Michael Finney | ABC7 KGO News Team
Bill Goggin was my journalism teacher at Ray Lyman Wilbur Junior High School in Palo Alto. He is responsible for all of this. He taught me, "The job of the journalist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." That's pretty much what I've been up to ever since.

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.

Michael's Stories
FAIR Plan insurance polices delayed as more homeowners turn to the 'insurance of last resort'
"The FAIR Plan is getting a thousand applications a day. They switched over to a new computer platform and there seem to be a lot of kinks. So we are getting panicked emails from homeowners, from agents saying 'I can't reach anybody,'" said one consumer advocate.
FBI warns holiday shoppers to beware of scammers online
Special agent in charge of the FBI San Francisco field office Robert Tripp says it is harder to spot a criminal now because they are using the latest technology.
DraftKings floods man's inbox with emails, despite not having an account
"'I don't know if it's a mistake, or fraud, or what? But this isn't me, and we have a problem," said the Menlo Park man.
Boyfriend buys Swiftie girlfriend Taylor Swift tickets in Tokyo, but seller can't deliver
StubHub told the Oakland man they were trying to find replacement Taylor Swift tickets. "At this point I was like, 'Oh, replacement tickets! I never heard that there was anything wrong with my original tickets,'" he said.
After 3 years of denials, Thai-American family granted visa to visit ailing San Jose family member
"At first, we thought it was the Thai government that was holding everything up," Lou Infeld said. "Then we found out it was the US. government that's holding us up. And now that really upset us."
SIM swap victim loses $46K as thieves take over her phone number and bank accounts
"So I was a victim of SIM swapping and somebody had hacked my bank accounts and stole money and the banks were refusing to return the funds to me," said the victim.
SF city attorney files lawsuit against gift card company over inadequate security, scams
Thieves take the cards off the rack, take down the numbers, and drain it before the buyer has a chance to use it.
Blue Chip Stamps, an old shopping loyalty program, still redeems your stamps for cash. Here's how
Merchants stopped handing out stamps in 2010, but they're still redeemable today.
Bill to offer competition in 'swipe fees' may also do away with credit card points and rewards
"This is the most serious attack to undermine credit card rewards that has ever existed," said one industry expert.
Draft of insurance reforms would allow companies to not cover wildfire areas, advocacy group says
"When you look at the fine print of the proposal, that we obtained, that the commissioner drafted, there's absolutely zero commitment to come back into the marketplace," said one consumer advocate.