The Checkout

Archive: Reporting Query

Fuel Surcharge Frenzy

The air conditioning in my condo died over the weekend. It sounded fine at first, humming away even as the temperature crept up to 75, 76, 77 degrees. Then it fell silent, and I began to sweat. I called a maintenance company to repair the machine. An agent quoted me a price over the phone, and I was surprised when he mentioned a $10 fuel surcharge for driving the repair van to my house. Ten dollars! It's not surprising to find fuel surcharges added to the price of your airline ticket or car rental. But I had never considered that...


By Ylan Mui | June 17, 2008; 01:42 PM ET | Comments (0)

Auto Loan Delinquencies

The number of auto loans that are more than 30 days late edged up during the second half of last year. While the figure is still low, the trend, if it continues this year, suggests to some financial analysts that higher energy prices and interest rates may be taking a toll on some consumers. I am trying to find out whether the analysts are right. I'm looking for consumers who may have bought a vehicle in 2006 and found it hard to keep up with payments for whatever reason. I'm interested in talking to folks who financed their vehicles through...


By Annys Shin | February 12, 2007; 02:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Is The Rising Cost of College Getting You Down?

This is a reporter query for my colleague Kathleen Day: Is the rising cost of college getting you down? Please tell us how your family plans to pay for college if, like the bulk of Americans, you don't qualify for financial aid but find the cost of higher education a potential budget buster. We'll try to find some answers. Respond to


By Annys Shin | January 11, 2007; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

Return Stories

Our hard-working retail reporter Ylan Mui is working on a story about returns. If you have stories about travails at the return counter, please pass them on to her at


By Annys Shin | December 20, 2006; 12:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Reporting Query: Miss Hecht's coupons?

This is an All Points Bulletin for former Hecht's coupon clippers. Now that Hecht's has morphed into Macy's, is anyone out there jonesing for those crazy Hecht's coupons that magically trimmed umpteen dollars off almost any purchase there? (I think I qualify, but I work here, so I'm no use to my colleague Ylan Mui.) I think the best part was even if you had somehow forgotten to clip the right coupon, the kind person at the cash register would have one there to scan in. Anyway, before I wax nostalgic too long, anyone else out there getting stiff hands...


By Annys Shin | November 20, 2006; 12:20 PM ET | Comments (11)

In Search of First-Time Luxury Car Owners

Hi all. I'm in need of some reporting help. I know it can be ugly seeing how the sausage gets made, but bare with me. I wouldn't be bugging you if I wasn't getting desperate. I'm working on a story about the ins and outs of owning a luxury car and I'm looking to interview local, first-time luxury car owners. I have found umpteen local owners--lovely people all--who unfortunately are on luxury car no. 2 or 3 by now. The reason I'm looking for first-timers is because carmakers have of late been aggressively courting them by offering more "entry-level" luxury...


By Annys Shin | October 31, 2006; 01:51 PM ET | Comments (8)

Did You Use a Bank Gift Card?

I'd like to hear about your gift card experiences, especially about the bank gift cards (from Visa, MasterCard and American Express). Please e-mail me at to tell me about your experiences, good or bad. Thanks....


By | February 7, 2006; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (0)


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