Archive for the ‘Talk Radio’ Category

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.

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: The Truth on Tax Relief

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)   The commercials describe some hidden and even secret sounding program that can magically make your back taxes disappear.   According to Pete Thomson, host of The Consumer Team, many of the national advertisers that advertise in IRS the tax relief category don’t deliver to the consumer.  He said, “The national tax relief advertisers make huge promises, often collect a big dollar retainer and then don’t help the consumer.  We’re very concerned about this.”

DFW Tax Attorney Nick Nemeth will join Pete Thomson for a series of interviews on KRLD Radio's Consumer Team

DFW Tax Attorney Nick Nemeth and Pete Thomson Talk About Tax Relief on The Consumer Team

Thomson says there’s a better way to resolve an IRS tax issue.  He recommends hiring a competent local attorney who has experience in helping clients resolving IRS problems.   Thomson called Dallas-Ft. Worth attorney Nick Nemeth an example of a highly competent DFW local attorney.   Thomson said, “Nick Nemeth is a very good example of the type of attorney that consumers can count on for help.  He’s local in North Texas.  He’s very knowledgeable and he’s respected by the IRS, which is a big deal.”

Nick Nemeth will be a special guest on The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson on Saturday, April 30th.   Thomson called the interviews with Nick Nemeth a great first step for anyone dealing with an IRS tax problem.  Thomson added, “In our segments with Nick, we address the truth on tax relief. Nick will talk about the options that are available to consumers, including offer in compromise.”

The Consumer Team is broadcast Saturdays, 6-8 PM on 1080 KRLD Radio.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, Texas.

Consumer Team Investigates Payday Loans

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)    The Consumer Team is investigating payday loans in a series of interviews with Suzanne Martindale, staff attorney at Consumer’s Union.   Martindale and CU have been lobbying for stricter guidelines to protect consumers from high interest rates and other payday loan tactics that often result in trapping consumers into long-term and high interest debt.

The Consumer Team Investigates Payday Loans

The Consumer Team Investigates Payday Loans

Pete Thomson, host of The Consumer Team, commented on the interviews with Suzanne Martindale.  He said, “We’re all about consumer education on The Consumer Team.  Suzanne Martindale is a very good resource for information on banking and other financial issues that consumers face.  With payday loans, we’re concerned about the trap that consumers are getting into which can stretch the term of even a small loan to many months with a triple digit APR.”

Thomson said that The Consumer Team will feature several interviews with Ms. Martindale regarding payday loans.   Thomson added, “First we want to educate our listeners regarding the dangers of getting a payday loan.  Beyond that we’ll talk about Consumers Union’s efforts to impact legislation to protect consumers.   And we’ll also shed a needed light on the Wall Street connection with the payday loan industry.”

Thomson cited Consumer’s Union’s work in consumer advocacy as vital to the American Consumer.  Thomson stated, “Consumer’s Union does so much to protect the consumer.   We regularly consult their resources for The Consumer Team radio program.  Their efforts to impact legislation are so important, and with the powerful industry lobbies that they face, it’s vital the consumers understand and support the efforts of Consumer’s Union.  The fight for consumer rights would be much more one-sided without Consumer’s Union fighting on our behalf.”

The Consumer Team is broadcast Saturdays from 5-7 PM (Central) on CBS Radio’s KRLD in Dallas/Ft. Worth Texas.  The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, TX.

Why Dave Ramsey is Wrong on Credit Card Rewards

I really like Dave Ramsey.  His programs for dealing with debt and entrepreneurial leadership are outstanding.  But I think Dave’s wrong on the use of credit cards.  He preaches total abstinence.   He treats them like crack cocaine.  Don’t get started because you’ll get hooked.   And, part of his message I agree with.   Credit cards can be dangerous.  And, even more, they’re often a product of big banks, which are the bad guys.  However, for people who are disciplined enough to pay off their balance monthly, credit cards offer great benefits and their reward programs can be lucrative.    And business owners who utilize a disciplined use of credit cards and their reward programs can benefit substantially.Creditcards

In his attack on credit card rewards program, Ramsey does get specific.  He cites annual fees, expiration dates and limits on cash back as negatives.  So, let’s look at each of these claims:

Annual Fees:   When I weigh the benefits received from cash back and point purchases, the fee isn’t painful at all.   The only card with a major annual fee is American Express.   All the other programs are fee-free or feature a very low fee.  Back to American Express, even though their Platinum membership is several hundred dollars, it does come with some solid perks, including at one point, membership in airline clubs, which is a valuable for business travelers.   Since I’m not on the road much these days, I no longer use AMEX.    However, if that situation changes, I’d renew my platinum card immediately.

Expiration Dates:   Yes, points do expire at some point.  This is probably a result of corporate accounting not wanting companies to have a liability on their books indefinitely.   Nevertheless, I’ve never had an issue with expiration on any of my reward points.  Never.

Cash Back Limits:  While some cards do put a cap on cash back rewards, I’ve never encountered it.  And, on one of my business accounts, I get cash back every month.

For small business, credit card reward programs can offer a number of advantages.   Not only are the points valuable for cash purchases or paying for business travel, they help to offset the cost of accepting credit card payments from customers. Additionally, and probably the best benefit of disciplined credit card use, you have leverage when using a card.  When a product or service isn’t delivered as contracted, the credit card charges can be reversed.

So, like Dave, I think credit cards can be very destructive.  And certain people would be wise not to use them, ever.   But Ramsey’s suggestion that everyone simply cut up their credit cards is short-sighted.   Fire, guns, chainsaws, cars and even the internet are all tools that can greatly enhance life but require the user to exercise good judgement.   My doctor, who is full of common sense one-liners, often reminds me that the only difference between medicine and poison is dosage.  Take your medicine as directed and you get better.  Take too much and you can die.  If you’re responsible and disciplined, credit cards offer a number of important benefits, including generous rewards programs that do pay consumers who pay their bills.

Pete Thomson

The Consumer Team

Editor’s Note:  Pete Thomson is host of The Consumer Team, broadcast weekly on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas.  (Saturday, 5-7 PM Central)   Thomson is also CEO of McQ Media Inc, a media company based in Dallas, TX, 



Why Big Banks Are Losing to Credit Unions

Frustrated by high fees, disappearing rewards and a generally non-consumer friendly reputation, many Americans are considering breaking up with their bank.   And oftentimes, the refugee consumer is taking their money to a local credit union.  It’s an exodus of money from Wall Street to Main Street that appears to be gaining momentum.  To talk about this trend, we’re welcoming Sonya McDonald, Vice President and Chief of Staff from Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, to The Consumer Team.   Our interview will air Saturday, September 20th at 5PM Central on 1080 KRLD Radio.

Credit Unions:  Consumers Like Lower Fees, Non-Profit Structure

Credit Unions: Consumers Like Lower Fees, Non-Profit Structure

An product of 19th Century England and Germany, the credit union was invented by communities as a solution to either non-existent or onerous loan terms from the local bankers.    The credit union was, in its simplest form, neighbors helping neighbors.   Money was gathered into a central repository and loaned to its members so they could build their homes, businesses and dreams.   The credit unions were non-profit and existed to serve its members.  What a concept.

In our discussion of current day credit unions with Ms. McDonald, we’ll discuss the reasons behind the trend of consumers moving to credit unions from big banks.   We’ll review the advantages of working with a credit union versus a bank (it goes well beyond just a lack of fees or better rewards) as well as how to select a credit union.

The trend of consumers, especially the middle class, breaking up with their bank is part of a larger discussion regarding big banks and why they are bad deal for consumers.  If you’d like to get a deeper understanding of big banking in America, I recommend several books:

The Creature From Jekyll Island – G. Edward Griffin:   Although the title suggests a science fiction novel, this book is hardly fiction.  It’s about the formation of The Federal Reserve in 1911 on Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia.   The book, which reads like a murder-mystery masterpiece, is sad and very troubling.  After reading “Creature”, you’ll understand clearly the cartel that is Big Banking in America.  You’ll understand their power and how it affects you as a citizen, taxpayer and a consumer.

The Big Short – Michael Lewis:   Lewis is the author of several best-sellers including Money Ball, Liar’s Poker and Flash Boys.  The Big Short is a very effective chronicle of the events that caused the economic crisis of 2007-2009.   It vividly describes the mortgage meltdown along with the role that big banks played in the near destruction of our economy.

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap – Matt Taibbi:   Known for his writing in Rolling Stone Magazine, Matt Taibbi is able to connect the dots between income inequality in America and its impact on justice and our legal system.    To be clear, this isn’t just another book about income redistribution, it’s an accurate accounting of how both the middle and lower classes of America are living in a much different America from the mega-uber-wealthy 1%.    This is a book that will disgust you.

Pete Thomson

The Consumer Team

Editor’s Note:   Pete Thomson has worked in broadcasting since 1972.   Thomson is President/CEO of McQ Media, an advertising and media firm based in Dallas, TX.  McQ Media works in the areas of consumer and business advocacy and produces The Consumer Team radio program. 


For Profit Colleges: Big Promises, Huge Debt, Shattered Dreams

I’m not a proponent of lots of government regulation.  In fact, whenever I hear the words “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”,  I immediately run.  However, after researching some of the malarkey going on in the “For Profit” college category, I’m beginning to think that a good, government sponsored, butt kicking might be in order.

For Profit Colleges:  Leaving Students Jobless and In Debt

For Profit Colleges: Leaving Students Jobless and In Debt

What is a For Profit College?    You probably know them well, but by their heavily marketed names such as University of Phoenix, DeVry University or ITT Technical.   These schools bombard the television airwaves with spots touting that you can find a job, a career and a great life by getting one of their degrees.   Dig a little deeper and you find the problems.   For profit colleges are very expensive, especially when compared to a local, non-profit community college.   And, as many a for profit grad have discovered, a for profit degree often leaves a person in huge debt with no job prospects.   Even more troubling is the for profit college mega-aggressive marketing strategy that targets low-income and veteran consumers.   And similar to the payday loan industry that I’ve written about previously, for profit colleges also appear to be harvesting huge gains at the expense of people who are already experiencing great pain and challenge in their lives.   This last fact is what makes my blood boil.

Consumer Team Investigates For Profit Colleges:   I interviewed Consumer’s Union attorney Suzanne Martindale for my consumer advocacy radio program The Consumer Team.   The interview will be broadcast on Saturday, August 30, 2014.   Martindale, who is on the front lines of fighting for increased scrutiny of for profit colleges, voiced concern about Wall Street’s involvement in the for profit college industry.    That’s right, a number of these colleges are public companies.   As Martindale shared in our interview, the for profit college industry is currently under fire from a number of angles.   The Securities and Exchange Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are both investigating the category, as are the attorneys general from 30 different states.

Buyer Beware:   In spite of my comments above regarding government regulation of this business category, I believe that the marketplace is generally better served by an informed consumer who votes with their feet.   Anyone considering attending a for profit college needs to do additional research.   Indeed, one doesn’t have to do much digging to find serious dirt.     And, compliments of Ms. Martindale, the links below provide some valuable facts.


Pete Thomson

CEO – The Consumer Team

Editor’s Note:  The Consumer Team talk radio program is broadcast Saturdays from 5-7PM on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas.  Pete Thomson has been working in consumer advocacy and investigative journalism for over 10 years.   Thomson is President/CEO of McQ Media, a Dallas-based advertising and marketing firm that promotes consumer and business advocacy.


Consumer Team Radio: Best Back-to-School Computers, Do It Yourself Investing Peril & New Scams Targeting Hotel Guests

The Consumer Team in on the air!   Listen to host Pete Thomson, Saturday, 5-7PM Central on 1080 KRLD Radio.  On this weekend’s program (8-9-14):

Pete Thomson - The Consumer Team

Pete Thomson – The Consumer Team

Best Computers & Tablets for Students:   Consumer Report’s Carol Mangus will report on the best buys for students of all ages.

DIY Investing….”Kids Do Not Try This at Home!”:   We’ll review the latest Dalbar study which doesn’t give do-it-yourself investors a good grade.  Jim Poe of Texas Retirement Specialists will be our guest.

Scams Targeting Hotel Guests:   Ernie Sprance will report on new scams targeting hotel guests.   Be sure to tune in before you check in!

To learn more about The Consumer Team, click here.  To listen live, Saturday between 5-7PM (Central), click here.   The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.


Consumer Team Alert: Older Consumers Targeted by Scam Advertisers

I’m not against making a profit.  Not at all.   Commerce and profit have been woven into my life since I was a checker at my father’s Ben Franklin five-and-dime on Main Street in Charles City, Iowa.  The profit I’m concerned about is what an increasing number of companies are making from older consumers.  Super high margins are being made on products of questionable value.   On the surface, the commercials for gold, speed-up-your-PC software, supplements and other products look very legitimate.  And the creative is often speaking directly to the deepest emotional concerns of older consumers.   The problem with many of these products is threefold:  exorbitant profits, a business model that is not transparent and questionable product quality.   Here’s my current ‘hit list’ of questionable products and services that are targeting older consumers.

Scam Marketers Are Targeting Senior Consumers

Scam Marketers Are Targeting Senior Consumers

The Speed-Up-My-PC Scam:   This category is low-hanging fruit for the senior profiteers.   Older consumers are generally not comfortable with computer maintenance.  And several companies have taken advantage of the issue with highly questionable products.   According to ARS Technica, a leading technology website, a significant number of these products are ineffective and, in some cases, harmful to user’s computers.   From fixing ‘fake problems’ to even loading malware on user machines, the products are bad news.    According to ARS Technica, consumers of all ages are better served by free software available from Microsoft and other reputable sources.

The Senior Gold Rush:    Older consumers, largely because they’re watching political events in our country with horror, are great targets for the doom-and-gloom pitch of precious metal hustlers.  And while some of the companies do offer competitive pricing on gold and silver coins (the bait), high mark-ups on other products such as numismatic coins can hammer the consumer.   A better alternative is a precious metals ETF or a session with a retirement planner with a fiduciary interest in the client.

“Free Products” With Hidden Handling Charges:   Several years ago some direct marketer discovered that they could unload more of their cheap crap if they gave it away and then charged the consumer a ‘hidden’ handling fee.   You’ve heard the pitch, “Call now and get our product for free.  You just pay shipping and handling.”   As a result, there are currently a ton of “free” products—everything from DVDs for dealing with difficult kids to “secrets” of getting more from social security that a consumer can get for no charge, other than the handling charge that is ten times what postage would normally be for shipping the product.   The hard-core direct marketers even put a digital counter on the screen that indicates how many free widgets are still available for that day, which is amazing because the commercials are all prerecorded.

Social Security Scams:   There are, indeed, social security claiming strategies that are legitimate which will help consumers get more from Social Security benefits.   They’re free and available at a number of legitimate websites and financial planners.   Leave it to the scammers to find creative ways to charge people for free information.   One of the schemes is being run by a national magazine through a radio ad that promises to help consumers unlock hidden Social Security benefits.   In order to get the information, the consumer agrees to a trial newsletter subscription that, unless cancelled in a specific time period, becomes an annual paid subscription to several newsletters.   After this scheme gets past 30 days and the consumer is billed for the subscription, it is very difficult to cancel the subscription.   By the way, direct marketers have a name for this type of scheme.  It’s called a ‘Continuity Plan’ because it results in monthly revenue from the consumer for a product, service or subscription.

Reverse Mortgages:   The television ads tout the good life that one gets when they finally get the cash from tapping into their home equity.   Celebrity endorsers make the process look so easy and quick.  What goes unmentioned are the fees and other costs associated with a product that can leave seniors in serious financial trouble.     While the reverse mortgage product is not necessarily a scam, the marketing tactics being used to promote them are very questionable.

Final Payments Insurance:   Here’s a lovely group of scallywags who target older consumers with low incomes.   Yes, that’s right.  It’s not good enough to just screw-over seniors, they nail the ones who don’t have much to begin with.   The pitch:  Buy this insurance so when you die your funeral arrangements are covered.    The scam:  The companies don’t disclose that they’re selling insurance.   The insurance is not low cost, as advertised.  And, many consumers already have coverage in their existing insurance coverage.

Tax Debt Resolution:  Clever marketers have discovered that if they describe the IRS tax resolution process as complicated and mean enough that they can over-charge consumers who owe back taxes.   They pitch ‘secret’ government programs like some kind hidden treasure that only they can unlock.   After their marketing makes them sound like Indiana Jones taking on the IRS, these firms charge large ($10,000 and more) retainers up front to accomplish a the same job that can be done by a patient CPA for much less.

Charities:   Older consumers have hearts…big hearts.   And the non-profits know it all too well.   For every reputable charity advertising on television and radio, there’s probably 10 bad ones.   They’re bad because they handle the money you give them poorly.   Oftentimes a low percentage of gifts will reach the actual people in need, going instead to charity overhead.   Charity Navigators, a non-profit Charity watch dog group, does an outstanding job of policing the non-profit sector.   Sadly, some of the most commercially active non-profits are among the worst rated charities in the Charity Navigator ratings.   The relative high cost of advertising campaigns often result in a high cost of donor acquisition.   Put another way, when you give to a charity that is advertising on radio or television, your gift often goes to pay for the commercial that motivated you to give.

As I’ve written previously, I’d love to see broadcasters take a more aggressive role in cleansing the airwaves of scammers, especially the ones that target older consumers.  However, the current debt service of broadcast companies won’t support this kind of honesty.   And although the government would love to get move involved in the process of protecting us (EG: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), I believe it is the consumer’s responsibility, including senior consumers, to be even more vigilant in our consumer lives.   With the freedom of American commerce comes a responsibility for the consumer to be informed.   On my consumer advocacy program, The Consumer Team, we regularly talk about strategies that consumers of all ages can use to avoid being ripped off.   In my next blog, I’ll take you through the strategies.   And, best of all, there is no charge…..not even shipping and handling.

Pete Thomson


The Consumer Team

(Editor’s Note:   Pete Thomson is a 30 year veteran of broadcast media and marketing.   As a television and radio broadcaster, he worked in programming, sales, sales management and general management.    In 2011, Thomson opened McQ Media, a full service marketing and advertising firm located in Dallas, Texas.   Also in 2011, Thomson founded The Consumer Team, a consumer advocacy radio program heard weekly on CBS Radio’s KRLD in Dallas.)


Consumer Team Radio: Saving on Appliances, Beware of Door Knockers & Websites Design for Less

The Consumer Team is on the air Saturday from 5-7PM Central on 1080 KRLD Radio.   This Saturday (7-19-14), join Consumer Team host Pete Thomson for news, research, consumer investigations and interviews that will help you get the most from your consumer life.

Pete Thomson - The Consumer Team

Pete Thomson – The Consumer Team

On Saturday’s program:

Saving Money on Appliances:   Ernie Sprance will report on top rated appliances as well as how you can save on an appliance purchase.

Door Knockers Invade Dallas-Ft. Worth:   Spring storms brought a high number of contractor scams into North Texas.   Unlicensed and uninsured contractors have been working effected neighborhoods going door-to-door offering highly discounted or ‘too good to be true’ packages to homeowners.  Listen to learn what questions to ask anyone you’re interviewing to do work on your home.

Website Design for Less:    Don’t overpay for web design.  For savvy shoppers, it’s possible to get a great looking, multi-page, professional website built on a limited budget.   We’ll give you the details this Saturday!

For more information on The Consumer Team go to   To listen live, click here.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.


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The Consumer Team Blog

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