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Consumer News

Santa, All I Want for Christmas Is No More Robocalls Please

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(Public News Service) –Robocalls are among the biggest sources of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission. Anyone with a phone is getting an early Christmas present this year – as the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan bill on Thursday to help stop those annoying robocalls.

The U.S. House of Representatives already gave near-unanimous approval to the TRACED Act – and President Trump has indicated he’ll sign it within a week.

Maureen Mahoney with Consumer Reports says Americans received an estimated 50 billion robocalls just last year.

“The robocall problem is out of control,” says Mahoney. “We hear from consumers all the time that these unwanted messages are ringing their telephones off the hook, you know. Many of them are from scammers who intend to do consumers harm.”

The Act requires phone companies to install technology to confirm the accuracy of caller ID information – and give customers the right to decline such “spoofed” calls at no extra charge.

Some phone companies are already using the so-called “STIR/SHAKEN” method to determine the authenticity of a caller ID. But Mahoney says a lot of carriers have been dragging their feet for years.

“This particular technology requires a lot of interconnection and cooperation from a number of phone companies,” says Mahoney. “So without a requirement, there just wasn’t enough incentive to implement it. So that’s why it’s really important that we have this legislation, to make sure everyone’s complying.”

Prior efforts to cut down on robocalls through the “Do Not Call list” failed, in part because so many calls come from scammers overseas, out of reach of the Federal Trade Commission.

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Consumer News

LA Alcohol Delivery Sees Massive Spike Following “Safer at Home” Order

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Photo by Waldemar Brandt

LOS ANGELES — Following California Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Safer at Home” order, Saucey has experienced an unprecedented number of users on their alcohol delivery platform.

The company has seen a 300% increase in area sales compared to a standard delivery day.

“As the concern over the COVID-19 virus has grown at both the state and public levels, I think you’re not so coincidentally seeing a rise in people ordering alcohol,” says Saucey co-founder and CEO Chris Vaughn. “We’re feeling the effects elsewhere too, like San Francisco and Chicago; we’re doing our best to assist everyone who wants to use us and use us safely.”

The Los Angeles-based app recognizes they are among select delivery services fortunate enough to be helping people in a variety of markets as they practice social distancing and protect themselves from the rapidly spreading Coronavirus.

“It’s good to see so many people making lifestyle adjustments that let them be as comfortable as they can be during this time,” Vaughn said.

There may be something to that comfort thing. Since March 15, Saucey has seen ice cream sales spike by 500% and soft drinks by 150%. Lime sales also spiked by 350%, potentially pointing to more people making mixed drinks.

As for the alcohol, vodka tops Saucey’s spirit sales and is up by 250%. Whiskey, however, saw the greatest spike at 300%. IPAs held the highest increase in sales in their beer category at 300%.

Saucey will continue providing safe deliveries to the people of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Silicon Valley, Orange County and San Jose.

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Business

Costco Says Don’t Even Think of Returning Toilet Paper

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(TMZ) — Costco is unsympathetic to all the folks who stocked up on toilet paper like they were never gonna get another sheet … because the superstore has made it clear — NO REFUNDS!!!

This sign was plastered on the wall of the Costco in Pentagon City outside Washington, D.C. Now that people have settled in, it seems they’re realizing they have waaaaaay too much toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wipes and Lysol, and apparently some are trying to return it for cash.

You gotta be a little sympathetic … lots of people got laid off after they hoarded these items, so money is a huge issue.

Also on the no-return list — Water and rice.

Continue reading at tmz.com

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Consumer News

Drives Aim to Keep Historic Restaurants Alive During Outbreak

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Owner Dimitri Komarov at the famous Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

LOS ANGELES (Daily News) — With restaurants limited to takeout service or shut down completely by the coronavirus outbreak, a drive has been launched to keep some of Los Angeles’ legendary eateries from fading away.

Known as 1933 Group, the team operates about a dozen themed bars and restaurants in Los Angeles, including the barrel-shaped bar Idle Hour in North Hollywood, Harlowe in West Hollywood, Highland Park Bowl and the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood.

Many of them have shuttered in recent days amid strict orders implemented by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti, aiming to stem the flow of deadly COVID-19.

“We are struggling to survive,” said Dimitri Komarov, the venues’ co-owner. “The impact is dire. We’re losing our […]

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