Anyone Can Report Unsafe or Defective Products. Here’s How.

Posted on September 23, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

One of my proudest moments as a consumer news producer was a story that prompted a national recall. A mother of a 20-month-old had called the TV station where I worked to report that she discovered her toddler had been playing with a dangerous toy. The stuffed bear had a wire protruding from its belly, and luckily, the mom noticed it before the child injured himself. She couldn’t believe the toy manufacturer could get away with selling unsafe stuffed bears nationwide at big retail outlets. Read more

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Posted in: Safety, Uncategorized, Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Next Time, Just Say “No!”

Posted on July 27, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

I was sad to hear that a friend’s husband was recently taken for a ride by some guys wandering their neighborhood selling pressure washing services. All the red flags were there. Read more

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Posted in: Home Maintenance, Safety, Bay Area, Consumers, Home Tips, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Just a Spoonful of Sugar

Posted on June 24, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

It’s amazing how some consumer complaints can easily be resolved when a responsive provider does something a little extra and unexpected. That was my experience on our first family vacation since the pandemic began. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Customer Service, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Summer Travel = Rental Car Rigamarole

Posted on May 25, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

I’ve rented a lot of cars over the years, but I’ve never seen what I’m seeing today. Prices are high due to low inventories, and in some cases, no cars are available at any price. The strategies I’ve used in the past to save money have been upended by unanticipated consumer demand. The rental car industry sold off large numbers of vehicles during the pandemic to stay afloat, and those same companies are now having trouble ramping up with new cars due to manufacturing delays. This shortage in some popular destinations could last through the summer. Read more

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Posted in: Automotive, Auto Tips, Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Lessons Learned From Selling Two Used Cars

Posted on April 27, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

For reasons I won’t go into here, my husband and I recently found ourselves in possession and taking care of five automobiles. For a while, my nickname in the family was “Fleet Manager.” One of the vehicles was sent to the East Coast by transport to our son, but that still left us with two extra used cars. We decided it was time to sell my 2015 Honda Fit and my husband’s beloved ’69 Volkswagen Beetle. (He was the original owner!) Read more

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Posted in: Automotive, Auto Tips, Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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DIY Mold Tests

Posted on March 25, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

During the shelter-in-place orders, so many of us are spending more time at home than ever before. This has brought on a home improvement and decorating boom, along with another rather mixed blessing: the opportunity to uncover hidden problems. In my case, it was a slow water leak from a skylight.

For months, I’ve been ignoring some cracks and small bubbles in my bathroom ceiling near the skylight. After one of the recent rainstorms, the problem became more noticeable. I decided to poke a broom handle around the area and it was spongy. As my husband and I tore out the ceiling, we discovered mold in an area that extended several feet in all directions. Read more

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Posted in: DIY Home Repair, Home Maintenance, Indoor Air Quality, Consumers, Home Tips, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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A Swedish Bread for the Holidays

Posted on December 17, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

In past December newsletters, I’ve shared recipes from my family’s Christmas Eve dinner that features Swedish meatballs, the heated adult beverage Swedish glögg and Green Goddess salad dressing. Now it’s time to tell you about the bread I make every year called limpa bread.

This Scandinavian bread was originally made from fermented brewer’s wort, a byproduct of beer making. While some recipes include stout beer as a key ingredient, mine uses molasses, orange rind, fennel and cumin seeds. Limpa is traditionally served at Christmas Eve smörgåsbords. Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, Seasonal, Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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