Dec 31, 2009

Green Bay composer Kevin MacLeod scores movies, commercials, and videos for thousands of people around the world

Green Bay Composer Kevin MacLeod scores movies, commercials and other creations and helps You Tubers with their videos, too, allowing use of other compositions he puts in the public sector. Glen Loyd's Blog will soon feature a video about Kevin, himself. Clicking the button above, you will hear six seconds of music entitled "Action Man" composed by Kevin, acknowledging Glen's early days in Green Bay as the Action Man consumer reporter.

Needled meat: E. coli-tainted beef infects 21 people in 16 states

Washington Post
Consumer advocates say mechanical tenderization poses contamination risks in meats that are served rare, such as steaks, because it can bring bacteria from the surface of meat to the center of the cut. A rare steak may be cooked enough so that bacteria on the surface are killed but those inside the meat survive.

Company’s Record on Beef Treatment Questioned

Dec 28, 2009

Then vs. now: How prices have changed since 1999


Media Notes: Howard Kurtz on the evolution of media in the Awful Aughts

Washington Post

Adding Fees and Fences on Media Sites

New York Times
“One of the problems is newspapers fired so many journalists and turned them loose to start so many blogs,” Mr. Mutter said. “They should have executed them. They wouldn’t have had competition. But they foolishly let them out alive.”

Dec 26, 2009

Away down the river,
A hundred miles or more,
Other little children
Shall bring my boats ashore.

Robert Louis Stevenson's poem reflects our fascination with rivers...their jeweled surfaces and tree-lined shores, interesting meanderings, and links to other people and places.
My son, Glennon, has a wonderful house overlooking the Rock River in Janesville, WI where I am getting to know a lot about the River. Here are seven videos I made in 2009 about the Rock River (If video stops, pause, which allows download to continue. When red line shows completion, video will play and replay without interruption):

Lincoln and the Rock River

The Rock River still flickered in Reagan's memory

Rock River and the Blackhawk War

Indians on the Rock River

Rock River Thresheree

Madison area lakes, rivers and streams flow into the Rock River. In fact, when it rains and snows in southern Wisconsin much of the water ends up in the Rock, a Mississippi tributary. In this final video: A record setting 3.63 inches of rain falling in Madison on Sept 21,2009 which eventually became the Rock River.

Washington state suing DirecTV on consumers' behalf

Seattle Times

Jack Shafer reviews 'Googled' by Ken Auletta

Washington Post

Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won

New York Times

At Tiny Rates, Saving Money Costs Investors

New York Times

Dec 25, 2009

FTC chief Leibowitz now watches over firms he once lobbied for

Washington Post

Resolution: Get a Deal on a Gym Membership

New York Times
This article gives good advice. But my advice is to know that too many people signing up for these memberships stop going and lose money. Try walking. It's free and its good exercise and if you stop you don't lose money

Dec 19, 2009

What to buy at Wal-Mart

I was stunned this week when I saw Epic Systems' $300 million complex near Madison, WI

Skunk at the buffet

Charley, a buffet manager friend of mine, was a hero the other night to his fellow workers and to me. When a woman in her twenties came into the restaurant with two companions, Charley said to his boss, "I'll bet you she pulls the "hair in my food" scam. Sure enough, when the woman finished eating she began protesting about the hair and demanded her money back. Charley had remembered her pulling the same trick on several past occasions. She didn't get her money back and was told to get out of the restaurant. By the way, the food preparer has a crew cut.

Charley also told me about a man who calls all the restaurants in town claiming he had eaten there recently and found something in the food. The caller says he didn't want to embarrass the restaurant at the time by making a fuss. He's now asking for free meal. Many restaurant comply.

House flipping makes a comeback

Wall Street Journal

FTC Sues to Stop Robocalls With Deceptive Credit Card Interest-Rate Reduction Claims


Gift cards are useful; give me cash

Wall Street Journal

FTC to consider stricter online privacy rules


Shrinking products: "The parade of downsized items continues"


Paper files suite over UW records

Milwaukee Journal

Scam to borrow National Guard soldier's identity thwarted

Milwaukee Journal

Dec 11, 2009

Be careful of door-to-door sellers

As I am sitting here working on this week's blog, when the door bell rings and a door-to-door meat salesperson with body piercing tells me it's my lucky day.
Be careful of these people because they often don't reveal price per pound and it is impossible to figure out what kind of a deal you are getting without that knowledge.
Often door-to-door meat salespeople describe their products as "restaurant quality" which really doesn't mean anything official about how good the meat is.
These salespeople can be very aggressive. Don't be afraid to shut the door on them or call the police if they get out of hand.

Secrets revealed about new car prices

MousePrint: AMEX gift cards, no monthly fees but....


The American taxpayer has put up $12,200 for every General Motors vehicle sold through the beginning of 2011, and $7,600 for every Chrysler vehicle

National Taxpayers Union

FTC Website Educates Kids about Privacy and Fraud


Some credit cards charge you for inactivity!


Consumers Union: Two-thirds of broiler chickens contaminated


Dec 5, 2009

Holiday shoppers say some retailers out of line

Consumer Reports

One in three laptops fail over three years


Glen Loyd's take-a break video: Springs at UW Aboretum

WalletPop on infomercial man:"Trudeau was definitely playing a con's game in the late 1980s, leading to criminal charges in 1990

WalletPop"Trudeau was definitely playing a con's game in the late 1980s, leading to criminal charges in 1990 for larceny (posing as someone else to cash $80,000 worth of worthless checks) and credit card fraud (for using a bunch of his customers' credit card numbers to ring up more than $120,000 in charges). He went to federal prison for two years and was released in August 1993."

Nov 28, 2009

This video reminds us what questionable strangers may do

12 Online Scams of Christmas

Yahoo Finance

Glen Loyd, the museum exhibit

Many generations of broadcasters are responsible for the great radio and TV stations we have in Wisconsin today

Green Bay's WLUK-TV built a new newsroom with a mural depicting the station's history

I've had the pleasure of knowing many of the people who have worked at WLUK-TV over the years. Today's staff puts a lot more news on the air than my generation did in 1971.

Music: Kevin MacLeod

Nov 24, 2009

Nov 23, 2009

Skype video demonstration for journalists

This is an interview I did over the Internet via Skype with a North Texas University sports psychologist about helping struggling players. It has nothing to do with consumer protection, but shows how a journalist can do a cross-country video now at no cost. A number of Universities will now provide their experts by Skype video conferencing.

Nov 13, 2009

Consumer complaints about Polaroid

Linda Alger purchased a Polaroid TV last November at the Chilton, Wisconsin, Wal-Mart. In May she says the screen turned black and the audio shut off. Because the store’s exchange period had elapsed, she sent it back for repair and alleges it was returned defective again. The State of Wisconsin sent an inquiry to Polaroid about the problem which Polaroid didn't respond to. Wisconsin has now sent the company a warning letter.

Linda is sending her set back again for repairs. “They will try to fix it again or give me a different TV,” she says. “I was told it would be a TV that someone else returned for repair. I have no other alternative and do not anticipate much results. I asked if they plan to try to fix my TV and send it to another unsatisfied customer. The lady said, ‘Maybe.’ You can understand why I am not satisfied with the warranty.”

Consumer Protection has a total of nine complaints about Polaroid. The Better Business Bureau has 627 complaints--284 relating to product quality and 102 about repair issues. The BBB rating for the Polaroid Corporation is "F." "Reasons for this F rating," says the BBB, "include failure to respond to 110 complaints filed against the business.

79 % of MoneyGram transfers of $1,000 or more from the US to Canada over a 4-month period in 2007 were fraud-related

Washington Post

The few drugs proved to deter cancer are widely ignored, researchers say, while ineffective supplements are used

New York Times

Time to stop tossing those notices about your credit cards

Washington Post

Oct 30, 2009

MoneyGram to Pay $18 Million to Settle FTC Charges That it Allowed its Money Transfer System To Be Used for Fraud

Federal Trade Commssion
Opinion by Glen Loyd: The stories above and below make me angry because so many consumers in Wisconsin get ripped off by out-of the-country criminals using wire services. This industry needs more regulation! Most rip-offs these days couldn't operate without wire companies.

Cyber Crooks Stole $40M From U.S. Small, Mid-Sized Firms

Washington Post
"When the mules pull the cash out of their accounts, they are instructed to wire it (minus a small commission) via services such as MoneyGram and Western Union, typically to organized criminal groups operating in countries like Moldova, Russia and Ukraine." Washington Post

Glen Loyd's take-a-break video: Final look at fall colors 2009

That TV investigative story may not be real!


Talk money before marriage

New York Times

4 urgent home repairs before you retire

Postpone retirement? No way!

Smart Money

It always amuses that in these you-can-have-it stories, they always seem to mention bolder investing. That doesn't always work, does it.

Cruise Critic Honors the World's Best Cruise Lines

Yahoo Finance

10 ways journalism has changed in the past 10 years

OnLine Journalism Blog

Think info about your prescription is private? Better think again

Oct 16, 2009

Exposers with their own questional offers

I monitor "scam" warnings on Twitter and have noticed that a lot of them conclude with questionable offers of their own! Be careful of any multi-level marketing offer, get-rich-quick businesses, mystery shopping jobs or miracle cures--even if the story starts off as an expose.

Glen's take-a-break video: Fall colors and kids

Defamation Suit Dismissed Against Alleged Online Griper and Web Site

Yahoo Finance

Reverse mortgages: Seniors should beware of scams

Orlando Sentinel

How to Get Out of Your Cell Phone Contract

29 fees we hate most


Oct 10, 2009

Wall Street Journal: "Gold is still a lousy investment"

Wall Street Journal

Watch what you say to insurers

Wall Street Journal

Glen's take-a-break video: Chubby the woodchuck

Why do I make these take-a-break videos? I have been listening to consumer complaints virtually every day since 1971 and they can burn you out. When I worked in TV newsrooms my phone was called the nutline and no one else would answer it. Most reporters and editors have their own nutlines to deal with. I've always tried to do one fun story a week to keep my spirits up.

Prepaid but not prepared for debit card fees

New York Times

In bad times bartaring can beat anything

Three ways to avoid overdraft fees

Oct 3, 2009

Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Eau Cliare Consumer Protection offices closing

My heart goes out to all the dedicated Consumer Protection employees in Wisconsin regional Consumer Protection offices (Green Bay, Milwaukee,and Eau Claire) closing in December.
If you folks come to work in Madison, you'll find great coworkers in a great city. But as you know, not only will your lives be disrupted, journalists in your parts of the state will lose important contacts for stories to protect area consumers. And because journalists themselves are experiencing cuts, I feel that Wisconsin consumers are becoming more vulnerable.Contact Glen Loyd in Madison at 219 6955

Since summer, Wisconsin has had a new contractor law


Hidden fees discovered for “free” Windows 7 upgrades


Stanley Siegel goes around the world after his TV start in Green Bay

"Stanley Siegel On the Go" sample reel from stanley siegel on Vimeo.

Click here for my memoir describing Stanley's controversial time in Wisconsin While in Wisconsin, Stanley tested a lot of consumer products in a zany manner and actually drove a Volkswagon into a lake to see if it would float. It floated and Volkwagon bragged about it in a national advertising campaign. Stan lives in a hotel close to Beverly Hills, CA. and travels the world for his TV show, "On The Go With Stanley Siegel."

Glen's take-a-break video: Following Fisher Stream

Fisher Stream runs through Rockport Park in Janesville and empties into the Rock River. Music by Kevin MacLeod.

5 Easy Steps to Stay Safe (and Private!) on Facebook

Read Write Web

NY Times Interviews New FTC Consumer Chief

New York Times

Fight begins over new consumer protection agency

Red Tape Chronicles

Chron Business: "Dannon Co. settled a false-advertising lawsuit"

Chron Business

Internet 'net neutrality' is endorsed by FCC chief

LA Times

Sep 25, 2009

WCPO allegation: "Police: Lying Locksmith Using Local Homeowner Addresses"


Take-a-break video: Hard rain

A record setting 3.63 inches of rain fell in Madison on Tuesday, Sept 21, from the morning until the mid-afternoon.The previous record for September was 3.4 inches on Sept.18, 1874

10 Things Your Lawyer Won't Tell You

Smart Money

Debit card scam hits Beloit

Janesville Gazette

"I'm from the Government…": Latest Sweepstakes Scams Feature Con Artists Impersonating Government Officials

Forced Arbitration Is Ubiquitous, New Public Citizen Study Finds

Public Citizen

Fat Chance: Get a “Free” Month of Weight Watchers


FTC alert to up-front fees to aid homeowners


Tweet this: Con artists exploit social Web sites


Ghostwriting: The Dirty Little Secret of Medical Publishing


Nigerian scams evolve

Chicago Tribune

Sep 20, 2009

Take-a-break video: Sun shafts and moon beams

Springbrook Creek at Black Hawk Golf Course in Janesville just before flowing into the Rock River

CBS: Question bargains

Watch CBS Videos Online

Sep 19, 2009

The Kiplinger fabulous free list


GM's New 60 Day Satisfaction Guarantee


Attention newspeople with non-compete contracts:Ruling makes it easier to enforce non-compete agreements

WI State Journal

Preventing Late Fees: Hurry Up and Credit My Account

If you’re sending money to a child in school or supporting a relative in some other way, you’ll spare yourself a lot of desperate phone calls if you can find a way to transfer money electronically into their account from your own linked account, say by listing yourself on the account with them.
New York Times

Sep 15, 2009

Sep 12, 2009


Ordered a Snuggie, Her Credit Card Shared

8 Things an Airline Would Never Tell You


Newsweek Changes Subscription Strategy

Washington Post

Buyer beware of DIY genetic tests

Facebook scam leads US woman to wire $4K abroad

The Star Online

Privacy, consumer groups want news laws to protect Web users

San Francisco Chronicle

IRS to Mine Payment Data on Mortgages

Wall Steet Journal

Banks move away from free checking

Wall Street Journal

Newsweek Changes Subscription Strategy

Washington Post

Why Wall Street Reforms Have Stalled

New York Times

Repair Options for Ailing Electronics

New York Times

For a Bounced Check in Dubai, the Penalty Can Be Years Behind Bars

New York Times

Seven New Rules for the First-Time Home Buyer

New York Times

Sep 6, 2009

Check out the dog who honked the horn to have fun

I'm sorry if you have been upset by some of the You Tube videos that pop up here when my videos are done playing!

When my videos finish on this page, I have no control over the videos that You Tube automatically links to because of similar key words. I have been embarrassed by some of them. And I just read an email from a dear friend who is upset with me because a stranger's video slandered someone she admires: "I am disappointed and shocked to think that you, a man whom I admired for your thoughtfulness, courage as a seeker of truth and justice, and many good works would engage in such low-life trashy shenanigans.... I can only hope that this is all some gross misunderstanding of purpose."

Supermarkets slow to speed up check out

Wall Street Journal

FDA Lacks Authority, Follow-Thru on Pet Food Recalls

Department of Health and Human Resources

Telemarketing: When written permission can be oral

Top 10 complaints about insurance companies

National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Roughly 2 million homeowners are stuck paying higher premiums for less-comprehensive coverage

Consumer Reports: "Roughly 2 million homeowners, particularly along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, are stuck paying higher premiums for less-comprehensive coverage with state-run, last-resort insurance pools."

5 tips for netbook shopping

Smart Money

Know your rights if an airline bumps you

Summit Daily News

Top 10 investment traps


Aug 23, 2009

Artist Jeremy Kraemer: "Don't give up!"

Two centuries after Lincoln's birth the nation is still in formation. As the United States has grown and expanded, one cost of that growth has been a splintering of many parts of our society. Competing values, interests and beliefs have complicated Lincoln's goal to find unity in our diversity.

The Bicentennial commemoration of his life and legacy will be a bright beacon to compelting our nation's "unfinished work."

Consumer Reports: "Reality check: 230 mpg in the Chevrolet Volt? Maybe if you think electricity is free."

Consumer Reports

Smart Money: "10 things your home builder won't tell you"

Smart Money

Job Search Firms: Big Pitches and Fees, Few Jobs

New York Times

Another questionable charge on your credit card you better pay attention to

New York Times

Aug 15, 2009

Strutting with a Chicago street musician

MSN Money: "How debit cards fleece consumers"

MSN Money

Top 10 recession related scams

ABC News

Car Compare: 2010’s Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight

Wall Street Journal

10 things veternarians won't tell you

Smart Money

Pricing Out Car Repairs, Before the Repairs

New York Times

Remember to always get an estimate before getting major auto repair. In Wisconsin, car repair shops must call you with an estimate before starting the work--if you ask for an estimate. Check with consumer protection for complaints about the repair shop. Call 1-800-422-7128. You might also check court records.

How to Avoid Expensive Car Repairs

Consumer Reports

Fresh Views at FTC Overseeing Online Ads

New York Times

Regulators Rethink Approach to Online Privacy

Wall Street Journal

New Fannie Mae Rules May Hinder Condo Sales

The Masssachusetts real estate law blog

Consumer Reports will rate hospitals

Seattle Times

Web has tech answers; some of them are right

Aug 4, 2009

Online resource for WI journalists

Kidder Broadcast News Resource Center

Can you tape a telephone conversation? Can you lose an invasion of privacy lawsuit if you tell the truth? Need to know how to do a professional TV standup. Find out at this easy to understand resource.

The End of Investigative Journalism? Hardly, Judging by IRE Conference


What a big city without a newspaper?

New York Times Magazine

Jul 24, 2009

The dangers of unlicensed car dealers


Playful purple martins

I was walking across Lake Wingra Park in Madison this week when some purple martins flew close to me and circled playfully several times. When the rest flew off, one purple martin continued to circle me.
These birds depend almost 100 percent on people for housing and fly around us when walk because we stir up bugs for them to eat. Erecting houses for them, bird lovers have their very own flocks year after year.
Photo courtesy of Purple Martin Conservation Association purple

Questionable door-to-door magazines crews back in Wisconsin


A new fake check scam in Wisconsin

Dish Network to Pay $6 Million for Deceptive Sales


Minnesota AG

Hefty debit-card fees sap the unsuspecting

Washington Times

Web-based retailing firm under scrutiny

Milwaukee Journal

Jul 20, 2009

Eagle eye on Wisconsin's Rock River

This new wildlife video documents that bald eagles rule the beautiful Rock River which drains much of Wisconsin and Illinois before becoming part of the Mississippi.
Two amateur photographers contributing to the video have been on the meandering, tree-lined river almost daily in recent weeks and have seen eagles every time between Janesville and Beloit.
Other large birds--blue herons--reminded the photographers of flying creatures in Jurassic Park.
Although it’s the national symbol and honored in the Wisconsin Capitol, the bald eagle came close to extinction from hunting and the pesticide DDT.
Photographer Glennon Loyd lives on Riverview Drive in Janesville and says he has been seeing eagles year round for the past few years.
He was canvassing the river with his friend Lynn Brunsell when Janesville city sirens warned of a possible tornado. She photographed the storm’s beautiful red clouds over the river in the video.
The photographers shot other raptors on the river, too. Baby red tailed hawks nested on a soaring man-made platform erected by Alliant’s Rock River plant to attract rarer cousins called osprey.

Jul 14, 2009

This week I ran into David Maraniss (above) of the Washington Post while walking on Monroe St. in Madison. He lives in my neighborhood and writes best selling books now:
When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi
First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton,
They Marched Into Sunlight – War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967 Clemente – The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero.
I had just finished "They Marched Into Sunlight" and told him how much I enjoyed it. His latest work is "Rome 1960, the olympics that changed the world."
David is a big league writer and has traveled the world, but has come back home to enjoy Wisconsin with the rest of us.

Illnesses Afflict Homes With a Criminal Past

New York Times

Jul 11, 2009

Trips get cancelled, so beware

New York Times

Opinion: Exactly who is protected with travel protection

New York Times

You don't know how many times consumers have complained to me about accepting a free meal and landing in debt

This week, I observed salespeople working on elderly couples in a restaurant, pressuring them to buy a questionable but very expensive product.
The couples sat there taking it because they were having a $7 lunch on the salespeople. Politeness and a sense of obligation made them sitting ducks. Many consumers regret paying thousands of dollars for things like timeshares after being offered something for free.
A consumer told me that at a previous free lunch she told the salesman she was not interested and was leaving. She alleges she was instructed that she couldn't leave until she had listened to the long sales pitch.
My advice: Don't accept free meals unless you are truly interested in a product. Never ever sign a contract at the restaurant. Wait until you have had time to think things over away from the pressuring salesperson.If you are a nice agreeable person like many folks I have met and can't withstand high pressure, never accept a free meal from a salesperson.
Oh, you say you can handle high pressure, won't sign anything, and like to get things for free.
That's what a lot of people think and end up in debt. And even if you gobble the free meal and get out fast, the salespeople will probably say something to you to give you indigestion for the rest of the day. They don't like people who walk away.
Maybe it won't bother you, but it will most likely bother your spouse.

New York renters scammed/Happens in Wisconsin, too

New York Times

May 24, 2009

Glen Loyd, long-time consumer advocate, to retire

WI State Journal

In this interview, WISC-TV Morning show anchor Rob Starbuck does a pretty fair impression of me. Every TV station where I've worked had news people who mimiced me for laughs. These impressionists started off behind my back and then confronted me with my own voice to make it even more funny for the newsroom. I didn't know what to make of it. Now my 7-year-old granddaughter is doing it. And my wife just confessed that she and my son impersonate me it when I'm not around.

Am I really that goofy?

Scam Buster Glen Loyd Retires

WI Radio Network

Consumer Safety Advocate To Retire

Health Care Industry Today

Farewell To The Action Man

Tim Morrissey Blog

Consumer Watchdog Glen Loyd's Formula To Avoid Being Ripped Off

Paul Soglin's Waxing America

May 16, 2009

The Cheapest Person I Know (Mark Twain would call these stretchers)

"My uncle was so cheap [that] before [he went] to bed he removed the battery of his watch and put it back in the morning to save the life of the battery."
Next: Borrowed Gifts

More Cell Phone Users Dropping Landlines. In Cell vs. Landline, More Have Cell Only

Yahoo News

Does It Work? Steam Buddy