Archive for December, 2008

Gov violates own privacy laws according to lawsuit

December 31, 2008

Oops!

According this class action lawsuit filed in Illinois Federal court,  Pay.gov violated FACTA which requires that vendors not print the last four digits of the purchaser’s credit card.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

Happy New Year!  (Probably won’t post again until the 2nd.)

Wells Fargo & Deutsche Bank sued in foreclosure mess

December 31, 2008

Ohio has been hit hard by foreclosures.  Not just Cleveland but also Cincinnati.  This lawsuit is aimed at Wells,  Deutsche Bank and the City of Cincinnati for allowing the Price Hill areas to become dangerously blighted.  The complaint states that in East and West Price Hill neighborhoods there were nearly 300 foreclosures in 2007.   

The banks are blamed for allowing the properties they foreclosed on to become littered with trash and broken glass.  Houses have become safety hazards and magnets for looters.  They re-sell these properties, according to the complaint, to out-of-town speculators who have no intention of making improvements to the properties.

What do the plaintiffs want?  They want to force the banks to make the properties presentable and if that doesn’t happen to have a receiver appointed who will make the necessary improvements if the banks don’t. 

Ohio is in the forefront of efforts to legally address the terrible conditions caused by mass foreclosures.   Surely, other states are being hit as hard.  Why aren’t we hearing about these kinds of suits in places like Florida, California and Nevada?

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

TMI! Worst SEC disclosures of 2008

December 31, 2008

Fun poll over at footnoted.org where you can vote on which disclosure was must embarrassing.  My top favorites were Wal-Mart’s $1,350 an hour for a legal consultant and Playboy’s 400k for Hugh Hefner’s live-in girlfriends (I voted for Hugh).

But there are more so go vote now!

Dangerous book recalled

December 31, 2008

Not because of its incendiary ideas but because, “the books contain several errors in the technical diagrams that could lead consumers to incorrectly install or repair electrical wiring, posing an electrical shock hazard to consumers.”

The title of the book is: “Wiring a House, 3rd Edition and Wiring Complete, Expert Advice from Start to Finish”

Um, where were the “experts” when it came to the technical diagrams?

Recall notice

One more time: American Apparel sued again

December 31, 2008

This time by a man who is suing the company and the colorful Dov Chaney, (several sexual harassment suits have been filed against him) CEO in Los Angeles Superior Court for more than a million dollars in bonuses and commission.  The ex–chief of European operations Bernhard-Axel Ingo Brake claims that he was fired after complaining about employment practices that included paying employees under the table and allowing women employees the CEO liked to “mishandle company funds and waste resources.”

But American Apparel isn’t rolling over on this one.  They have counter-sued in a German court for embezzlement and because they claim Mr. Brake hired his mistress of a high-level position in Switzerland with no apparent duties.

If I were a lover of American Apparel clothing, I would wonder how much my money went to corporate shenanigans

Article:

Layoffs update: Dec 30th

December 30, 2008

Wells cuts 53 jobs in Arizona

QVC axing 500 distribution center jobs in West Chester

Closing of Exel site in Phila. to eliminate 131 jobs

GSO call center laying off 73

AMD reports more job cuts, higher restructuring costs

Update: Craigslist escort ad crackdown

December 30, 2008

Last month saw the much reported news that Craigslist would work with law enforcement to crackdown on the use of the service for pay-for-sex ads.   How effective is this effort?  Not very according to a “working girl.”

“Because of the new procedure on Craigslist, we are turning to other Web sites … to promote our services,” she wrote in an e-mail. “These sites are free and just as effective. I don’t believe that this change in Craigslist will do anything to affect the industry.”

Article

Costco sued for over-charging

December 30, 2008

According to a class action lawsuit filed in New Jersey state court, Costco claims to charge members only “$500″ above invoice for a Toyota Highlander Hybrid.  But according to the plaintiff’s complaint, the total cost wasn’t $500 but $2,817 above the invoice.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

Ohio AG goes after Countrywide

December 30, 2008

Cuyahoga County has been decimated by foreclosures and the Ohio AG has been active in that county’s Superior court cracking down on the bad mortgage lending practices that caused all that heartache.

It appears that the complaint filed against Countrywide aims at forcing the lender (acquired by Bank of America) to modify existing mortgages to stem the destructive tide of foreclosures that have left blocks of Cleveland blighted with empty houses preyed upon by thieves.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

On a related note, the Ohio House voted to allow Cuyahoga country to form a land bank that would buy up unredeemed tax foreclosure properties to prevent them from being flipped and remaining unimproved as well as destroying housing values in the neighborhood.

Article

Charter Communications get lowest customer service rating

December 30, 2008

Not just among cable companies but ALL companies according to a survey of Forrester Research.  The survey of 4,500 consumers found Charter Communication at the absolute bottom of the 114 companies surveyed in a dozen industries.  Here are some of the highlights:

*It ranked 111th for its TV service with a score of 40 out of 100.

*It ranked 114th for its Internet service with a score of 32 out of 100.

*In a category ranked “enjoyability” it ranked 20 for TV and 16 for Internet service. Again this is out of  a score of 100.

News release


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