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If you own a GMC or Chevrolet vehicle, you may have noticed that the air conditioning is not…well…working. You are not alone, as a number of consumers have complained that their GMC and Chevrolet vehicles pumped out only hot air. Owners of the following vehicles have all been subject to this hot air problem:

  • 2015 Cadillac Escalade Models
  • 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2015 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2014-2015 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2015 GMC Yukon Models

Owners of GMC, Cadillac and Chevy trucks whose AC systems are no longer cooling and have taken their vehicles to a mechanic or dealership have all been told the same thing—there is a cracked refrigerant hose leaking Freon from the compressor to the condenser. If the A/C line cracks, it could spray oil and refrigerant onto the A/C compressor, making the source of the leak hard to identify.

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Pictured: a crack in the compressor to condenser line

As it turns out, the AC system in Escalade, Silverado, Sierra, Yukon, Suburban, and Tahoe trucks stops working and ceases blowing cold air because of a defective bracket design affecting the A/C compressor and condenser line. The refrigerant hose is the “high pressure side” hose and sees about 350 psi pressure when the A/C is running. If the hose is not properly restrained—as is the case with the affected vehicles—one of the crimped metal fittings on the hose end may eventually start leaking due to the constant flexing of the hose in that location. Continue reading

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“This washer is supposed to be top of the line material!” This type of frustration has been voiced by a significant number of LG washer owners during the past few years. LG promotes their washers as “energy efficient” and tout their LG TrueBalance anti-vibration system as being “designed to reduce washer noise and vibration for smooth, quiet performance in any room of the house[.]” Unfortunately, LG washers and their TrueBalance technology has been anything but “top of the line.” Consumers around the country have observed LG washers continually running into “rebalancing” issues—generally identified by the error code “UE” flashing on the machine screen—that force consumers to pay for new control panels and/or software fixes, as well as causing the washers to use more water and energy than normal so as to avoid future “rebalancing” issues.

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Pictured: “rebalancing issues”

Ironically, the problems consumers are experiencing are the very problems that the TrueBalance technology was designed (and advertised) to address and resolve. Indeed, the “UE” error code signifying the LG washers’ breakdown may as well stand for “Unfulfilled Expectations.” To hear consumers tell it: Continue reading

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Generally, when you buy a car and are promised a feature—like air conditioning, satellite radio, or navigation—you expect that feature to continue to work/exist AFTER you take your car off the lot. Well, this expectation seems not to be shared by the people over at Mazda, as 2016 Mazda vehicle owners recently found out.

When consumers purchased a 2016 Mazda vehicle, real-time navigation software was one of the features of the vehicle they were buying (or at least that’s what they were led to believe). In early 2016, however, that very same software stopped functioning for all Mazda vehicles. Or, to hear 2016 Mazda owners tell it:

Wife and I picked up a 2016 CX-F about a month or so ago, I’ve noticed that the navigation is having a lot of problems keeping a lock on the car. I drove about 10 or 15 miles to my doctors office this morning and the whole time the nav was shoing me either 2 or 3 miles off the interstate or it was thinking I was on a different road completely. It did this the whole way there, even going on a long straight on the interstate it would suddenly jump me off the road and took minutes to lock back on. I checked the GPS information and it was showing 7 or 8 locked sats on me and at high accuracy. Continue reading

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Has your plumbing gone awry? Do any of your home appliances use water supply lines from EZ- FLO International, Inc.? Well, that may not be just a coincidence. According to a number of consumers, EZ-FLO water supply lines—the flexible tubing that is either covered with braided stainless steel or brass, or non-braided plastic, used to supply water to faucets, dishwashers, toilets, ice makers and other household fixtures—have been at the center of leaks around the country­­. These water supply lines often look like this:

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Considering the number of different places EZ-FLO water supply lines can be located throughout our homes, this is important information for any consumer! Comments for dishwasher supply lines include:

 

It has only been installed for 5 months and already the water line is leaking just before the connector. It was a slow drip and ruined our wood floors.

All 6 water supply lines that came leaked and had to be replaced by new ones bought at [L]owes, products were cheap but are not I got what I paid for, I wish I could return just the water lines but I don’t think amazon will allow me to do that. Don’t buy this product unless you only need the power cord.

Continue reading

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Have you installed Rhino Deck composite decking in your outdoor area?  If so, like many consumers, you were probably looking for a low maintenance alternative to wooden decking.  And you may have been sorely disappointed.

Homeowners around the country are reporting that Rhino Deck products are failing despite proper installation.  Worse, the manufacturer, Master Mark Plastic, is generally refusing to stand behind its product.

Here is what people are saying:

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Trim boards can be great, particularly on the outside of a home.  They add detail and elegance at a relatively low cost.  Homes throughout the country sport them, but that also means that trim board often is exposed to heavy rain, snow, wind and sunlight, all of which can cause wood to rot, decay, swell and, ultimately, develop mold.  Once rot sets in, you can almost push your finger through the board, which has probably become as soft as a wet sponge to the touch.  And rotting trim boards will do little to improve your home’s look or value.

Trim board manufactured by WindsorOne appears to be a prime culprit.  Homeowners have reported that WindsorOne begins to warp, swell and rot shortly after installation and within the warranty period:

Windsor Mill guarantees WindsorONE’s end and edge-gluing for 10 years and its primer for 5 years. Windsor Mill will replace, without charge, any WindsorONE product that is installed according to directions and fails to meet this warranty within that time. Such replacement is the exclusive remedy for breach of warranty with no consequential or other damages recoverable. Continue reading

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Relaxer products are notorious for containing lye – a caustic ingredient that can burn skin and damage hair.  So hundreds of thousands of consumers took the bait when L’Oréal introduced its “NO-LYE” product known as SoftSheen-Carson Optimum Amla Legend No-Mix, No-Lye Relaxer.

L’Oréal’s relaxer is prominently labeled “NO-LYE” to target consumers seeking a gentler alternative.  The Amla Legend line is promoted as a collection of nourishing products infused with Amla oil, a luxurious oil “derived from the Indian Amla superfruit known as the Gooseberry, a powerful antioxidant rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals.”  L’Oréal markets the Amla Legend relaxer as a “Rejuvenating Ritual” which will provide “fuller, silkier hair” and “respect for hair fiber integrity.”

Large numbers of women big to differ.  Dissatisfied customers from around the country have posted their grievances online.  For example, when we at the Blog last checked, more than 70% of reviewers at Amazon.com gave L’Oréal’s Amla Legend relaxer the lowest possible rating of one star.  Comments included:   Continue reading

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About a year ago we at the Blog notified you that CitiMortgage and other mortgage servicing companies may have been charging so-called “Property Inspection Fees” in violation of the law.  Indeed, several class action lawsuits against Citi and other mortgage servicing companies are currently proceeding in federal court in California.

But those lawsuits don’t focus on you – the high-rise condominium owner.  Is your condo above the first floor in a secure building?  Would property inspectors be able to get to your floor without your permission?  If you answered yes and then no, then the so-called property inspection fees on your monthly statement may be improper.

Here’s how it works.  You miss a few payments, go into default, and suddenly you have a monthly mortgage statement littered not only with late fees, but also a variety of new charges for “default services” including property inspections.  Codes like INVO may appear on your paperwork or in your mortgage records.     Continue reading

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You may have heard about the recent $100 million settlement reached between Uber and its drivers:  http://fortune.com/2016/04/21/uber-drivers-settlement/.  In that class action lawsuit Uber’s “driver-partners” claimed that they should be classified as employees, rather than independent contractors.

But there is another class action and it may impact you and other people who use Uber to get around town.  That lawsuit, Spencer Meyer v. Travis Kalanick, was filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York in 2015.  The plaintiff, an Uber rider (rather than an Uber driver), just notched a pair of significant victories.

First, on March 31, 2016, United States District Judge Jed Rakoff denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss:  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-31/uber-antitrust-lawsuit-over-pricing-green-lighted-by-judge.  The plaintiff alleges that Uber’s smartphone app allows drivers all over the country to agree with Uber and with each other to charge only the prices set by Uber.  Judge Rakoff agreed that these allegations are plausible, stating:  “The advancement of technological means for the orchestration of large-scale price-fixing conspiracies need not leave antitrust law behind.”      Continue reading

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As loyal readers know, we here at The Blog are quite skeptical when it comes to hard-to-believe advertising claims.  The XHose? Too good to be true.  The FlexBelt? Looks like another fibber.  And now ….. the 5 Second Fix.  If you’re like us and watch even a few minutes of late night TV weekly, you’ve probably come across an ad for the 5 Second Fix – a supposed upgrade over traditional superglues that is “welded” with an ultraviolet light shortly after application, allowing you to “fix, fill and seal … in 5 second or less” and achieve a “durable permanent bond” and “everlasting repair.”  But don’t listen to us; hear it from the manufacturer itself:

I mean, you can’t argue with that ad? 5 Second Fix couldn’t actually be a scam or ripoff, right? I mean, look how well it works in that commercial?  But what if 5 Second Fix doesn’t work? Does that mean that 5 Second Fix’s marketing claims are completely bogus?  Unfortunately, our investigation suggests that 5 Second Fix simply doesn’t work as advertised and will not create a permanent bond.  In short, 5 Second Fix likely is a scam product intended to rip off customers for their hard-earned dollars.

As is often the case, Amazon.com tells most of the story.  48& of Amazon’s reviews for 5 Second Fix are ONE STAR.  ONE. STAR.  And although 28% of reviewers gave it 5-stars, other reviewers indicate that rating may be inflated by customers who provide a good review on Amazon in exchange for free, additional tubes of 5 Second Fix.  In other words, 5 Second Fix is using customers unaware they have been ripped off by a product that does not work in order to scam new customers with the exact same defective product!  Just look at some of these reviews: Continue reading