About Me


Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    The Giz Wiz Asks You! > What's your biggest consumer gripe?

    Mine is the ridiculous charges for buying tickets online. (Well one of many!) Why is there a convenience fee? It was convenient for THEM not to have to pay someone to help me, so why charge ME. A ticket printing fee? Huh? I pay an extra $1.50 to $2.50 to print my own tickets which saves them even more money! And then a handling fee. NO ONE handled anything except me! The restoration fee I can live with. I assuming it's to restore or keep up the theatre, not restore the producer's home. But of course, who knows?

    What's your biggest consumer gripe. Some of them may very well end up on The Daily Giz Wiz.

    Dick De

    May 29, 2009 | Registered CommenterThe Giz Wiz

    The 34% in taxes and fees on my Verizon home phone!

    May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

    I write web apps. I wish I could just make my software run on ONE web browser, and not have to make sure things worked for EVERY darn Web browser. I'd give my pinky finger for that!

    May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMan of Mistry

    I'm tired of gas prices with 9/10 of a cent added. Just round it up and stop playing your marketing games. It made sense (cents) when gas was under a dollar a gallon, but now that it's over $3 in some areas, why have it? After I've spent the $50 to fill my tank, I've pretty much gotten over the 5 cents I just saved because you didn't round up!

    May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

    Yes, Verizon surcharges are nuts! My $17.99 a month guaranteed low rate DSL comes to about $26. There are all those Federal charges & taxes and then something like "Various Verizon Charges". And under the explanation there is something reassuring like: "charges to pay various expenses Verizon incurs". What the heck does that mean? Executive limos? Champagne at lunch?

    Dick De

    May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Giz Wiz

    Convenience fees. From the water company, motor vehicles, etc. Sure it's convenient for them to gather extra money for a service that saves them money!

    May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel B

    Idiotic customer service phone systems that never let you talk to anyone. Even those that let you get to someone, they are, typically, no smarter than the phone system itself!

    May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel B

    One more, how about a Bank of America policy of 3-5 business days turn-around time to endorse a check! For me, it takes about 5 seconds.

    May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel B

    Not just the 9/10 tacked on gas prices, but the whole 99 cent thing in general. Why does everything have to end in .99? Do they think we're that stupid that $9.99 is such a better deal than $10.00? And then you always get tax added, making the number more uneven.

    May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDewtheone

    People that have to up-sell you on things you don't want or need. You go for an oil change and they want to completely rebuild your car.

    May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDewtheone

    I went to send my ipod touch to get fixed 32.95$ to get it done and the problem only got improved not fixed at all 32.95$.down the drain...

    May 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe real edder30

    No hard copy manuals! While I like the ability to search CD's, I love not having to need an AC or battery device and screen to answer simple questions or installation processes.

    June 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPete C

    I cant buy a Kindle or a Palm Pre in the uk !!

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris Thomson

    Retired on a fixed income, I broke down and bought my 1st laptop. I'm very happy with my new laptop, but I feel ripped off that I was FORCED to VISTA as my operating system. I would have chosen XP that I have used and love. I have really given VISTA a fair trial and realize I'm stuck with a very pretty, bloated, throw away operating system. I know I can re-install my old XP on my new laptop, but I'm not confident enough to find and install drivers and don't want to screw it up. VISTA seems like putting fancy spinning hubcaps on mag wheels. Silly.

    June 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Longaker

    Oklahoma Natural Gas. My average gas consumption thru the winter was $9. Add on the BS fees and it averaged to $30.

    But by far the biggest crock is DTV. What idiot in congress was just too dumbfounded with the black bars on his 4:3 set when watching a dvd? Okay, that's HDTV, but still that's a whole other thing. I have a 4:3 Mitsubishi 50" made in 1998 and don't have a need for cable/sat. For even b4 that tv, always used rabbit ears to pick up local tv for free. A year ago, I bought my converter....hooked it up and discovered I also needed an HDTV antenna. I guarantee that the 800k calls on June 12th revolved around that and also the idiotic directions the broadcasts go. Most of West Oklahoma cannot pick up a few major networks now. Luckily, I get all the channels I had b4 and 5 more, including Telemundo! Nothing like watching Willy WOnka & The Choclate Factory dubbed in Espanol!

    Anyways, before with rabbit ears... if it rained brutally here, I still got an image...not perfect, but still something. Nowadays, even if it's overcast out, the signal strength iradically jumps between 50 and 10 and I get that crappy DirecTV quality with the lagging and the black boxes color swirl, or worse I get the No Signal floating box screensaver of death!!!!

    June 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaddyPlaid

    I don't want to go off on a rant, but it gripes me that so-called "Consumer Elecronics" companies continue to produce items which aren't mindful of consumer needs or wants. DVR's are a prime example. When are we going to get a DVR which will allow us better control of our viewing experience: Commercial-Skip, Ad-Free Pause, Dual-Tumer/recording, etc. And what about ease of use? We're not all electronics engineers, folks!

    June 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShane Shellenbarger

    My biggest consumer complaint is the so called "customer service" that most companies (including my employer) provide. Nobody actually wants to help people anymore, just follow some stupid procedure in some manual that was written without any reference to reality.

    I also get peeved at plastic packaging materials, fire ants, Apple/Macintosh worshipers, and Best Buy employees.

    June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJason

    I have the blackberry curve 8320 cell phone which has wifi capability. Even with a wifi internet I have at home, T-Mobile still embeds themselves between your phone and your internet. They charge you to make wifi calls with your own wifi. Then if you want to access the internet, you actually have to pay for a data plan to T-Mobile to use your own phone and the internet you already pay someone else for. They are deeeeeeply embedded into blocking you from actually using your phone.

    So if you have a wifi phone with t-mobile, plan to at least pay for:

    1) the general t-mobile service, plus
    2) the permission for t-mobile to allow you to use your own internet, plus
    3) the permission for t-mobile to allow you to use your own internet to make calls.



    July 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob

    Read me files. Why do they all tell you to put CD in the drive first. If I had not already done that I would not be looking at the file. why can't the people writing them use the enter button in the middle of a sentence. why do I have to scroll to the right for a half an hour to et to the end.

    November 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Haggerty

    Windows 8

    September 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErnie (Weymouth, Ma)

    Reverse shoplifting. You get home and realize you are missing a bag or two. I can just see the cashiers in their breakroom eating my cookies, enjoying my air freshener, and using my toothpaste and just having a good laugh at my expense.

    September 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFred Jackson