Curbing the Public’s Bag Consumption

There are many theories on how to do this. In San Francisco, we’ve had a local ordinance for a while, demanding a ten cent fee for each paper or “reusable” (thick) plastic bag used by customers when they pay for store merchandise.  It’s meant to encourage customers to bring their own bags, or use no bags when buying just one or two things. I got into the habit of using my own bag way before there was a law, and I’ve been making general allowances in my routine to reduce waste since the early 1980s. “Save the dinosaurs,” I used … Continue reading Curbing the Public’s Bag Consumption

Being Honest is Worth the Trouble, but it’s Still Trouble

This morning I went through an annoying formality which I hope most of you would also be willing to tolerate.  A $45.00 item which I bought online has shipped, but the charge for it has disappeared from my bank record. Initially, the charge was visible when I made a checking inquiry, and I thought everything was fine.  However, after I went through something complicated with a different order placed with the same retailer, the charge disappeared. I thought I’d get it cleared up this morning, by using the shopping site’s Customer Service chat feature.  The person I communicated with was … Continue reading Being Honest is Worth the Trouble, but it’s Still Trouble

Online Marketplace Precautions

The holiday shopping season is a busy time for scammers, including those who sell merchandise online which consumers never receive. It happens year-round, but consumers are most vulnerable now. They’re overwhelmed, so they’re more likely to miss warning signs. Scenario:  A child asks for a trendy toy, and Grandma can’t buy it directly from established retailers because the toy sells too fast.  So, she takes a chance.  She buys it through a reputable site, but the actual seller is a contractor who has signed up very recently with the site.  The toy might be bargain-priced. After the toy is ordered, … Continue reading Online Marketplace Precautions