Archive for the ‘Consumer News’ Category

Consumer Team: Dr. Dassani Connects Good Health With Healthy Teeth & Gums

(HOUSTON, TEXAS — Consumer Team News)   Dr. Meghna Dassani will join Pete Thomson on The Consumer Team Houston this Saturday to talk about the connection between healthy teeth and gums and good overall health.    Dr. Dassani’s practice includes Dassani Dentistry and Sleep Houston.  She is a regular contributor to The Consumer Team on 740 KTRH Radio.

Dr. Meghna Dassani – Sleep Houston & Dassani Dentistry

Pete Thomson commented on Dr. Dassani and her contributions to The Consumer Team.   He said, “Dr. Dassani is one of the most respected dentists in the Houston area.  Her work at Sleep Houston is saving lives because of the small oral appliance she’s making available to her patients.  On Saturday’s Consumer Team, we’re going to have a broader conversation with Dr. Dassani regarding the connection between good oral health and a long and healthy life.  Good health, indeed, begins in the mouth.”

According to Thomson, Dr. Dassani will share information that will be new to many listeners.  He added, “Many are aware of the connection between oral health and heart disease.  Listeners may be surprised to learn of the other diseases that can be traced back to issues with teeth and gums.   I believe anyone who hears this discussion will have a new appreciation for the value of regular dental screenings with a competent dentist.  On The Consumer Team, we endorse Dr. Meghna Dassani as the best dentist & sleep doctor in Houston.  In our Saturday interview, she will share information regarding a very generous offer for Consumer Team-KTRH listeners.”

For more information on Dassani Dentistry and Sleep Houston call 281-947-2262.  The Consumer Team is broadcast Saturdays from 5-6 PM on 740 KTRH Radio.  The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is produced by McQ Media.

Consumer Team joins KTRH Houston

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH – Consumer Team News)   The Consumer Team will be join the lineup on KTRH Radio in Houston, starting May 13, 2017.   KTRH (740 AM) is the top ranked radio station for news and information in the Houston radio market.   The Consumer Team will be heard from 5-6 PM Saturdays.    The Consumer Team is currently carried on 1080 KRLD in Dallas-Ft. Worth.   Consumer Team host Pete Thomson called the addition of KTRH a strategic one that will strengthen the program’s ability to serve its listeners.    Thomson said, “KTRH is one of the most listened to radio stations in the US with over 1 million listeners each month.   We are excited to be part of their lineup of news and talk programming.”

The Consumer Team - Now on 740 KTRH Radio

The Consumer Team – Now on 740 KTRH Radio

The Consumer Team’s mission, according to Thomson, is to educate and connect consumers.   Thomson added, “Consumer Team is here to first educate our listeners regarding consumer issues.  Every week we talk about good deals, bad deals, recalls and rip-offs that consumers need to know about.   We also connect consumers to the best businesses that have a commitment to high levels of quality, customer service and integrity.    Thomson is quick to distinguish The Consumer Team from referral sites such as Angie’s List or Home Advisor.    He said, “In our view these big national services are the new yellow pages.   On Consumer Team we endorse a much smaller list of businesses that we know very well.  The result is a better experience for the consumer.”

Pete Thomson has been working in consumer advocacy since 2000.   The Consumer Team launched in 2011 on 1080 KRLD in Dallas/Ft. Worth.   Each week’s program features consumer news and interviews with leading consumer advocates, including journalists from Consumer Reports and Consumer’s Union.   Thomson added, “Consumer Reports and Consumer’s Union are the gold standard for consumer information.   We’ve been pleased that they make themselves available for interviews on our program.   We are huge fans.”

Thomson said that The Consumer Team will adhere to the same criteria for selecting sponsors as the new KTRH programs debuts.   He said, “We’re committed to working only with the best-of-the-best on The Consumer Team.   We will continue to vet all of our sponsors to ensure that our listeners are served by the very best.   We will also work exclusively with one business per category.   Maintaining quality is a priority for us.”

 

Blue Nail Roofing: Consumer Team’s “GO LOCAL DFW” Choice

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX – Consumer Team News)   Eric Thomason is a second generation roofing professional.   That, along with his company’s industry certifications, combine to make Blue Nail Roofing the endorsed choice of The Consumer Team.   As The Consumer Team launches the GO LOCAL DFW campaign promoting local Dallas-Ft. Worth businesses, host Pete Thomson calls Eric Thomason and Blue Nail an example of a high-quality, locally owned business.

Eric Thomason - Blue Nail Roofing

Eric Thomason – Blue Nail Roofing

According to Thomson, Blue Nail’s presence as a Consumer Team sponsor was the result of a long and patient search.  He said, “The roofing industry, like the entire home repair category, is filled with bad actors.   The large amount of money paid by consumers in the category attract some pretty dishonest people who are more than happy to steal, cheat and do harm to the consumer.  Blue Nail Roofing and Eric Thomason represent the best in the roofing industry.   Eric learned roofing from his dad and he’s built a company that based on high integrity and outstanding customer service.   The fact that Owens Corning and GAF both rate Blue Nail Roofing as a preferred contractor is a huge endorsement too.”

The Owens Corning and GAF endorsements are not just a plaque on the wall.   Thomson said that, because of the certifications, Blue Nail is able to offer enhanced warranties that give the consumer additional protection.   Thomson added, “The enhanced warranties mean that GAF and Owens Corning acknowledge Blue Nail Roofing’s superior abilities and skill level.   It means that when Blue Nail does a roofing job, the manufacturers have the confidence to offer an enhanced warranty.”

Eric Thomason is a regular contributor on The Consumer Team.   Pete Thomson called Thomason a valuable part of the consumer advocacy program.   He said, “Eric is one of the most interesting and informed contributors on Consumer Team.   Whether it’s quoting Better Business Bureau statistics or teaching our listeners how to inspect a roof job for problems, Eric’s always prepared to share important knowledge with our listeners.”

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

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 Launches “Go Local” Campaign in DFW

(Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas – Consumer Team News)   Consumer advocate and radio host Pete Thomson today announced a new initiative to promote local business in Dallas-Ft. Worth.    The Consumer Team’s “Go Local” Campaign will encourage consumers to do business with locally owned and operated businesses.

Thomson, who hosts The Consumer Team radio program on 1080 KRLD, says that Go Local will be a year long campaign and will include promotion on radio, television and the web.   He added, “Go Local is really the heart of The Consumer Team.   We believe one of the tenets of consumer success is supporting hometown business.  Doing this not only supports your community directly, but it also gives the consumer a much higher level of customer service.  Local business owners simply have an accountability to their hometown that out-of-town businesses don’t have.”

Pete Thomson - The Consumer Team

Pete Thomson – The Consumer Team

Thomson says that using local businesses is especially critical in the home repair and remodeling categories.  He added, “Because of the higher price tag involved, the home repair and remodeling categories can be very challenging for consumers.   Using an out of town company can often end with disastrous results.  In the roofing industry we call them storm chasers but the problem exists in all categories.  When you hire a local contractor that has been properly vetted, you’re much more likely to have a successful consumer experience.”

Consumer Team sponsors from DFW will be featured during the Go Local initiative.   “Our sponsors are excited that we’re creating a platform to promote support of local business.   The current environment is challenging for small business.   From regulation to big-box competition, they face significant challenges every day.”

Thomson comes from a small business family.   Both of his parents were retailers in his hometown of Charles City, Iowa.   At the age of 90, his father has recently launched a new restaurant business in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.   Thomson said, “I learned about the importance of small business at a young age when I worked at my dad’s Ben Franklin Store.   I saw a direct correlation between the level of support we received from our community and the quality of life that my family experienced.  You learn to appreciate the people who support you.”

The Consumer Team Go Local campaign will be anchored on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD and on social media.   Thomson said a new Consumer Team video platform will be launched for the campaign.

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

 

 

Consumer Team: Wind or Hail…Remember Blue Nail

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TEXAS – Consumer Team News)  Consumer Team host Pete Thomson is a proponent of hiring local.   In recent months on The Consumer Team, Thomson has been very vocal about the dangers of hiring out of town contractors to do home repair.   The term he uses is ‘storm chasers’ to describe the out of town companies that rush into an area effected by storm damage. Thomson commented, “I believe that out of town contractors represent one of the biggest problems that homeowners face every year.  After a disaster, they descend on the marketplace and create all kinds of issues.”

The problem, says Thomson, is that out of town contractors have no roots outside of their home market, which means that consumers are left holding the bag when questions or problems arise.   Thomson added, “When homeowner’s have questions or a warranty issue, the out of town contractors are oftentimes long gone.  And that’s assuming they even do the work.  We hear stories regularly of storm chasers taking deposit money and never doing any work.”

The solution to the storm chaser problem, Thomson says, is to hire local.  And when it comes to home and roofing repair, Thomson recommends Blue Nail Roofing.   Blue Nail Roofing is led by second generation roofing professional Eric Thomason, who is a frequent contributor on The Consumer Team radio program.   Regarding Blue Nail & Eric Thomason, Thomson added, “Blue Nail Roofing is everything we look for in a good partner.  They’re local with a brick & mortar location in Dallas and they’re led by Eric Thomason, who is a second generation roofing professional from North Texas.   When consumers hire Blue Nail Roofing, they can be confident that they will get the job done right, the first time.”

Eric Thomason of Blue Nail Roofing - The Choice of The Consumer Team

Eric Thomason of Blue Nail Roofing – The Choice of The Consumer Team

Eric Thomason and Pete Thomson recently talked about the challenges that storm chasers present on The Consumer Team.   The Consumer Team is broadcast Saturdays 6-8 PM (Central) on 1080 KRLD Radio.   To reach Blue Nail Roofing, call 469-726-2176.

The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, Texas.

Listen to Eric Thomason and Pete Thomson on The Consumer Team.  Click here.

 

Ventana by Buckner: Luxury & Value for Retirement

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TEXAS – Consumer Team News)    The corner of Central Expressway & Northwest Highway is getting ready for a big change. Ventana by Buckner, twin 12 story luxury high rise towers, will offer DFW residents a new concept in retirement living.  Consumer Team host Pete Thomson recently called Ventana ‘a game changer’ for retirement.  Thomson added, “Ventana will change the way people retire in Dallas.   It combines luxury and excellence with the integrity of Buckner Retirement Services.”

Ventana - Coming to Northwest Highway & Central in Dallas

Ventana – Coming to Northwest Highway & Central in Dallas

Excellence and luxury permeates all aspects of the new Ventana.  From the floor-to-ceiling views of downtown Dallas and the Park Cities to world-class restaurants to a spa and health club, life at Ventana will be filled with luxury.   Thomson said, “At Ventana, you’re just minutes away from all the best that Dallas has to offer.  Restaurants, entertainment and shopping are all within minutes.   This is a very appealing lifestyle.”

According to Thomson, the value that Ventana delivers is unsurpassed.  He added, “From a value standpoint, we like the fact that Ventana’s monthly fee includes a number of services that are normally additional charges at other retirement communities.  These extra charges often add up to thousands of dollars every year.  When you run the numbers and truly account for all the services are included at Ventana, the value is very apparent.”

Thomson also praised the continuing care aspect of Ventana.  Thomson said, “When someone moves to Ventana they can be confident that many of the services they’ll need through their retirement life will be available at the Ventana campus.  That makes life much less stressful, especially during the times that a person needs more medical services.”

The integrity part of Ventana, according to Thomson, comes from Buckner Retirement Services.  He said, “Buckner has been impacting lives for over 100 years.  Their support of orphaned children dates back to just after the Civil War.   Buckner Retirement Services brings a level of integrity to Ventana that is very meaningful.   We believe the non-profit approach to retirement services is superior to for-profit on a number of levels, most notably the quality of care.”

For people weighing their options for retirement, Thomson recommends meeting the team at Ventana. He said, “Ventana’s information center overlooks the site where Ventana will be built.  And their model of the two 12-story towers really makes Ventana come alive.”

For more information on Ventana call 214-234-1035.  Learn more about Ventana by Buckner on The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson, Saturdays from 6-8 PM on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD.  The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

Texas Retirement Specialists Receives CISQUA Award

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TEXAS – Consumer Team News)     Pete Thomson, host and founder of The Consumer Team, today announced that Texas Retirement Specialists is receiving the 2016 CISQUA Award.  The award, which recognizes outstanding North Texas businesses, will be presented to the staff of Texas Retirement Specialists on June 1, 2016.   Consumer Team founder Pete Thomson commented on the award.  He said, “I’ve known the team at Texas Retirement Specialists for over 4 years.   During this time I’ve been able to see first-hand the outstanding work they do in helping families plan for retirement.   It’s an honor to have them as part of The Consumer Team and exciting to see them receive the CISQUA award for 2016.”

Texas Retirement Specialists - 2016 CISQUA Award Winner

Texas Retirement Specialists – 2016 CISQUA Award Recipient

The Consumer Team CISQUA Award recognizes exemplary performance in the areas of consumer integrity, service, quality and accountability.   Regarding Texas Retirement Specialists selection, Thomson added, “The retirement years can be very fulfilling for people who plan appropriately.   We appreciate the manner in which Texas Retirement Specialists educates their clients to anticipate the headwinds of the retirement years and to be prepared.   They’re also advocates of alternative investments, outside of the U.S. stock market, which I believe is prudent for anyone over 55 to consider.”

Thomson said that the CISQUA Award was created to promote best practices in the Dallas-Ft. Worth business community.   He added, “On The Consumer Team our goal is to connect educated consumers with the best businesses in North Texas.   By bringing CISQUA to Dallas-Ft. Worth, we’re hoping to raise the level of awareness regarding these key areas of business responsibility.”

Thomson called Texas Retirement Specialists‘ commitment to financial education an asset to North Texas.  In addition to being regular contributors on The Consumer Team, Texas Retirement Specialists sponsors a weekly radio program, Found Money Radio.  The program is broadcast on 1080 KRLD and 820 WBAP Radio.   Thomson said, “After someone listens to Found Money Radio for 5 minutes, it’s obvious that it is a different kind of financial talk radio program.  And that’s because Texas Retirement Specialists wants to help people understand what’s important relative to managing money and retirement planning.  They’re committed to financial education.”

The Consumer Team airs on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD Radio on Saturday from 6-8 PM (Central).   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media Inc.

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.

“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

 

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