Michael Finney answers your consumer questions

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Michael Finney has the answers to your consumer questions.

7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your questions, every weekday on ABC7 Mornings. Submit your video questions and tune in at 6 a.m.

Question 1
Cathy from Clayton asked: We want solar panels. Should we lease or buy? Which is better?

Answer
Hi Cathy, great question. Consumer reports says buying solar panels will save you more money in the long run.
Why? Well in part, because there's a 30% federal income tax rebate. And if you lease the solar panels, you don't get the money. If you buy, you do.
Now when leasing, you can often get in or I should say get under the solar panels without spending any money up front.

But that leads to another concern. When selling your home the next buyer will have to make the monthly lease payments and knowing that could scare off some buyers.
Now there are good lease deals, but it is more complicated than buying. So, read every bit of the paperwork.

Question 2
Dana from Antioch asked: Those who last worked on my car took off an undercarriage protector and it disappeared. They're now denying they ever took it off. What can I do?

Answer
Hi Dana, since you've already spoken to the auto shop, here's what I want you to do: File a complaint with the Bureau of Automotive Repair, that's a California State agency. Their investigators will take a look at your information. They'll visit the shop, talk to the owner and they'll try to come up with a resolution that you both agree to. It does not always work, but that is a good step before going to court if you ever have to go to court about this.
Question 3
Ellen from Walnut Creek asked: I would like to know what can be done about robo-calls? I'm bothered by them. This has been going on for too many years.

Answer
Start by registering your phone number on the national "do not call" list. It still works, but not perfect. If you have an internet-based phone, there's a product out there called "no-mo-robo" that blocks most telemarketing calls and it gets great reviews. Now for mobile devices, you might want to try "avast" it helps. If you have an AT&T smart phone, there's a new app that's called "call protect" and it lets you know if you are getting a "spam" phone call. In a few months Ellen, I think you're going to have help with this so hang on and thanks for your question.

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society7 On Your Sideconsumerconsumer concernsmoneyholiday shopping
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