PhotoJanet, of Charlotte, N.C., says she shares the complaints offered by many others about the Maytag Bravos washer, which she purchased in October 2009. She offers a virtual laundry list of things she doesn't like about it.

“Besides being overpriced, it's a washer that doesn't soak clothes, it develops a bad odor, it has silly things like unnecessary lights and music, you can't add an item once the wash cycle has begun without the cycle starting over from the beginning, it leaves washed items in twisted wads, the lid locks so you can't see what's going on inside,” Janet told” In addition, it damages items. I'll have to replace a full-sized blanket that it recently destroyed and now I can't trust that it'll wash things safely, which is a problem.”

Janet said she called the company's customer service department and was told she should have used the bulky item option instead of the regular cycle. But she said he had tried that before and had the same result. The machine isn't broken, Janet insists, it's just poorly designed.

Security questions you might not be able to answer

Companies are increasing their online security practices, which is a good thing. But sometimes the security is so good that even the consumer can't get through it. Travis, a Key Bank customers from Anchorage, Alaska, said he was trying to access his account and was given a series of security questions to answer.

However, these were not questions he had selected but questions the bank's security department set up by compiling public records.

“Customer support told me the issue was that they had implemented new security measures for customer safety,” Travis said. “I am naive, but I feel like if anyone is accessing my account without my permission that is a major security breach, no mater who it is that is doing the accessing. If this is being perpetrated by credit rating agencies, I am uncomfortable with that. I am only interested in doing business with my bank.”

Travis need not be concerned. No one but him can access his bank account information. The security measures are simply being toughened to prevent hackers from accessing his account, which is the real concern.

Check's not in the mail

We've heard of services like telephone and electricity being turned off for non-payment, but never have seen that as a feature of the service. But Andrew, of Naples, Fla., said when he signed up with Dish Network at a vacation home, he understood that the service would be turned off when he wasn't there for an extended time.

“The person at Dish that set this up said when you don't need one month just don't pay that month,” Andrew told “When you need it started just call and pay that month. First time I wanted the service stopped I didn't pay that month. Even without payment they left it on for two more months and wanted full payment to reconnect.”

It sounds like Andrew got some wrong information. When you don't pay a bill, a business doesn't know whether you just forgot, can't pay it, of want them to turn off the service for a month. That's why you always need to see a company's policy in writing and not depend on what a customer service rep tells you.

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