Stories by Grace Aquino

On your side: Consumer advice

SAN FRANCISCO (11/24/2003) - My son tried to download some gaming hints online, but instead he got a self-installing program that dials out for access to porn sites. Then our phone bill showed two calls to Guinea-Bissau in West Africa costing $118. I explained to AT&T (Corp.) that this was a fraudulent charge. No one at our house physically dialed the number; our computer did. But AT&T insists that we made the call, so we have to pay. After some research, I found that many others have been taken in by this scam and have had to pay substantial bills to AT&T.

Top camera costs tumble

SAN FRANCISCO (11/20/2003) - SLR (single-lens reflex) digital cameras have reached a new low--in pricing, that is--with Canon Inc.'s EOS Digital Rebel, the first SLR priced below US$1000. The 6.3-megapixel unit is $899 (body only); for $100 more you can add Canon's EF-S 18mm-to-55mm lens, which makes the Rebel cost about $600 less than its closest competitors.

On your side: Bankruptcy ends rebate promises

SAN FRANCISCO (10/27/2003) - I bought LapLink Gold 11 from LapLink Incorporated when the company was offering two rebates worth US$150 total. I submitted the paperwork and waited. When I called several weeks later, I was told a check would be coming. Soon after, LapLink Incorporated declared bankruptcy. According to court documents, the company has not honored rebates for 15,000 customers. If each customer has the same rebate amount as me, that's $2.25 million the company got from its customers.

Digital camera misses the picture

SAN FRANCISCO (09/22/2003) - My Eastman Kodak Co. Kodak EasyShare DX3600 Zoom digital camera doesn't capture the image I frame in the shot. When I take close-ups of my grandchildren outdoors using the camera's viewfinder and zoom lens, I get an image of the ground or half of what I framed in the shot. I sent the camera for repair (to a Kodak-authorized repair center in Illinois), but the problem persists. Now the camera is out of warranty. Can you help?

Sony's underwater wonder

SAN FRANCISCO (09/22/2003) - Here's a camera suitable for an active lifestyle: Sony Electronics Inc.'s US$250 Cyber-shot DSC-U60 lets you snap photos in rugged, outdoor settings while skiing, hiking, or even snorkeling. Yep, the U60 is waterproof--in fact, it's capable of surviving a swim in up to 5 feet of water.