(3TV/CBS 5) — The hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping is in full swing and a lot of purchases will be made online. But what do you do if someone gives you an online gift and you need to return it? It may be difficult or impossible.
Today, we’re talking to Jill Emanuel. She’s a certified financial coach with Fiscal Fitness. She’s been helping consumers to save money and navigate through complicated topics for years. She has all the do’s and don’ts of returning holiday purchases successfully.
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Dangerous toys: Holiday shopping is in full swing, and for kids, toys are at the top of the list. But be careful because some of those toys could be dangerous. Today on the 3 On Your Side podcast, Gary and Susan talk with Hannah Rhodes. She’s a Consumer Watchdog associate with the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. From counterfeit toys to smart toys and toys that are too noisy, she is breaking down exactly what to look out for to keep your family safe this holiday.
Is insurance bundling the way to go?: One expense many consumer have, but don’t pay attention to, is insurance. Home, auto, renter, and more, there’s insurance for just about everything. Does it really save? And how much can you save if you bundle? On this episode, we’re talking to Mark Fitzpatrick from Money Geek. They have dozens of experts who analyze all kinds of statistics and crunch the latest numbers. They found bundling could save you a bunch of money.
Setting and achieving your 2022 financial goals: We’re coming up on the end of the year soon and that means 2021 will officially be in the history books. Looking back, how do you think you did financially? Did you start a retirement fund or savings account? If you have a 401(k), did you increase how much you contribute and are you satisfied financially? 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper talks to Leslie Tayne. She’s an author of a bestselling book regarding finances. She’s also an attorney who specializes in consumer and debt resolution. She talks about what financial goals you should have in mind to make 2022 one of your best years ever.
Hanging Christmas lights safely: Christmas is almost here, and that means trees and lights! But that combination can be dangerous if you display your lights the wrong way. To keep you safe, we’re talking to John DeCosmo, an expert who knows all about fixing broken lights and hanging them safely.
Choosing a bottle of wine for your holiday party: The holidays are quickly approaching, which means a lot of you might be going to a holiday party. And wine is one of the more popular items that party-goers bring. But what kind of wine? How much should you spend? And what’s a good brand to take with you? In this 3 On Your Side Podcast, we’re talking with Keith Beavers. He’s a self-described “wine geek” who’s been in the wine retail industry in New York for more than a decade. He talks Wine 101 and give us some down to earth tips for choosing a bottle of wine that will make a statement without breaking the bank.
Gift Cards: Americans are sitting on billions of dollars in unused gift cards, so are they really a good gift to give? On this episode, we’re talking with Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, about spending those unused gift cards. He also has some ideas about what to do with gift cards to stores or restaurants you’ll never visit.
An $859 Billion Holiday Season: The holiday season is almost here and consumers are expected to spend, spend, spend. The National Retail Federation is predicting holiday sales during November and December could balloon to $859 billion. On this episode, we talk with Katherine Cullen, the senior director of industry and consumer insights at NRF, about supply chain challenges, tracking down the perfect gift, and why so many Americans are shopping early.
Supply chain issues & when relief may come: Ongoing supply chain issues seem to have almost paralyzed consumer goods across the country. From canned goods, to computer chips to auto parts, you name it, and they all seem to be hard to come by. But what’s causing the kink in the supply chain and when will we see relief? On this episode, we talk to Bill Thayer. He’s an expert in logistics, retail, and e-commerce, and he’s also CEO of Fillogic, a company that specializes in transporting goods from Point A to Point B. He has some interesting insight about what’s going on with America’s supply chain and when it may end.
Getting the best car insurance for you: When it comes to saving money, your car insurance premiums should be at the top of your list. Yet, nearly half of consumers have failed to comparison shop to see if they can get a better deal. That’s what we’re talking about on the 3 On Your Side podcast. We talk to Mark Fitzpatrick with MoneyGeek.com who will show you how to shop for car insurance and get the best rate.
Car Rental Tips: The cost of renting a car has sky-rocketed over the last year and a half. In fact, in Hawaii, travelers were shelling out $4,000 a week just to rent a car once they flew in for their vacation. On this episode, Gary Harper is talking to Willis Orlando, an analyst with a travel website called Scott’s Cheap Flights which investigates travel costs like renting a car. He’ll explain why car rentals have become so ridiculously high and when rental rates will come down.
Avoiding holiday financial hangover: Nearly half of Americans carry some kind of credit card debt, with an average balance of $6,200. Unfortunately for many consumers, that amount will increase come the holidays. So in this episode, Gary is talking to Kelsa Dickey, a certified financial coach who’s been helping to dig people out of debt for years. She’s going to tell us what we can to starting today in order to avoid a financial hangover after the holidays.
Beware of flooded cars for sale: Thank goodness Hurricane Ida is behind us, but she left a path of destruction. In fact, Ida left $95 billion worth of damage in Louisiana and surrounding states and much of that destruction was caused to cars. Unfortunately, many of those water damaged vehicles will be cleaned up and sold to unsuspecting consumers around the nation. Today we’re talking to Patrick Olsen from Carfax. Carfax has access to around 20 billion records for vehicles, and they collect the information from around 100,000 different sources to determine if a car has been in an accident, if the odometer has been rolled back, or in this case, if the car you’re thinking of buying has been waterlogged from a hurricane.
Sextortion Alert: It is a form of internet bribery that has victimized countless people. The elements are intriguing. They involve romance, photos, lies, and eventually money. A lot of money. Gary Harper is talking to Nate Warfield a former internet hacker who eventually used his skills to help people and companies to protect themselves while online. Warfield is here to tell us about something called “sextortion” and what you need to do to protect yourself against it.
FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance: Nearly 600,000 Americans have lost their lives to Covid-19. It’s terrible news, and many loved ones paid out of pocket for those funerals. But why? Particularly when the federal government has set aside money to pay for those services. On this episode, Gary Harper is talking to Ed Michael Reggie, CEO of Future Factory and a known consumer advocate and expert in the funeral industry. He explains details of the program and says many people just don’t know about it and what is needed to qualify.
The Supermarket Guru: In this episode, Gary Harper is talking about something that affects nearly everyone across the nation and that’s rising food prices. To break things down, Gary talks to Phil Lempert who’s known as the “Supermarket Guru.” Lempert is an author, speaker and one of the leading experts in the nation when it comes to following food trends.
Skyrocketing Rent: Rent is increasing, not only in Phoenix, but all across the nation. On this episode, Gary Harper is joined by Jeff Andrews with Zumper, an apartment rental website that monitors rental trends. Andrews says national rent went up 12% since this time last year, and there’s no indication of going down. Andrews explores the reasons behind the jump. Gary is then joined by 3 On Your Side producer Warren Trent to discuss home rental scams they’ve covered and tips for consumers to avoid from being ripped off.
Great Resignation: In this edition of the 3 On Your Side Podcast, Consumer Investigator Gary Harper talks about something that’s being referred to as the “Great Resignation.” Apparently, more people are leaving their jobs now than ever before. But what is driving the mad exodus of leaving careers and starting a new one?
A Raging “Scamdemic”: For this edition of the 3 On Your Side Podcast, Gary Harper talks to Jack Caporal, an analyst and writer with The Ascent and The Motley Fool research team who has gathered statistics regarding COVID-19 fraud cases. Arizona consumers have been swindled out of nearly $10 million with an average loss of $325. Caporal uses a term “Scamdemic” while referring to the COVID-19 scams. Since the beginning of the pandemic, American’s have filed over a half-million COVID-19 fraud reports totaling over $480 million according the Federal Trade Commission. Arizona ranks No. 13 in the U.S. when it comes to COVID-19 fraud cases, California tops all states with COVID-19 fraud losses totaling more $65 million.
Protecting Your Privacy: Gary Harper and Susan Campbell offer tips to consumers help them protect their privacy in only a matter of seconds. Lending their expertise on privacy is Thomas Germain, a technology writer at Consumer Reports. This 3 On Your Side episode wraps up with Gary and Susan offering tips for consumers to help avoid falling victim to a common trick crooks use to steal your money, The Overpayment Scam.
Don’t get boxed in with your move: When it comes to moving, it is among the most complained about industry’s 3 On Your Side get emails about. To help expose the pitfalls, Gary Harper and Susan Campbell talk to Ryan Charles, from a company called Hire a Helper who sheds light to help consumers from getting ripped off during their move. Gary and Susan wrap up this podcast segment talking about the pitfalls of buying sight unseen vehicles online.
Used car prices going through the roof: If you’re thinking about buying a new vehicle, you might want to pump the brakes. Used car prices are through the roof with new cars often getting full sticker prices on the lot. Emilie Voss is from Carfax and talks to Gary Harper and Susan Campbell about the rising used car prices and what consumers need to know so they don’t get taken for a ride. This 3 On Your Side Podcast ends with Susan and Gary answering questions they frequently get from consumers about balance billing complaints.
Beware of Contracting Scams: This is the season where monsoons can bring damaging winds and rains for countless citizens. Summer is also a time when scammers often show up after a storm offering repair deals that are too good to be true. Jeff Wills, is Chief of Investigations at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors who talked to Susan Campbell and Gary Harper about the Red Flags consumers need to be mindful of as scammers show up unannounced after a storm looking to separate you from your hard earned money. This episode wraps up with Susan and Gary discussing complaints 3 On Your Side often receives about different types of payment scams. For example, viewers tell us they may get a phone call from someone who they believe is their utility company, threatening to shut off their utility if they don’t pay a certain amount of money immediately. It’s a common scam consumer frequently fall victim to.
Deals Take Flight: As summer travel takes flight, 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper and Susan Campbell talk to Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. Keyes offers tips for consumers to help them find post-pandemic travel deals. The episode concludes with Gary and Susan answering viewer questions about Renters Rights. Information consumers need to keep in mind when it comes to landlord tenant disputes.
Navigating the Hot Housing Market: Susan Campbell and Gary Harper take you on a house hunt with Phoenix, Arizona based real-estate agent Trevor Halpern from Halpern Residential. Halpern helps buyers and sellers navigate the ultra-competitive housing market. 3 On Your Side frequently receives numerous emails from disappointed consumers about things not covered by their Car or Home Warranty. The episode concludes with Susan and Gary offering tips consumers should keep in mind before agreeing to pay thousands of dollars for a Car and/or Home Warranty.
Saving $1,000 on Any Salary: If you have a desire to learn how to save $1,000 on any salary, Gary Harper and Susan Campbell have the answer. On this edition of the 3 On Your Side Podcast, they talk to Deacon Hayes, a financial expert and founder of Well Kept Wallet, a financial education company that strives to enlighten consumers across the globe through a personal finance curriculum. This episode concludes with Gary and Susan answering viewer emails about their decisions to help the environment by adding Solar panels to their homes. While there are consumers pleased with going solar, there are things consumers need to keep in mind when deciding if they should buy or lease solar panels. For example, leasing solar panels can last up to 25 years, with escalating monthly payments.