Archive for the ‘Consumer Reports’ Category

Consumer Team: Wrecked Car Scam in DFW

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TEXAS – Consumer Team News)   When it comes to car buying in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Consumer Team radio host Pete Thomson says ‘buyer beware.’   The Consumer Team is airing a series of reports on car scams in Dallas-Ft. Worth.  According to Thomson, the ‘wrecked car scam’ is costing North Texas consumers significantly.   Thomson said, “It’s so easy for pros to hide issues with a car.  Unless you buy from a responsible source, a consumer can really get into trouble.”

The Consumer Team: Exposing the Wrecked Car Scam

The Consumer Team: Exposing the Wrecked Car Scam

Another problem, according to Thomson, is the fact that Carfax reports are not always accurate.  Thomson added, “Consumer Reports has done several investigations into the reporting services.  Bottom line is that you can’t always trust what you read.  The services like Carfax can miss major problems, and there are ways that the services can be gamed.   We believe it’s fine to check these services, but not based a purchase on them.”

Instead, Thomson says, consumers should find a local dealership that has a good reputation in the marketplace.  “Our choice on Consumer Team“, Thomson continued, “is Auto Locators of Texas.  Richard Walsh and his team do an excellent job of selling only high quality vehicles for a fair price.”

Thomson cited Walsh’s extensive experience in buying vehicles.  Thomson said, “Richard has been buying cars at auction since he was a teenager and he can spot problems.  Beyond that, before he sells a car, it’s given a complete inspection and servicing.   We believe Auto Locators of Texas is best practices for a pre-owned car dealership.”

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

 

 

Consumer Team Radio: Best Time to Buy Products; Car Dealer Tricks & Tracking Teen Drivers

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)    Saturday, June 21, 2014, The Consumer Team will help you improve your consumer life.  Saturday’s program, broadcast from 5-7PM on 1080 KRLD Radio, will feature several informative feature segments:

The Consumer Team - Saturdays 5-7 PM on 1080 KRLD Radio

The Consumer Team – Saturdays 5-7 PM on 1080 KRLD Radio

When To Save On Purchases:   Mandy Walker with Consumer Reports will talk about when products go on sale.  From January through December, we’ll tell you when different products will be at their lowest prices.

Retirement Planning:  Don’t Go It Alone!   Jim Poe from Texas Retirement Specialists will be the guest for a discussion on why consumers do better when they work with a competent retirement planner.

Car Dealer Tricks:   We’ll talk with Richard Walsh of Auto Locators of Texas about the slick tactics that dealers use to confuse us and increase their profit from a sale.   As you’ll learn from Richard, you can take control of the transaction!

Tracking Teen Drivers:  Ernie Sprance will report on new technology that’s allowing parents to closely monitor their teenage drivers.   Speed, location and even mechanical issues can now be monitored with several cost effective high-tech tools.

To listen live, go to http://player.radio.com/listen/station/krld-newsradio-1080.   The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

Consumer Team Releases ‘Consumer Survival Kit’

Each week of my radio program, The Consumer Team, we present information designed to help people maximize their lives as a consumer.   Much of the information I present on The Consumer Team is based on both my experiences as well as information we’ve learned from the hundreds of interviews we’ve done with consumer experts over the years.   Below is a summary of some of the best tips that we’re calling ‘The Consumer Survival Kit.’

Pete Thomson – The Consumer Team

Get Multiple Quotes & Bids:   Never, ever, ever do business with the first sales person you meet for any major purchase.  I recommend getting at least 3 bids for any job.

Deep Discounts Often Signal a Scam:   Just like the old bromide goes, ‘It it seems too good to be true, it usually is.’    In your consumer life, beware of people offering an unbelievably low price.   Whether it’s $8,000 off MSRP on a car or 6K off the price of a central air conditioning unit, you’ve got to be suspicious of these offers.   When you’re confronted with these deals as a consumer, it’s a critical time to do research and ask for second and third opinions.   In most cases, the scam will be exposed quickly if you ask questions.

Get ‘Real’ References:   Instead of accepting the stock references that most companies use, ask for the names of 3-5 current customers who have jobs in progress.   You’re much more likely to get a ‘real’ reference this way.

Never Sign a Contract Under Duress:   The more pressure any sales person puts on you to ‘sign today or this special will disappear’, the faster you should run from this individual.   Good companies and reputable people don’t operate with pressure as a tactic.   Moreover, whenever you feel a need to speed up a consumer decision, it’s a good time to take a deep breath and slow down the process.

Don’t Give Out Personal Information:  Whether it’s a door-to-door salesman or a seemingly harmless internet-based consumer contest, don’t give out your personal information to anyone unless you’re going to do business with them.   And even then, be very protective with your personal information. Names, addresses and phone numbers are often sold to other parties who will harass you with offers and even steal your identity.   For sales people that I want to have contact with, I use a special G-Mail address that isn’t tied to my name.

Avoid Deposits and Advance Payments:   This is especially true for companies you hire for home repair and improvement.  Asking for a down payment can often be a sign of cash desperation.   Reputable companies have enough capital on hand to buy materials for a job.   If a down payment is required for a job, make sure that it is, in fact, a reasonable request (ask at least 3 other companies) and then only pay for a portion of the work in advance.

Do Your Research:  Although the web can be a rich resource for vetting your consumer decisions, you have to be very picky regarding sources.   And unfortunately, many sites that sales people give you to support their products or services, can be unreliable.  There are several sources that I’ve used for years that I’ve found to be reputable.   Consumer’s Union is the parent organization of Consumer Reports Magazine and Shop Smart Magazine.   Consumer’s Union is a very good source regarding consumer issues and policy.   And Both Consumer Reports and Shop Smart are vital tools for anyone who is serious about being an informed consumer.    I recommend subscribing to both of the publications.  Additionally, I recommend a subscription to The Consumer Reports website.  For just a few dollars a month, you get access to years worth or testing, research and other data.   Two other websites, http://www.consumeraffairs.com and http://www.consumerguide.com offer consumer information that can be useful.  The Consumer Team website, http://www.myconsumerteam.com is a collection of consumer information from trustworthy sources.   The Consumer Team website also gives you access to all the blogs we’ve written on a wide range of consumer issues.

I hope this information helps you in your life as a consumer.   For more consumer information, tips and research, listen to The Consumer Team, Saturdays from 5-7PM (Central) on 1080 KRLD Radio in Dallas, Texas.  The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, Texas.

 

Pete Thomson

The Consumer Team

http://www.myconsumerteam.com

 

 

 

Consumer Team Interviews Mike Quincy on Best Cars

(Dallas-Ft. Worth)   Consumer Team host Pete Thomson calls the Consumer Reports annual auto issue the best source of automobile information available anywhere.   Mike Quincy, a key contributor to the CR auto issue will join Thomson for a series of interviews for the next 3 weeks on The Consumer Team, Saturday from 5-7PM on 1080 KRLD.

Commenting on the special Consumer Team automotive broadcasts, Thomson said, “Mike Quincy is one of the country’s top authorities on cars.  He’s a big contributor to Consumer Report’s annual auto issue and we’re delighted to have him on the broadcast.   Our listeners will be able to get some great information from our series of automotive interviews.”

According to Thomson, the interviews will cover areas where consumers are the most exposed to bad decisions.   He added, “One of the biggest mistakes that consumers make is buying a car that has received bad ratings.  On our interviews with Consumer Reports, we’ll review their top picks for new 2014 vehicles and their top-rated used cars too.  Beyond that, we’ll discuss how to use Consumer Reports’ website as a resource when buying a car.”

Thomson said that he considers the Consumer Reports research and data very objective.   He added, “Consumer Reports is the gold standard when it comes to consumer research.  First, they accept no advertising.  Beyond that, they buy every vehicle that they test.   As a result, the research data is very objective.”

Thomson and The Consumer Team have been critical of car business, especially the tactics of dealerships.   Thomson said, “The deck is stacked against the consumer when it comes to buying a car.   If a consumer goes into a car dealership without preparation, they can really be hurt financially.   On The Consumer Team our goal is to help our listeners be prepared.  With the proper preparation, consumers can come out of the process in one piece and with a good car to boot.”

The Consumer Team, one of the most listened to locally produced consumer advocacy talk radio programs in nation, airs weekly on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD, Dallas-Ft. Worth.  The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, TX.

 

Consumer Team: Hybrids Not Worth the Cost

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)   For consumers thinking about buying a hybrid vehicle, The Consumer Team radio program recommends that you reconsider your decision.  “Hybrids aren’t worth the additional cost”, commented Pete Thomson host of The Consumer Team, heard Saturdays 5-7PM on 1080 KRLD Radio.   Thomson added, “Based on our research, we believe that hybrids aren’t quite ready for the mass market.”

Hybrids:  Not a good deal yet, according to The Consumer Team

Hybrids: Not a good deal yet, according to The Consumer Team

The Consumer Team recently aired a segment discussing the costs of hybrid ownership.  Joining Thomson was Consumer Team automotive expert, Richard Walsh.   Walsh, a veteran of the auto industry and owner of Auto Locators of Texas, cited specific math on the payoff for hybrid technology.   Thomson said, “The time required to break even on the extra cost of a hybrid just doesn’t make sense for consumers.   In many cases, we’re seeing a 7 year period to reach break-even, which is longer than many people keep a car.”    Adding to the overall cost of owning a hybrid are higher maintenance costs.   Thomson added, “We’re finding that local, independent mechanics are not comfortable working on hybrids, which means that consumers are required to use franchise dealership service departments, which are more expensive.”

Will hybrids make sense someday?   “Absolutely,” Thomson said, “But right now, consumers who are trying to save on fuel costs are better off buying a high MPG gas powered vehicle which can get over 35 MPG.   That’s good mileage but without having to incur the additional costs of a hybrid.”

Thomson has been critical of the automobile industry on The Consumer Team.  He said, “Several surveys have shown that consumers don’t like the car industry.  They don’t like the tactics, tricks and lack of transparency.  It is because of these problems that we are so excited to have Richard Walsh of Auto Locators of Texas on The Consumer Team.   Auto Locators of Texas offers outstanding pre-owned vehicles at fair prices in an environment that people find very refreshing.   They’re an outstanding addition to The Consumer Team.”

For more information on The Consumer Team, go to http://www.myconsumerteam.com   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

 

Consumer Reports Rate “Naughty & Nice” Company Policies & Best Printers

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)   On Sunday, December 8th, The Consumer Team’s Ernie Sprance will report on Consumer Reports Magazine and their new list of “Naughty & Nice” company policies.  The program will be broadcast on 1080 KRLD from 4-6PM.   Pete Thomson, host of The Consumer Team, commented on the special segment.  Thomson said, “Consumer Reports is the gold standard when it comes to consumer research and information. We really like what they do with the “Naughty & Nice” list.   American businesses need to be held accountable for maintaining strong customer service and CR’s list achieves this by shining a light on good and bad policies.”

Pete Thomson - The Consumer Team

Pete Thomson – The Consumer Team

Sunday’s Consumer Team program will also include information from Consumer Reports recent ratings of computer printers.   Thomson added, “The Consumer Reports ratings are one of the most important services that they offer to the consumer world.  The category of printers and ink cartridges can be a huge rip off if you’re not aware of the true cost.  The Consumer Reports info will really open up people’s eyes to the cost issues.”

The Consumer Team is normally broadcast on Saturday’s 5-7 on KRLD.  Because of special sports programming, the airtime is moved from Saturday to Sunday 4-6PM on December 8, 2013.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

 

 

Consumer Team Alert: Be Cautious When Giving to Charities

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)    As Americans prepare to make end-of-year contributions to charities, The Consumer Team radio program is warning consumers to thoroughly check out non-profits before giving.   According to Consumer Team program host Pete Thomson, generous consumers are often unaware of issues that impact a non-profit’s ability to serve people in need.  Thomson stated, “On the surface charities tell a story of helping people in significant ways.  Sadly, many charities don’t live up to the promises they make.  From out of control overhead to high CEO salaries to fraud, many high profile charities have serious issues which prevent them from helping people in need.  Because of these issues, consumers have to be very discriminating before they give a financial gift.”

The Consumer Team Urges Caution When Giving to Charities

The Consumer Team Urges Caution When Giving to Charities

According to Thomson, The Consumer Team radio program will air a series of special segments focusing charitable giving.  Thomson added, “The Consumer Team will investigate charitable giving from several perspectives.  First, we’ll educate our listeners regarding the metrics that are used to measure charity effectiveness.  Concepts like percentage of overhead and CEO compensation need to be understood in order to measure a charity’s effectiveness.   Secondly, we’ll be educating listeners regarding tools that they can use to research non-profits.”

Sandra Miniutti, VP/CFO of Charity Navigator, will be joining Thomson for several of The Consumer Team special segments.   Charity Navigator is a New Jersey based non-profit that offers ratings and research regarding the fiscal performance of non-profit organizations.   Commenting on Charity Navigator, Thomson said, “Charity Navigator is to non-profits as Consumer Reports is to consumer products.   We’ll be including their input throughout our series on effective giving to charities.”    Thomson credited Charity Navigator with successfully establishing metrics of measurement for the non-profit world.   Thomson added, “Before Charity Navigator, there wasn’t a reliable and objective database of information on charity performance.   And, several high profile non-profits were unchallenged when it came to serious financial issues within their organizations.   Charity Navigators has brought this critical information to the forefront of consumer awareness.   Non-profits are now accountable because of Charity Navigator.”

The Consumer Team is broadcast Saturdays from 5-7 PM on 1080 KRLD Radio, Dallas, Texas.   The Consumer Team talk radio program is one of the most listened to local programs dealing with consumer news, research and trends.   Thomson says that his passion for consumer advocacy started during his childhood growing up in the Midwest.   Both of his parents were business owners in Charles City, Iowa.  According to Thomson, seeing successful business and customer relationships fueled his interest in helping connect consumers with reputable business owners.  He said, “Growing up in Charles City, I saw the special relationship that can exist between business and the customer.  Our goal on The Consumer Team is to first educate our listeners regarding the issues that can impact their success as a consumer.  Beyond that, we strive to connect our listeners with great businesses who truly understand what it means to serve the customer.”

For more information on The Consumer Team or to listen live, to to http://www.myconsumerteam.com.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

 

 

Consumer Team Radio: Best Cars For Teen Drivers

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)    The Consumer Team talk radio program will air a special feature discussing the best cars for teen drivers.   Jeff Bartlett, from Consumer Reports Automotive, will be a special guest on The Consumer Team broadcast airing  at 5PM Saturday, June 29, 2013 on KRLD Radio, Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Best Cars For Teen Drivers on The Consumer Team

Pete Thomson, Consumer Team host, commented on the segment.   He said, “Anytime we can get Jeff Bartlett to join us for a segment the information is always very useful.   Anyone who’s in the market for a car for a young driver will benefit from this Consumer Team segment.”

Thomson said that the special Consumer Team segment will cover cars for young drivers from several perspectives.  He added, “We’ll be talking about general buying guidelines and tips.  We’ll also get into specific makes and models that Consumer Reports recommends.    We’ll even discuss the issue of insurance for young drivers.”

The Consumer Team is heard Saturdays from 5-7PM on 1080 KRLD, Dallas-Ft. Worth.   KRLD is the #1 rated news station in the DFW market.  Similarly, The Consumer Team is one of the most listened to local consumer programs on the air in the US.   Pete Thomson has been active in consumer advocacy journalism and broadcasting for over 10 years.

For more information on The Consumer Team and to listen live, go to http://www.myconsumerteam.com.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.

Radio Show Connects Listeners With Honest Companies

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)    At some point, even the most discerning consumers get a bad deal.  From paying too much for consumer items to being a victim of a scam, most people eventually become a victim.   Consumer advocate Pete Thomson says that he’s no exception.   Thomson said,  “Yes, I’ve been snookered a few times.  In fact, going through the process of getting ripped off motivated me to get involved in consumer advocacy broadcasting.  I wanted to help protect people from some of the things that I had fallen for in the past.”

The Consumer Team - Saturdays 5-7 PM - KRLD Radio

Thomson is host of The Consumer Team, a weekly consumer advocacy talk radio program heard on CBS Radio’s KRLD in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.   Thomson has been in broadcasting for over 30 years and consumer advocacy broadcasting for over a decade.  Thomson says his mission for The Consumer Team is to help listeners save time and money and avoid grief.   Thomson’s team consists of national consumer advocacy experts, his own staff of reporters and local DFW experts in a variety of business categories.

Thomson’s national consumer advocacy experts include writers for leading consumer advocacy sites such as ConsumerAffairs.com.   Consumer Team radio segments cover current consumer news and trends and give tips for how to be successful as a consumer.   And, since every Consumer Team program is current to that week’s news, the content is always fresh.  Thomson said, “Between our news bureaus in Dallas and New York and our expert guests, The Consumer Team is on the cutting edge of what is happening right now in the consumer markets.”

The Consumer Team sponsors, Pete Thomson says, are one of the most important parts of the program.  From financial planning to home repair to health and wellness,  Consumer Team sponsor experts  are featured on the broadcast each week.  Thomson described a very selective process that is used to identify potential sponsors.  He said, “We know that our listeners are depending on us to bring them quality sponsors whose values are in line with The Consumer Team.  Before they’re invited to be part of The Consumer Team, every sponsor is vetted and checked out thoroughly.  As a result of this process, our listeners know that they can depend on Consumer Team sponsors to have top quality products and services, fair prices and outstanding customer service.”

Thomson said that saving money is just one of the benefits of doing business with Consumer Team sponsors.  The other benefit is saving time.  Thomson added, “Realistically speaking, most people would never be able to spend the time necessary to find high quality companies like those on The Consumer Team.   And while we urge our listeners to always get at least 2 opinions on any major purchase, they can be confident when they call a Consumer Team sponsor.”

With a weekly audience of over 500,000 people, KRLD is the #1 ranked news station in Dallas-Ft. Worth.   According to ratings, The Consumer Team is one of the most listened to local consumer radio programs on the air in America.  Thomson commented on CBS Radio and KRLD.  He said, “KRLD and CBS Radio have been very supportive of The Consumer Team.   Because KRLD has such a large audience and footprint in North Texas, we know that The Consumer Team is helping thousands of people every week and that’s very exciting.”

The Consumer Team is heard Saturdays from 5-7PM on 1080 KRLD.  For more information and to listen live, go to http://www.myconsumerteam.com.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

 

Avoiding Wedding Rip-offs & Pitfalls

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)       Summer’s almost here and so is wedding season.  According to The Consumer Team, consumers need to be aware of issues that can negatively impact the wedding experience.   Saturday, April 27 from 5-7PM on KRLD Radio, The Consumer Team will air a special segment focusing on wedding rip-offs and over-charging.   Ernie Sprance, a veteran consumer advocacy journalist, will join Consumer Team host Pete Thomson for the weddings segment.

Pete Thomson, commenting on the wedding segment, said “Because most people are responsible for putting on just a few weddings in their lives, they tend to be susceptible to misunderstandings, overcharges and rip-offs.   In our special weddings segment, we’ll expose the areas where problems happen most frequently.   This will be very valuable information for anyone who’s about to get married.”

Consumer Team: Avoiding Wedding Pitfalls

Pete Thomson said that many of the issues surrounding weddings can be avoided just by knowing the rules of engagement.   Thomson added, “We’ll address things like contracts, tips and issues with hotels.  Just knowing about these areas of concern is 99% of being successful.  In addition, we’ll share some ideas that will make listeners less likely to be a victim of a wedding rip off.”    Thomson added, “There are some really sad stories out there of people being severely disappointed on their wedding day.  We hope to make the wedding world a little safer to navigate through.”

The Consumer Team on 1080 KRLD is one of the most listened to local consumer programs in the country.   KRLD’s weekly audience is over 500,000 persons which makes it one of the top rated news-talk radio stations in the nation.   Thomson describes The Consumer Team as his ‘passion in life.’  He added, “I’ve been involved in consumer advocacy journalism and broadcasting for over 10 years.   Our goal on The Consumer Team is to help our listeners save time, money and grief in their lives as a consumer.  From finding great deals to helping folks avoid scams, we try to bring fresh content to the airwaves every week.”    Thomson described the consumer landscape in America as very challenging.  He said, “The good news is that consumers have more tools at their finger tips that can truly help them maximize their consumer lives.   The bad news is that there are more scams and bad deals out there than ever before.  The internet alone has presented a number of challenges to consumers.  On The Consumer Team our goal is to help people navigate through the shark infested waters.”

To learn more about The Consumer Team and to listen live online, go to http://www.myconsumerteam.com    The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

 

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