Search found 1482 matches

by criticalmass
Fri May 22, 2020 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools
Replies: 94
Views: 5954

Re: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools

I’ve slowly acquired a vast set of Craftsman hand tools over the last 20 years and have generally felt like their quality was perfectly fine for consumer use. I recently bought a new adjustable wrench and was disappointed with quality and how “cheap” it felt in my hands. I know a lot of their manuf...
by criticalmass
Mon May 18, 2020 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping for Title Insurance
Replies: 29
Views: 1318

Re: Shopping for Title Insurance

We refinanced shortly after purchasing our house. I called the existing title insurance company to see if they would offer a lower rate than what the refinance company was charging, since it had been less than a year since we purchased the house. They said that our state sets the price, so shopping...
by criticalmass
Sun May 17, 2020 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping for Title Insurance
Replies: 29
Views: 1318

Re: Shopping for Title Insurance

We refinanced shortly after purchasing our house. I called the existing title insurance company to see if they would offer a lower rate than what the refinance company was charging, since it had been less than a year since we purchased the house. They said that our state sets the price, so shopping...
by criticalmass
Fri May 15, 2020 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer of 403B at TIAA to Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 513

Re: Transfer of 403B at TIAA to Vanguard

Need some advice from others who might have already done this , but trying to figure out the easiest way to transfer a 403B at TIAA to Vanguard or Fidelity. I no longer am with my employer, but because of inertia, have delayed moving my 403B at TIAA primarily because of the ERISA protections of the...
by criticalmass
Fri May 15, 2020 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping for Title Insurance
Replies: 29
Views: 1318

Re: Shopping for Title Insurance

We refinanced shortly after purchasing our house. I called the existing title insurance company to see if they would offer a lower rate than what the refinance company was charging, since it had been less than a year since we purchased the house. They said that our state sets the price, so shopping...
by criticalmass
Wed May 13, 2020 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist charges $10 for PPE
Replies: 234
Views: 10750

Re: Dentist charges $10 for PPE

My insurance company has indicated that protective equipment (for the dentist), typical consumables, equipment like the chair you sit on, the dentist specialty tools/equipment, procaine, needles, etc. are included in the standards of care for for the procedure(s) being performed. Providers can't cha...
by criticalmass
Wed May 13, 2020 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity fund proposals vote June 2020
Replies: 4
Views: 3116

Fundamental investment policy versus Non-fundamental investment policy

I am voting on my Fidelity Investments fund proposals. One question is about converting a fundamental investment policy to a non-fundamental investment policy for Fidelity funds. I am looking for pros/cons of this fund policy conversion. I noted that someone asked this question here [https://www.bog...
by criticalmass
Mon May 11, 2020 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to visit all the US national parks
Replies: 19
Views: 2098

Re: How to visit all the US national parks

Some of my favorite parks without crowds are Channel Islands National Park Virgin Islands National Park Glacier Bay National Park Great Basin National Park (don't miss the glaciers and the caves) Indiana Dunes National Park (new and improved!) Dry Tortugas National Park Everglades National Park Kena...
by criticalmass
Sat May 09, 2020 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property
Replies: 158
Views: 16223

Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

I think sometimes these contractors will try to “bully” people to see what they can get away with and once you make it clear that’s not happening, they back down and find another way. Was it bullying? From the description, the neighbor/contractor sent a ridiculous, laughable proposal. The proposal ...
by criticalmass
Thu May 07, 2020 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone filled out a UI form for my Mom..
Replies: 9
Views: 1548

Re: Someone filled out a UI form for my Mom..

My mom owns a small business and we (siblings) filed for PUA (but not UI) on her behalf. She received info on her PUA claim in the mail, and we noticed her name was flipped (middle name first). The SSN and all other contact information was accurate. A few days later a UI form showed up, which shows...
by criticalmass
Tue May 05, 2020 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Front load washing machine recommendations
Replies: 98
Views: 4656

Re: Front load washing machine recommendations

No matter where your equipment’s door is located, I strongly recommend not using any fabric softener. It leaves residue behind wherever it goes, does not get washed out easily, and is a breeding ground to incubate mold growth inside internal parts and on seals.
by criticalmass
Tue May 05, 2020 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No sidewalk ramp or a steep ramp?
Replies: 14
Views: 1098

Re: No sidewalk ramp or a steep ramp?

I don't think you have much to argue about. They did not build a barrier to pedestrian travel (the curb is old) and they did not diminish the level of accessibility that existed previously. And unless you have a certain disability, you are not protected by the ADA. Fortunately, under ADA, public si...
by criticalmass
Mon May 04, 2020 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No sidewalk ramp or a steep ramp?
Replies: 14
Views: 1098

Re: No sidewalk ramp or a steep ramp?

It is likely that an accessible path and crossing is required if it is a public street. Contact your elected officials and/or DoT, DPW, etc. agency responsible for sidewalks. The utility is unlikely to be responsible for upgrading paths from non accessible to accessible, unless they are responsible ...
by criticalmass
Sun May 03, 2020 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Front load washing machine recommendations
Replies: 98
Views: 4656

Re: Front load washing machine recommendations

One more person who had a front loader and won’t ever again. Stinky from mildew, even after doing all the “things” to make it better. Leaving the door open, wiping it down, running cycles with Afresh. We had a w/d maintenance man come. He said mildew was a perennial problem with front loaders and t...
by criticalmass
Sun May 03, 2020 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Front load washing machine recommendations
Replies: 98
Views: 4656

Re: Front load washing machine recommendations

One more person who had a front loader and won’t ever again. Stinky from mildew, even after doing all the “things” to make it better. Leaving the door open, wiping it down, running cycles with Afresh. We had a w/d maintenance man come. He said mildew was a perennial problem with front loaders and t...
by criticalmass
Sat May 02, 2020 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property
Replies: 158
Views: 16223

Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

If I'm reading this right, Neighbor has a driveway on D (or B) side of his house that provides full access to backyard. Neighbor also owns some width of land on the B (or D) side of his house, that faces the side of your house. Here, the neighbor has a fence along the property line. Neighbor plans t...
by criticalmass
Sat May 02, 2020 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Front load washing machine recommendations
Replies: 98
Views: 4656

Re: Front load washing machine recommendations

One more person who had a front loader and won’t ever again. Stinky from mildew, even after doing all the “things” to make it better. Leaving the door open, wiping it down, running cycles with Afresh. We had a w/d maintenance man come. He said mildew was a perennial problem with front loaders and t...
by criticalmass
Sat May 02, 2020 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Front load washing machine recommendations
Replies: 98
Views: 4656

Re: Front load washing machine recommendations

Consumer Reports has done several articles on these. If I were buying one I would definitely spring the $25/yr for online access to read the articles. As mentioned up-thread, mildew can be a big problem. Many libraries have consumer reports online access for you at no charge. Any decently designed ...
by criticalmass
Sat May 02, 2020 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property
Replies: 158
Views: 16223

Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

We had a similar request with a neighbor. They requested access to our land next to a house to access their property for the convenience of their contracted construction. The contractor damaged our building, land, garden, and a fence. They disappeared and refused to respond to any request to resolve...
by criticalmass
Fri May 01, 2020 12:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard will be moving their mail operations to El Paso in the future
Replies: 21
Views: 2726

Re: Vanguard will be moving their mail operations to El Paso in the future

The Vanguard-supplied Business Reply Envelopes for deposits and other mail go to PA, not WI. Here's the address: VANGUARD PO Box 8100 Southeastern PA 19398-9984 That directs to Berwyn PA, which is near Vanguard's headquarters in Malvern PA. More specifically, the "Southeastern PA" represents the po...
by criticalmass
Fri May 01, 2020 12:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard will be moving their mail operations to El Paso in the future
Replies: 21
Views: 2726

Re: Vanguard will be moving their mail operations to El Paso in the future

I don't think they were doing it "themselves" before. As I mentioned in another thread, my statements are mailed from Monroe, Wisconsin, population 11,000, best known as the home of Swiss Colony Cheese. Random clicking around in Google Maps and random web searches don't indicate any obvious "Vangua...
by criticalmass
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard will be moving their mail operations to El Paso in the future
Replies: 21
Views: 2726

Re: Vanguard will be moving their mail operations to El Paso in the future

Presumably the Swiss Post service scans mail and uploads it to an image server, where Vanguard employees can view it across the country. Why not just allow customers to do their own document scanning and upload it to an image server where Vanguard employees may view it? Or better yet, reduce the num...
by criticalmass
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roofing Experts... Help me Identify my Shingles (w/ links to pics)
Replies: 16
Views: 1139

Re: Roofing Experts... Help me Identify my Shingles (w/ links to pics)

Please help me identify the color of my roof. I compared it to 2 samples and the color seems off. We could like to re-roof our garage, car port, shed, (dog house, mailbox, who knows etc... :D ) to match the house. The roof was installed in 2012 and is most likely faded. Please compare to the other ...
by criticalmass
Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn
Replies: 101
Views: 8736

Re: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn

What I've noticed in our FL HOA neighborhood is many of the "rental" homes in the hood have lawns similar to the pictures that were posted. A lot of the renters don't water their lawn as frequently as needed to keep St. Augustine healthy (it's thirsty!) because the monthly water bills can get relat...
by criticalmass
Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote
Replies: 51
Views: 4707

Re: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote

We had our home HVAC ducts cleaned last fall by a company that specializes in it. They charged us $400 for a 1600 sq ft home. They took before and after pictures. It made a big difference in the home's air quality. It was money well spent in my opinion. LPSpecial How did you quantify the big differ...
by criticalmass
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote
Replies: 51
Views: 4707

Re: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote

2. When replacing your filters, have someone stand at the opposite end of the house from where you are. Make sure the system is on and you are at an air intake. Start spraying a bottle of lysol into the intake and keep spraying it until 30 seconds after the person on the far end starts to smell it....
by criticalmass
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote
Replies: 51
Views: 4707

Re: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote

We had our home HVAC ducts cleaned last fall by a company that specializes in it. They charged us $400 for a 1600 sq ft home. They took before and after pictures. It made a big difference in the home's air quality. It was money well spent in my opinion. LPSpecial How did you quantify the big differ...
by criticalmass
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote
Replies: 51
Views: 4707

Re: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote

There should not be much in the ducts because your air handler has a filter on it. The only ducts we ever have cleaned is the dryer vent because lint can collect in it. We really had to have it cleaned when a bird built a next in it. However, that possible problem has been eliminated with a cage ov...
by criticalmass
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn
Replies: 101
Views: 8736

Re: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn

What I've noticed in our FL HOA neighborhood is many of the "rental" homes in the hood have lawns similar to the pictures that were posted. A lot of the renters don't water their lawn as frequently as needed to keep St. Augustine healthy (it's thirsty!) because the monthly water bills can get relat...
by criticalmass
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Intel vs AMD Processor Equivalents
Replies: 28
Views: 1851

Re: Intel vs AMD Processor Equivalents

Is there any data that suggests AMD is less reliable than Intel? I haven't seen it. Actually I've never even heard of a CPU failing (other than under extreme circumstances, not normal use). Even though two have thought I said "reliability", I never said that. I meant quality, functional accuracy, r...
by criticalmass
Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Go or no go on Carnival cruise
Replies: 114
Views: 6971

Re: Go or no go on Carnival cruise

We have to decide very soon whether to pay the remaining cost for a one-week Mexico cruise in late July. We can bail out now and lose $100 deposit. This trip would not involve flying on an airline. Thoughts? A passenger ship. $100. What can go wrong? https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/pol...
by criticalmass
Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italian traffic fine with U.S. debt collector-revisited?
Replies: 26
Views: 2647

Re: Italian traffic fine with U.S. debt collector-revisited?

Today I was contacted by a Ceders Business Services, a debt collection agency in CA, regarding a traffic violation from April of 2018, from Siena, Italy. I was not aware I had entered or parked in a restricted area at the time and no violation was on my vehicle; the ticket was issued from a video c...
by criticalmass
Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Intel vs AMD Processor Equivalents
Replies: 28
Views: 1851

Re: Intel vs AMD Processor Equivalents

I've found that Intel processors are usually nearly as good or as good as and equivalent AMD processor, although the Intel usually costs more at a similar performance point.
by criticalmass
Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italian traffic fine with U.S. debt collector-revisited?
Replies: 26
Views: 2647

Re: Italian traffic fine with U.S. debt collector-revisited?

Today I was contacted by a Ceders Business Services, a debt collection agency in CA, regarding a traffic violation from April of 2018, from Siena, Italy. I was not aware I had entered or parked in a restricted area at the time and no violation was on my vehicle; the ticket was issued from a video c...
by criticalmass
Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Got Scammed To Send Amazon Gift Cards
Replies: 119
Views: 9342

Re: I Got Scammed To Send Amazon Gift Cards

So anyone with my name and account number (like everyone I've sent a check to) could now send themselves a wire from my account? No. They would have to have security credentials to log into your bank account and initiate a wire transfer. Cheers Oh, we all know hackers couldn't possibly do that. :oo...
by criticalmass
Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Got Scammed To Send Amazon Gift Cards
Replies: 119
Views: 9342

Re: I Got Scammed To Send Amazon Gift Cards

The only thing that kept her from wiring the money was that she had never done a wire transfer and had to ask someone how to do it. The scam was revealed and we shut off all wire transfer capability with our bank. What wire transfer capability did you shut off? Wouldn't she have to go to the bank p...
by criticalmass
Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Got Scammed To Send Amazon Gift Cards
Replies: 119
Views: 9342

Re: I Got Scammed To Send Amazon Gift Cards

The only thing that kept her from wiring the money was that she had never done a wire transfer and had to ask someone how to do it. The scam was revealed and we shut off all wire transfer capability with our bank. What wire transfer capability did you shut off? Wouldn't she have to go to the bank p...
by criticalmass
Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Got Scammed To Send Amazon Gift Cards
Replies: 119
Views: 9342

Re: I Got Scammed To Send Amazon Gift Cards

Good work. No, I'm not gonna report this. It's $200 and the world is upside down right now...too upside down to worry about Leesbro's $200. I get it that reporting MIGHT help someone else. But as I said, the world is just too upside down. I'll change my own passwords and be more careful going forwa...
by criticalmass
Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody sell 1 MB or 5 MB internet and how much? I don't need high speed internet at $50-$60 a month.
Replies: 17
Views: 1247

Re: Anybody sell 1 MB or 5 MB internet and how much? I don't need high speed internet at $50-$60 a month.

My ISP has an offer for new customers - 10 Mbps for $20/mo for the 1st year. For COVID they're upping this to 50 Mbps at no extra cost. But the offerings vary tremendously by area, so you have to do your research for your area. There are probably only 1 or 2 ISPs that service your address (such is ...
by criticalmass
Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: reliable thermometer? (for human, not oven, etc.)
Replies: 41
Views: 2300

Re: reliable thermometer? (for human, not oven, etc.)

Please, when disposing of a mercury thermometer Do Not Put In Trash. Health departments, pharmacies, and hazardous waste collection points nationwide accept old mercury thermometers. If trash is incinerated, the mercury is vaporized, and sails right through the anti-pollution scrubbers, causing haza...
by criticalmass
Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn
Replies: 101
Views: 8736

Re: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn

1.) Despite what mean letters may say, an HOA can only do what its recorded documents (land records or land court) and state law allows. Know what your HOA's limitations are. Everything else beyond the HOA's real limitations (not what they may "say") should be ignored as desired. 2.) It is unclear w...
by criticalmass
Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GoFundMe ... tipping!?
Replies: 33
Views: 3417

Re: GoFundMe ... tipping!?

I have no problems understanding they have bills to pay. And to be fair, they are taking a cut. 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. I doubt it really costs 2.9% to do payment processing. Really? What provider do you use that you’ve found to be significantly cheaper? 2.9% plus 30 cents is very reaso...
by criticalmass
Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GoFundMe ... tipping!?
Replies: 33
Views: 3417

Re: GoFundMe ... tipping!?

Sorry, don't mean to start yet another tipping thread, but I wanted to donate to a family who recently lost a relative (covid19, sadly). When I went to donate via GoFundMe, I actually got prompted for a tip. I don't recall seeing a tip aspect in the past, though I'm also not a frequent user of GoFu...
by criticalmass
Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Issue and Collections
Replies: 9
Views: 843

Re: Medical Billing Issue and Collections

Update: The letter sent to the physician, WAS sent certified and received by both physician and the billing office (so two copies sent of the letter). That was about a month ago, no response has been received. 1.) Before just paying the bill collector, what specific wording should a debt validation ...
by criticalmass
Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Issue and Collections
Replies: 9
Views: 843

Medical Billing Issue and Collections

I'm helping a friend Jane* with a medical billing and collection issue. I have no experience with handling debt/bill collectors. Jane went to see her physician for a routine annual preventative exam in late 2019. Under the ACA, that is to be paid in full with no copay even though Jane has a high ded...
by criticalmass
Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USPO change of address during the crisis?
Replies: 10
Views: 661

Re: USPO change of address during the crisis?

My dad was visiting me as the coronavirus pandemic began. It looks as though he won't be going home anytime soon and I'm wondering what to do about mail at his house. So far, we've put a hold on delivery, but that is only good for 30 days. It looks as though filing a change of address request to ha...
by criticalmass
Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USPO change of address during the crisis?
Replies: 10
Views: 661

Re: USPO change of address during the crisis?

My dad was visiting me as the coronavirus pandemic began. It looks as though he won't be going home anytime soon and I'm wondering what to do about mail at his house. So far, we've put a hold on delivery, but that is only good for 30 days. It looks as though filing a change of address request to ha...
by criticalmass
Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics
Replies: 36
Views: 2299

Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Look outside. See if there are ant nests near the house. Then you can remove them without spreading chemicals around inside. I've found that ants inside usually are exploring new territory from their outdoor base.
by criticalmass
Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop Replacement Battery
Replies: 6
Views: 527

Laptop Replacement Battery

I have a Dell Laptop (lower end inspiron series), 6 years old that needs a new battery. Not because it slowly lost life, but because one day it decided it was done and the computer won't use it at all---it has a flashing light and error message upon every boot. Despite its age, the computer has not ...
by criticalmass
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heat pump - Minimum outside temp for yearly test & inspection
Replies: 7
Views: 502

Re: Heat pump - Minimum outside temp for yearly test & inspection

My condo heat pump compressor is on the building roof. I want to schedule an inspection & testing of the system for both AC & heating. What is the minimum outside temperature that would allow this work to be properly conducted? Thank you. As long as the crankcase heater has been working normally in...