Blog Posts - Ripoffs



4 Sneaky Car Dealer Tricks (and How to Avoid Them)

The majority of car dealers are scrupulous professionals who simply want to sell you the vehicle of your choice. So why is it that taking a trip to the dealership often fills car buyers with dread? It’s an unfortunate fact that many car buyers...
by Len Penzo dot Com on May 7, 2014

What a $184 Cheese Sandwich Can Teach Us About Hype & Value

Would you pay $184 for this? Last week, Britain’s Daily Mail reported that celebrity chef Martin Blunos created a very unique sandwich with a menu price of £110. For those of you here in America, based on current exchange rates, that comes out...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Apr 23, 2014

Priceline Users Be Careful: Name the Wrong Price and You May Go To Jail

I bet you didn’t know Priceline had a jail. I didn’t either until I got tossed into their web-based hoosegow for 24 hours. Heh. What was my “crime” you ask? This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I recently made an offer on a rental car f...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Mar 10, 2014

How Priceline Users Who Name the Wrong Price Can End Up In Jail

I bet you didn’t know Priceline had a jail. I didn’t either until I got tossed into their web-based hoosegow for 24 hours. Heh. What was my “crime” you ask? This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I recently made an offer o...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Mar 10, 2014

How Fees Quickly Erode Your Savings Account Returns

Remember when this was considered a paltry return? Your savings are a long-term investment, and whether you have accounts for short term purchases to furnish your home or fill your wardrobe, or whether you have your emergency fund and bill payment fu...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Feb 19, 2014

Your Big Fat Expensive Wedding: Stupid Is As Stupid Does

According to the New York Daily News, Chelsea Clinton and fiancee Marc Mezvinsky spent roughly $3.3 million in 2010 on their marriage celebration. Talk about a big fat expensive wedding. The good news is, more than three years after saying “I...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Jan 27, 2014

Is the Payback Period on Energy Efficient CFL Bulbs Too Long?

The other day the light bulb on my porch finally gave up the ghost, so I ran down to my favorite hardware store to pick up a new one. When I got there I was presented with a choice that many people struggle with: Is it better to stick with the regula...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Nov 11, 2013

8 Misleading Claims People Often Make To Close a Deal

The other day I came across an interesting article that suggested a healthy dose of skepticism was essential when you’re watching television commercials that make claims for both prescription and non-prescription drugs. It turns out a study pub...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Oct 28, 2013

How Cheaper Gasoline Ultimately Costs You More

You know, there used to be a guy named Ripley who made a fortune explaining why things aren’t always what they seem. For example, a banana tree is not a really a tree at all, but a massive herb that can grow as tall as a four story building. If...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Oct 7, 2013

My Dumbest Money Mistakes (Part 2)

As I mentioned in Part 1, this story is not about everyday money leaks or niggling oversights we all make from time to time, like leaving the lights on or buying a burger at a fast food joint and then forgetting to use the 2-for-1 coupon in your wall...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Oct 2, 2013

My Dumbest Money Mistakes

Money mistakes. We’ve all made them during our lives at one time or another. Today I’m not going to talk about everyday money leaks or niggling oversights we all make from time to time, like leaving the lights on or buying a burger at a f...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Sep 30, 2013

3 Common Contractor Scams and How to Avoid Them

Americans shell out $168 billion on home improvements and general maintenance every year — however, not all of that money ends up being well spent. Many people end up getting scammed by “drive-by” and otherwise unscrupulous contract...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Sep 26, 2013

14 Reasons Why Monitored Home Security Systems Are For Suckers

It seems like I’m always being bombarded with countless ads from companies offering home burglar alarm installation and monitoring services. Maybe that’s because 83% of homes in the US don’t have a security system in place to ward o...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Aug 12, 2013

The Trouble with Buying Movie Tickets Over the Internet

We all come across things in life that are wildly popular, even though it makes little sense to us. Take “Duck Dynasty” — going into its fourth season, it’s one of the hottest shows on cable television. I recently watched a co...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Jul 1, 2013

Why Extended Warranties for New Tires Are A Waste of Money

Awhile back I bought four new tires for my 1997 Honda Civic. The tires came with a pro-rated 65,000-mile guarantee and were $74 each, or just under $300 for the entire set. As the salesman was tallying up the bill he asked me if I would like to purch...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Jun 19, 2013

Yet Another Reason Why I Hate Buying Tickets from Ticketmaster

Most of you know I’ve had a hate/hate relationship with Ticketmaster for a long time now. After all, this is the company that wrote the book on ridiculous consumer fees that, many people argue, only serve to exploit their hapless customers; it&...
by Len Penzo dot Com on May 27, 2013

When Pigs Fly: How I Fought My Parking Ticket and Beat City Hall

Usually, the only warm-blooded creature in the house that ever bothers to get up and acknowledge me when I come through the front door is my dog, Major. So I knew something was wrong when I walked through the door and the Honeybee greeted me with a b...
by Len Penzo dot Com on May 13, 2013

How I Stupidly Got Ripped Off by Not Getting Multiple Estimates

Whether we realize it or not, we manage financial risk whenever we take the time to get multiple price estimates from competing contractors. Those who do often get rewarded for their efforts. As for those who don’t, well … they often end...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Mar 25, 2013

How to Tell If You’re Dating a Deadbeat

I’m very fortunate that the Honeybee and I rarely have a disagreement regarding money. In fact, I can only remember it happening once in over 16 years of marriage — and it was all due to a silly misunderstanding. A recent study affirmed t...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Feb 4, 2013

The Embarrassing Anatomy of a Phishing Scam

You’ve got to hand it to scam artists. They often succeed in spite of themselves. If I had a nickel for every time I retrieved a message from my inbox warning me that my PayPal account has been limited, or that my credit card has been suspended...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Jan 30, 2013


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