “California Blend”.

So, what can a consumer do?   First, unless you can personally identify and confirm how a product is produced, packaged and stored, don’t pay a premium for organic.  Beyond that, do research for yourself. Below are several resources we believe are viable:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2015/07/29/why-organic-agriculture-is-a-colossal-hoax/#2715e4857a0b2c835e9f38e4

http://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2011/09/05/we_must_end_the_organic_food_scam_now_106251.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/048024_organic_industry_factory_farms_food_fraud.html#

http://www.scambusters.org/foodscam.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/07/23/334073167/can-you-trust-that-organic-label-on-imported-food

Lastly, call or write your representatives in Congress.   Let them know that you’re informed regarding the organic food scam, including their complicity in maintaining the corrupt organic food system in the US.

Pete Thomson

CEO – The Consumer Team

Editor’s Note:  The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is heard Saturdays from 6-8 PM (Central) on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD, Dallas-Ft. Worth.  The Consumer Team features news and information on consumer issues.  Additionally, the program recommends ‘best in class’ business sponsors in the Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas area.

“But Wait There’s More!” 10 Warning Signs of an Advertising Rip Off

As a reformed advertising salesman, I’m all too aware of the tricks, tactics and schemes used by marketers to get you to buy their stuff.    Every day on radio, TV and the internet advertisers use buzzwords that, if you pay attention, can alert you to rip offs.  P.T. Barnum, circus entrepreneur and scam artist in his own right, used to say “There’s a sucker born every minute”.   Don’t be a sucker.   Beware of these 10 warning signs of an advertising rip off.

P.T. Barnum - "There's a sucker born every minute"

P.T. Barnum – “There’s a sucker born every minute”

Hurry! This is a Limited Time Offer!”    What they’re really saying is “we have a ton of this junk to unload so please make call today and help us get rid of it!”   The same logic applies to sales people from any profession.   The minute anyone indicates that you have to buy now or lose the opportunity, disengage from the discussion.

The Next 20 Callers will Receive this Offer!”    This is another version of the “Limited Time” offer above made by marketers who are fully delusional regarding the benefit their product offers.   They’re saying, in effect, our product is so hot, so amazing that we can only give it to the next 20 customers.   When they’re really feeling bold, these hucksters get their commercial production guys to add a digital counter to the upper corner of their television spot that magically counts the number of people who have called in.   That’s right, they’re giving a “live” update on a commercial that was recorded months ago.

Our Product is Free.   Call now!”    Nothing is free.   Marketers making this offer easily make up the difference in ‘shipping and handling’ charges, which is a huge profit center for mail order junk merchants.   I repeat, nothing is free.

Money-Back Guarantee!”   See “Our Product is Free” above.   Shipping and handling are used for this scam too.

This is a Rare Product”    The numismatic coin guys use this all the time.  “We’ve found a rare batch of coins from the era of Theodore Roosevelt!”   Buyer beware.   The only thing that’s rare in this deal is any value to the consumer.   Nothing ‘rare’ or ‘valuable’ is sold via an 800 number.

Spacey's Frank Underwood Character Won't be Fooled by 800 Marketers

Spacey’s Frank Underwood – Speaks Consumer Wisdom

Over 1 Million Products Have Been Sold“:    Sadly, these claims are often true.  (See P.T. Barnum quote above).

Buy Now and We’ll Give You a Second Free“:   Buy One, Get One (BOGO) is the latest tactic being used to fool consumers.   Retailers often mark-up BOGO products just before they’re offered for sale.  Shipping and handling can also be used to hide profits.   Before you fall for this scam, do a search on eBay or Amazon to check the real, competitive price for a product.

Today We’re Taking Calls from States That Begin With the Letters A-L“:    I’m getting sick to my stomach now.   This tactic  came from the same ad agency that dreamed up the digital counter.    I assure you, anyone who can fog a mirror and has a valid credit card will be most welcome.

“Get Your Free Trial Today, Call Now!”:    While there are some legitimate try-it-before-you-buy-it offers, many are dangerous for consumers.   Because the ‘free offer’ requires that you place a credit card ‘on file’,  consumers are required to go through a cancellation process to prevent future charges from hitting their card.  And, to no surprise, the process of cancelling your commitment is often difficult if not impossible to accomplish.   Unless you’re dealing with a well-respected company, it’s best not to sign up for any free trials.   And, generally, 800 line marketers don’t fall into the ‘respected company’ category.

Use of “Amazing”, “Incredible” or “First Ever”:     Using superlatives in describing anything is a red flag.   In fact, in many cases just attach an ‘un-‘ to the beginning of the descriptor and the description will be more accurate.

The Consumer Team Solution…..Vet Your Purchases:   The easiest, most effective way to fight back against scans is to thoroughly vet your purchases.   Get multiple bids for any service related purchases and price-check anything past $30 or so.   Smartphone Apps, such as Red Lazer, are an excellent way to quickly find the lowest price available on a product.   For more information on being a more savvy consumer, join us for The Consumer Team radio program, Saturdays 5-7 PM Central, on 1080 KRLD Radio, Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Frank Underwood, the totally depraved character from House of Cards, does occasionally speak wisdom.   In one episode, when his wife Claire is trying to coax him to use a rowing machine she recently purchased, he said “I refuse to be a slave to anything you order through a toll free number.”    His sleaziness notwithstanding, in this regard, Frank speaks the consumer truth.

Pete Thomson

The Consumer Team

http://www.myconsumerteam.com

 

Consumer Team: Back-to-School Computers Reviewed

(Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX)   With the release of the Windows 10 operating system, computer shoppers have many choices to make.  Saturday (8-8-15) on The Consumer Team, Donna Tapellini from Consumer Reports will join Pete Thomson to share tips for getting the best deal on a new computer.

The Consumer Team on 1080 KRLD Radio

The Consumer Team on 1080 KRLD Radio

Pete Thomson, Consumer Team host, said listeners will save money with the information from the interview.   He said, “Right now consumers have operating system confusion.  Windows 8 was not a popular OS.  Even though early reports on Windows 10 are positive, shoppers are understandably gun shy.   Our interview with Donna will clear up the confusion.”

The Consumer Team is heard Saturdays from 5-7 PM Central on 1080 KRLD Radio in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.  The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, TX.

 

Return top

The Consumer Team Blog

The Consumer Team in on the air! Listen to host Pete Thomson, Saturday, 5-7PM Central on 1080 KRLD Radio.