On Your Side Podcast: Avoiding “Junk” Fees
It’s getting tough out there. On Your Side is here to help
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Junk fees, they seem to be everywhere. They’re on bank accounts, credit cards, auto sales. They’re sometimes referred to as “convenience fees,” but they’re anything but convenient. And while junk fees are hitting consumers hard, companies that are charging the fees are making tons of money. In fact, a recent report revealed that consumers shell out 30 billion dollars a year just in junk fees alone.
So, what can be done about these “junk fees” and is there any way to stop them? Today, we’re talking to Carla Sanchez-Adams. She’s an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center which is trying to end “junk fees” in order to leave more money in your pocket.
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The “Do Me A Favor Scam”: Have you received an email recently from a friend or maybe even your boss asking for a small favor? Well, it may not really be your friend or boss after all. Scammers are posing as people you may know and they’re asking for a little help. And of course, how can you refuse your boss or a good friend when they turn to you for support? But be careful. Today, we’re talking to Ken Colburn. He’s been in the computer industry for decades and a specialist in technology and computer scams. He explains how the “Do Me A Favor Scam” works and how you can avoid getting conned.
Betting on the Super Bowl in Arizona: The Valley is getting ready to host one of the biggest sporting events in the world, Super Bowl LVII where we’ll see the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs. It also means a lot of money will be exchanged when it comes to wagering and in Arizona, sports betting is completely legal. So, what can Arizona expect when it comes to fans who will be betting on the Big Game which is right in our backyard? For answers, we’re talking to Max Hartgraves, with the Arizona Department of Gaming, and he breaks down all the numbers when it comes to betting on the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl Party Food Costs: The Big Game will be here before you know it. That means you’re probably be going to a Super Bowl party or maybe even hosting one. Either way, whether you’re providing all the food at your own party or taking a dish it’s going to be a lot more expensive this year. Beer is up big time but surprisingly, chicken wings are actually down in price. So, what kind of food and beverages will be a big hit without hurting your bank account? Today, we’re talking to Fidela Irigoyen. She’s an agriculture expert with Wells Fargo and she has all the inside information for your Super Bowl menu.
Influential podcasters headed to Arizona for the Super Bowl: In this episode, On Your Side is taking its podcast on the road to Scottsdale for a peek behind the scenes where famous and maybe the not so famous will record their podcasts. Celebrities, influencers, and other big names are already here for The Barret Jackson Auction. Of course, the Phoenix Open and Super Bowl will bring thousands of more people into town, many of whom will need a space to record their podcasts while in town since they can’t bring their podcast studio with them. So, what do they do? For the answer, we’re talking to Brian Howie, the founder and owner of Podpopuli. It’s a Scottsdale recording studio that will be open 24/7 Super Bowl week where well-known podcasters have already booked to record their show from the Valley of the Sun.
Lowering Home Insurance Premiums: If you own a home, your homeowner’s insurance might have increased. If not, it’s likely that it will. What’s behind the increase and exactly what can you do to keep your premiums from going up further? For the answer, we’re talking to Dustin Lemick. He has years of experience in the insurance industry and he’s currently the CEO of a jewelry insurance company called BriteCo. He tells us all we need to know to get more bang for the buck when it comes to insurance.
Getting certified helps you stand out in job searches: Looking to change jobs or maybe careers this year? You can make yourself a more attractive candidate by getting a certification, with or without a college degree. For more on that, we’re talking to Dr. Quentin McAndrew On Your Side. She’s an academic strategist with Coursera a learning platform that helps job seekers earn online college degrees and certificates which always looks good on a resume.
Money Moves to Make in 2023: On this episode, Stewart Willis from Asset Preservation Wealth & Tax to discuss some things that can be done right now to maximize next year’s dividends. We’ll talk about balancing your portfolio, how to plan for taxes, and how to maximize your retirement savings.
Tips for Holiday Driving: With so many people flying again after the pandemic, airports are congested, flights are being canceled and the pilot shortage isn’t helping. This means many folks are choosing to drive somewhere for the holidays and even long distances in order to avoid flying. Don’t start that holiday vacation until you check your vehicle first, however. In today’s On Your Side episode, we’re talking to Emilie Voss from Carfax. She tells us about some of the most overlooked maintenance issues that are easy to prevent if you just take a few minutes to check them out.
Avoid getting scammed during your online holiday shopping: Have you started your holiday shopping yet? If you have, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 60% of Americans start shopping before December. Much of that shopping will be done online, giving scammers the perfect opportunity to steal your money. If you think it will never happen to you, think again. Today, we’re talking to Kevin Roundy. He’s a researcher with the cybersecurity company Norton and told us all the online scams to be on the look out for as well as little tricks you can use to protect yourself while shopping online.
Behind the Scenes of the Thanksgiving Butterball Hotline: We’re counting down the days to Thanksgiving. It’s when family and friends will gather for one of the biggest meals of the year. It’s a meal so important that novice chefs often turn to the experts for help to cook their turkey. On the On Your Side podcast, we spoke with Butterball talk-line expert Sam Woulfe. She take us behind the scenes the Butterball Hotline. Who’s calling in? What are some of the most common questions? What are some of the most outrageous ones? How do you actually cook a perfect turkey?
Inflation not affecting artificial Christmas trees and holiday décor this year: The cost of just about everything is up due to sky-high inflation. There’s one thing that’s proving to be almost inflation-proof this holiday season. Turns out, holiday décor is already being deeply discounted. Our guest on this episode is Chris Butler, CEO of National Tree, one of the largest artificial tree and holiday décor companies in the nation. He’s walking us through what retailers are experiencing with excess inventory and how increasing storage costs are benefiting consumers this season.
New federal guidelines to make household items safer for children: It’s estimated one child dies every month due strangulation from window blind cords. There are also child fatalities involving furniture tipping over. New rules passed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission will hopefully make things safer for kids. One of these rules requires window and blind manufacturers to start selling blinds that don’t have long, hanging cords. In this episode, we’re talking to Nancy Cowles with Kids In Danger. She talks about these new guidelines and the impact they will have on parents and consumers.
Savvy tricks to saving money: Everything these days is much higher than just a year ago. Rent, food, and even entertainment seem so unaffordable, but there are some clever ways to cut back on small expenses that will make a big impact on your budget. Today on the On Your Side Podcast we’re talking to Andrea Woroch. She’s a nationally recognized money-saving expert who divulges cool tips you most likely never thought of before.
Buying a Pre-Owned Electric Vehicle: Ever since gas prices started to spike, electric vehicles have been a hot topic. Until now, most of the discussion has centered on buying new electric vehicles. So, what about used EVs? Pre-owned electric vehicles can save you a significant amount of money, and it may be a good idea. Keep in mind though, buying used EVs can come with risks that can cost you. On this episode, we’re joined by Scott Painter, founder and owner of Autonomy, a company that allows users to subscribe to electric vehicles. He’ll tell you what to look for when buying a used EV to avoid any pitfalls.
Employers struggling to hire and retain employees: Are you looking for a job or maybe thinking of changing careers? You’re not alone. The U.S. just added more than 260,000 jobs last month. The Labor Department says average hourly earnings rose 5% from a year ago. The labor market might look optimistic, but why are companies struggling to keep employees? What are different industries doing to keep their staffing where they need to be? Today, we’re talking to Doug Hall with SK Food Group, a national company that prepares and ships sandwiches and wraps. He tell us the ups and downs his industry has gone through hire and retain employees.
Inflation’s impact on pet care: Inflation has caused the prices of just about everything we buy to go up drastically. We know about groceries and gas, but what about pet care? Pet owners already pay around $3,500 per year on pet care, but that amount seems to be going up as well. On this episode, we’re talking to Doug Patriquin, co-owner of Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit. He tells us how you can keep your pet budget under control.
How to Boost Your Credit Score: Have you checked your credit score lately? It’s something we should all keep an eye on, especially before applying for a credit card or loan. If your credit score is 740 or above, you’re considered to have a pretty good score, meaning creditors should reward you with a lower interest rate. So, in this episode, we’re talking to Brian Larsen. He’s with WaFd Bank’s Retail Division. He tells us the average credit score in America right now is 716, which is actually an all-time high. He has some tips and suggestions to get you over that 740 mark.
The cost of enjoying sports: Baseball season is wrapping up, and football season is underway. So, we are talking about sports spending. From kids’ leagues, to tickets, merchandise, food and fantasy leagues, fans plan to spend hundreds of dollars this fall. And a new survey shows some are willing to take on debt for their favorite sport. So today we’re talking with LendingTree’s Matt Schulz who breaks down how much we’ll actually spend and how to better budget for the sports we can’t live without.
Scammers stealing homes and down payments: Imagine being in the process of buying or selling a home. It can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Scammers know that, and they’re using a very deceptive practice to either steal your down payment, make off with your sale proceeds or in some cases...steal your home right out from underneath you. Sounds crazy, but it’s happening across the nation, including here in Arizona. So, today we’re talking to Samuel Doncaster. He’s the lead attorney for a law firm called Fraud Fighters. He knows exactly how these scams work and he’ll give us all the information you need to keep from losing what might be your life savings.
Christmas Shopping and the Supply Chain: It’s that time of year when folks start looking forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and of course, Christmas. Shopping for that perfect gift may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, but in today’s world, it should be at the top of your list. Apparently, retailers are facing some big inventory challenges and looking to move product. This could mean big savings for consumers. Today we’re talking to Adam Davis, the managing director for Wells Fargo Retail Finance. What he has to say will probably change the way you do your holiday shopping.
Why are so many college students leaving college? No health insurance: A recent study found that 30% of Arizona students are not returning to college this year because of the coronavirus. In fact, more than 150,000 students cancelled all college classes in Arizona alone. One reason behind the major departure is that many college students just don’t have health insurance to cover medical expenses, particularly COVID-related expenses. Since many colleges require some kind of health insurance to enroll, students are forced leave school. So, what do you if you want to further your education and just can’t afford medical insurance? Today, we’re talking to Nick Vinzant. He’s the senior analyst with www.QuoteWizard.com which is the largest privately held insurance comparison company. He says there are several options for young and older college students to get insurance without having to leave school.
Are electric vehicles right for you?: More drivers are interested in owning electric vehicles. For many families, EVs are still way too expensive. But there is a new push to get more EVs on the road. Now, because of the Inflation Reduction Act, tax credits for EVs have completely changed. So how do they work? Who qualifies? Who doesn’t? Are the credits enough? Today, we’re covering it all with Jim Stack, the President of The Electric Auto Association in Phoenix.
Higher interest rates leading to spike in online loan scams: Higher prices are affecting just about everything we buy, including housing and transportation. The Feds recently raised interest rates to slow down borrowing which will hopefully bring down prices for consumers. That makes the perfect opportunity for scammers to take advantage of you. So today, we’re talking to Zulfikar Ramzan. He’s the chief scientist at Aura, an online security company that helps prevent consumers from being scammed online. He tells us his company has seen a dramatic uptick in loan and interest rate scams tied to inflation. He’ll also tell us how the scams work and what you need to look out for to prevent getting ripped off.
Inside a scammer’s “Bible” to ripping off victims: Would you like to get into the mind of a scammer? You can. A Nigerian conman has flipped sides and is sharing many of his untold secrets with David McClellan of Social Catfish, a website dedicated at preventing romance scams. The scammer exposes all the do’s and don’ts of using the “Romance Scam” in order to dupe lonely women. All the details are in a manual referred to as a “Scammer’s Bible” which explains how to rip off victims. McClellan tells On Your Side how exactly what’s in the manual so victims know what to look out for. Click here for more info
The reason spam texts are increasing: Robocalls are becoming less of a threat to consumers, and the dreaded rings from unknown numbers are dropping. But according to a new report, the number of robot texts flooding phones is skyrocketing. So, today, we’re talking with Teresa Murray. She is a consumer watchdog for Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, and she helps On Your Side break down recent laws which crack down on robocallers and now text scams. We also talk about how to protect yourself from scammers who hide behind phone calls and text messages.
Overcoming Travel Frustrations: The pandemic crushed the airline industry and prevented many travelers from flying. But it seems that has all changed. A new report indicates a lot more people are flying and even driving to destinations. However, travelers say they are frustrated with airlines, with 80% of passengers saying they’ve had a recent negative experience. On this episode we’re talking to Tim Rossman, an industry analyst with Bankrate.Com. His new report reveals some stunning numbers when it comes to how many people are traveling these days and what effect it’s having if you’re trying to get somewhere.
Consumers and Small Claims Court: Have you ever been ripped off by someone and were so mad you wanted to take them to small claims court? It happens all the time, and many people decide not to go through with it because they don’t know how the process works. Going through the court process is actually easier than you’d think. That’s why we’re talking to the Honorable Gerald Williams who serves as justice of the peace for one of Maricopa County’s precincts. He’ll break down all the do’s and don’ts of filing a small case lawsuit and offer helpful tips to get your case heard.
Fourth of July Food Prices: The United States will be turning 246 years old on July 4th. To celebrate, many of you out there will probably have some kind of get-together that will no doubt involve food. Food prices on this 4th of July are up 11%, and depending on what you plan on cooking for the holiday will really affect your wallet. So today, we’re talking to Karol Flynn. She’s the Food and Agribusiness Industry Advisor for Wells Fargo. She tells us what 4th of July food items you might want to avoid due to their sharp increase in price and what other items you might want to consider that won’t break the bank for your holiday party. Spoiler alert: Shrimp is cheap!
Credit Card Crunch: A new report says nearly 75% of Americans have needed credit card debt advice. However, half of them never sought out that advice and because of that, many consumers have found themselves digging deeper and deeper into debt. Today, we’re talking to Jim Triggs of Money Management International. It’s a non-profit organization that helps consumers navigate through the tough financial world by empowering and helping people to stabilize their money matters .
Overstock Issues: Supply chain problems have been persistent, but now retailers have a new problem of having too much...of the wrong stuff. On this episode, we are talking with Leslie Bush, a marketing professor at Arizona State University. She breaks down what’s behind the change in consumer behavior and what it means for your next shopping trip.
How much money you need to retire: A million dollars sounds like a lot of money, and it is! But these days, is it enough money for you to retire? Years ago, a million dollars to save for retirement was always a goal for many but not anymore. Experts say to live comfortably, you have to raise the bar and put more money away. So, we’re talking to Stewart Willis. He’s a financial expert with Asset Preservation Tax and Retirement. He tells us how much we need to retire, how much we should have in our retirement accounts right now depending on age and other financial tips to keep you fiscally sound.
The (still) red hot real estate market: The real estate market is still red hot, but mortgage interest rates are going up. On this episode, we’re talking with Trevor Halpern, a Phoenix-based real estate agent, about what’s happening in the market, if there is a slowdown in home sales on the horizon, and how much competition buyers will face in the coming months.
Budgeting for a wedding: May through October is the most popular time of the year to get married and people are spending big bucks to tie the knot. A recent report indicates that couples spent $28,000 on average on their wedding last year. This year, it will be even more expensive. So, today we’re talking to Stephanie Gilmore, regional banking district senior manager with Wells Fargo. She has some great ideas and tips to keep your wedding costs down so you don’t start off in debt.
Computer Chip Shortage: Arizona is poised to become the semiconductor capital of the West and possibly the United States. The Copper State currently has 200 semiconductors companies and more are being built. On the 3 On Your Side podcast, we’re talking to Tracey Latham. She currently is the U.S. Small Businesswoman of the Year for Arizona and owns a company that relies heavily on semiconductors. She explains why is Arizona being chosen and what it will mean for the state’s economy and labor force.
Full-time Retirement? Maybe Not: Many folks look forward to retirement. When that time comes and they leave their job, they find themselves, well...kind of bored. But some people, as well as companies, have found a solution that benefits both the company and the retiree. It’s called “phased retirement.” On this episode of the 3 On Your Side podcast, we talk with Zanzibar Vermiglio of Zanzibar Enterprises about why human resource directors like the idea of phased retirement. We’ll also discuss why many retirees are deciding to “unretire.”
College Scams: It’s that time of year when college acceptance letters are starting to pour in for parents and their children. It sounds exciting, and scammers know that. With all the hype, it’s the perfect time for conmen to take advantage and try to dupe potential victims when they least expect it. So, we’re talking to Beau Friedlander. He’s an award-winning publisher who’s been writing about cybercrimes and scams for 10 years. He tells us what to look out for when it comes to enrolling students into college, because the scammers will target you over the Internet, through the mail, and even over the phone. MORE INFO: https://link.chtbl.com/CCUnCylF?sid=3onyourside
Cashing in on collectibles: From coins to toys and trading cards, most collectors think their collections will pay off. Ismat Mangla from Magnify Money joins us to break down who is collecting what, how much they’ve spent along the way, and whether the collections ever pay off.
The best (and worst) frequent flyer programs: It looks like people are flying more these days, and that’s raising airfare. In March, airfare went up more than 5%, marking the third largest jump in 20 years. To bring the cost of airfare down, many travelers rely on frequent flyer programs but some are better than others. On this episode, we’re talking to Jill Gonzalez with WalletHub, who evaluated frequent flyer programs for each airline. She’ll break down all the flyer programs to let you know how you can get the most out of each one. MORE INFO HERE.a
Paying off your student loans: Forty-six million Americans are in debt due to student loans, with those debts totaling more than $1.8 trillion. That works out to the average borrower owing more than $35,000. How do you even start a down payment on something like that? On this episode, we’re talking to Andrew Pentis with Student Loan Hero and Lending Tree. He’ll break down which states have the biggest loans, which universities carry the most student debt, and more importantly, how to pay off your loans.
Surprise charges; kids & credit: Have you ever spotted a surprise charge on your credit or debit card? Is your kid to blame? A new LendingTree survey reveals almost half of parents say they’ve caught their children secretly spending. Others knowingly allow their children to borrow their cards and regret it. In this episode, we’re talking with Matt Schultz, the chief credit analyst at LendingTree about how to teach children about credit.
Jet Fuel Prices: We’re all well aware of the spike in gas prices and how it’s affecting your wallet. But what does it mean for airfare? Just like cars, airlines need fuel for their planes. So, how is the Russian-Ukraine war affecting what you pay for airfare. For the answer, we’re talking to Scott Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Airfare. He’s an airline analyst and he’ll tell us what to expect regarding your upcoming vacations and how oil prices could play a major factor in what you pay for airline tickets.
Car Buying Tips: The chip shortage for new cars is still ongoing. So, how long will it last, and how is it affecting consumers as well as car dealers? Today, we’re talking to Karl Brauer. He’s an auto analyst with Iseecars.com and has also worked for Kelly Blue Book, Auto Trader, and Edmunds. Due to the chip shortage, he’ll tell us what new cars are hottest on the market, what used cars are persuading consumers to buy in this time of uncertainty, and what used cars last the longest.
Pain at the Pump: The cost of gas is going up. Today Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis for Gas Buddy, is joining us. He has the reasons behind what’s driving gas prices and talks about if we can expect any relief on the horizon, particularly since Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine? De Hann says get ready--$4.55 a gallon is very possible for Arizonans. Head to gasbuddy.com to find the cheapest gas near you.
Maximizing Your 401(k): Many companies offer their employees a 401(k) plan to help prepare for their retirement years. However, many workers choose not to enroll, and they are leaving money on the table. A lot of money. On this episode, we’re talking to Ted Schmelzle, a retirement expert from Securian Financial who tells us why it’s throwing away money if you don’t contribute. Plus, he gives tips to grow your money faster.
Salary Negotiations: People are leaving their current jobs in numbers we haven’t seen before. It’s referred to as the “Great Resignation.” But when you’re offered a new job, how do you bring up the topic of salary without being awkward? And how do you comfortably ask for a dollar amount that works for you? Today, we’re talking to Andres Lares. He runs a company called Shapiro Negotiations Institute, a firm that has represents everyday workers and even NBA teams. He explains how to ask for the proper salary or even a raise at your current job.
Love and money: Valentine’s Day is here and “Love is in the Air.” Or is it? A recent report by Personal Capital reveals 57% of U.S. adults ay the pandemic has increased financial stress in their relationship. Today, on the 3 On Your Side podcast, we’re talking to Krista Aliga, a financial advisor with Personal Capital. She explains why money is causing some people to fall out of love and what steps you can take to get make things right.
Saving on Super Bowl food: The big game is almost here, so it’s time to plan for your big Super Bowl spread. But your game day meals and snacks are going to cost you a lot more this year. So today, we’re talking to Karol Flynn with Wells Fargo. She’ll help show you the best buys when it comes to Super Bowl food, plus some great tips to save the next time you head to the store.
Elevating your resume: Looking for a job? Then you’ll need a great resume to stand out from the other candidates. On this episode, we’re talking to Jeff Hyman, author and CEO of Recruit Rockstars. He has great tips to spice up your resume and land the job you want.
Maximizing your credit card perks: How many credit cards do you have? Whatever the number, your cards may have perks you don’t even know about. About 30 percent of Americans who have rewards cards have made no effort to take advantage of their points or perks that they may have. On this episode, we’re talking with Doug Milnes, Chief Financial Analyst with MoneyGeek.com. He has some surprising information when it comes to you and your credit cards.
Tax filing season is here: It’s almost tax time, and if you’re like millions of Americans, you’re expecting a refund. In this episode, Gary Harper and Susan Campbell talk with Mark Steber, the Chief Tax Information Officer at Jackson Hewitt, about new deductions, changes this tax season, and potential IRS delays.
2022′s economic outlook: When it comes to the economy, what can we expect in 2022? Inflation is increasing at a pace we haven’t seen in 40 years, consumer prices are higher, and interest rates are inching up. On this episode, we talk with Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst for BankRate.com. He outlines what he see in 2022′s economy, whether we will see it blossom, or if it will cost us more money.
Gym Memberships: We find ourselves in a new year as 2022 is officially here, and one popular New Year’s resolution is to get into better shape. But is joining a gym the right decision? And if you do join, what should you know when it comes to contracts and how much you pay? Today, we’re talking to Jim Bathurst. He’s a fitness trainer from Nerdfitness and he’s in the business of getting people into shape and losing weight. He’ll break down the do’s and don’ts of joining a gym and what you need to look out for.
Holiday gift returns: The hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping is in full swing and a lot of purchases will be made online. But what do you do if someone gives you an online gift and you need to return it? It may be difficult or impossible. Today, we’re talking to Jill Emanuel. She’s a certified financial coach with Fiscal Fitness. She’s been helping consumers to save money and navigate through complicated topics for years. She has all the do’s and don’ts of returning holiday purchases successfully.
Dangerous toys: Holiday shopping is in full swing, and for kids, toys are at the top of the list. But be careful because some of those toys could be dangerous. Today on the 3 On Your Side podcast, Gary and Susan talk with Hannah Rhodes. She’s a Consumer Watchdog associate with the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. From counterfeit toys to smart toys and toys that are too noisy, she is breaking down exactly what to look out for to keep your family safe this holiday.
Is insurance bundling the way to go?: One expense many consumer have, but don’t pay attention to, is insurance. Home, auto, renter, and more, there’s insurance for just about everything. Does it really save? And how much can you save if you bundle? On this episode, we’re talking to Mark Fitzpatrick from Money Geek. They have dozens of experts who analyze all kinds of statistics and crunch the latest numbers. They found bundling could save you a bunch of money.
Setting and achieving your 2022 financial goals: We’re coming up on the end of the year soon and that means 2021 will officially be in the history books. Looking back, how do you think you did financially? Did you start a retirement fund or savings account? If you have a 401(k), did you increase how much you contribute and are you satisfied financially? 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper talks to Leslie Tayne. She’s an author of a bestselling book regarding finances. She’s also an attorney who specializes in consumer and debt resolution. She talks about what financial goals you should have in mind to make 2022 one of your best years ever.
Hanging Christmas lights safely: Christmas is almost here, and that means trees and lights! But that combination can be dangerous if you display your lights the wrong way. To keep you safe, we’re talking to John DeCosmo, an expert who knows all about fixing broken lights and hanging them safely.
Choosing a bottle of wine for your holiday party: The holidays are quickly approaching, which means a lot of you might be going to a holiday party. And wine is one of the more popular items that party-goers bring. But what kind of wine? How much should you spend? And what’s a good brand to take with you? In this 3 On Your Side Podcast, we’re talking with Keith Beavers. He’s a self-described “wine geek” who’s been in the wine retail industry in New York for more than a decade. He talks Wine 101 and give us some down to earth tips for choosing a bottle of wine that will make a statement without breaking the bank.
Gift Cards: Americans are sitting on billions of dollars in unused gift cards, so are they really a good gift to give? On this episode, we’re talking with Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, about spending those unused gift cards. He also has some ideas about what to do with gift cards to stores or restaurants you’ll never visit.
An $859 Billion Holiday Season: The holiday season is almost here and consumers are expected to spend, spend, spend. The National Retail Federation is predicting holiday sales during November and December could balloon to $859 billion. On this episode, we talk with Katherine Cullen, the senior director of industry and consumer insights at NRF, about supply chain challenges, tracking down the perfect gift, and why so many Americans are shopping early.
Supply chain issues & when relief may come: Ongoing supply chain issues seem to have almost paralyzed consumer goods across the country. From canned goods, to computer chips to auto parts, you name it, and they all seem to be hard to come by. But what’s causing the kink in the supply chain and when will we see relief? On this episode, we talk to Bill Thayer. He’s an expert in logistics, retail, and e-commerce, and he’s also CEO of Fillogic, a company that specializes in transporting goods from Point A to Point B. He has some interesting insight about what’s going on with America’s supply chain and when it may end.
Getting the best car insurance for you: When it comes to saving money, your car insurance premiums should be at the top of your list. Yet, nearly half of consumers have failed to comparison shop to see if they can get a better deal. That’s what we’re talking about on the 3 On Your Side podcast. We talk to Mark Fitzpatrick with MoneyGeek.com who will show you how to shop for car insurance and get the best rate.
Car Rental Tips: The cost of renting a car has sky-rocketed over the last year and a half. In fact, in Hawaii, travelers were shelling out $4,000 a week just to rent a car once they flew in for their vacation. On this episode, Gary Harper is talking to Willis Orlando, an analyst with a travel website called Scott’s Cheap Flights which investigates travel costs like renting a car. He’ll explain why car rentals have become so ridiculously high and when rental rates will come down.
Avoiding holiday financial hangover: Nearly half of Americans carry some kind of credit card debt, with an average balance of $6,200. Unfortunately for many consumers, that amount will increase come the holidays. So in this episode, Gary is talking to Kelsa Dickey, a certified financial coach who’s been helping to dig people out of debt for years. She’s going to tell us what we can to starting today in order to avoid a financial hangover after the holidays.
Beware of flooded cars for sale: Thank goodness Hurricane Ida is behind us, but she left a path of destruction. In fact, Ida left $95 billion worth of damage in Louisiana and surrounding states and much of that destruction was caused to cars. Unfortunately, many of those water damaged vehicles will be cleaned up and sold to unsuspecting consumers around the nation. Today we’re talking to Patrick Olsen from Carfax. Carfax has access to around 20 billion records for vehicles, and they collect the information from around 100,000 different sources to determine if a car has been in an accident, if the odometer has been rolled back, or in this case, if the car you’re thinking of buying has been waterlogged from a hurricane.
Sextortion Alert: It is a form of internet bribery that has victimized countless people. The elements are intriguing. They involve romance, photos, lies, and eventually money. A lot of money. Gary Harper is talking to Nate Warfield a former internet hacker who eventually used his skills to help people and companies to protect themselves while online. Warfield is here to tell us about something called “sextortion” and what you need to do to protect yourself against it.
FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance: Nearly 600,000 Americans have lost their lives to Covid-19. It’s terrible news, and many loved ones paid out of pocket for those funerals. But why? Particularly when the federal government has set aside money to pay for those services. On this episode, Gary Harper is talking to Ed Michael Reggie, CEO of Future Factory and a known consumer advocate and expert in the funeral industry. He explains details of the program and says many people just don’t know about it and what is needed to qualify.
The Supermarket Guru: In this episode, Gary Harper is talking about something that affects nearly everyone across the nation and that’s rising food prices. To break things down, Gary talks to Phil Lempert who’s known as the “Supermarket Guru.” Lempert is an author, speaker and one of the leading experts in the nation when it comes to following food trends.
Skyrocketing Rent: Rent is increasing, not only in Phoenix, but all across the nation. On this episode, Gary Harper is joined by Jeff Andrews with Zumper, an apartment rental website that monitors rental trends. Andrews says national rent went up 12% since this time last year, and there’s no indication of going down. Andrews explores the reasons behind the jump. Gary is then joined by 3 On Your Side producer Warren Trent to discuss home rental scams they’ve covered and tips for consumers to avoid from being ripped off.
Great Resignation: In this edition of the 3 On Your Side Podcast, Consumer Investigator Gary Harper talks about something that’s being referred to as the “Great Resignation.” Apparently, more people are leaving their jobs now than ever before. But what is driving the mad exodus of leaving careers and starting a new one?
A Raging “Scamdemic”: For this edition of the 3 On Your Side Podcast, Gary Harper talks to Jack Caporal, an analyst and writer with The Ascent and The Motley Fool research team who has gathered statistics regarding COVID-19 fraud cases. Arizona consumers have been swindled out of nearly $10 million with an average loss of $325. Caporal uses a term “Scamdemic” while referring to the COVID-19 scams. Since the beginning of the pandemic, American’s have filed over a half-million COVID-19 fraud reports totaling over $480 million according the Federal Trade Commission. Arizona ranks No. 13 in the U.S. when it comes to COVID-19 fraud cases, California tops all states with COVID-19 fraud losses totaling more $65 million.
Protecting Your Privacy: Gary Harper and Susan Campbell offer tips to consumers help them protect their privacy in only a matter of seconds. Lending their expertise on privacy is Thomas Germain, a technology writer at Consumer Reports. This 3 On Your Side episode wraps up with Gary and Susan offering tips for consumers to help avoid falling victim to a common trick crooks use to steal your money, The Overpayment Scam.
Don’t get boxed in with your move: When it comes to moving, it is among the most complained about industry’s 3 On Your Side get emails about. To help expose the pitfalls, Gary Harper and Susan Campbell talk to Ryan Charles, from a company called Hire a Helper who sheds light to help consumers from getting ripped off during their move. Gary and Susan wrap up this podcast segment talking about the pitfalls of buying sight unseen vehicles online.
Used car prices going through the roof: If you’re thinking about buying a new vehicle, you might want to pump the brakes. Used car prices are through the roof with new cars often getting full sticker prices on the lot. Emilie Voss is from Carfax and talks to Gary Harper and Susan Campbell about the rising used car prices and what consumers need to know so they don’t get taken for a ride. This 3 On Your Side Podcast ends with Susan and Gary answering questions they frequently get from consumers about balance billing complaints.
Beware of Contracting Scams: This is the season where monsoons can bring damaging winds and rains for countless citizens. Summer is also a time when scammers often show up after a storm offering repair deals that are too good to be true. Jeff Wills, is Chief of Investigations at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors who talked to Susan Campbell and Gary Harper about the Red Flags consumers need to be mindful of as scammers show up unannounced after a storm looking to separate you from your hard earned money. This episode wraps up with Susan and Gary discussing complaints 3 On Your Side often receives about different types of payment scams. For example, viewers tell us they may get a phone call from someone who they believe is their utility company, threatening to shut off their utility if they don’t pay a certain amount of money immediately. It’s a common scam consumer frequently fall victim to.
Deals Take Flight: As summer travel takes flight, 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper and Susan Campbell talk to Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. Keyes offers tips for consumers to help them find post-pandemic travel deals. The episode concludes with Gary and Susan answering viewer questions about Renters Rights. Information consumers need to keep in mind when it comes to landlord tenant disputes.
Navigating the Hot Housing Market: Susan Campbell and Gary Harper take you on a house hunt with Phoenix, Arizona based real-estate agent Trevor Halpern from Halpern Residential. Halpern helps buyers and sellers navigate the ultra-competitive housing market. 3 On Your Side frequently receives numerous emails from disappointed consumers about things not covered by their Car or Home Warranty. The episode concludes with Susan and Gary offering tips consumers should keep in mind before agreeing to pay thousands of dollars for a Car and/or Home Warranty.
Saving $1,000 on Any Salary: If you have a desire to learn how to save $1,000 on any salary, Gary Harper and Susan Campbell have the answer. On this edition of the 3 On Your Side Podcast, they talk to Deacon Hayes, a financial expert and founder of Well Kept Wallet, a financial education company that strives to enlighten consumers across the globe through a personal finance curriculum. This episode concludes with Gary and Susan answering viewer emails about their decisions to help the environment by adding Solar panels to their homes. While there are consumers pleased with going solar, there are things consumers need to keep in mind when deciding if they should buy or lease solar panels. For example, leasing solar panels can last up to 25 years, with escalating monthly payments.
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