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"Heidi, Thanks for the continued updates on cell phone early termination fees and their other unfair, deceptive practices. The fact is that the early termination fee is a desperate way to keep a customer and, the industry is colluding to suppress a free market. When a consumer is damaged by the dispicable conduct of these companies and tries to vindicate his rights in court, the company will likely try to hide behind the Federal Arbitration Act (inserting this clause in a standardized contract that is often concealed): Thus, it is very expensive for the consumer to vindicate his statutory rights. So Heidi, I have some burning questions and, I hope you can give us more information! I'll bet the cellphone companies impose arbitration on the consumer but go to court when the consumer defaults. Of course each individual should consult an attorney but, if the company has used the court for collection without arbitration, have they basically waived arbitration paving the way for a consumer's counter claim in court? It would seem that if the company takes action outside of arbitration, the consumer cannot be denied a defense in the same forum no matter what the contract says. Wouldn't the consumer then be able to present evidence that he had a right to cancel due to unreasonable charges, unsolicited text messaging, unacceptable or unavailable service, misrepresentations, malice, oppression? Can the consumer claim tort damages? Isn't it illegal to charge a tax that has not been imposed and is not submitted to the State? They have no taxation powers! It would be great to hear legal opinions on the subject! Thank you Heidi for exposing these industry scams and unsrupulous conduct. People need a heightened awareness of the careful choises of purchases needed to avoid supporting those very companies that heap abuse upon us as a reward for our business! Keep up the good work! "
-- L. Milligan, CA (2007-03-06)
"Jane - Wow, thank you that gave me chills reading it. I hope all the women who have suffered will find justice."
-- A. Grenon (2007-02-16)
"Heidi, Just wanted to tell you that I thought your article was great and very accurate from my experience. Hope it helps, but unfortunately, I don't think anyone in government cares about the credit card problem and the average person. "
-- L. Friedman (2007-01-31)
"Thanks Jane for all your hard work on our behalf!"
-- Laurilyn Cook-Arrington (2007-01-24)
"Jane, Thank you for taking the time to do this article. I appreciate you exposing the horrors of this drug company. I will let you know what happens."
-- Peter and Kristin Gruber (2007-01-08)
"Jane, THANK YOU! Maybe the exposure will generate other women to come forward and a good law firm to take some action. I am CERTAIN that I am not the only one! You did a great job on the article. Thank you so much. I have forwarded the link to all of my friends, as well as a law office.
Maybe something good will come from this. I appreciate YOUR time and your consideration. Take care."
-- P. Carr (2006-12-04)
"Heidi, Thanks for the article on UnumProvident settling cases in California and New York. I have been wondering what was happening with this case and would like to hear more when you have additional information to report. I hope this leads to more stringent action to stop other disability carriers that operate in bad faith. The sad part is that these carriers selling "policies" through private employers are allowed to advertise this as "insurance" when it is not; we are being sold a "welfare benefit" with no meaningful regulation to protect the unwary employee. They generally do not pay unless sued and, protected by ERISA, they pay no damages, just the benefits owed in the first place. This means big profits for cheating the sick and disabled with impunity. Even the occasional multi-million dollar fine is only a fraction of the overall ill-gotten gain. The disgrace lies squarely in the lap of Congress who passed the law in 1974 and refuse to address the ever-increasing abuse. This will affect Americans in greater numbers in a few years due to the large population of "baby-boomers" now aging and increasingly at a statistical risk of becoming disabled. Few workers are aware of the ERISA trap and many are destined to find out the hard way; when it is too late. At a minimum, an ERISA disability "policy" should come with the same kind of health warning that is written on a pack of cigarettes. My continued thanks to you and Jane for keeping us informed. Your articles help us out, keep us connected and, best of all, they may well keep us from stumbling into trouble in the first place!"
-- L. Milligan, CA (2006-11-29)
"Thank you so much for all that informative information you supply. It enlightens me and delights me how the human body is subject to so many assails, yet we continue to find cures unheard of but a few years ago."
-- Newsletter Subscriber (2006-11-17)
"Thanks for listening. Your descriptions are great and appreciated."
-- F. Potts (2006-09-28)
"Jane: What a great job, and so funny. I thoroughly enjoyed your piece. "
-- Ricardo (2006-09-27)
"Jane: Great Story, I hope this helps someone."
-- R. Frasier, CO (2006-09-25)
"Dear Ms. Mundy
:I have been reading a number of articles at lawyersandsettlements.com. and appreciate the humanity you add to the difficult, unjust and unreasonably complicated laws governing ERISA.
Before I personally faced a disabling injury, I had no idea that these laws existed! I thought that the Long Term Disability policy I purchased at "group rates" through my employer and "fully insured by Aetna" was a real insurance policy like any other and that the "benefit" offered was simply what was touted by my employer, i.e. "group rates".
As your articles point out, this is far from the truth; the "benefit" is to the insurance company, not the worker and, there are real human tragedies behind this act of Congress. In your article titled "ERISA: A Sad State of Affairs", you share the human dimensions of ERISA: Mr. Phillips, after working for 23 years in the Virginia coal mines has stated a simple but tragic truth -- "These big companies walk all over the working man". Now disabled with herniated disks and black lung disease after so many years of back-breaking labor, it is no surprise to me that Mr. Phillip's union is no help to him when Brinks cut his pension by nearly one third.
Thank you for reminding everyone that this man is not a number to be crunched through actuary tables, nor is he a sudden drag on the system when he can no longer work; he is a human being that worked hard for his benefits and is deserving of the care that he paid for.
In your article, "With UnumProvident Honesty is not the Best Policy", we see the portrait of an intelligent and successful business man who had the bad luck of getting sick. How is it that an articulate, savvy businessman could be caught unaware and loose his $7,000 per month disability benefit just by trying his best to return to work andresume his monthly contribution of funds to an insured group of which he thought he was a member?
Like me, Mr. Szemeti made the mistake of thinking he had purchased an insurance policy when in fact, disability "insurance" under ERISA, is not "insurance" at all. It is much like your article titled "Guacamole Dip - Hold the Avocado"; False advertising with no substance!
Thanks to your journalists who do not have a conflict of interest when it comes to reporting the truth!
Thank you for bringing integrity and a sense of humanity back to journalism. You are one of the few remaining bright stars that still represent honesty in journalism in an ever darkening sky."
-- L. Milligan, CA (2006-09-20)
"My annual fee posted on my credit card on 9606. I was charged an over the limit fee on 9706. I had no idea I had the right to dispute this charge til I read it on this website. After emailing them,, they credited it back on 91806. THANKS!"
-- V. Sydboten, TN (2006-09-20)
"Jane: I have indeed read many of your articles. Not just the articles that directly affect me personally: The broad range of information in your articles are relevant to me as a citizen, informative and broaden my understanding of a variety of subjects. I have several print-outs of your ERISA articles that are quite helpful. I read others on overtime pay and credit card rate hikes. There are really quite a few I have read on a variety of subjects. I enjoyed them, shared them with others who may have similar problems and steered clear of certain situations BEFORE I had a problem. That is a BIG help!"
-- L. Milligan, CA (2006-09-18)
"I have been telling everyone about your website - I had no idea about all these issues and now I have been telling everyone to go to your site first. you've got to do more ads. I work for an insurance company and came across you guys at first when there was a class action suit against State Farm. Your articles on paxil birth defects and other meds given to women and insurance companies, are terrific and I recommend your website to everyone. I tell my friends, If you want to buy it or get a prescription or anything, go to this website first and check it out."
-- M. Argenbright, VA (2006-09-05)
"Very many thanks for a good work. Nice and useful. Like it! "
-- B. Leoving (2006-07-06)
"Great web site, keep up the good work."
-- V. Sampson, CA (2006-07-01)
"Hi Jane, hope you are doing well. That was a fantastic story that you wrote about me and vioxx. You outdid yourself girl! i proud of you; and thank you. if my lawyer should happen to reject me; i'm sure that some of the lawyers that read the story will contact me. One already has. Thanks."
-- Linda (2006-06-29)
"Hi Jane, ...I really enjoyed the interview ... you asked good questions, and the whole thing was really fun. I hope you all can stimulate enough interest in the harmful effects of Neurontin to initiate a Class Action lawsuit... I believe there's a need. I was lucky... lucky to have found the information that perhaps saved my life -- or at the very least, saved me from months of needless emotional torment. Torment, anguish, despair... there are not words that are adequate to describe what I went through, and I deeply believe that these dangerous potential side effects should be made public, for there are lives at stake."
-- Julie B. (2006-06-06)
"Hi Jane, Thank you so much for a beautifully written article. You did a fantastic job! I hope the article has a great impact on all who read it. Much success to you."
-- Stephanie (2006-05-31)