why should you care? Because
when dentists don't get paid on time by the health
insurance benefits you pay for, who do you think's gonna
get drilled for the difference? (Take
a good look in the mirror and smile.)
the dentists aren't the only ones putting the hurt on
insurance companies: Last
the tune of $170 million to settle a class action
lawsuit filed by doctors for cutting payments and
(surprise!) interfering with patient care.
Bottom Line? The
continued greed of the health insurance industry is gonna
cost you when you visit your doctor or dentist...and it's
only gonna get worse unless
you hold your insurance company's feet to the fire the
next time they reject a claim because it "exceeds
usual and customary." When insurance companies
pay less than they owe, both you and your health care
provider are getting screwed. You've
gotta make 'em pay! Here's some ideas that should
help you achieve this goal...
a home REALLY IS a simple process if you're dealing with
the right people...not punk brokers or inept,
technically-challenged mortgage companies that don't
know what the hell they're doing!
I'm serious, it's not that tough a process. I know
all of the horror stories...(I've endured a few in my own
life, too). But the home buying world really
has changed, and I guarantee
the process will be simple and easy if you follow
my advice, so here you go.....
would you like a new cell phone for free? If
you've been with the same cell phone company for at least
12-18 months, all you've gotta to do is ask. That's
because the more you spend every month, the easier it's
gonna be to squeeze a new phone outta them. And if you've
been with the same carrier for 3 years or more, they
really will break their backs to keep
be afraid to hit 'em up for a newer model.
if you're a low-to-moderate cell phone user?
Give it a shot, but be ready for them
to try to get you to sign a new contract for your new
phone! Don't do it - at least not until you do your
homework and are sure you're signing up for the deal that
best fits your calling area needs.
of cell phones...I've got to tell you how terrific the
customer service folks at Nextel have been:
A few weeks ago, one of the
enlightened Dover Disciples followed my Six
Steps to Effective Complaining and
Nextel really came through with a new $400 phone
and 8 months of free service!
apparently prompt, good-faith customer service just
isn't good enough for everyone: Because
another listener, inspired by my reporting of Nextel's
actions, e-mailed me about his own Nextel problems.
And once again, Nextel came through big time. But instead
of accepting their generous offer, this jackass tried to
hold up Nextel for a bunch of free stuff...as well as a
chunk of cash. His actions were disgusting and this
guy's the poster
child for greed! I
told the Nextel rep that he was abusing their offer and
only making it tough for the rest of us who just want to
be treated fairly...and suggested they tell him to stuff
moral of the story? If
you want companies to do the right thing when you
complain, don't be a
greedy bastard! At some
point, you've gotta let it go and get on with your
life! Especially if they offer you a fair deal. And
if you can't let it go and wanna pursue
punitive damages, go hire an attorney, and
quit yer whinin'.
strikes again...5 weeks ago, I predicted this
would happen: Did
you know the average mailbox gets 18 sales pitches, three
bills and one financial statement every week? Wait
until you hear what our pals at the U.S. Post Office are
cooking up that'll trigger a new tidal wave of junk
mail from credit card giant Capitol One.
new US Postal Service program that the post office says
will help them survive the decline in revenues lost to the
popularity of e-mail and electronic bill paying services:
Now that this deal has been
approved, plan on seeing the post office make thousands of
"special postage pricing deals" just like it in
the months ahead. I predict that we're gonna see
heavy incentives for companies to mail during slow periods
of the year...like the weeks following the Christmas and
New Years' holidays.
deal became reality last week...read
all about it here.
rates are still at 40-year lows...so what are you doing
about it, Brainiac? You've gotta cash
in while you can lock in the lowest levels in
decades...re-finance your current mortgage and cut the
term to 10 or 15 years! Or buy a house and quit
throwin' your dough away on rent:It's
easy to get educated about the process first...and
the price is right! Everything
you need to know, and the price is right [free!] can
be found on-line; get your own copy of Ben's 2003
Home Buyer's Guide by clicking here.
extremely careful about what you're e-mailing,
in the wake of a court ruling last week that's set
a dangerous precedent that you may end up regretting: UBS
Warburg was ordered to pay
for the recovery of e-mail messages that
may prove an ex-employee's sexual discrimination suit
against the giant investment banking firm.
why should you care? Because
more and more people are naively sending personal (and
frequently, extremely-sensitive) information via
e-mail...and e-mail can "live" on servers around
the Internet for years.
Best Cyber-Tip: Assume
that anything you put in writing/send via e-mail will eventually
end up in front of your boss, your spouse, the police...or
even a judge and a jury. "Wiping
e-mails off" of your computer hard drive is useless.
While it is a start, remember that all of those
mail servers your e-mail was routed to-and-through will
maintain copies, cyber-smoking
guns that dangle all
sorts of potential liability out there for years to come.
Day is now 19 days away: Quit
wasting your cash on stuff he'll never use and only
pretend to like. Get something cool for dear
ol' Dad and
of course I have two suggestions:
#1 It's the biggest, most lucious and
amazing towel on the planet, from our pals over at www.fattowels.com
the only one that likes flowers; help Dad explore his "softer
side" and get him some of those exotic flowers,
shipped straight from Hawaii and amazingly affordable,
too! From the official source of entertaining
vegetation outta Hawaii (where are the Oreos
that sorta vegetation, I'm talkin' about
flowers from www.tropicalcolors.com!
you're on the financial fence and even remotely
considering debt or credit counseling or bankruptcy, I've
got an update and some perspective that might help you
change your mind: You
heard about Aron
Ralston, the rock climber that amputated his own arm to
save his life a few weeks ago. Talk
about guts...this guy had an incredibly tough decision - a
life-or-death decision to make - and he made it and he'll
live to rock climb another day.
of you are facing similar circumstances:
Okay...so maybe you're not being
forced to cut off your own arm but then again, it's
all relative, isn't it? Whatever
rock-and-a-hard-place you're stuck between,
Raltson's guts and determination to survive as inspiration
to do the right, smartest and best thing in your best
interest...for a change.
you're naively hoping your pals at some debt or credit
counseling service will be the answer to your mess,
get ready for the day when you realize
that you wasted alotta time and money trying to do the
right thing for everyone else but yourself.
might be feeling guilty because you've gotta friend or
relative telling you that you've gotta dig out of the hole
you're buried in...but
unless they're willing to write you a check and help you
dig out of your personal financial hell, tell 'em to shut up and buzz off. It's
none of their business, and the last thing you need is
someone piling on a bunch of guilt on top of the
threatening phone calls and letters you're already having
to put up with.
don't care how you got there...all I care about is getting
you out and letting you get on with your life:
It's not my job to pass judgment about
it is my job to make you aware of your
alternatives, and to
fill-in the blanks that many journalists seems to gloss
over when it comes to the
truth behind those precious non-profit credit counseling
week ago it was announced that the record-pace of personal
bankruptcies continues through the first quarter of 2003,
up 7.4%: As long
as the Providians and Capital Ones and other irresponsible
credit card issuers of the world continue their reckless
ways, Americans will be faced with making some difficult
financial life-or-death decisions.
Angeles bankruptcy attorney Leon Bayer joined us to
discuss the recent news about the rising tide of personal
well as an update on the aggressive lobbying efforts of
the nation's leading banks and credit card companies to
change the federal bankruptcy laws. Check
out Leon's website for more information.....
you want more information about our pals as the credit
counseling agencies or
news about the attempts to change the bankruptcy
here. And no matter
what challenges you're having to (or need to) deal with, meet
them head on and know all of your options. Check out
Ben's special section designed to help you accomplish this
on with your life!
you receive an e-mail from Microsoft and it has an
attachment, do not open it! A
new computer worm is spreading because many of you are
unknowingly opening up attachments! The e-mail
containing the worm appears to come from email@example.com,
but it's not from the software giant.
By the way...this
worm can secretly install spyware programs.
leads us to Ben's cyber-reminder #1-A: You'd
better have anti-virus software installed on your computer
and make damned sure it's configured to
scan every single e-mail as
it's received but before you get a chance to open
don't forget to update your anti-virus definitions every
single day: And
please, no matter who they're from, do
not open any attachments!!!
(I don't care if you know who they're coming
anyone with unresolved IRS-related issues dangling over
too short. Fearing trips to your mailbox is no way
to live...whether it's leftovers from an ex-spouse, the
need to file back tax returns, or 941 tax (employer
taxes!) challenges, don't try to go cheap and
work out your IRS-related heartburn on your own or
you'll get a rude (and expensive) awakening, I'm afraid. Use
every resource available to you and try to work out a
deal worked out on your terms: Check
out your options, and why hiring an Enrolled Agent may
make the most sense.
news if you're concerned about Mad Cow disease affecting
the U.S. beef supply...just
in time before you fire up the grill over this Memorial