Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears on Saturdays in the Business section of the paper. An expanded version is at www.timesfreepress.com under Local Business.
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I’ve had a column topic on my mind for awhile.
Q: I know Angie’s List provides recommendations for local contractors, cleaning services, etc., but I’m not overly fond of paying a subscription fee. Do you have any ideas to find reliable businesses for free? — Rachel Research
With my 62-year-old “baby” sister having undergone major surgery in June and a stint in rehab thereafter (the latter miserable experience definitely a column for another occasion), my days and nights have been filled with medical research and advice to help all of us cope.
Now that readers know tips to help make a good vacation even better, don’t forget, statistically, that if anything can go wrong at your home, it’ll happen while you’re off having a great trip.
I wrote about cruising a couple of years ago.Because this type of vacation is at such an all-time high these days, a number of readers have asked me to revisit the topic.
Do you have any tips to conserve money safely while on a vacation? — Tom Traveler
As last week’s column concerned a question from a vacationing reader, I decided the next few summer columns should also feature travel news that readers can apply this season or stick aside to use for future vacations. This week concerns one of my least favorite before-trip chores: packing. Most of the following suggestions are commonplace, although sometimes we need a nudge to remember to follow them.
In the past few months, I’ve lost one phone and my husband’s was stolen. Since we both maintain confidential information on our phones, what precautions can we take to protect ourselves?
Continuing with last week’s info concerning how to eliminate nuisance phone calls/telemarketers that number right at 200,000 complaints monthly, my research shows that DoNotCall.gov does help some, but don’t stop there. While we also discussed Nomorobo.com, do add the following suggestions to your help list.