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Hidden cellphone fees nickel-and-dime customers

A common complaint among consumers is that wireless bills seem to always be rising, even though carriers claim their rates aren’t going up. How is this possible? An underhanded way of assessing fees, called “nickel-and-diming,” can cause customers to pay more on their overall bills even though the base rates…...

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Kick “cramming” off our wireless bills!

Fraudulent third-party charges could cost wireless customers up to $887 million a year. That’s according to a nationwide coalition of consumer advocates, including CUB, who are pushing federal regulators to adopt tough rules cracking down on the “cramming” scam. Cramming is when a third-party company places a charge on your…...

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Victory? Nicor customers to see $72 million refund

A 5-0 Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) ruling means Nicor customers will be on the receiving end of a $72 million paycheck in the near future. While we’re always happy to see customers get a refund, in this case, $72 million is not enough to undo the harm done to customers.…...

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Where do our greenhouse gases come from?

This flow chart from research consultancy Ecofys breaks down man-made greenhouse gases worldwide by source and sector. (See a larger PDF version here.) A few takeaways: Homes use a lot of energy. Residential energy usage is responsible for 11 percent of the greenhouse gas pie, while public and commercial buildings eat up 7…...

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Breaking: Consumers beat back Big Telecom

CUB staffers love their smartphones and Internet phone service, but landlines still reserve a special place in our hearts. That’s because more than 2 million Illinois households rely on a landline to stay connected with friends, relatives, job opportunities, and emergency services. So we’re happy that the Illinois Senate today unanimously…...

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What’s happening to your electric bill June 1?

If you pay ComEd or Ameren for electricity supply, there’s good news: The price you pay for power will drop on June 1! ComEd’s electricity price will fall from approximately 8.3 cents per kWh to about 5.5 cents per kWh this June through September. Ameren customers will see their price dip…...

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