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Items filtered by date: June 2019

You’ve decided it's time to replace your outdoor deck and you’re ready to take it on as a DIY project, or you’ve decided to work with a licensed and bonded contractor for the heavy lifting. Before you start on such a critical project, it’s important to know that decking options have grown over the last several years, bringing new choices in composite plastic and wood products from which to construct your deck.

While they often cost more than wood, composite materials offer the promise of greater durability and less maintenance. Wood is still the most common choice for deck material,1 but it doesn't last forever. Composites may be more durable, but they might lack the natural look and color you are looking for. 

In June 2016, CBS News reported that while wood products still have a command on the market, composites are growing in popularity. Synthetic wood commands about 16 percent of the $7 billion-per-year deck market and appears to be gaining some traction.2

From cost to maintenance and durability to look, there are many things to think about as you decide between composite or wood for your next deck. Here are some pros and cons to consider before you decide which product to buy.

Published in Homeowners
Wednesday, 26 June 2019 16:43

FTC Announces Victories Against Robocalls

While the Federal Communications Committee (FCC), U.S. Senators, and telecommunications companies are making progress in the fight against robocalls, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced their own progress against illegal robocalls.

  1. They stopped the operator of a series of sham charities called "Veterans of America," an organization that falsely claimed it was a charity and that donations were tax deductible.
  2. Three individuals who were part of a scam that sent false robocalls to small business owners to get their money agreed to a ban in the case against Point Break Media.
  3. There was a double victory in the NetDotSolutions case: three defendants who provided autodialers to place illegal robocalls are now banned from supplying autodialers to telemarketers.
  4. Defendants in the Higher Goals Marketing case agreed to a telemarketing ban after operating a credit cared debt-relief scheme. Several of the defendants had previously worked another closed and similar operation, Life Management Services case.

Although the FTC is successfully stopping some illegal robocalls, it is clear that it's not enough. As in the case of Higher Goals Marketing, some of the people who worked there utilized their tactics again with Life Management Services, proving that new operations can be set up by those who worked at formerly banned companies.

Published in Scams

This article is an update to our October 2019 post about ways to reduce the number of annoying robocalls.


Congress And Government Agencies Move Toward Stopping Illegal Robocalls

In early June, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a ruling that allows and encourages phone companies to block robocalls by default. USTelecom, a trade group that represents telecommunications providers, applauded the FCC's proposal. "The criminals that are scamming consumers with this flood of illegal robocalls must be confronted by industry and government head-on," the group's president and CEO Jonathan Spalter said in a statement. "This is a big and bold proposal by the FCC that can bolster our industry's cutting-edge call blocking and authentication efforts and do something important: stop unwanted calls from reaching consumers in the first place."

Published in Personal Safety

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