Frugal Living 
29
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Downgrade Your Expenses

University GymHow many fixed expenses do you have each month? We have about half a dozen – mortgage, utilities, cable & internet, Netflix, insurance, and the gym. Of those, three are mostly non-negotiable (mortgage, utilities, insurance). For cable & internet, Netflix, and the gym, we’ve considered downgrading our services to reduce their expense.

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 Personal Finance 
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Effective Complaining: Hit Credit Cards, Not Banks

Stop ComplainingOn Sunday, I reviewed Gotcha Capitalism, a powerful and comprehensive guide for consumers, and gave it glowing reviews. Today, I want to talk about a couple stats Bob Sullivan shares with the reader about complaining to companies and success rates (Keep in mind that the book was published in 2007).

The point of the section was to illustrate that the places where you are more likely to succeed are exactly the places that people don’t try. The success rate at a grocery store is 57.1% but only 14% of people ever try, whereas the success rate with a television company is an abysmal 20.2% yet 84% of people complain. If you want to make the most out of your time, go after credit card companies. Ask to have fees removed, refunded, or waived because you’re such an awesome customer.

Here are the numbers:

  1. Credit card companies: 64.6% success rate
  2. Airlines: 60.0% success rate
  3. Grocery stores: 57.1% success rate
  4. Retirement: 52.2% success rate
  5. Internet: 51.5% success rate
  6. Hotels: 37.0% success rate
  7. Banks: 33.3% success rate
  8. Insurance: 28.9% success rate
  9. Cell Phones: 26.8% success rate
  10. Television: 20.2% success rate

Here are the rates at which people actually complained:

  1. Television: 84% complaint rate
  2. Credit card companies: 79% complaint rate
  3. Cell Phones: 71% complaint rate
  4. Hotels: 54.0% complaint rate
  5. Insurance: 38% complaint rate
  6. Internet: 33% complaint rate
  7. Retirement: 23% complaint rate
  8. Banks: 18% complaint rate
  9. Airlines: 15% complaint rate
  10. Grocery stores: 14% complaint rate

If you have all the time in the world, complain to everyone! :)

(Photo by aturkus)


 The Home 
4
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Protect Your Wireless Network

One of the most popular posts at FiveCentNickel’s blog is the one title “Piggybacking on Your Neighbor’s WiFi.” Just a few days ago someone brought up the point of legal responsibility of your network and it led me to do some research on the topic. According to most, if someone connected to your wireless network, performed an illegal act, the trail would lead directly to you. While you ultimately will be exonerated, if you are innocent, it is going to be a headache for you for a very very long time.


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