Vonage to settle investigation involving 32 states

November 18, 2009 1:10:59 PM PST
Millions of taxpayer may get an unexpected and unwelcome surprise this April. Plus, if you were ever a Vonage phone customer, you could be eligible for a refund.

VIDEO: Nydia Han's latest Consumer Wrap report

Vonage provides telephone services through Voice over Internet Protocol. The company advertises free services, money-back guarantees, and trial periods. But, many consumers complained Vonage did not live up to its marketing and now you could get a piece of the $3-million multi-state settlement.

Vonage must issue refunds to consumers who've filed valid complaints with their state's attorney general's office since January 1st, 2004.

Consumers who file new complaints within the next 120 days are also eligible to get some money back.

The settlement also requires Vonage to changes its marketing practices and make it easier to cancel service.

If you're sick of unexpected restrictions, penalties, and expiration dates on gift cards we have good news. The Federal Reserve is proposing better consumer protections.

Under the new rules, gift cards could not expire within five years. Also, service or inactivity fees could be imposed only if the consumer hasn't used the card for at least a year or has been given clear disclosures. Also, no more than one fee could be charged a month.

The rules are slated to take effect on August 22nd after public comment.

More than 15 million taxpayers could unexpectedly owe taxes when they file their federal returns in the spring. That's because the government was too generous with its new Making Work Pay tax credit.

The Treasury Department says taxpayers are at risk if they have more than one job, are married and both spouses work, or receive Social Security benefits while also earning taxable wages.

Workers started getting the tax credit through small increases in their paychecks in April.

Also if you're planning to take the train on Thanksgiving you'd better book your ticket now.

Amtrak expects 51,000 more riders than usual on November 25th and all trains in the Northeast will require reservations.

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