By Ellen Roseman Personal Finance Columnist Tues., Sept. 25, 2018 Using Expedia, one of the world’s largest online travel agencies, is convenient. Your flights, hotels, rental cars and insurance plans are on the same page. But you can also face challenges when dealing with such a large company. I’ve pulled together recent complaints and Expedia’s response, extrapolating lessons for other travellers. Speak up if the price plunges after you book. Patrick Xie is a loyal Expedia customer. He was upset to see he paid substantially more for a trip to Jamaica with his family, and wasn’t told of a lower-priced option available at the site. Article Continued Below On Aug. 2, when he checked the Expedia.ca website, he found Sunwing Vacations had the best price for a one-week package at the Grand Palladium Resort in Montego Bay. He called Expedia and booked for two adults and two children, paying $4,630. Later, he noticed Air Canada … [Read more...] about The Expedia experience: How giant travel agency treated loyal customers
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China hikes tariffs on US soybeans, electric cars, fish BEIJING — China fired back Saturday in a spiraling trade dispute with President Donald Trump by raising import duties on a $34 billion list of American goods including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. The government said it was responding in "equal scale" to Trump's tariff hike on Chinese goods in a conflict over Beijing's trade surplus and technology policy that companies worry could quickly escalate and chill global economic growth. China "doesn't want a trade war" but has to "fight back strongly," said a Commerce Ministry statement. It said Beijing also was scrapping agreements to narrow its multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more American farm goods, natural gas and other products. The United States and China have the world's biggest trading relationship but official ties are increasingly strained over complaints Beijing's industry development tactics … [Read more...] about China hikes tariffs on US soybeans, electric cars, fish
By Martin Regg Cohn Ontario Politics Columnist Fri., July 7, 2017 The endless rip-off in car insurance rates is a never-ending tale of Ontario the good versus Ontario the bad. We are among the best drivers on the continent, with the lowest accident rates and injury statistics. That’s the good news for nearly 10 million passengers and drivers on our roads. And yet we have the worst premiums in the country — $1,458, on average, in 2015. That’s double the cost in Quebec, and 55 per cent higher than the national average. How is such highway robbery — billions of dollars in excess premiums — still possible, year after year? Our politicians love to blame crooked tow truck firms for driving up costs every time they drive our vehicles to corrupt garages, which pay kickbacks for every battered car body and greedy health clinics that maximize billings from bodily injuries. Article Continued Below Yes, the system is plagued by … [Read more...] about How lawyers and car insurers get away with highway robbery: Cohn
source Matt Cardy/Getty Images For years, credit cards from JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and others have offered price protection, a benefit that refunds customers up to $500 if they buy an item and subsequently spot it cheaper somewhere else. Filing a claim was a laborious task, so few people ever did. Apps like Earny have emerged that use bots to automate the price-protection process, connecting with users’ email accounts to monitor purchases and hunt down refunds. Insiders say the rise of these tools and services has led to exponential growth in price-protection claims: “Nobody foresaw the onslaught of claims right now.” Citi recently revealed it would cut back on its price-protection offering, while Chase is planning to eliminate it entirely. Discover, which doesn’t work with apps like Earny, has cut other benefits but is keeping price … [Read more...] about For years, Chase and Citi credit cards offered a generous, under-the-radar benefit that protected customers. And then the bots arrived.
Update from The Nation New excise taxes have affected prices across industries ranging from beverages to cars, with the new tax regime causing higher prices for some items but lower prices for others. The Excise Department expects to collect additional tax revenue of 12 billion Bt from the changes. New excise taxes will cause “moderate” rises in the prices of alcoholic beverages, sugary drinks and cigarettes, the director general of the Excise Department, Somchai Poolsavasdi, said yesterday. It may also cause a small rise in prices for imported cars and cars manufactured in customs-free zones. Somchai told a press conference that the new taxes rates would be effective immediately. The price of many items would not increase and some items would be taxed less, he said. Some producers might absorb rising costs for products facing high market competition, he said, but in any case consumers would not pay much more for these products. The new excise system is based on the retail … [Read more...] about UPDATE