Modern life has been made easier with technology, but for every advancement there is a corresponding increase in complexity that seems to outweigh those benefits. When modern day problems occur, we usually don’t have the time or energy to figure out how to solve them. So here is a reference on how to handle some of these pesky problems.
1) Change Cell Phone Contracts with No Penalty!
Did you ever get mad because you wanted to ditch your cell phone company for a new one, but you couldn’t because of the huge termination fees? Well there are a few services now that connect people who want to swap contracts. According to The Week Magazine, most cell phone companies are willing to process a swap. Here are the companies who provide this swap brokering service. Fees range from $9.95- $14.95.
2) Avoid the Rebate Runaround
Rebates can be pretty sizable, and unfortunately retailers sometimes give customers the runaround when it comes to fulfilling these rebates. Here are the steps you can take to ensure you get your rebate:
- Understand the terms of the rebate before purchasing.
- Make copies of all paperwork before mailing. Tip: use your digital camera for this.
- Fill in all field on the rebate form. Leaving any field blank can void the rebate. Write something even if it is something like “I don’t have a fax number.”
- Send in the rebate ASAP. Many rebates have short time frames today. Don’t be late or you’ll lose out.
- Handwrite your forms so mass-mailing rebate fraud is not suspected.
- Use certified mail and get your receipt.
- Buy at stores that can handle the rebates in-store or online such as: Staples, Cosco, and Cingular.
- If you have problems: Write directly to the manufacturer’s CEO and the retailer’s CEO. You can also call the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) 877-382-4357 or www.ftc.gov. Lastly, you can call your local Better Business Bureau or your state attorney general’s office.
3) Don’t Pay for Technical Support
Don’t you hate paying for technical support. Well here are a list of sites that offer free tech support online. These were reviewed by Tech Support Alert as either “Outstanding” or “Highly Recommended.” For other free tech support recommendations, visit their site.
4) What to Do with Unused Airline Miles and Reward Points
According to most airline miles programs, selling your miles will make them null and void. There are places that broker these miles for selling, but if you want to go by the rules you can head over to Points.com where you can “TRACK,BOOK HOTELS,SWAP,EARN,BUY,GIFT,SHARE,and REDEEM miles and points.”
5) Get a Live Person on the Phone
Sick of listening to automated menus when you need to ask someone a question over the phone? Well here is the ultimate resource on how to reach a live person:
or take a look at the tips in this article, 6 Tips to Reach a Human Operator.
6)Spyware and Viruses
I had a real problem over a year ago with a virus I couldn’t shake. I tried everything. What finally worked for me was SpySweeper by Webroot. This along with a Norton protection package has worked well for me.
7) Identity Theft
This one can be a real bugaboo. The first thing to do if you discover this is to report it to the credit bureaus:
To order your credit report: Call: (800) 685-1111
To report fraud: Call: (800) 525-6285
To order your credit report: Call: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)
To report fraud: Call: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)
To order your credit report: Call: (800) 916-8800
To report fraud: Call: (800) 680-7289
For more information here is the United States Department of Justice’s official information on how to handle identity theft:
Additional websites that contain general information about identity theft as cited by the USDoJ website:
These sites also have good guidelines for preventing identity fraud in the first place, so it is worth checking out even if you haven’t had this problem.
8 ) Keeping Track of Online Passwords
I didn’t see this as a problem until I read the following article. It points out the vulnerabilities of weak passwords and of not having a secure place to store them. The article lists links to 10 cool password generators and trackers that are all free: 10 Free Ways to Track All Your Passwords.
What solutions have you found to modern life’s annoying problems? Please Share!
K. Stone is author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. A few of her most popular articles are Ultimate Goal Setting Guide, 5 Big Secrets “They” Don’t Want You to Know About Investing, Maximum Energy in 10 Simple Steps, and Cool GTD Applications – The Ultimate Resource List.