November 15, 2011

GE Money AKA Care Credit is a scam!

I went to the dentist a year ago for a cleaning. I had not been in a while and thought it was time to get checked out. I went to Brookside Dental in Redlands, California. After taking X-rays it was brought to my attention that I needed a couple of crowns because some teeth were allegedly cracked. After the dentist made that determination, a girl with the price break down came in to tell me the cost of the work that needed to be done. Over $1000 dollars and that was after my insurance. Wow, I didn't have that kind of money so she conveniently suggested I use Care Credit. I hate the dentist to begin with. All I wanted to do was get my teeth cleaned and get out. She did her smooth talk and before I knew it, I had signed a contract with Care Credit aka GE Money to finance my dental work. I wonder if the dentists get kick backs from the amount of patients they can over price and reel in for companies like this.

I have been paying my monthly amount for the past year. This month, I paid them a week late, that's 7 days. Sometimes the due date doesn't fall on a pay day. I just got a new bill from them today and they not only charged me $35 dollars late fee, they charged me $417.77 interest on a $1900 dollar balance. Now, rather than having my payment applied and bringing the total down, I was charged $452 dollars. My new balance is $2345.41 and I paid them $75.00 to begin with. My interest rate is 26.99. How is this legal? I plan on doing some investigation because I believe what they are doing is fraudulent. I know a law was just passed to protect the consumer against credit card companies. I plan to find out.

When you go to the doctors they never try to up sell you on medical procedures, why is it that dental offices get away with this type of practice? Redland's Dental charged twice what most dentists charge for routine work. My Metlife insurance covers $1250 per year and not a penny more. What's the point of having insurance at all if you have to apply for credit just to see the dentist? This system is definitely broke and someone needs to step in a stop these companies from feeding off of innocent people just because they want to stay healthy. I ended up only getting one crown from that dentist and went to another one for the second one. To this day, the original crowned tooth gives me problems. The second one I had done for half the price was a piece of cake.



This morning I called GE Money to find out about the bogus charges added to my account. I wanted to know where in the world they came up with a $417 dollar finance charge on a $1900 dollar balance. The answer, because I didnt pay off my loan in a year. It was the finance charge for the whole year. I guess my loan was on a deferred finance program???? Let me also state when I applied for the loan, the girl selling the product did not inform me of this. GE money told me the information regarding the deferred finance was posted on my monthly statement but because I paid my bill on line, I didnt read the fine print. My thoughts on the matter, if you are going to set someone up for a loan that must be paid off in a year, set up the payments so that the amount you are paying will actually pay off the loan IN A YEAR. Buyer the fine print and KNOW what you are signing.

I was pretty angry until I went into work and read my e-mail. GE money had read my article and wanted to help. I forwarded my personal information and was contacted via phone by Dawn from their Media/Finance department. I dont like bill collectors. I dont know how they can do their jobs and sleep at night. However, Dawn was very nice and professional. She removed the finance charge and changed the monthly due date so that I wont be late again. I am still not a fan of GE Money. If I had it to do over, I would have lived with the cracked tooth. Dont let dentists like the ones at Brookside Dental wheel you in to unnecessary procedures that are over priced and not fully covered by your insurance. You shouldnt have to take out a loan to fix a cracked tooth.

November 13, 2011

8 Reasons Being Stubborn Can Be Good for a Kid

Parents of a stubborn child can find it exasperating. They will obstinately refuse to do what they’re told and defy discipline with a steely determination. What most people fail to see is how stubbornness can be a positive attribute. There are many ways headstrong children can have an advantage over the more docile counterparts. Here are 8 reasons being stubborn can be good for a kid.

1. Perseverance – A stubborn child is going to be much better at accomplishing difficult tasks because they have perseverance. If at first they don’t succeed they will keep trying until they get the results they desire. From learning to tie their shoes to figuring out a complicated math problem, these kids will doggedly keep trying until they get it done. This is a great advantage over other children who tend to give up easily.
2. Can’t be bullied – Childhood bullies have gotten to be a big problem, so stubbornness can give a kid the toughness they need to stand up for themselves. No playground bully is going to push them around. The defiance they show to their parents easily translates to other situations, so the local bully doesn’t stand a chance.
3. Mental fortitude – This toughness will also help kids to develop the strong mental fortitude they need as they grow from childhood to adults. Mental toughness will help them to succeed in many aspects of their lives and make it easier for them to cope with stress or traumatic events. The demands of college, the military or a prestigious career are more easily met by the people who used to be stubborn kids.
4. Schoolwork – Children who give up easily are going to have a harder time learning difficult problems in their schoolwork than those who are more resolute. Whether this results in getting better grades depends on each child’s mental capabilities, but stubbornness can be an advantage to even learning disabled children. Teachers and parents should encourage stubborn kids to channel their determination into their homework.
5. Employment – Once kids get old enough to get a job, the stubborn ones will be more likely to find employment and keep it. It takes strong perseverance to find work in a bad economy, especially for teens. If their determination pays off, their employers will be pleased if they apply their stubbornness to their work ethic. Stubborn kids can be good workers.
6. Sports – Another way a headstrong kid can excel is in sports. What they may lack in physical ability can be made up for with sheer determination. Stubborn kids are very competitive and will not give up until they make the team or are the best in their field. They can channel their obstinacy into succeeding at whatever sport they choose.
7. Successful career – That successful doctor, lawyer or actor you admire probably used to be a stubborn child. The bullheaded kids are much better equipped to succeed at whatever careers they choose. Their ability to persevere will vault them to the top of the corporate ladder.
8. Survival – Another reason being stubborn can be good for a kid is pure survival. Whether it’s illness, injury or a natural disaster, those who aren’t willing to give up will overcome any obstacle to survive. Stubbornness is a key element in personal survival.

So the next time you encounter your child’s stubborn streak, turn the negatives into a positive. Parents would be wise to recognize the potential of their bullheaded kids and help them to use their stubbornness to their advantage. By channeling that willful determination, these children are much more likely to succeed in life. In this dog eat dog world, survival of the fittest reigns supreme. The stubborn kids are better equipped to deal with whatever comes their way.

A great resource for parents

October 12, 2011

10 Ways Kids Use Cell Phones to Badger Their Parents

A reader forwarded the link for this article. I decided to share:

Cell phones are now the number one form of communication for teenagers. In 2010 at least 85% of 15 to 18 year olds had cell phones, nearly 70% of 11 to 14 year olds and a third of 8 to 10 year olds. With this powerful new technology in their conniving little hands, kids are learning how to use it to take advantage of their parents. Some kids don’t know how to take “no” for an answer and are finding new ways to get what they want. Here are 10 ways kids use cell phones to badger their parents.

1. Calling – The first technique used to badger their parents is constant calling. This can be very annoying, especially during work. Parents don’t want to be accused of not taking calls from their own children, so this can really get out of hand in a hurry.
2. Texting – If a parent stops taking their calls, the next avenue the kids will take to badger them is texting. Since they already text 15 times more than making calls, this comes naturally to kids. They can take badgering to new heights by sending one word messages like; Please…please….can…I….GO!!!!…Please….please….please!!!!
3. Voicemails – Once parents learn to ignore the text badgering, the next step is unlimited voicemail messages. Imagine checking your voicemail and finding out you have 75 new voice mail messages. You have to go through them all to sort out any important ones while listening to all the ones with your kid whining.
4. Emails – By this time you’ve shut off your cell phone and are trying to get some work done on the computer. Kids with email capabilities on their cell phones won’t hesitate to use them to get their parents attention. Soon your inbox is flooded with messages from your kids bugging you about their latest issue.
5. Tweeting – If you allow your child to have a twitter access on their phone, this is another way they can badger you. You have to follow their tweets to monitor what they’re up to and can get pummeled with constant tweets about how you’re the worst parent ever for not letting them do what they want.
6. Sending pictures – Next thing you know, your kids are bombarding you with pictures of all their friends that are going to the latest concert. After that comes a variety of pictures with your child making sad faces. The situation has elevated into a whole new level of harassment with the help of a camera phone.
7. Annoying ring tones – If all other efforts have failed, and you have a particularly inventive child, they can change the ring tone of their phone to attack you. Every time someone calls your kid the phone now says, “My mommy is mean”. This takes badgering to an all time low.
8. Playing games – Another tactic your child may try is to annoy the heck out of you by constantly playing games on their cell phone whenever you approach. This is a form of reverse-badgering that is known to work in some extreme cases.
9. Enlist friends – Kids never hesitate to enlist the help of friends to manipulate their parents. They can give out your cell phone number to all their buddies and have them bombard you with all the badgering tactics already mentioned.
10. Hang up – If your children want to be particularly annoying they can keep calling your cell phone and hang up when you answer. Of course this is typical childish behavior that shouldn’t be tolerated (but they are kids after all…).

Using cell phones to badger them isn’t something most parents think of when they get the phones for their kids. They want their children to be able to contact them in an emergency and be able to let them know if there’s a change of plans or if their running late. The most important thing to remember when getting cell phones for your kids is to establish firm ground rules to begin with and make sure they’re enforced. Don’t give them a new tool they can use to manipulate you. Kids will use badgering to get their way, especially if they find out it works. Stay strong and never let them find a week spot or you’re doomed.

Thank you Coleen!

August 1, 2011

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

Someone sent this to me in an e-mail and I wanted to share it. I think we could definitely put a dent in the budget if we followed these guidelines:

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.

8. There should be a salary cap.

9. Term limits for Senate and Congress because our founding fathers did not intend for Senators and Congressman to have lifetime appointments! Feinstein has been in office for how long????

June 19, 2011

TSA is out of control!

We just returned from our 2 week vacation to Maui. It was our anniversary present to each other that started out with a traumatizing experience in the airport. I have never had a problem traveling before but that has changed. I find myself having a full blown anxiety attack when I know I am about to go thru a TSA check point in an airport. Am I a criminal? No! Do they make you feel like one? ABSOLUTELY! Since when is it OK to feel up a 70 year old woman? I watched in shock as a female TSA employee searched a woman in the Maui airport. I think she was singled out because she was wearing a dress. Heaven forbid! She made that woman spread her legs and felt all the way up to her crotch, around her butt, and under her breasts. This woman wasnt a terrorist. She was a person that came to Maui for vacation. What gives these people the right to molest anyone? Did you see the video of that 5 year old child being searched? Seriously?

I can understand a search of someone that might spike your interest. For no reason at all is a crime in my eyes. I understand not every criminal looks like your average "Joe" but I can safely say children should be exempt. What message are we sending our kids if we allow a stranger to feel their private parts while we stand by and watch? What gives any of those people at TSA the right to take our rights away? I am appalled by the whole situation. Let's not forget the X-ray machines that allow a stranger to see you naked. We werent fortunate enough to experience that on our travels but I did witness it coming back.

We pay the airlines so that we can go on our dream vacations. However, we are invaded and made to feel like criminals before the fun even begins! Not to mention, United airlines wanted to charge us $100 dollars per suitcase because we were 5 pounds over the weight limit on each. We paid $25 per bag before our journey started. I think the prices we pay for airline travel should more than cover our ability to take clothes with us. And forget it if you have a question for anyone at one of the terminals in the airport. I watched a United airlines employee snap at a woman that had questions regarding her flight. Im sorry, if you cant handle the job find another place to work. These people are there to assist us with our travel needs. I have yet to find one friendly face when I walk up to any given terminal. I am disgusted by our whole travel experience. The vacation itself was amazing but the traveling I could have completely done without.

SHAME ON YOU TSA. May you experience in your life what you put each of us through. You are abusing your power and made me feel like the witness to a sick perverted fantasy. I didnt feel one bit safer on my trip, instead I felt like a victim to a system that is way out of control. There needs to be a better way. Innocent until proven guilty. That's the law and I dont remember giving away my rights. As Thomas Jefferson once wrote,"If you trade your freedom for security, you end up with neither."

January 29, 2011

Eat Pray Love

I just finished a fabulous book by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's the story of a woman in her early thirties that had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want. She had a husband, a beautiful country home, and she was successful. Instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed by panic and confusion. She set out on a journey that took her across the world for a year. She ate in Italy while learning the language, prayed in India while perfecting meditation with self discipline, and experienced the essence of love not only for herself but others while living in Indonesia.

I found myself consumed the minute I started to read. It was as though I took the journey with her. My husband bought me both the book and movie for Christmas. I didn't want to watch the story first but rather experience what she went through on a deeper level. Now, I cant wait to see the movie! Eat Pray Love is a must read for all women! Kudos to you Elizabeth, you did a great job.


I received a letter the other day from a reader with some interesting information about RJB. I wanted to re-post his e-mail in my blog. This information may help some of you in your quest to reclaim your life and child support accounts back:

Hi Lori,
I wanted to respond to your blog about support kids now being handled by RJ boudreau and associates. I worked for this collection agency for a very short time and what I saw was tons of illegal actions by the collectors. The trainer would tell you how to get away with threatening law suits on people which you are not suppose to do by the FDCPA Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I left there and actually reported them to the FTC. There have been tons of law suits against this company and they just pay settlements to get out of them. Support kids using them is just a sign of how bad this company really is.

I never even saw a paycheck from them either. My friends husband worked for them for a bit and they tried to get out of giving him his last check as well. Its a very corrupt company like many collection agencies are. RJB obviously was the cheapest that support kids could contract with. I couldn't see them using that agency for any other reason.

It's sad that companies take advantage of parents who are trying to get help. I knew the way they did business was illegal, this just confirms it.

January 14, 2011

District Attorney vs. Supportkids

After 16 years of battling the system, it finally worked! I was informed 4 months ago that I was going to get the back child support that was owed to me and my children (who are both grown adults now). My ex husband inherited a house that he put on the market. When it sold, the DA put a lien on the house and guess who got the first cut of the profits? I did. My suggestion to all struggling single parents who are going thru that same fight? File your case with the DA's office. They keep track of everything and it NEVER goes away. Not only that, it collects interest. If you sit back and wait for your ship to roll in without researching your options, you're going to be waiting a long time. Companies like SupportKids are the wrong way to go. They may collect money for you but they take 34% (or at least that is what is use to be) off the top and send you the rest. The DA's office doesn't make a profit off of your case, they fight for you for FREE. When they cut my check it was for the full amount that was owed.

I started my blog to put Supportkids out of business and get out of my contract. Both were accomplished. Supportkids has since been bought by another company and have proceeded to do business as usual. During that time (when the company was bought and in transition with the new owners) was when I put up the biggest fight and won. Supportkids was going out of business and the new company was clueless. I started my blog in 2007. 4 years later, I'm out of my contract with Supportkids and received full payment of my back child support. That may seem like a long time but is it really? Not compared to the years I spent trying to collect the money.

The DA's office have come a long way in their battle against "Dead Beat" parents that refuse to help support the children they helped produce. They suspend Drivers Licenses, refuse to issue Passports, deny the offenders the right to leave the country, and put liens on assets. If you try to take on this battle alone you will fail. Everyone needs help. What's the first step? You must get your case started with the DA in your area. The moment the non custodial parents refuses to pay, do something about it. The system does work. If you are currently trying to get out of your Supportkids contract, read some of my previous posts. There are a lot of helpful hints and other parents with great advice. Times are tough. You need to find your back bone and stand up for your rights. There is only one word to describe what you need to be and that is unrelenting!