PhotoIt's very annoying when a product lasts only two years, but it's even worse if it happens to be something you paid hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars to purchase. Debi, of Delray Beach, Fla., is one of those annoyed consumers.

“People need to know if they purchase a Samsung LCD HD TV it will likely only last two years,” Debi told ConsumerAffairs.com. “I have an extended warranty from Brandsmart on mine and they of course they refuse to repair it, insisting it was customer induced. Although Samsung themselves say they do not have any idea why this happens or which part to replace. I have reached out to both via several avenues to no avail. They just refuse to acknowledge their TV's are under built to fail after two years and will not do anything to help their customers even with extended warranties.”

It's not just Samsung TVs that are prone to early failure but seems to be the way these flat screen TVs are made, cramming a lot of heat-producing parts into a tight space. The failure rate is very high, based on complaints and reports from TV repairmen. The only way to get manufacturers to improve the design of these big screen TVs is for consumers to stop buying them.

Also, consumers can keep the TVs cool.  Don't put them in a cabinet or other enclosure.  And be sure to use a surge suppressor.

Expensive credit

Juanita, of Little Rock, Ark., says she received an offer in the mail from Credit One Bank and was about to apply for the credit card when she read there was an annual fee of $75 in the first year.

“After the first year it is $99.00, billed to your card at 8.25 a month,” Juanita said. “Aren't your fees supposed to go down? And another thing, at first glance their logo looks suspiciously like Capital One. I mean really look at it! I had no intention of applying for a card, but I wanted to check them out, and guess what? When you go too their website, it's not even secure!”

Credit One cards do come with an annual fee and, in many cases, very limited credit lines. Before applying for a card from the first offer that comes in the mail, it's smart to do a little research to find the best deal.

High cost of renting

Jody, of Portland, Ore., is another rental car customer who complains about extra charges. In Jody's case, she says every time she drops off a car at Hertz after just having filled the gas tank, she is charged for a full tank of gas.

“Then they require me to fax the gas receipt,” Jody said. “How many millions of dollars are they fleecing people who refuel, then the people don't notice the extra charge on their final bill? This is crazy. That is $40-$50 dollars of bogus charges on every express return rental.”

If this is the case, maybe it's best to return the car with an empty tank. Yes, you'll be charged through the nose for gas, but at least you won't pay for it twice. It sounds like rental agencies are doing everything they can to maximize the revenue generated from each vehicles.


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