I started 7 On Your Side here at ABC7 News and over the past 20 years I have sent bad guys to prison, forced product recalls and returned millions of dollars to consumers. Because I spend so much time dealing with legal issues, midcareer I returned to law school. That education has served me and ABC7 News viewers well.
Even many of my close friends don't know that as a young reporter I covered the '89 Loma Prieta Quake, Oakland fire storm, L.A. riots, and numerous floods, forest fires and other calamities. Let me tell you it is other worldly to be on a boat, in the middle of a hurricane attempting to reach a devastated Kauai because the air space has been closed. No electricity, no lights, just the silhouette of a mountain rising out of the ocean. I know what that island looked like to ancient mariners.
There is little I like more than to "afflict the comfortable", but among those is skateboarding with my son, watching my daughter cheer and having a nice Pinot Noir on a warm summer day in the wine country with my wife.
Check out my Facebook page. You can send me your questions and find out how to get free stuff! Also, follow me on Twitter for the latest consumer news AND more freebies.
Michael Finney joined ABC7 News in 1991. His consumer reporting has received many prestigious awards in broadcast journalism including honors from several Press Clubs, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Radio Television News Directors Association and the Associated Press. Community groups such as Consumer Action, The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights and The National Association of Consumer Advocates have also honored his work.
Michael's 7 On Your Side reports can be seen at 4, 5 & 6 p.m. on ABC7 News. His "Consumer Talk" radio show is heard every Saturday afternoon between 1 - 4 p.m. on KGO-AM810. His first book, Michael Finney's Consumer Confidential was a top 10 best seller on The Amazon Business list. His new book, The Definitive Guide to Bay Area Deals, is scheduled for a fall 2012 release.
7 On Your Side: The World Health Organization declared the rapid spread of the Zika virus is now an international health emergency. Consumer Reports tested top mosquito repellents and 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney is here with exclusive results.
7 On Your Side takes a look at a number of those subscriptions that bill you automatically and are really difficult to get rid of.
It is tricky if two companies are involved for one transaction. 7 On Your Side helped a woman get a refund after buying her phone from Best Buy and switching companies.
Employers have until February 1 to send you your W-2 tax form. And the IRS is already accepting electronic returns with roughly two months from the April deadline to file taxes.
The National Retail Federation predicts Americans will spend nearly $20 billion before Valentine's weekend is over.