It’s time to fight junk fees, wherever they are

It’s easy to think this is a travel site, considering all the airline and loyalty program complaints I handle every day. But it isn’t and never was designed to be one.
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Not so funny money tricks the travel industry likes to play

Maks Narondeko/Shutterstock
Maks Narondeko/Shutterstock

Hold on to your wallet. Businesses don’t just want to get their hands on your cash when you’re on the road — they also want more of your money, and on their terms.

Take what happened to Gordon Angell when he was visiting La Paz, Mexico, recently. Many restaurants in town display the “Visa” and “MasterCard” stickers, signifying that they accept credit cards.

But on Angell’s first evening, after finishing a meal at a restaurant, his server informed him the credit card machine didn’t work, and pointed to an ATM. He paid in pesos.

“The following evening we went to another restaurant called The Three Virgins,” he says. “We made sure that we asked them if they accepted credit cards and they said ‘yes.’ Surprisingly, when we offered to pay our bill, it was a repeat of the previous evening. Their machine was ‘not working.’ They told us to use the ATM.”
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Las Vegas ATM stole $990 — can you help recover it?

Pabkov/Shutterstock
Pabkov/Shutterstock
Question: I wanted to ask you about an ATM dispute that occurred last August. I tried to obtain funds from a single ATM in Las Vegas multiple times and my card was continuously declined. I received no cash. The following day, I checked my online banking and it showed that these transactions were pending on my checking account.

I then contacted Bank of America customer service and the representative assured me that if I did not receive any funds then my account would reflect this the following Tuesday.
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Covered in bank fees with no way out

Question: I recently gave my property management company a check for a deposit on a new apartment my daughter and I were moving into. Usually, they’d wait until the lease was signed to deposit the check and after discussing it with the property caretaker, I concluded that it would be the same this time.
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Chase tries to call my mother every day, but she’s been dead two years

Question: My mother died two years ago. Since then, account alerts from Chase have continually come to my phone, a number that was both set to receive account alerts prior to her death, and also a number to which all her calls were forwarded after her death.
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