Search found 45 matches

by oko
Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody replace HVAC capacitors presumptively before they fail as part of maintenance?
Replies: 44
Views: 3121

Re: Does anybody replace HVAC capacitors presumptively before they fail as part of maintenance?

Several years ago the company who installed my A/C (and gave me 10 year labor warranty) told me that my capacitor is at the end of is life, and offered to change it for $220 (Capacitor cost was $20, and he already has the panel open). I refused. The capacitor has been working fine (for years) since ...
by oko
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House purchase (cash)... wire transfer or cashier's check?
Replies: 32
Views: 2090

Re: House purchase (cash)... wire transfer or cashier's check?

Be very careful with the wire. There was a recent news about this. An email coming from the "title company" instructs the wire instructions on the morning of the closure. This guy wires around $400K (don't remember exact value). And then it turns out to be that the email was faked. Fortunately polic...
by oko
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer shows trade-in value much higher to avoid sales tax
Replies: 34
Views: 3696

Re: Dealer shows trade-in value much higher to avoid sales tax

Let me also include a web advertisement from a Texas dealer mentioning the tax credit. If there is anyone in dealership business among our Bogleheads, they might tell us what this "tax credit" is. Q: Is the Tucson available with a Tax Free Lease, and exactly what is a Tax Free Lease and how do I ben...
by oko
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer shows trade-in value much higher to avoid sales tax
Replies: 34
Views: 3696

Re: Dealer shows trade-in value much higher to avoid sales tax

It sounds like the earlier allegations of “fraud” by some folks were a little premature. A thread anything to do with taxes, particularly somebody paying less taxes than might be expected, and people on this forum start shouting 'fraud!' without knowing what they are talking about: who'd have ever ...
by oko
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer shows trade-in value much higher to avoid sales tax
Replies: 34
Views: 3696

Re: Dealer shows trade-in value much higher to avoid sales tax

Thanks for all the replies! Based on these replies, I did some more research. It looks like there is no fraud. Here's what is happening: * The registration sales receipt I got from Texas State is not about the lease. It is about the car's sale from the dealer to the lessor (Nissan Infinity). So it h...
by oko
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer shows trade-in value much higher to avoid sales tax
Replies: 34
Views: 3696

Re: Dealer shows trade-in value much higher to avoid sales tax

The dealer may be breaking the law and may be exposing you to legal action from the state. The tax is due on the sale of the vehicle (minus the trade value) and you paid the tax due to the dealer but they failed to pass it along to the state and instead filed fraudulent paperwork to avoid paying th...
by oko
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer shows trade-in value much higher to avoid sales tax
Replies: 34
Views: 3696

Dealer shows trade-in value much higher to avoid sales tax

Hi everyone, I always get very helpful responses here so I am asking for opinions about a car lease question. I always negotiate the "out the door" (OTD) price when buying cars. So the dealer and I agreed on the price, I leased the car by trading-in my 9 year old car, worth about $3,000 - 3,5000. I ...
by oko
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do so many stocks in defensive sectors increase in value despite little to no improvements in fundamentals?
Replies: 25
Views: 2168

Re: Why do so many stocks in defensive sectors increase in value despite little to no improvements in fundamentals?

Maybe I am thinking too simple and this explanation might be too stupid, but I'll say it anyway :-). FED added trillions of dollars to the circulation in 2008 crises right? Did they pull all of that money? I don't know. If not, that money has to go somewhere, and ever increasing stock market is a na...
by oko
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Mint Mobile customers here?
Replies: 37
Views: 2348

Re: Any Mint Mobile customers here?

I have mint for years, along with my wife. Since it is basically T-Mobile, I almost never had to contact customer service. If my memory is not incorrect, I contacted them once for a voice mail issue, and they fixed it very quickly (probably in a couple of hours). I would imagine all technical issues...
by oko
Tue May 28, 2019 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric, corded, trimmer edger recommendations
Replies: 11
Views: 875

Re: Electric, corded, trimmer edger recommendations

I used corded for years, and then cordless for a few more years. I would never go back to corded. I had same brand (toro) cordless blower, hedge trimmer and edger, all using same type of battery. So I always had 3 batteries, if one is depleted, I could use another full waiting. Now that I got rid of...
by oko
Thu May 09, 2019 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Surge Protection
Replies: 22
Views: 2326

Re: Whole House Surge Protection

BTW: None of the "angie's list coupons" ever helped us. One company told me that they are using a different pricing for angie's list coupons. I understood this as they bid something for $500 if angie's is not involved, and $600 with $100 coupon if angie's is involved. Last time I used an angie's dea...
by oko
Thu May 09, 2019 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Surge Protection
Replies: 22
Views: 2326

Re: Whole House Surge Protection

I had it installed several years ago. I bought the unit for $50, and I hired an electrician to do the job. He did this job and a few others (connecting an energy meter, replacing several breakers) for only $100. So it cost me $150 including unrelated additional work. I don't know why they quote this...
by oko
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?
Replies: 177
Views: 10692

Re: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?

Austin won't work for OP if politics is playing a role since Austin is the "blue dot in red state".
by oko
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity as a one stop shop
Replies: 1053
Views: 118334

Re: Using Fidelity Cash Management as my only bank account

Some things I don't like Fidelity cash account: * Deposit cash problems. * Have to call them for travel notice (if you plan to use ATM abroad). * No easy way to get international wire transfer (if you ever need one. I once needed. Called them and they gave me a few loooong account numbers). * AFAIK ...
by oko
Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAcT - PSA on gouging
Replies: 14
Views: 1433

Re: TaxAcT - PSA on gouging

I searched for TaxAct on SlickDeals (back in December) and there was a deal for "all inclusive" for $9.95. I clicked on it and enrolled and filed my taxes for that amount (which included Schedule-D). If you want to buy anything (not only TaxAct, but anything), I'll advice visiting SlickDeals. It use...
by oko
Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I don't understand stock buybacks
Replies: 89
Views: 4344

Re: I don't understand stock buybacks

I recently read an article about how Sears spent several billion dollars on stock buybacks in the last few years, and we all now how Sears is doing now. The article was asking this question: What if Sears spent all these billions on technology improvements, better inventory control or similar things...
by oko
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need to ethically reneg on a large eBay purchase
Replies: 39
Views: 5161

Re: I need to ethically reneg on a large eBay purchase

I had many non-paying bidders in the past. In one case, a lady bid on something, never paid, and when I relisted, she bid again! Ebay does not do anything to non-paying bidders if it is not excessive. Sellers cannot put negative feedback to buyers anyway. When a buyer changes his/her mind, I simply ...
by oko
Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wife filled our gas engine car with diesel fuel
Replies: 111
Views: 11664

Re: Wife filled our gas engine car with diesel fuel

Years ago when I read similar stories, I wondered "how can someone do this???". One day, I was away from home, family, traveling to some place which I really don't like, for business, and my head was fill of things, worries etc. I tried to insert the nuzzle to my own car and wondered why it did not ...
by oko
Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8754

Re: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?

Can you do a chargeback on your credit card? I don't think so. If I do that, they will ask Sam's if tires were installed. And Sam's will say "yes". I don't think the credit card guys will care or understand what the problem about 3 year old tires. Also I did not use my Amex but used BoA credit card...
by oko
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8754

Re: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?

Both Sam's club's and samsclub.com's customer service is a joke. They promised to callback "tomorrow" on Monday but I never received one. I tweeted to Sam's club's official account and they did not even reply. If anyone still thinks that getting 3 years old tires is okay, here's some more info: 1-If...
by oko
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Bank Of America Cash Rewards Card Now Lets You Choose Your 3%(=5.25%) Category"
Replies: 225
Views: 31052

Re: "Bank Of America Cash Rewards Card Now Lets You Choose Your 3%(=5.25%) Category"

I was surprised to see that online charity donations also counts as "online" category, earning 3% or 5.25%.
by oko
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8754

Re: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?

I went to Costco tire center yesterday also. The people there looked much more knowledgeable, professional and helpful there. The guy there spent like 20 minutes with me going over the options. He said as a company policy, they never sell 3 year old or older tires and all tires they have are manufac...
by oko
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8754

Re: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?

I went to the store and talked to the manager. And I really lost hope that this will get solved. They say they cannot reinstall my old tires no matter how I insisted, and they don't want to give any discount for 3 year old tires either. Although they say they won't put back my tires back because the...
by oko
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8754

Re: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?

This became even more complicated. The supervisor called and told me that they cannot reinstall my old tires because they are tool old! My old tires are 6.5 years old. They install 3 year old tires as "new" but cannot reinstall my 6.5 year old tires because they are too old! What an irony! I guess I...
by oko
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8754

Re: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?

You're supposed to replace tires every six years? Why? Is that like you're supposed to throw drugs away the day after their expiration date? That somehow they go from perfectly fine to completely unacceptable overnight? The worst thing that could happen from using drugs after expiration dates (whic...
by oko
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8754

Re: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?

OP here. I called Sam's Club 10 minutes after they opened. They promised a call back from supervisor, and I finally got the call a short while ago. Here's what he says: 1-They have no control over what tires are/will be sent and they cannot know the tire manufacture date before the tires are sent. I...
by oko
Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8754

Re: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?

I don't know where you live but here in Arizona the freeways are littered with the tread carcasses of tires that have disintegrated. They are not worn out treads either, they are just the results of old tires plus 100deg+ temperatures. A real hazard to the driver and any car behind that can't avoid...
by oko
Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8754

Re: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?

OP here, thanks for all the suggestions. The tire date is 2816, which makes it July 2016, so the tires are 2 years 7 months old. I'll contact the tire center when they open today. I'll post the progress (if they will do anything about this). BTW: Here's a link on NTSB's own website about tire aging:...
by oko
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?
Replies: 104
Views: 8754

3 year old tires installed (Sam's club). Should I do anything about this?

After reading all these articles about tires should be replaced after 6 years regardless of thread depth, I had my tires replaced today, which only had 25K miles on them (we drive only 4K to 5K/year). When I came home and checked them, I see that they are manufactured in 2016, making them almost 3 y...
by oko
Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Crazy lady backs into my car...don't think she will pay me out of pocket
Replies: 103
Views: 10079

Re: Crazy lady backs into my car...dont think she will pay me out of pocket

Which number do you guys dial for police report? I am assuming it is not 911. We have 311 for non-emergencies but I don't know how long will it take for police to respond. According to the nextdoor, at 5am in the morning someone (probably drunk or under the influence of drugs) was damaging/hitting o...
by oko
Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th [2018]
Replies: 1052
Views: 97622

Re: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th

Previously I asked a question about transferring from Optum to Fidelity and did not get any responses. So let me answer my own question: I did a transfer using the "pull" method at Fidelity from Optum bank. Here's what I experienced: * Transfer is painfully slow. You need to print stuff, send it to ...
by oko
Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve and Costco travel
Replies: 2
Views: 1213

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve and Costco travel

Yes, I did and can confirm. In fact I got my $300 travel refund from that purchase.
by oko
Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th [2018]
Replies: 1052
Views: 97622

Re: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th

I see many people mentions about "pull from Optum to Fidelity" and asking about if Optum charges $20 for this (if Optum initiates it, it definitely charges $20 as I did this in the past to Saturna). But I don't see any replies or any experiences regarding this. I am sure many people did that. Can an...
by oko
Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 50
Views: 6554

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

I second the 5/24 check. Note that the cards you got as an authorized user also counts for the 5/24 rule. Say that you opened 4 cards in the last 24 months, and became authorized user for your spouse's card, then you are not eligible for most Chase cards (at least for a while). If you and your spous...
by oko
Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Annoyingly Expensive HP Ink Cartridges
Replies: 34
Views: 2760

Re: Annoyingly Expensive HP Ink Cartridges

This was the reason I stopped buying HP printers years ago. I have Cannon MX series, and I spend 25 cents to 50 cents per cartridge. In fact, I kind of make money on them since Officemax/Officedepot pays $2 per cartridge (as gift card). Cannon ink cartridge is "dumb", i.e. only holds ink, without pr...
by oko
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...
Replies: 188
Views: 22154

Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

The amount of money we save from Costco Travel PER YEAR is worth a few year's executive membership. Next time you rent a car, or go to Hawaii and Caribbean, just search all of the travel sites and compare it with Costco. For example, last year we went to Cayman, and the hotel price I got from Costco...
by oko
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LastPass Questions
Replies: 27
Views: 1933

Re: LastPass Questions

I used to have premium version, then they doubled their price and I downgraded to the free version. I see absolutely no difference. I think it used to be like this: Only premium version could use the phone app. But now free version can. So why would anyone pay for premium, I don't know. My wife and ...
by oko
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Eyeglasses - No satisfaction guarantee. Any chance of resolution?
Replies: 49
Views: 54489

Re: Costco Eyeglasses - No satisfaction guarantee. Any chance of resolution?

I read from somewhere how $2-$3 cost glasses are sold for $200-$300 at retailers. I don't know how accurate that was. But I certainly think the materials on a non-designer glasses are costing 1-$2 to the manufacturer (I use frameless glasses for years, and there is not much material on those). I sto...
by oko
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Zealand
Replies: 17
Views: 1768

Re: New Zealand

Would you consider going to Tahiti or Fiji for a week + 2 weeks in NZ instead of 3 weeks in NZ? Because if you travel half round the world, IMO it makes sense to visit those places also. We did exactly that in 2013. I agree that NZ is very beautiful, but nothing so much special really there. Milford...
by oko
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Edward Jones rep door knocking
Replies: 90
Views: 11171

Re: Edward Jones rep door knocking

For safety purposes my wife and I never answer a knock/ring at the door unless we are expecting someone and have verified through the peephole that it is that person. Unless it is a police officer in uniform and the marked car is outside. We also do like that. But if he/she comes when I am doing ya...
by oko
Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an electric car: Volt? Alternative?
Replies: 49
Views: 4756

Re: Suggest an electric car: Volt? Alternative?

I cannot believe nobody recommended Honda Clarity here. Most consensus is it is much better than Volt while having almost the same electric only range. It is basically a luxury car for regular car price. Though list price is $34K, most people got it under 30K (see here: https://www.insideevsforum.co...
by oko
Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High voltage powerlines near house
Replies: 72
Views: 5705

Re: High voltage powelines near house

Lead paint was banned in the US in 1977. It was banned in the UK in 1992. I didn't bother checking other countries. I really don't think you should look at UK as an example. UK is a small version of America. Here's some info I found. Again, did not check the validity for correctness: "Use of lead-b...
by oko
Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High voltage powerlines near house
Replies: 72
Views: 5705

Re: High voltage powelines near house

I did not really research the truthfulness of the following, but: 1-USA is the only developed country where asbestos is still not banned because of industrial pressure. 2-Lead in paint was banned in USA much later than other developed countries. Bottom line is: Industrial interests are much more pow...
by oko
Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does this ebay scam work?
Replies: 13
Views: 2449

Re: How does this ebay scam work?

Years ago I sold a 2GB RAM stick to one buyer and 1GB RAM stick to another. A few days later, the one who bought 1GB told me that he got a 2GB stick, and he is happy with it if I am okay. I immediately contacted the other guy to tell him he has the wrong item, but he never returned back.
by oko
Thu May 24, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Power in Austin, TX
Replies: 5
Views: 580

Re: Solar Power in Austin, TX

I am in Austin TX, having 8.75KW solar panels. 1-Varies bu utility. AE pays for your solar energy (close to 10c/KW), but you still pay for your regular usage. IMO this is better than net metering. My bill has been $0 since for last several years. 2-Multiple providers, AE, Pedernales ... Check Austin...