Ask Finney: Appliance repair resolution, cost-effective device charging, fire-proofing important documents

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Michael Finney answers your consumer questions
Fed up? Curious? Furious?! If you need help, just ask Michael Finney, your own consumer expert from 7 On Your Side!

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:

Leslie from Ukiah asked: "My new oven is broken and my warranty will be running out soon with no resolution from the company. What can I do?"

Answer 1:

Make sure you document the problem before the warranty runs out. You will have recourse as long as that's done. This falls under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act which governs warranties on consumer products. Companies cannot avoid a warranty by waiting out the consumer. The warranter must refund or replace the item without charge. Contact the company, tell them I told you this and if you still get no resolution, call my hotline.

Question 2:

Everett asked: "Is it more cost-effective to charge my electronic devices while driving my car or in my home?"

Answer 2:

My, you are efficient! I wouldn't recommend running your car if you're just trying to charge devices. But, it would actually cost you less to charge in your car, during a commute, because there is no electric bill. Also, the more efficient a car's power system, like hybrids, the more it's affected by additional power usage.

Question 3:

John from San Ramon asked: "Relatives lost their home to the wildfires in Santa Rosa, including all their important papers they had stored in a small safe. I have a similar type safe in my home and now believe it's inadequate for storing valuable documents. What should I look for to protect them from fire?"

Answer 3:

Fire protection is the number one reason people buy home safes. They're rated in terms of what type of material they'll protect and for how long. If you want a safe to protect paper documents only, look for ones that can protect your items to 350 degrees for 30 minutes or an hour and you should be okay. But, there are no guarantees. An easy way to deal with this is to take photos of your important documents and email them to yourself or store them in the Cloud.