PhotoWe continue to hear from consumers who think their Cuisinart coffeemakers are fire hazards.

“I too had the same experience with Cuisinart Coffee Maker Model #DCC1100,” Karen, of Laguna Beach, Calif., told “It started to smoke and if we had not unplugged it, I'm sure it would have started a fire. We will contact Cuisinart about the problem, but it looks like they sVacahould be concerned.”

Karen is right to report the problem to the company, but she should take the additional step of reporting it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. It sounds like the kind of problem the agency should look into, and the more they hear from consumers who've had the problem, the more likely they are to investigate.

Do some homework first

The technology world is constantly changing, creating something of a challenge for computer shoppers. It's almost dangerous to buy a computer without doing some research first, as Sherri, of Vancouver, Wash., discovered after an impulse purchase of a eMachine PC at her local Walmart.

“Put it this way, if Walmart was giving eMachine computers away absolutely free, it wouldn't even be worth the gas you would waste driving there,” Sherri said. “This computer freezes up constantly, when it is actually 'working' it's slower than a man getting ready to go to his in-laws.”

When shopping for a computer, it's best to seek more than one opinion on a product. There are a number of computer and technology sites that are constantly posting reviews. A savvy computer shopper will take advantage of them.

Now you tell me

Paul, of Shelton, Wash., is another timeshare owner who paid a company an upfront fee to sell his timeshare, only to regret it.

“I was contacted by Vacation Property Resellers in September,2010,” Paul told “I was told the company could put my timeshare in a sales rotation and could be sold in a short time. I called periodically to check on progress but could not contact my original sales agent, but did get 'Jim' to answer the phone. I was told of tough times in timeshare resales. Now the phones are not in service.”

Tough times indeed. Timeshare owners need to know there is almost know market for timeshares in this economy. Paul is out $869 and is still stuck with his timeshare.

Want out of your gym contract?

Gym memberships are notoriously hard to get out of. But Vanessa, of Steelton, Pa., has a very different problem with her local Gold's Gym. The gym's child care department has told her not to bring her three year-old child back, ever. That led to a meeting between Vanessa and her husband and the gym's child care manager and facility manager.

“During this conversation the manager was rude to the point of telling us we were bad parents by saying 'that's bad parenting' to everything that was being said about my three year-old,” Vanessa said. “The only 'help' he offered was to cancel my membership which I made clear I was not interested in doing.”

We have no way of knowing what actually went on in the child care area with Vanessa's child, but it seems if you want to get out of your gym membership, perhaps the best way to do it is to enlist the help of an unruly three year-old.

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