Search found 714 matches

by strafe
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge
Replies: 18
Views: 1206

Re: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge

In a situation where I had unexpectedly been enrolled, and the company said it was too late to cancel and it seemed plausible that the box had really already been shipped, I would probably just cuss, and say, "Oh, well, they charged me but they're sending me food," make sure I had canceled the subs...
by strafe
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: service life of (walk behind) lawn mower?
Replies: 27
Views: 1413

Re: service life of (walk behind) lawn mower?

I surmise from this thread and others like it that the secret to lawn mower longetivity is to never change the oil.

I bought a Honda HRX (great mower) this spring and have already changed the oil once or twice. This doesn’t bode well for me.
by strafe
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge
Replies: 18
Views: 1206

Re: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge

I did the promotional meal box and it was clear to me that I needed to act by a certain date or my service would be continued and my credit card would be charged. I prepared and ate the free meal, decided that I was not interested in the service and canceled ASAP. I got no charge on my credit card ...
by strafe
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge
Replies: 18
Views: 1206

Re: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge

Thanks. I don't think we've had a chargeback in years. As to the the request for a credit card #, all I can say is that it was not a red flag for my wife. Burying the auto-subscribe in the terms and conditions and their unwillingness to cancel the transaction (even though it will not ship for many m...
by strafe
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge
Replies: 18
Views: 1206

HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge

Based on the information below, would we be successful in a credit card dispute? Here is what happened: HelloFresh sent my wife a promotional code for a free "3-dinner" meal box. It required a credit card # to verify the delivery address. Unbeknownst to us, HelloFresh enrolled her in a recurring mea...
by strafe
Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Eyeglasses - No satisfaction guarantee. Any chance of resolution?
Replies: 27
Views: 2608

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

I once bought prescription glasses fron Costco and would never do it again or recommend to anyone. The lenses — which they told me were their highest quality — had unacceptable levels of chromatic aberration and distortion. Their $10 3-pack of reading glasses (same prescription) had better optical q...
by strafe
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home voice dictation experience
Replies: 8
Views: 624

Re: Home voice dictation experience

The (free) voice dictation built into Mac OS X works well. I certainly would not buy a third party product without trying it first.
by strafe
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?
Replies: 76
Views: 6368

Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

He emailed to say he sent a "test" $1 transfer, and is asking me to confirm that I see this. So you've already given him the information? Yes, I gave it. And then, :oops: maybe I should have paused. But... Wait I think I misunderstood. You are not confirming test deposits. You are just confirming t...
by strafe
Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which minivan?
Replies: 25
Views: 1991

Re: Which minivan?

I would add the Chrysler Pacifica to your short list and remove the Sienna . The Pacifica has been winning most minivan comparison tests, though probably won't be quite as reliable as the Honda. The Sienna is outdated. Of note, there's a steady supply of Pacificas coming in from rental car fleets. ...
by strafe
Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone else not liking the new cars?
Replies: 135
Views: 10693

Re: anyone else not liking the new cars?

Something like a Genesis G80 might be a good fit for you.
by strafe
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I replace AC evaporative coil or get a new unit?
Replies: 26
Views: 1858

Re: Do I replace AC evaporative coil or get a new unit?

What is a "unit?" I have no idea what you are asking. Do you have a packaged A/C (common in the south) or a split system? If the latter, are you talking about the furnace/air handler, condenser or both?
by strafe
Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can dispute an expensive medical bill
Replies: 39
Views: 3031

Re: Can dispute an expensive medical bill

Expensive?? $281 sounds like a bargain for the services received.
by strafe
Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?
Replies: 89
Views: 6179

Re: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?

I think your logic is sound.

I see a home (specifically a "nicer" home) as a consumption item to the extent that its cost (or imputed rent) exceeds that of basic housing.
by strafe
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Restricted SS Application - Language Check
Replies: 19
Views: 1162

Re: Filing Restricted SS Application - Language Check

The online application itself has the following question: "If eligible for both retirement and spouse's benefits, delay receipt of retirement benefit." If you answer "yes", which my wife did, one is filing a restricted application for spousal benefits. In the remarks section, my wife did make the f...
by strafe
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: trailer SUV combination for tyro
Replies: 11
Views: 1235

Re: trailer SUV combination for tyro

I think a used class B is a dicy proposition unless you really know the motor and transmission condition. It is one thing to have a car break down on a trip, but an RV is a big box, even a class B. This. The downside of a motorhome is that a mechanical problem forces you to take your whole home int...
by strafe
Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to destroy hard disk with personal info
Replies: 99
Views: 8410

Re: how to destroy hard disk with personal info

I usually open the drive case (just remove the Torx screws), remove the platters, and use 2 pairs of pliers to fold them into tacos. You could also use a nail punch to perforate the case and destructively mar the platters, without disassembly.
by strafe
Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning for a 25k to 30k windfall
Replies: 14
Views: 1759

Re: Planning for a 25k to 30k windfall

I would definitely not spend most of this money on a car that is more than your current net worth. You've been living without a car; can you continue to do so for now? Otherwise buy the cheapest thing you can find that runs.. Normally good advice, but an E46 M3 is a collectable car that will hold i...
by strafe
Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lithium ion yard equipment batteries
Replies: 19
Views: 1368

Re: Lithium ion yard equipment batteries

EGO makes the best consumer-grade battery powered lawn equipment on the market right now. You get what you pay for.
by strafe
Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 9818

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

I spend about $20 to do it myself:
5qt synthetic oil (either M1 or Pennzoil after rebate) - $12
Filter - $8

Time - about 30 min, which is less than I would spend driving to/from a shop and waiting, and I know it's done right
by strafe
Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To re-paint car bumper, or wait
Replies: 12
Views: 1073

Re: To re-paint car bumper, or wait

If you consider that minor, I wouldn't bother fixing, at least not professionally.

Put some touch up paint on the areas where the metal is exposed to reduce corrosion risk. Most bumper covers these days are plastic.
by strafe
Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EZPass not read, rental car, high fee
Replies: 18
Views: 2918

Re: EZPass not read, rental car, high fee

Right, I can see that registering the tag is the sure fire way to go. Never had to do so in the past, although when I am in my registered vehicle I get, from time to time, "Call EZPass" on the board as I pass through the toll. Never have so I assume they do as suggested above and match the tag to t...
by strafe
Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used 2013 Audi A5 or New Honda Accord Sport
Replies: 71
Views: 6529

Re: Used 2013 Audi A5 or New Honda Accord Sport

The way you framed the question is telling. Buy the Honda.
by strafe
Tue May 23, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?
Replies: 18
Views: 1792

Re: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?

Raymond wrote:Autopia.org is the Bogleheads equivalent for car cleaning and detailing.
+1.

Meguiars Online is also a good resource and the advice tends to be more straightforward.
by strafe
Tue May 23, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?
Replies: 18
Views: 1792

Re: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?

I think a polisher would only make it worse. Take a look at all the black cars out there with a finish ruined by a polisher. You'd have better luck by doing a "clay" job on your car, then put on a good coat of wax. The OP is asking about a dual action polisher. Rotary buffers in inexperienced or in...
by strafe
Mon May 22, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2nd car for long commute
Replies: 15
Views: 2127

Re: 2nd car for long commute

Have you thought about changing out the Fiesta (and possibly the truck) for a Golf GTI or Golf R? More fun, still practical, and more tolerable for long commutes.
by strafe
Mon May 22, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replace timing chain based on miles or years? [ignore]
Replies: 18
Views: 1674

Re: Replace timing chain based on miles or years? [ignore]

As others have pointed out, your chain is probably good for the life of the engine. Some cars do in fact need chain replacement (along with tensioner and guide rails) due to a combination of miles and age causing chain stretch, tensioner failure and/or brittle plastic guides. For example, 70s and 80...
by strafe
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling classic car via consignment
Replies: 10
Views: 1124

Selling classic car via consignment

Does anyone have experience selling a classic or special interest car via consignment? I'm planning to sell my mid 80s Mercedes SL convertible this spring. The car is in impeccable shape. The prices for these are highly dependent on condition (many of them are junk). A local classic car dealership i...
by strafe
Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bought a maintenance plan w/car (vw golf alltrack) - good deal or not?
Replies: 36
Views: 3828

Re: bought a maintenance plan w/car (vw golf alltrack) - good deal or not?

Your Golf has a media element filter located on the top of the engine. So get yourself an oil extractor , do the oil changes yourself and save a ton of money. You don't have to jack the car up, and as long as you wear gloves you won't even get dirty. Looks like your oil filter is $10 , and you can ...
by strafe
Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Forgiveness Program Approval Letters May Be Invalid
Replies: 6
Views: 1079

Re: Student Loan Forgiveness Program Approval Letters May Be Invalid

It's an outrage if their loans are forgiven. If they are, then taxpayers will be out in streets. Considering that the public service loan forgiveness provision is written into the loan promissory note, I'd say it is the borrowers who should be outraged if the government violates the loan agreement....
by strafe
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Way to Give Our Son a Down Payment
Replies: 18
Views: 2863

Re: Best Way to Give Our Son a Down Payment

If I recall, gift funds need to be seasoned (in your son's possession) for three months, otherwise they may be disqualified. If you mean in the eyes of the bank, then no they don't. They will just require a statement (signed by the buyer and the gifter) that the money is a gift and not a loan (whic...
by strafe
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: public service loan forgiveness: expecting it? consider spousal income!
Replies: 18
Views: 2451

Re: public service loan forgiveness: expecting it? consider spousal income!

I think your math may be off The income based repayment plan caps your payment at the amount equal to a 10-year amortization. In other words, the payment stops increasing with income once you cross that threshold. If you are in IBR, you won't be paying the loan off early and you will still benefit f...
by strafe
Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Way to Give Our Son a Down Payment
Replies: 18
Views: 2863

Re: Best Way to Give Our Son a Down Payment

It might be wiser for another reason as well, that being your son's qualifying for a mortgage loan. Those loans are carefully vetted. If the loan officers find he could not qualify without your contribution, it could be denied. In other words, his finances need to be supportive of the anticipated l...
by strafe
Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much are independent contractors really taxed?
Replies: 48
Views: 4191

Re: How much are independent contractors really taxed?

Total taxes are the same when you are an employee, but the full tax amount is hidden from your view because part is paid on your behalf by your employer. Consequently, your salary accounts for only 70-75% of your total compensation as an employee (including other fringe benefits). You can't compare ...
by strafe
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Requesting review of my IPS (Doctor)
Replies: 23
Views: 1755

Re: Requesting review of my IPS (Doctor)

KidneyMD wrote:I'm in my first year of a 3-year fellowship and will be entering a subspecialty that pays about $125-150k/yr starting salary.

Unless you plan to take an attending nephrology job at Harvard, you're significantly underestimating your starting pay.
by strafe
Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco: 6 quarts of Mobil 1 $27.99, normally $37.99
Replies: 51
Views: 6195

Re: Costco: 6 quarts of Mobil 1 $27.99, normally $37.99

Pennzoil currently has a rebate of two dollars per quart good for the entire year. After rebate, a 5 quart jug of Pennzoil Platinum (comparable to Mobil1) costs about $12-$14.
by strafe
Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Chromebook experts?
Replies: 21
Views: 5084

Re: Any Chromebook experts?

From the many excellent replies, I see I didn't phrase my OP correctly. I have a new Acer14 that appears to let me watch Amazon Prime immediately. I was trying to download from the downloadable list where I'm having an issue. It refers to compatibble devices and Acer is not listed. Going on a 7 hr ...
by strafe
Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Chromebook experts?
Replies: 21
Views: 5084

Re: Any Chromebook experts?

Recently purchased a chromebook but have been unable to watch Amazon Prime. My research seems to tell me they are not compatible. Can I download movies from any other sources? We frequently watch Amazon Prime video on our Chromebook. The issue must be your particular hardware or configuration, not ...
by strafe
Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windshield repair gone wrong....
Replies: 19
Views: 2577

Re: Windshield repair gone wrong....

Would replace
by strafe
Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars with turbo-4 engines -- good idea to buy?
Replies: 36
Views: 6502

Re: New cars with turbo-4 engines -- good idea to buy?

Plenty of manufacturers have been making turbos for a long time and have most of the kinks ironed out. Turbos add cost and complexity over a NA motor, but I wouldn't be worried about a turbo engine from an otherwise reliable manufacturer. The sad thing is that turbos do not give you better fuel mile...
by strafe
Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Came Away Impressed with Social Security Enrollment Process
Replies: 21
Views: 2848

Re: I Came Away Impressed with Social Security Enrollment Process

Does anybody have experience with how easy it was to apply for Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits only? My father filed an restricted application for spousal benefits last year. They screwed it up completely. It was processed as a full application, despite clear instructions. In contrast t...
by strafe
Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car wash best practices in cold climates?
Replies: 37
Views: 3689

Re: Car wash best practices in cold climates?

This is the wrong forum for car care advice! A significant contingent thinks rain cleans their cars rather than being the source of dirt. (Maybe true in the desert)

Check out Autopia or Meguiars Online.
by strafe
Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car wash best practices in cold climates?
Replies: 37
Views: 3689

Re: Car wash best practices in cold climates?

In my experience touchless washes are harder on the paint because they use hyper-aggressive chemicals to clean. Over time touchless washes discolor plastic trim, and as I learned the hard way on an older car with single stage paint, oxidizes the finish. And the car still isn't clean... Look for a &q...
by strafe
Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are two in one Washer/Dryer combos a thing?
Replies: 17
Views: 3143

Re: Are two in one Washer/Dryer combos a thing?

I used a combo washer/dryer a few times during an airBnB stay. It was the cold water condensing type, and it was TERRIBLE -- not much better than a clothesline. You'd be much better off with a stackable unit that has a real dryer.
by strafe
Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LendKey student loan refinance nightmare! help!
Replies: 6
Views: 992

Re: LendKey student loan refinance nightmare! help!

All, thanks for your advice. Too often the resolution to posts like these goes unmentioned. I thought I should post a final update. The funds were indeed sent to the wrong place. After making no progress working with LendKey customer service, I contacted the director of student loans at my alma mat...
by strafe
Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LendKey Student Loan Refinance Review – Bad Experience
Replies: 0
Views: 482

LendKey Student Loan Refinance Review – Bad Experience

Having gone through the student loan refinance process, I discovered that many refi company “reviews” are nothing more than thinly veiled advertisements by paid affiliates. I thought I would share my personal experience refinancing my private educational loan with LendKey. LendKey (also known as CU ...
by strafe
Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with car buying decision
Replies: 5
Views: 590

Re: Help with car buying decision

It's almost always a better deal to keep driving (and repairing) and older car than getting a new one. Factoring in the tax deduction, my guess is that you'd come out ahead keeping your old Toyota (an inexpensive, fully depreciated vehicle) and deducting the standard mileage rate. You'd have to run ...
by strafe
Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 4372

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

Your assumption that the pediatric group accepted a $150 contract rate is almost certainly incorrect. You have an insurance plan that doesn't cover many common physician services. The allowable charge your insurer shows on the EOB has no meaning. It's made up by the insurer. (And I would bet in- vs...
by strafe
Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 4372

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

My insurance sent me an explanation of benefits that the contract reprice amount is $150. Difference of $400 or basically 1/4 of the billed price. This $150 is what the contracted out price is that is the maximum that this group would have received for the maximum 15 minutes in the room in the thre...
by strafe
Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 4372

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

This isn't a way for the insurance co to pressure docs to join. It's a way for hospitals and doctors to collude and avoid negotiated rates for care. These are the same drive-by docs who you never see but are always used in operating rooms, and are never in network. More on this here: http://www.npr...
by strafe
Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 4372

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

Strafe, the smalls claims action would be against the provider, not the insurance company. It would only require a filing fee to initiate. Provider would probable use attorney . It would be a nuisance for them to defend. I agree with you that it would probably be unsuccessful. Sorry, I guess I misu...