Are gift cards better for you — or better for the business?

Ask Richard Brigleb about gift cards, and he’ll tell you about the $200 worth of plastic for a wine store and local restaurant he just found in his kitchen drawer.
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Why Scrooge loves to fly — and why you won’t

I’m stunned by the reaction to two of our most popular stories of the week — my intervention in this case, which resulted in single mom and her kids finally being able to board their flight, and my efforts to secure a refund for this passenger in need.
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Pack these tips for a better holiday trip

Did you forget something?
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This Frigidaire doesn’t refrigerate – why won’t my warranty work?

Lisa Veyka’s air conditioner stops working just before a hot holiday weekend. Why won’t anyone help her?
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The unauthorized guide to fine print, holiday edition

Zoon/Shutterstock
Zoon/Shutterstock

When Ben Blout invoked a big-box store’s “low price promise” after discovering a lower price on his merchandise, he learned something customers rediscover every holiday shopping season: some restrictions apply.

Make that lots of restrictions.

“They told me they won’t match any printed advertisement that is not valid for at least one week,” says Blout. “Specifically, their price match excludes timed events like early bird specials and door busters.”

Fine print is a problem any time of the year, of course. But most consumers get foiled by it around the holidays, in part because more people are shopping, and in part because of the extra offers with the extra restrictions.
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