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.
SF BottleBank recycling program spent $4M to return less than $220K in CRVs to consumers
"It may sound great, they recycled 3.3 million containers, until you find out they spent $4 million to do it. They're spending 79 cents to return a nickel to consumers," points out one consumer advocate.
7 On Your Side catches scammer in the act after he drains woman's bank account
The man told her she had to stop the "hack" by purchasing Apple gift cards. The numbers on the back would "block" the thieves, and he'd "deposit money" into her bank account to cover the cost.
Allstate also halting home insurance policies in California due to wildfire risk
Experts expect thousands more homeowners in fire-prone areas will have to resort to buying insurance through the state's FAIR program -- which is expensive and provides only bare-bones coverage.
Amazon Fresh auto-adds tip for delivery people, customers cry foul
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Moms buy Taylor Swift tickets through StubHub, but company doesn't really have them
"I just wanted to take my kid to see Taylor Swift. You know, I'm not trying to make money. I'm not gonna try to sell them. I just want to take my kid to see the show," said the Sunnyvale mom.
Insurance companies can get your mileage without your knowledge. Here's how it may cost you
"They only technically have to ask every three years. So in the meantime, they're allowed to use other sources for that information, and that can be things like DMV records of your smog check, which records your mileage," says a consumer advocate.
Student loan payments are set to restart in the fall. Here's what you need to know
The ninth and most recent extension says that the pause will continue until the Department of Education is either allowed to move forward with forgiveness, or the litigation is resolved.
Fire victim finds forgotten $2K in relief gift cards, but they were expired. Can she still cash in?
Wildfire relief groups provided her four gift cards loaded with $500 apiece. But unlike regular gift cards, these bank cards can -- and did -- expire.
The 'look who died' scam is spreading on Facebook. Here's what to know
Instead of a news article, the link in the Facebook message will actually take you to a fake login page in order to steal your username and password.
New protections for air passengers as busy summer travel begins
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