Category Archives: Consumer activism

“Archiving Your Tweets at Archive.Org” for Dummies

I’m all done with Twitter, but I also didn’t want to just delete my account and remove over a decade of content that I created from the internet. I’m not so arrogant as to believe that anyone’s ever going to want to look at my tweets again, but (a) maybe I will want to link… Read More »

Why you probably shouldn’t use Express Scripts

My health insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, currently uses Express Scripts as its mail-order pharmacy. They’re switching to CVS Caremark as of January 1, 2023, which as you’ll see from below is probably a good thing. However, if your insurance company is still using Express Scripts, then I to encourage you to… Read More »

Elan Financial Services: why are you so bad at this?

I had a Visa card issued by Elan Financial Services branded through my bank (Eastern Bank). Elan is consistently mediocre. Their web site looks and works like it was built 20 years ago. Their monthly statements tell you how much “bonus” cash back you earned but don’t tell you which transactions fall into which bonus… Read More »

PSA: Always check if your psychologist is licensed, a.k.a., how Dr. Erick A. Medina screwed over my family

A couple of years ago, my wife and I needed neuropsychological testing for one of our children. We asked around among our friends for recommendations, and Dr. Erick A. Medina of Wellesley, Massachusetts was recommended to us. We spoke with Dr. Medina and liked what we heard, so we went ahead with the testing. In… Read More »

Why you can’t trust customer ratings

I recently booked a stay at a motel through The night I checked in, sent me email asking me to rate my check-in (literally, the subject line said, “How was your check-in, Jonathan K?” and the body of the email said “How’s your trip going, Jonathan Kamens? Rate your check-in experience.”). Thinking that’s… Read More »

The saga of the leaky gas valve and the “Type A” gas emergency that wasn’t

We’ve been smelling a faint gas smell in our house for several months. It was sufficiently faint and intermittent that we didn’t feel too much urgency to get it fixed, but my wife finally asked me last week to call the gas company (National Grid) and ask them what to do about it, which I… Read More »

Comedy of errors trying to update my bank account info everywhere

My bank was recently acquired. The migration of accounts into the new bank’s infrastructure happened over the weekend, and this morning at 8am, we were officially able to log into the new online banking site. We were told that any direct deposits or debits we had configured with the old bank’s routing number would automatically… Read More » refunds illegal New York City hotel occupancy tax after months of refusing

On October 15, 2021, I received this email from Those of you who’ve been reading my blog know that I‘ve been demanding this since June. Even emailing the president of the company didn’t help. After that failed, I filed a complaint with the New York Attorney General’s office. That, too, was fruitless. They forwarded… Read More »

Vanguard bug temporarily rewrites history and dramatically over-reports some account values

UPDATE [October 14, 2021]: Vanguard has confirmed to me that this issue was caused by a bug in a software update they released to their web site and then fixed a day later. See the end of this blog posting for their response. Executive summary Some time between 6:00am US/Eastern on September 14, 2021 and… Read More »