How to avoid vacation rental cleaning fees? Do this before you check in

If you’re planning a vacation rental stay, you need to do one thing before you kick off your shoes and unpack — if you don’t want to end up with surprise cleaning fees. Grab your phone and start taking pictures.

Lots of pictures.

I speak from personal experience. I just checked out of a vacation rental and got broadsided with one of the most outrageous cleaning fee claims in my career. More on that in a minute. Read more “How to avoid vacation rental cleaning fees? Do this before you check in”

If a stranger suddenly sends you money by surprise, should you keep it?

If a stranger sends you money by accident, do you have any obligation to give it back? If so, how do you do it without exposing yourself to a scam? And if you transfer money to the wrong person, is there any possible way to fix your mistake?

These are not uncommon dilemmas faced by users of cash apps like Zelle and Venmo in 2021. Along with the increasing popularity and convenience of instant money transfer services came a dramatic rise in pricey user errors. Unfortunately, our attempts to investigate and resolve many of these cases have exposed some disturbing flaws in the programs.

Minh Tran is just one of the many desperate Zelle users who’ve recently asked our team for help. In his case, a stranger’s mistake set off a frustrating and confusing chain of events that almost cost him $360.

Here’s his story. Read more “If a stranger suddenly sends you money by surprise, should you keep it?”

United Airlines flight credit: How to make the most of it after the pandemic

The clock is ticking on Bernadine Fong’s sizable United Airlines flight credit, which she acquired during the pandemic. Around this time last year, she booked two business class tickets to Europe for a dream vacation. But that was before the coronavirus ruined everyone’s summer plans for 2020.

With the pandemic entering year two, Fong worries her nearly $11,000 flight credit with United Airlines is in jeopardy. Now she wants to know what to do to make sure to make the most of it before it expires. (Last updated March 31, 2020) Read more “United Airlines flight credit: How to make the most of it after the pandemic”