Yonkers, NY (PRWEB) July 3, 2007
Yonkers, NY July 2, 2007 — With 100 million items on sale, eBay is the king of online auctions. But almost half of the eBay buyers that Consumer Reports surveyed encountered deceptions, according to a report in the August issue.
Buyers indicated that some sellers took their money and ran, failed to disclose key details about the merchandise, or overstated the item’s condition. However, deceptions weren’t the only pitfalls for folks to avoid when participating in an online auction. Although eBay prohibits trade in illegal goods, buyers can end up with unsafe products. CR’s secret shoppers had no problem buying lawn darts, a game banned in the U.S., and they tracked down car seats, strollers and other child products recalled for possible safety defects.
“Ebay has 2,000 staff members policing its site around the clock, but with 6.4 million new listings per day, their employees can’t find all the iffy auctions and shut them down instantly,” said Tod Marks, Senior Editor for Consumer Reports. “Buyers must take precautions and learn as much as possible about who they are dealing with.”
To help online auction buyers play it safe and win, the Consumer Reports National Research Center recently asked more than 2,500 subscribers to http://www.ConsumerReports.org about eBay purchases in the past year. Among the findings:
Despite their complaints, 70 percent of those surveyed were highly satisfied overall when buying on eBay. About 90 percent of purchases arrived on time, were accurately described and were perceived a good deal. Nearly half of respondents characterized eBay as an excellent source of hard-to-find items.
Forty percent of survey respondents termed eBay fair or poor for help and customer support. Most victims of unscrupulous sellers tried to fight back, but of those who tried to settle problems with the seller directly, which eBay recommends, only 38 percent were successful.
PayPal, owned by eBay, was by far the most popular payment method and was used for 89 percent of the purchases in Consumer Reports survey.
Complaining directly to eBay authorities satisfied 60 percent of survey respondents who took that action. But the most effective way to deal with dishonesty was among the least used: filing a formal complaint with PayPal. Although only 23 percent of unhappy respondents took that step, 66 percent of those who did said it worked.
A site for sellers:
Sixty-four percent of the 700 survey respondents who sold on eBay in the past year were highly satisfied with their transactions.
Twenty-seven percent of sellers said their auction ad cost far more than expected.
Only about 10 percent of respondents said their freight costs exceeded those computed by the site’s shipping calculator.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls:
Yonkers, NY (PRWEB) August 6, 2007
The online threats associated with using the Internet remain high according to Consumer Reports’s latest “State of the Net” survey. Consumer Reports projects that U.S. consumers lost more than $ 7 billion over the last two years to viruses, spyware, and phishing schemes.
Additionally, the “State of the Net” survey shows that consumers face a 1 in 4 chance of succumbing to an online threat and becoming a cybervictim, a number that has slightly decreased since last year.
The number of consumers responding to e-mail phishing scams has remained constant at eight percent. Consumer Reports projects that one million U.S. consumers lost billions of dollars over the past two years to such scams.
Many underage youngsters are at risk on social networks such as MySpace and Facebook, the survey found. In households surveyed with minors online, 13 percent of the children registered on MySpace were younger than 14, the minimum age the site officially allows, and three percent were under 10. And those were just the ones the parents knew about.
Based on the survey, Consumer Reports projects that problems caused by viruses and spyware resulted in damages of at least $ 5 billion replacement over the past two years.
The 2007 “State of the Net” survey was conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center among a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 households with Internet access.
Consumers can visit http://www.ConsumerReports.org/security to access the full “State of the Net” report including free tips related to online protection, avoiding viruses, and reporting cybercrimes.
Among CR’s key 2007 “State of the Net” findings:
Based on survey projections, computer virus infections prompted an estimated 1.8 million households to replace their computers in the past two years and 850,000 households to replace computers due to spyware infections in the past six months. Additionally, 33 percent of survey respondents did not use software to block or remove spyware. And CR projects that 3.7 million US households with broadband remain unprotected by a firewall.
Spam: Consumer Reports’ survey respondents have reported a lower proportion of spam reaching their Inbox than in the past, which CR believes is a result of better spam-blocking. Survey results indicate that about 650,000 consumers ordered a product or service advertised through spam in the month before the survey. Additionally, in 5 percent of the households surveyed that had children under 18, a child had inadvertently seen pornographic material as a result of spam.
Viruses: Computer virus infections held steady since last year according to CR’s survey. CR notes that this is actually a mark of progress for consumers and software makers, because the threats have become more challenging. In the latest survey, 38 percent of respondents reported a computer virus-infection in the last two years. Seventeen percent of respondents didn’t have antivirus software installed.
Spyware: In the past six months, 34 percent of respondents’ computers were exposed to a spyware infection. CR’s survey also reveals that although spyware infections have dropped, the chances of getting one are still 1 in 3, and of suffering serious damage, 1 in 11.
Phishing: Eight percent of respondents submitted personal information in response to conventional phishing e-mails in the past two years, a number that has remained unchanged over the past two years. The median cost of a phishing incident is $ 200. Yet scammers’ tactics are improving – e-mail looks like it comes from a reputable business such as a bank and features better grammar, more believable stories, and more authentic-looking Web addresses.
Consumer Reports rates internet security suites
Consumer Reports tested nine internet security suites, four of which are Quick Picks that protect against viruses, spyware, and spam as effectively as the best stand-alone products.
Des Moines, Iowa (PRWEB) April 1, 2008
An alarming number of U.S. employees spend valuable time during their work days dealing with more than just regular job duties. For many workers, their family, financial, home or automobile legal woes compete for time and attention – resulting in lower job performance, productivity and morale.
“Workplace effectiveness often drops when employees are preoccupied with legal and financial concerns,” says Cameron Sutton, President and Chief Executive Officer, ARAG (http://ARAGgroup.com)]. “The impact, the frequency and the complexity of legal woes can adversely affect employees and the organizations for which they work.”
A recent ARAG-commissioned study measured the impact of employee legal woes, the use of legal services and employee attitude toward legal services. The study, entitled “Measuring the Effects of Employee Financial & Legal Woes,” was conducted by Russell Research, which interviewed more than 1,000 full-time employees, representing a nationwide, demographically-dispersed base.
Among the key results of the ARAG Legal Woes study:
Seven out of 10 surveyed employees experienced one or more legal woes during a 12-month period.
They spent, on average, 57 hours while at work, dealing with legal woes.
Four of 10 employees said legal woes had a negative impact on work performance (focus, stress, efficiency or effectiveness on the job).
The most common legal woes involved issues of family care, credit trouble, child custody, consumer fraud, home or automobile purchase or repair and estate planning.
According to Sutton, “People have traditionally invested in life, health, automobile and home insurance to achieve security and peace of mind. They are becoming increasingly aware of the risks that legal woes represent in their personal and work lives.”
The Legal Woes Study indicated that one out of eight employees worked for an employer that offers legal plans at work while seven out of 10 said they believe legal plans would be useful in resolving personal legal needs.
Because legal woes take a heavy toll on workplace productivity and can affect business profitability, Sutton stated that concerned employers are looking for effective ways to address this issue and many are considering the addition of legal plans to their benefit packages.
For further information about the ARAG study on “Measuring the Effects of Employee Financial & Legal Woes,” contact Media(at)ARAGgroup.com. ARAG is a global leader of legal insurance. The company has an international premium base of more than $ 1.75 billion and protects 15 million individuals and their families – worldwide. ARAG offers comprehensive legal plans that provide a clear path for resolving legal issues. This enables people to protect their families, finances and futures.
This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company
# # #
London, UK (PRWEB) January 21, 2009
Lloydspharmacy has revealed that a large number of young women who rely on the contraceptive pill to prevent unwanted pregnancies have risked unprotected sex simply because they were unable to get a repeat prescription.
New research by Lloydspharmacy shows that as many as one in four (25%) women aged between 18 and 24 years who take the pill (http://health.lloydspharmacy.com/womenshealthcontraception/contraceptivepills.php ) admit to having sex without contraception (http://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com/sexual_health/Oral-contraception/3-month-oral-contraception ) just because they ran out.
According to Lloydspharmacy 64 per cent of women aged between 18 and 24 take the pill, amounting to around 1.6 million people. But one in four of those – around 426,000 young women – are taking huge risks by having sexual intercourse between pill prescriptions.
Lloydspharmacy warns that young women in particular find it difficult to make an appointment with their GP to get repeat prescriptions (http://www.lloydspharmacy.com/wps/portal/prescriptions/expressrepeatprescriptions ). Its research shows that one in ten young women always find it hard to get a convenient appointment from their doctor in order to get a repeat prescription of the contraceptive pill. And more than one in three (40%) say they have run out of the pill because they did not have time or simply forgot to collect their prescription.
Experts at Lloydspharmacy are particularly concerned that such a high proportion of young women who do not collect their repeat prescription then go on to have sex without protection anyway.
Chris Frost, Head of Medicines at Lloydspharmacy, commented: “This is a worrying statistic. It’s interesting to see just how many young women will take such a huge risk because they have either forgotten to pick up a repeat prescription or have not had time to go to the doctors because of work or child pressures.”
The research comes as Lloydspharmacy launches an online service for women to have an online consultation and obtain prescriptions for the contraceptive pill via its online doctor (http://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com ).
The service has been designed for women who have been taking the pill for some time and who require repeat prescriptions for the same pill they have been taking for a year or more.
Chris Frost added: “This online pharmacy (http://www.lloydspharmacy.com/ ) service supplied by Lloydspharmacy.com, has been designed to provide an easy way for women to obtain a repeat prescription of the contraceptive pill without having to make an appointment at the doctors.”
Notes to Editors:
Consumer research was conducted by YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1956 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd – 4th December 2008. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of online adults (aged 18+).
Lloydspharmacy has around 1,700 pharmacies across the UK. These are based predominantly in community and health centre locations. The company employs over 15,000 staff and dispenses more than 133 million prescription items annually.
3 London Wall Buildings
0207 282 2615
Croydon, London (PRWEB) September 3, 2010
LV=’s new Cost of a Child study has found that parents will spend
Belleville, Ill. (Vocus) October 26, 2010
During the third quarter of 2010, unemployment rates for people with disabilities climbed to their highest quarterly rate in a year and continued to outpace the unemployment rate for other workers, according to a quarterly study by Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and Medicare plan selection services.
The Allsup Disability Study: Income at Risk shows that for the third quarter of 2010, people with disabilities experienced an unemployment rate 67.7 percent higher than people with no disabilities. Specifically, the unemployment rate for the third quarter averaged 15.6 percent for people with disabilities, compared to 9.3 percent for people with no disabilities, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Allsup Disability Study: Income at Risk also shows that during the third quarter of 2010, the number of people with disabilities unable to work and applying for SSDI climbed to 764,902, an increase of 4.3 percent compared to third quarter 2009. Year-to-date, more than 2.25 million people have filed disability claims. Nearly 1.8 million SSDI claims are pending with an average cumulative wait time of more than 850 days, based on Allsups analysis of the Social Security disability backlog.
The number of people filing for disability claims has doubled compared to 2001, said Paul Gada, personal financial planning director for the Allsup Disability Life Planning Center. Contributing factors include both the aging population and the high unemployment rate. Some people with disabilities are never able to return to work after a layoff.
According to Gada, people applying for SSDI need to understand the importance of acting quickly to secure benefits. Someone who is qualified needs to apply as soon as possible given the backlog and to ensure they meet certain qualification restrictions, Gada said. They also need to plan financially for what likely will be a significantly reduced income.
Understanding SSDI Benefits
People unable to work due to a severe disability need to understand the specific financial resources available to them — and their families — under the SSDI program. SSDI is a mandatory, tax-funded, federal insurance program designed to provide individuals with income if they are unable to work for 12 months or longer because of a severe disability, or if they have a terminal condition.
Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. As a result, peoples SSDI benefits are calculated using their earnings history. Because someones work history varies depending on age and life experiences — benefits can vary widely by age and gender.
Allsup outlines the following considerations when planning for the financial future:
Regular monthly income: SSDI is a regular monthly payment and usually provides annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increases (though none for 2010 or 2011).
In September, the average monthly benefit for a person qualifying for SSDI was approximately $ 1,066. But specific benefit amounts can vary greatly. For example, the average September monthly benefit for men was above average at $ 1,190, while womens monthly benefit was $ 929. Age also plays a significant factor as the chart shows below:
Age — Average Amount* (overall) — Average Amount* (male) — Average Amount* (female)
30 — $ 750 — $ 767 — $ 730
40 — $ 896 — $ 938 — $ 852
50 — $ 1,019 — $ 1,110 — $ 921
60 — $ 1,181 — $ 1,348 — $ 988
64 — $ 1,203 — $ 1,404 — $ 967
*Figures rounded to the nearest dollar.
Source: Social Security Administration, as of June 30, 2010
Spouse and dependent benefits: A spouse and dependents of someone receiving SSDI benefits also may be eligible for benefits. The average monthly benefit for a spouse in September was $ 287, with men receiving $ 239 on average, and women receiving $ 289 on average. To be eligible, the spouse (or former spouse if the marriage lasted at least 10 years) must have a child under age 16 or a child with disabilities, or be at least 62 years old. With regard to children, there are different categories of dependents and the payment amount varies. According to the SSA, the average September monthly benefit to a dependent child was $ 318.
Keep in mind that individuals can find an estimate of their benefits by examining their Social Security statement, which the Social Security Administration (SSA) mails out on an annual basis.
The SSA recently announced there will not be a COLA for a second consecutive year, so benefit amounts will continue to hold steady in 2011. There has been little fluctuation in the average monthly benefits since the start of 2009, Gada said.
In addition to monthly income and dependent benefits, SSDI also includes provisions for protecting future retirement benefits, the opportunity for extended COBRA benefits, eligibility for Medicare 24 months after a persons date of entitlement to SSDI cash benefits, as well as prescription drug coverage.
Its important that people apply as soon as they are eligible and make certain they are receiving all the benefits that apply in their circumstances, Gada emphasized.
If you have questions about SSDI eligibility for you or someone you know, please contact the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 279-4357 for a free evaluation of your situation.
Allsup also provides free financial planning tools to help people better manage their finances while awaiting SSDI benefits at http://www.allsup.com/personal-finance . Medicare plan selection services also are available through the Allsup Medicare Advisor
Belleville, Ill. (Vocus/PRWEB) January 14, 2011
The U.S. Department of Treasury announced last month that eventually it will provide all federal benefits through direct deposit, including payments to more than 8 million workers receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Making certain recipients understand the costs and benefits of their choices is essential for a smooth transition, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of http:// SSDI representation and Medicare plan selection services.
Effective May 1, 2011, paper checks no longer will be issued to individuals applying for benefits. Instead, applicants must choose either direct deposit into a bank or credit union account or deposit onto a Direct Express
New Rochelle, NY (PRWEB) October 17, 2012
To mark the 20th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Salesian Missions is proud to report on some of its programs around the globe that fight extreme poverty by providing hope and opportunity. The day is recognized globally with a focus on promoting the awareness of and the ongoing efforts to eradicate poverty everywhere which remains at the core of the Salesians work with youth and their families in more than 131 countries.
Each year focuses on a particular theme. This year the United Nations chose “Ending the Violence of Extreme Poverty: Promoting Empowerment and Building Peace,” which was chosen to highlight the link between poverty and social unrest. It also focuses on the need to provide people with the necessary skills to contribute to society.
Poverty is easy to denounce but difficult to combat, says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a recent UN article highlighting International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Those suffering from hunger, want and indignity need more than sympathetic words; they need concrete support.
Ban further stressed in the article that that during times of economic austerity it is even more crucial to put policies in place that will protect the most vulnerable.
As governments struggle to balance budgets, funding for anti-poverty measures is under threat. But this is precisely the time to provide the poor with access to social services, income security, decent work and social protection, he says in the UN article. Only then can we build stronger and more prosperous societynot by balancing budgets at the expense of the poor.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed annually since 1993. The UN General Assembly designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in every country.
During the last decade, millions have overcome extreme poverty and have improved access to health care and education. Extreme poverty rates have decreased in every region of the world. More than 39 million more children attend primary school and access to clean water has increased to 89 percent. But in spite of these important gains, several critical gaps remain.
Poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a Global Partnership for Development were further noted in the UN article as the eight Millennium Development Goals selected by world leaders at the UN summit in 2000.
The Salesians working at the ground level within communities ravaged by poverty see their efforts and these improvements first hand.
Whether giving food and shelter to street children or building schools and teaching job skills to youth in poverty, the Salesians are giving youth hope for a new future, says Fr. Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Our work gives youth the access to learn employable skills and provides the opportunity for them to break the cycle of poverty in their lives.
To mark the 20th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Salesian Missions is reporting on some of the many Salesian programs around the globe that fight extreme poverty by providing hope and opportunity to youth and their communities. Highlighted countries include: Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.
To read about the programs fighting poverty in these countries, go to MissionNewswire.org.
Yonkers, NY (PRWEB) October 21, 2012
Consumer Reports has promoted one of its senior engineers, Jake Fisher, to run all the vehicle testing operations at its national Auto Test Center in Connecticut. As director of auto testing, Mr. Fisher will oversee the team of personnel who evaluate and rate some 80 cars and trucks annually for the organization. He has worked for Consumer Reports since 1999.
Concurrent with Mr. Fishers promotion, Consumer Reports also tapped another of its staffers, Jennifer Stockburger, to become the Director of Operations at the Auto Test Center in Colchester, Connecticut, about 45 minutes outside Hartford. Ms. Stockburger will handle the day-to-day running of the center as well as being responsible for Consumer Reports child car seat and tire test operations.
We are fortunate to have engineers like Jake and Jennifer who will work tirelessly to help consumers make smart car-buying choices and help improve safety on the nations roadways, said Liam McCormack, Vice President and Technical Director, Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports former director of automotive testing, David Champion, left the organization in August to pursue other opportunities.
Consumer Reports Auto Test Center is the largest independent automobile testing center in the world. The 327-acre facility is equipped with a 1.2-mile vehicle handling circuit, a three-acre vehicle dynamics area, two skid pads, a 1.5-mile ride evaluation course, offices, workshops, headlight test building, photo studio, maintenance facilities and more. The organization buys and tests roughly 80 cars and light trucks a year. Results of those tests are published in Consumer Reports magazine, online at http://www.ConsumerReports.org, and in a series of special interest automotive publications.
Over the last 13 years, Mr. Fisher has been instrumental in all areas of vehicle testing as well as vehicle reliability analysis. His passion for cars and his expert driving is displayed in many online videos, a program that he pioneered. He will now oversee a team of dedicated automotive engineers, statisticians and support staff.
Before coming to Consumer Reports, Mr. Fisher worked for General Motors as a development engineer, working primarily on the Cadillac and Saturn brands. He holds two degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering and a masters degree in business administration. He has built two racecars for use in his spare time, a Toyota MR2 for use on road courses and a Nissan 240SX for drifting.
Ms.Stockburger joined Consumer Reports in 2000 after working at the Walbro Corporation a major supplier of fuel delivery systems, as an engineer. Prior to that, she had worked at Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corporation as a test engineer, responsible for a variety of tire evaluations including ride and handling. She holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Connecticut at Storrs and has been a certified child passenger safety technician since 2001.
Consumer Reports is the worlds largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
Columbus, OH (PRWEB) October 27, 2012
The Cochran Firm – Ohio, a leading full service, personal injury law firm with offices in Cincinnati and Dayton, reports that a criminal indictment has been entered against the driver implicated in the death of a 3-year-old Westwood Boy, Rodriquez Taylor. On October 24, 2012, a Hamilton County grand jury indicted 35-year-old Sheba Basabose on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count each of aggravated vehicular assault and vehicular assault. According to a report from Cincinnatti.com, if convicted, Ms. Basabose faces a maximum prison sentence of 12 1/2 years.
[Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincinnati, OH | Case Number B 1206979]
“It is our understanding that the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office is doing their due diligence to investigate this incident. With their efforts in addition to ours we are confident that we can bring peace of mind to the family of Rodriquez Taylor and his mother, Jocelyn Austin,” said Ms. Austins attorney, Sean Walton Jr. of Cochran-Ohio.
According to a report from Cincinnati.com, Ms. Austin was walking with her three children on the east side of McHenry Avenue en route to their babysitter just before dawn on the morning of October 8th. Ms. Austin was pushing Ricardo in his stroller, while Rodriquez and his 5-year-old brother, Robert Taylor Jr., were holding on to her hands, when a car suddenly careened toward them. Rodriquez was rushed to Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Ms. Austins and Ricardos injuries were not life-threatening. Robert was the only member of the family who escaped the accident without being hurt. According to a report by Fox19.com, a 2000 Honda Accord driven by Ms. Basabose had flown out of control and crossed the center line behind Ms. Austin and her children. The car slammed into a utility pole before hitting the family. The vehicle only came to a stop after it hit a fire hydrant.
“This was a tragic incident that resulted in the death of a child and the devastation of a family. It is our job to represent the family and ensure that both justice is served and the family is allowed to move forward the best way they can, said Michael L Wright, Cochran-Ohio. The family of Rodriquez Taylor has retained The Cochran Firm Ohio in the wake of this tragedy.
Unfortunately, the tragedy that has befallen Ms. Austin and her family is far from an isolated incident. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, pedestrians were involved in more than 2,000 motor vehicle crashes on Ohio roads and highways in 2011. Those accidents resulted in 91 deaths and 2,210 injuries. If you or someone you love was injured in an Ohio car accident, it is vital you retain a skilled attorney to ensure your legal rights are protected. If you are seeking personal, dedicated and aggressive legal representation in the wake of a pedestrian accident or other motor vehicle crash, please contact The Cochran Firm today by visiting cochranohio.com, or call (513) 381-HURT.
About The Cochran Firm – Ohio
The Cochran Firm – Ohio, is a leading full service, personal injury law firm with offices in Cincinnati and Dayton that handles personal injury cases throughout all of Ohio. Founded over 40 years ago by famed attorney, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., The Cochran Firm – Ohio, has established itself as one of the premier personal injury law firms in the United States and has been recognized for delivering successful results to their clients across a broad range of claims stemming from car / auto accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, premises liability, and product liability lawsuits. For over 40 years, The Cochran Firm – Ohio’s team of highly experienced lawyers have continually fought for justice for all its clients. If you’ve been injured call Ohio’s leading full service law firm “The Cochran Firm – Ohio” today at 513-381-HURT.
The Cochran Firm – Ohio
The Cochran Firm Cincinnati, Ohio
119 E. Court St. Suite 102
Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Cochran Firm Dayton, Ohio
130 West Second Street, Suite 1600
Dayton, Ohio 45402