REAL-LIFE ACCOUNTS
My Actual Experiences with Companies of all Sizes





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Introduction

One Human Family asserts that every problem modern humanity faces finds its root in the pernicious combination of capitalism, and its handmaiden human narcissism. The diverse group of personal accounts in this section of the BOMA website seeks to support this claim.

The genesis of this section of the BOMA web site is another project of mine called NightmareCompanies.com, a now-defunct website that featured strongly pro-consumer, though ultimately pro-human being, real-life reviews of companies and company behavior. That previous site stated:

What is a "Nightmare Company"? It is a company that visits upon you a significant injury to your time, money, peace of mind, or even your physical person. It is a company that violates your rights as both customer and human being, either before, during, or after the sale. It is a company at which you find yourself very angry, for behavior that is obviously, if not baldly, inappropriate.

When published there, the set of accounts served double-duty:  1.) they elucidated and corroborated the assertions made by One Human Family regarding the manifold undesirability of capitalism, serving as part of BOMA political theory, and 2.) they served a purely consumer role, providing informational warnings to consumers to assist them in keeping away from those companies that in my experience are the worst-of-the-worst. To wit, the site stated:

There is no point in owning a product or purchasing a service, if the company you have to interact with at time of purchase, or later, on is going to complicate and cause pain in your life. When this happens, you suffer a net loss of happiness--even if the product or service is well-rated or of good quality.

A product or service is always tethered to its company. They're always a pair. Remember this. What is critical, therefore, is information on companies, not just products and services. And such information is exactly what we provide.

I terminated NightmareCompanies.com and have begun the process of integrating those accounts here. There, each experience was broken into two basic sections, Review, and Recommendation; here, each is also broken into two sections, Account, and Analysis. My real-life experiences are presented here in terms of the predicate and mission of One Human Family, and reside much more in the realm of political theory rather than consumer information. The accounts are the same, however. Each is completely true--it happened to me, and is presented as factually as I can recall it, with as much supporting documentation such as receipts and even relevant audio recordings as I have available. Not one to exaggerate, when a particular point of recollection is anything other than crystal clear I indicate this through qualifying or moderating language.

NightmareCompanies.com focused on the worst-of-the-worst companies. Here, I present accounts from companies that are merely "bad," as well, or that have acted badly, whether their behavior is among the worst I've seen or not. Another key difference between the set of accounts there and here is that, at the old site, they constituted pure consumer information and as such required that in citing companies and their behavior I named names, which I did. Here, however, such explicit identification is unnecessary, and by omitting it I minimize the chance of creating an army of irate local blue-collar contractors looking to throw a brick through my window. There, I wrote under the pseudonym Mr. Consumer; here, I do not, and am thus completely vulnerable to businesspeople who do not accept constructive criticism with civility. Note that in selected accounts I have allowed names of companies or company principles to remain in place.

Since talk is cheap, the grand and sweeping claims of One Human Family regarding the undesirability of capitalism and equivalent desirability of the human species coming together as one human family must be supported by facts and a coherent and credible analysis, or they aren't worth the digital paper they're magnetized on. This is what this set of real-life accounts is intended to do; they are real-life incidents, presented in detail and analyzed from the BOMA perspective. They illustrate that free-enterprise as the mechanism for provision of goods and services is morally and functionally inadequate; indeed, often a "nightmare." This mechanism creates an overwhelming and continual sense of anger and consternation as we try to acquire the goods and services we and our families need to live. This illustration feeds into and supports our broader contention that capitalism and the attitudes and behaviors it engenders, and that in turn sustain it, is the cause of just about every social and economic problem humanity faces.

To continue my introduction to the content in this section of the One Human Family website, I have edited down the Introduction page from the old NightmareCompanies.com site and present it below. Please read as much of it as you can prior to diving into the accounts, themselves. The Introduction contains much information directly relevant to our study of capitalism and its many pernicious effects, including our study of capitalism "on the ground," meaning, as experienced directly by us in our day-to-day lives. As most of us know, dealing with companies large and small--and oftentimes small contractors and other small businesses are worse than large corporations--provides some of our most painful and traumatic experiences under our present money-and-profit system.





What is a "Nightmare Company"?

It is a company that visits upon you a significant injury to your time, money, peace of mind, or even your physical person. It is a company that violates your rights as both customer and human being, either before, during, or after the sale. It is a company at which you find yourself very angry, for behavior that is obviously, if not baldly, inappropriate.

Mistakenly hanging up on a customer, for example, is not a significant injury. In contrast, however, to illustrate one nightmare company we've encountered, consider this real-life consumer account, experienced by my own mother:  she sought to replace her old toilet, and was following an intelligent and careful shopping process, in part because she knew little about toilets, in part because the world of toilets is complicated, and in part because she had specific notion of the styling she wanted.

Thus, her shopping task legitimately generated several telephone calls to a particular plumbing supply store that she favored, and had been doing business with for a long time. Such repeated telephone calls are necessitated as the customer continues to refine their level of knowledge about, understanding of, and preference for, the product they are shopping for, and this increasing sophistication naturally drives further questions, building toward a final purchase decision. Thus, when this careful consumer is finally ready to place the order, but is told the store will not sell to them because they have made too many sales inquiries and "used up too much of the salesman's time," or, "will be trouble"--that customer has received a significant injury.

Given that in our modern-day "capitalist" society we are wholly, totally, and solely dependent on corporations and businesses for the goods and services we need to live and be happy, the way they behave toward us is a very, very important issue, indeed. Their power over our lives is amazing and frightening, at once, and they are getting more--not less--powerful as time goes on.

The kinds of significant violations in question can occur in myriad forms, including dishonesty, disrespect, insensitivity, or some combination of the three. There are many companies that commit such transgressions; in fact, most companies commit them to one degree or another. They are a normal by-product of our modern-day hyper-competitive marketplace, the harsh economic rules that define and characterize it, and the kind of inadequate, narcissistic character development that consequently occurs, resulting in company personnel, including company principals and even owners, with dollar signs in their eyes, who thus filter every interaction with every customer or prospective customer ("CPC") through the singular lens of sales or profit, and short-term sales or profit, at that.

Believe it or not, I've also had interactions with companies who deal readily in use of the "F" word. If a company representative uses this kind of language with me, a customer or potential customer, they've just earned themselves an irreversible and likely irrevocable one-way trip to Nightmare Company classification.

Do you really need this website? I could flippantly retort that I guess you wouldn't die without it, but the fact is that American and other corporations have a long and inglorious history of doing just that--killing (and maiming) people with faulty or improperly-designed products or services (not to mention unsafe workplace environments); accordingly, I actually can assert, without much hyperbole, that without the specific ALERTS and WARNINGS we provide, you or a loved one could die, depending on what product or service you or they were considering purchase of.

This is one of several critical reasons that you do need this unique website. It's simply an ugly reality of the "hyper-capitalism" of today.


What is a "Nightmare Company"? - Part II

A nightmare company is not necessarily one whereby every customer is injured or dissatisfied. In fact, nightmare companies can have a subset, or even a majority, of satisfied customers, given that customer expectations can vary widely depending on the psychological and emotional makeup of the individual customer, and their financial status. Additionally, many customers have extremely simple or straightforward needs that do not stretch the capacities of the nightmare company, and thus do not bring out its nightmarish characteristics. Ultimately, however, a nightmare company is a company that contains within it one or more destructive elements substantial enough to cause significant harm to some customers, and thus it is of concern to all customers.

Yet, if company operations harm some, but not all customers, wouldn't it be more accurate and appropriate to speak of nightmare experiences with a given company, and not characterize the company, per se', as "nightmarish"? There may be validity to this argument. Yet, one might also argue--which this website does--that whatever element exists within a company to cause injury to a customer or prospective customer, will usually cause injury again if a similar circumstance arises. When these destructive elements cause significant damage to the time, money, or peace of mind of a CPC, this website considers the company from which the damage springs, a "nightmare company." Furthermore, it is often fairly readily seen through the circumstances, context, or series of events leading up to a nightmarish incident, that the elements in place that have contributed or caused the incident are characteristic of the company as a whole.

The destructive elements referred to include improperly trained, or discourteous, salespeople or other personnel, overly-restrictive payment, return, or other policies, or any of many other common or uncommon flaws, defects, or gaffes characteristic of companies and the people that own, run, and staff them.

Last, though a nightmarish situation or experience may not occur routinely in a given company, it is still extremely instructive for consumers to be apprised of same, because the way a given company handles such an infrequent, though calamitous, incident, arguably provides good and valuable insight into the basic character, and kind and quantity of the consumer orientation of that company.


Nightmare Products and Services

These are products and services that we have found to be unsafe or poorly designed. The more unsafe or poorly designed we have found them to be, the more likely it is you'll find them--and the manufacturer or retailer that produce and carry them--reviewed here. You will receive these critical alerts, that can literally save the life of you and your family.

You'll read about the New Jersey manufacturer of a nationally-sold mini-dehumidifier that promised me they would test their device, to determine why its power supply was becoming so hot to the touch--and yet ultimately never called me back. Do you have this device in your home, today?

Sometimes a "nightmare" product or service is so because it is simply based on a bad idea; sometimes these bad ideas have taken root in the marketplace. When that happens, we find ourselves flooded with an ocean of products or services that are actually undesirable from a consumer standpoint, but which are popular with consumers, nonetheless. That is, until the consumer actually purchases and uses the product. By then, however, it is often too late to recoup your lost money, time--or health.

We will apprise you of these bad product and service ideas, before you lose your time, money, or health! For example, what consumer appliance, purchased to make your home cleaner--is actually making your home dirtier?

Or, what consumer device, heavily promoted and advertised by a nationally-known and respected retailer of high-end goods and gadgets, might you buy to make your home not just cleaner but healthier, too--that will actually (1.) introduce a distinct and undesirable odor into your home, caused by (2.) the introduction of a gas into your home, that is unhealthy for babies and old people? Their hour-long television "infomercial" never mentions any of this! NightmareCompanies.com will tell you all about it.

Or, which North Jersey contractor, who runs multiple businesses, presenting himself as an electrician, plumber, heating and cooling man, and general contractor, operating across three states, has an apparent hairtrigger temper, and literally went ballistic after about two minutes on the telephone with my 75-year old mother, who is hard of hearing, and was having difficulty understanding him speak, and who consequently told her "F*ck you" as he hung up on her?

Mind you, we got off "easy" with this maniac--imagine if we had actually secured his services and had him begin working in our home, knowing where we live, before finding out what a potentially dangerous individual this man is.


What This Site Provides

It is not the principal mission of NightmareCompanies.com to review products and services, but to review the COMPANIES that provide products and services, with emphasis on the worst of the worst. Doctors, and medical practices and facilities are reviewed, as well.

Again, I do not provide general consumer review of products and services. However, I do provide something arguably far more important:  I provide you, based on our concrete experiences with specific companies, with ALERTS and WARNINGS about products, services, and especially the companies that manufacture and distribute them, that may introduce pain and discomfort into your life. This pain may come in the form of financial or in simple human terms--disrespect and insensitivity, for example, before, during, or after the sale.

Reviews also include supporting documents when relevant and available, including such items as receipts and invoices, warranties, estimates, business cards, telephone bills, and medical reports. I include them to provide greater understand of and into the incidents described, and to enhance my own credibility, to help illustrate that what I maintain occurred, did actually occur.

In the case of products or services, insofar as alerting you to bad ones with context is our stated mission, we do provide complete or partial review of them. And, in fact, you will find a smattering of product and service review, here.

Not every company reviewed here is a Nightmare Company, though many are.


Dealing with Companies

As you read the various accounts of the many problematic and difficult consumer experiences I've had, you may want to shed a quiet tear on my behalf--many companies have treated me very shabbily, in many ways. Well, thanks. In fact, this treatment is rooted directly in the reality of the modern-day market jungle:  companies simply want to do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want, in any fashion they want, as often as they want; this is true of large and small companies alike, from a behemoth conglomerate to a one-man general contractor. Anyone--especially some insignificant little nobody customer, client, or patient--who DARES to push back in any way is labeled a troublemaker and a problem.

All companies are predisposed to this kind of behavior, because 1.) competition and the need to earn a certain level of profit requires weeding out CPC who require any kind of unusual or special attention, since it requires a further resource investment on the part of the company, typically in the form of (God forbid) more attention from a salesperson, and 2.) the ego(s) of the owner or staff, rooted in the power they have over the CPC. In fact, most people, especially in a business environment, do not handle the wielding of power with grace and civility, but a blunt weapon to be used at essentially any opportunity to beat CPC over the head the second they step out of line. Which is to say, the second the customer or prospective customer interferes with the ability of the company to literally do whatever they want, as described, above.

If, like me, you dare to push back, the worst companies, the "nightmare" companies, will cut you off at the knees:  they'll blacklist you, refuse to sell to you, insult you behind your back--and sometimes to your face, and hang up on you. If a doctor or medical practice, they will terminate you as a patient (as happened to my elderly parents). A subset of them will threaten violence, and if you continue to push, some will act on their threat. Moreover, I have to presume that in some cases they will also alert other companies and/or suppliers in their industry, and advise them similarly against you.

And note that, when I speak of daring to "push back," you might envision some kind of sustained or aggressive effort on the part of the consumer for justice, respect, or economic satisfaction. In some cases, however, you'd be dead wrong. I've dealt with several business owners for whom the most innocuous conversation, courteously conducted, and rooted in a legitimate complaint or concern, was enough to drive a fit of anger or the threat of one. Don't fool yourself:  seeking your rights in our law-of-the-jungle system can be dangerous. And, indeed, especially so for me, as I deliberately walk into, or remain inside, the mouth of the lion, for purposes of populating this website with the most timely and accurate information and data available.

And by the way, in case you haven't realized it yet--the one thing companies love to do, and they do it all the time, in fact it is one of their most potent weapons for treating you shabbily and then getting away with it:  is lie. Whether you realize it or not, companies lie all the time.

In reading the reviews here, you may notice frequent conflict between this writer and various companies.  Perhaps this is the surest indication that I'm doing my job--compelling companies to push beyond the boundaries of their comfort zone in honoring their stated business and customer policies, and their sales and marketing rhetoric. And in similarly compelling them to accommodate the needs, generally, both anticipated and unanticipated, of their customers.  And to respond to novel or unforeseen customer situations in a consumer-friendly manner.

Of course, the smartest companies already do these things!  They realize these steps are an essential part of the surest road to business success, differentiating organizations consumers run to, from those they avoid or merely tolerate.


Sounds Like War

Often, it is. Modern-day capitalism frequently creates for the consumer a dangerous interplay of the following elements, in varying combinations:

  1. Business owners and staff that are ego-driven, impatient, intolerant, or prone to verbal or emotional abuse of customers, potential customers, former customers, suppliers, and others.

  2. Business owners and staff that are prone to anger, have a hair-trigger temper, or are disposed to addressing problems or conflict with violence.

  3. Business owners and staff that are drug-addicted or alcoholic.

  4. Business owners and staff who are on medication, as are millions of other Americans.

  5. Business owners and staff that are mentally-ill, sometimes imperceptibly.

  6. Business owners and staff that are suffering their own personal problems, whether marital, familial, or otherwise.

  7. Business owners and staff that may have a criminal record, or may be suffering psychological trauma after military service.

  8. Business owners and staff who possess a low level of education.

  9. Businesses operating on the knife-edge of profitability, making for great stress for the business owner and staff, who have bills to pay and may have families to support.

  10. Business conducted on the basis of the profit motive, which forces business owners large and small to constantly keep the cash flowing in, nonstop, whatever it takes.

  11. Business owners and staff fed for years on the notion of the "American Dream," who are thus intent on achieving wealth no matter what.

And into some combination of this volatile mix walks the unsuspecting consumer--you and me.

I, personally, came within a centimeter of my life several years ago, after persisting politely in my request for a partial refund from an auto-detail shop in Bergen county, New Jersey that had compromised the paint on my car, as well as botched other aspects of the work. The owner, a young man who was theretofore soft-spoken, exploded in violent anger against me, threatening in the most vulgar language to commit severe battery against me. I barely got out of there alive, and I have not forgotten the incident. I don't think I ever will.

Or the time I placed an overnight call to a small local general contractor that was doing work for us. I called on behalf of my mother, who thought it necessary to convey some work-related information before he came here to work that day. We agonized over whether I should place the call since it was very early in the morning, but ultimately decided that I should do it, reasonably presuming that the proprietor of this business would have a separate business line, either at his office or at home. We further presumed, reasonably, that if his work phone was in his home, that as a work line it would be set up with an answering machine or voice-mail system. We surely could not have known, and would not have reasonably expected, a business to have its business telephone resting on the end-table next to the bed of the business owner. Also in support of placing the call was the fact that the contractor had told me on a previous occasion, of the daily morning departure time for him and his men:  "We roll at 5 AM." A call after 5 AM should be fine, then. All things considered, I placed the call.

What occurred, however, was that the contractor, himself, did answer the telephone. And though it was after 5:00 AM, he and his men were not "rolling." In fact, the call had woken the contractor from his sleep. He did have his phone on his bedstand--and it possessed no means of automated message processing and storage.

During the ensuing awkward conversation, the general contractor actually said to me, his customer, "F*ck you, friend." This was a Northern New Jersey business.

War? You bet it's war. And as a consumer you'd better have some solid allies.


Healthcare & Medicine

Let's not forget that doctors, and sometimes hospitals and other health care facilities, are companies, too. In fact, the potential for harm from these companies is just as great, if not greater, than that from companies of other kinds. Moreover, with doctors one often encounters the "ego" factor--these kinds of practitioners have historically been treated as if they were God, and even today many still think they are.

That's why doctors and their medical practices are reviewed here, too, and those who are Nightmare Companies are revealed. I leave no stone unturned in exposing these undesirable kinds of businesses.


Undisclosed Companies

In some cases, I have reviewed a company but chosen to conceal its name, or other highly identifiable information. This would typically occur in cases where I feel that someone associated with the company, usually its owner, is, or may be, violent or otherwise volatile, and that publication of their company name might actually endanger my safety.

However, in the effort to somehow still provide the consumer with a warning about such companies--truly nightmare companies--I provide enough general information to allow for a reasonable educated guess about the identity of a company in question. For example, I will always provide the city and state of an Undisclosed Company. Such specific location information, in concert with the review itself, should provide a reasonable foundation to assist you in identifying a company.


The Reviewer

The intellectual and ethical heart of NightmareCompanies.com is "Mr. Consumer," a New York-area writer and activist with a special interest in consumer protection. I would prefer to use my actual name, but I use this pseudonym to protect myself from company owners and staff, who, as I have already learned, will resort to just about anything--including physical violence--if they feel either their pocketbook or their ego threatened. I guess the fact that I sometimes find myself on the receiving end of such hostility means I'm doing my job!

I offer you my unique consumer evaluation, review, analysis, commentary, and WARNINGS regarding companies, products, and services I have found problematic. Though I am strongly pro-consumer, I am ultimately pro-human being, which means, for example, that I will listen to the perspective of the company in a given situation, as well as that of the consumer.

I'm smart, and I demand competence from people. This turn-of-mind and orientation has repeatedly earned me the appellation "overbearing" and "intimidating" from family and friends. However, my personality and standards are your boon, as they allow me to ferret out the best, worst, and worst-of-the-worst providers of products and services. If a given provider meets my approval, they will likely meet yours. If they don't, they are not a company or provider you want to do business with.

I believe the cost of access to my content here is reasonable, given that all material was hard-won by me, based explicitly on actual experiences I've had with a cast of characters ranging from incompetent to downright threatening and scary. Your subscription will absolutely help you avoid pain, suffering, financial loss, time wasted, and possibly even bodily harm--no kidding.

Furthermore, even though review and commentary here sometimes understandably expresses anger at errant, irresponsible, and insensitive business behavior, this site ultimately does not seek to dehumanize business owners.

To the chagrin of many of the companies from whom I have purchased products or services, I am an assertive customer and consumer advocate.  NightmareCompanies.com sees me describe the contours and delineate the details of the discourse, exchanges, and various interactions and experiences I've had with a range of companies.


Good Companies

What about companies, products, or services that reside on the polar opposite end of the quality and satisfaction scale, in other words, those that are excellent performers? It is not the mission of NightmareCompanies.com to focus on those organizations, and we generally don't. In rare circumstances where the behavior, performance, or attitude of a company is utterly exemplary we will describe our experience with them.

Good or bad, from the experiences written about here, you can extrapolate to your specific shopping, purchasing, and ordering situation, although in many instances you will seek to purchase the exact same item I review and thus, can directly apply my information, without extrapolation.


You

What you seek as a consumer, then, is the knowledge required to avoid those organizations that engage in injurious behavior to a greater degree, so you can patronize those that so engage to a lesser degree, or in the case of a small number of companies--not at all.

NightmareCompanies.com is a unique consumer resource that will furnish you with some of that knowledge.

The commentary and review information presented at NightmareCompanies.com is based on my direct experience with these companies and their products and services. I interpret and process these experiences through my own intellect, analytical capacity, consumer experience, knowledge of consumer resources, and knowledge of the ways, good and bad, that our modern-day capitalist economy works, or can work when prompted. I then produce a review and/or commentary for each company, product, or service, capped by a formal recommendation:  purchase, or do not purchase, a given product or service; patronize, or do not patronize, a given business.

You are the direct beneficiary of this process.

Moreover, this is why you will not necessarily find reviews here of some of the companies we already know to be nightmare companies--Worldcom, Enron, and others, for example. All content here is exclusively about companies I have personal, first-hand knowledge of, through my own concrete experiences with these companies. That way, you can be assured of the accuracy of all review and commentary information presented.


Senior Citizens

Dementia, often in the form of Alzheimer's Disease, is growing at epidemic proportion, and their numbers are expected to rise, it is reasonable to conclude that businesses of all types will find themselves entertaining an increasing proportion of customers who have one or another of these kinds of maladies, or in some cases a more generalized cognitive decline. Thus must the businesses of today prepare, and formulate a strategy for, serving these infirm and unfortunate folks. Notice that I say serving, not ignoring or turning away.

And thus does NightmareCompanies.com, when possible, include a rating or assessment for each company reviewed of SENIOR FRIENDLY or NOT SENIOR FRIENDLY.

The genesis of my interest in this issue was the advent of my own father's dementia, and the utterly shameful way he was treated by area businesses, who were clueless in this regard. Since dementia is now considered the new "silent epidemic" we will consider it, here.


Other Consumer Resources

Consumer Reports magazine, for example, as respected as it is, has it's flaws. As a long-time reader and subscriber, I have seen a number of instances where product reviews were incomplete, neglecting important information about a product, or where testing protocols were inadequate. For example, in testing toilets they used sponges to simulate waste material--a testing protocol decried by many plumbers. In contrast, the MAP test used soybean paste, a better testing substitute yielding more realistic and accurate results. Additionally, Consumer Reports magazine focuses principally on products, services to a smaller degree. They focus least of all on the companies that actually manufacture and distribute those products and services--yet the behavior of these very companies often determines what the quality of our experience with a given product or service will be, and whether we should buy from that company, at all.

Furthermore, reviews from mass "consumer" outlets like epinions, ConsumerReview, or CNET must be approached with caution, because, while reviews from actual product consumers are extremely valuable, professional reviewers working at some of those sites (like CNET), are routinely disparaged by visitors as biased. In fact, sites like these either accept advertisements from the companies that are supposed to be under review. Being familiar with these opinion factories, I've repeatedly seen their flaws, including, for example, criticism of some of the posted opinions as coming from persons who don't actually own the products they purport to "objectively" pass judgement on. In contrast, NightmareCompanies.com presents the clear, balanced, and well-written insight of an intelligent and informed consumer advocate.

In fact, since even the best source of product information cannot usually present you with every possible fact and perspective required to make a properly informed purchase decision, it is best to employ several high-quality sources of such information when researching a given product or service; each can thus supplement or complement the other.  In concert, you will have the full spectrum of information and data needed.

I am a professional writer, reviewer, activist, and consumer advocate! It is probably fair to say that most average consumers who happen to pen a paragraph or two at a consumer website somewhere have not jumped through as many hoops or given themselves the "trial by fire" that I have in terms of demanding that companies live up their own claims, and behave ethically and even with sensitivity. I have--and that is, at once, the source of the many conflicts I've experienced with companies, owners, and staff, and it is also the source of the hard-won commentary and insight I provide for subscribers of this website.

Other sites are often packed with advertising, of every conceivable kind. Can you be sure the review material is unaffected by the need to refrain from alienating or displeasing advertisers? Would Consumer Reports magazine enjoy the credibility it does if it carried advertisements from the very companies whose products or services it was reviewing? Would you trust it as much?


Consumer Links

NightmareCompanies.com does not feature an extensive list of consumer links; there is already an overwhelming amount of consumer links presently available on the Internet. For example, a Google search using the search string "excellent consumer links" produces 532,000 hits! Accordingly, NightmareCompanies.com does not focus on link lists, but simply continues to devote its resources to publishing high-quality consumer reviews. For now, I advise consultation with the most prominent consumer-related organizations and resources, such as Consumer Reports magazine, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Consumer Federation of America. Additionally, every local media market has a pro-consumer "on your side"-style television program, taking up the cause of aggrieved consumers in its viewing area. Of equal use would be an internet search using search terms relevant to your particular consumer concern. For example, if you feel a piece of tainted meat harmed your health, try a Google.com or AllTheWeb.com search using search terms such as bad, meat, ill, protection, recourse, attorney and/or lawsuit.





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