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Consumer Advice

    Subscription contact lens company Hubble is facing scrutiny from doctors and the contact lens industry as a whole. >>LISTEN BELOW TO WSB’s CLARK HOWARD EXPLAIN WHY HE FEELS THE CONTACT LENS INDUSTRY IS ‘IN TERROR.’ The start-up company promises to revolutionize eye care, and has taken social media by storm offering dirt cheap lenses. Hubble offers contact lenses at a tiny fraction of the cost of other lenses.  Ophthalmologists and optometrists say they have seen several patients with eye problems after using Hubble and have criticized the company for switching people from their prescribed lenses to a completely different brand. However, the company says their business is completely legal and that they have spent years researching their product to produce high-quality contact lenses. They require their consumers to have prescriptions before subscribing to their services.  WSB consumer expert Clark Howard is accusing the entire contact lens industry of price fixing. 'The doctor you go to for a contact lens fitting makes the big income not from the exam and fitting, but on selling you massively overpriced contact lens boxes,” he explains, adding, “The industry is in terror because they saw what ‘Dollar Shave Club’ did to Gillette.
  • Check your freezer for recalled ground beef that could make you sick.  Cargill is recalling 132,000 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E-coli.  Consumers should throw the meat away or take it back to the store for a refund.  The ground beef products were produced and packaged on June 21 and bear the number “EST. 86R” inside the USDA mark of inspection.  Officials identified 17 illnesses and one death connected with the E. coli outbreak ranging from July 5 to July 25, 2018.  The meat was sold nationwide. Full list of recalled products:  3-lb. chubs of “OUR CERTIFIED 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a USE OR FREEZE BY JUL/11/18 and case code 00228749057646.  3-lb. chubs of “OUR CERTIFIED 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a USE OR FREEZE BY JUL/11/18 and case code 00228749002653.  10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749089098.  10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749002751.  10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 81/19 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749003536.  10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749003568.  10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749402773.  20-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 81/19 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF COMBO” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749073935.  10-lb. chubs of “Sterling Silver CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749702416.  10-lb. chubs of “CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749802405.  10-lb. chubs of “CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 with case code 00228749802413.  10-lb. chubs of “Fire River Farms CLASSIC GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a USE/FREEZE BY: 07/11/2018 with case code 90734730297241.
  • Baby walkers are very popular with parents, but they can be dangerous.  There is potential for trouble with those wheeled frames and suspended seats that let babies move around using their feet.  A shocking number of babies are injured each year by baby walkers, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.  Over the past 25 years, an estimated 230,676 children were injured in baby walker accidents.  Most children were injured by falling down stairs in a baby walker, and 90 percent of the injuries were to the head and neck.  Nearly 38 percent of the children that went to the hospital, suffered a skull fracture.  The good news is that the overall number of baby walker injuries has decreased since 1990.  Gary Smith, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio spoke with WSB Radio about the risk.  “Baby walkers by their nature give children mobility before they're able to handle it,” explains, adding, “I tell parents that the best parent in the world can’t move quickly enough to stop their child from going down the stairs, is say a young sibling leaves the door open to the basement stairs – even for a moment.”
  • “If you watch people—how they interact—they interact mostly with their digital devices,” Zellmer tells WSB’s Pete Combs. “To then get into a car and viscerally experience what can be done on a track is something people appreciate obviously. And we’re very happy about that.” In this case, the experience involves driving on a closed track in a way you can’t drive on the highway. At the Atlanta Porsche Experience Center, that involves pushing both car and driver to the limits of their abilities. For 90-minutes, paying customers drive company cars on this road course. That may not seem like a long time, but Porsche bets it’s long enough to fall in love.  It’s also a learning experience. Drivers are instructed by Porsche experts who ride along, providing tips and cautions all along the way.  The course is set up in several parts.  “There’s a road course that’s designed to mimic a windy road in the North Georgia Mountains,” says Operations Manager Geoffrey Lowdermilk.  There’s a kick plate course where the road actually turns underneath the car, forcing it to slide. “That’s an effective way to learn how to control oversteer by turning into the slide,” he points out.  There’s also a multi-faceted off-road course built specifically for the Porsche Cayenne, an all-wheel drive SUV.  “You’d be surprised at what that vehicle can do right off the showroom floor,” Lowdermilk says with a smile.  Finally, there’s a “launch pad,” where drivers can feel the wind in their hair, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in around 3.2 seconds.  How do customers react to a brand land like the Porsche Experience Center?  “I just wanted to experience it more than I would if I was driving it around the block at the Porsche dealership,” says Suwanee retiree Terry Jordan. As he’s speaking, a bright blue roadster speeds up to a circular pad of polished concrete. It’s a drift pad, where drivers fling their Porsches into a sliding 180 degree turn, tires screeching all the way. “You know, like that,” he says, motioning over his shoulder.  It’s hard to be objective about the Porsche Experience Center once you’ve driven the course, met the people who work there, dine in the elegant café and see the remarkable collection of fine sports cars parked all over the property.  And that’s quite the point.  Porsche says the Experience Centers are a boon to sales and to the company’s cache. The point, says Zellmer, is that people want this sort of hands-on experience. He believes “brand lands” will work in a number of industries worldwide.  Says one employee at the Porsche’s Atlanta facility, “It’s like Disneyland for adults who like to drive really fast.”
  • Xtava announced it will recall its Allure and Allure Pro 2200W ceramic hair dryers after finding that the hair dryer and power cord can overheat and catch fire. At least 193 Xtava users have reported that the hair dryer has overheated, and 20 have reported burns or minor electrical shock, according to a report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • AT&T has reportedly issued a warning to its customers about a phone scam making the rounds. WAFB reported that customers are reporting calls from people saying their service is being temporarily halted until they give the last four digits of their Social Security number. >> Read more trending news  “These calls are not from us,” AT&T said in a statement, according to WAFB. “If any company calls you and asks for your personal information, that is a red flag. One of our tips on our new Cyber Aware website is never give such information to someone who calls you. Call the company at the number found on your bill.” Customers can also forward suspicious texts to 7726 or report scams to abuse@att.net.
  • Low-cost grocery store chain Aldi and supermarket Kroger have issued voluntary recalls of some of its apples. According to the Food and Drug Administration, which posts voluntary recalls, Jack Brown Produce, Inc., based in Sparta, Michigan, is recalling Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples because of listeria concerns. >> Read more trending news  “In cooperation with Jack Brown Produce Inc., and out of an abundance of caution, Aldi has voluntarily recalled an assortment of apples that were available for purchase in stores starting  on December 13, 2017, due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination,” Aldi said in a news release Tuesday. The recall came after one of Jack Brown Produce’s suppliers, Nyblad Orchards Inc., notified the businesses of the affected products. The affected products were sold at some Aldi stores in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and North Carolina.  “To date, no illnesses related to these products have been reported. No other Aldi products are affected by this,” the company said. Kroger said it recalled lunchbox-size Fuji and Galas sold between Dec. 12 and Tuesday, according to USA Today. The products affected are sold under the brand name “Apple Ridge” and are as follows:  Honeycrisp apples in 2-pound clear plastic bags; Gala, Fuji, and Golden Delicious apples in 3-pound clear plastic bags; Fuji and Gala apples in 5-pound red-netted mesh bags; and Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp apples that were tray-packed/individually sold. Products that may be affected can be identified by the following lot numbers printed on the bag label or the bag-closure clip: Fuji: NOI 163, 165, 167, 169, 174 Honeycrisp: NOI 159, 160, 173 Golden Delicious: NOI 168 Gala: NOI 164, 166 on either the product labels and/or bag-closure clip Affected customers should immediately discard the products or return them to a local store for a full refund. Customers with questions can callJack Brown Produce Inc. at 616-887-9568, Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
  • An email scam affecting FedEx, UPS and U.S. Postal Service customers is taking advantage of an increase in package shipments during the holiday season. KMOV reported that the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center is warning consumers about a fraudulent email scam. The emails claim to be from one of the three organizations and say that a package cannot be delivered. The messages contain a link that users are prompted to click in order to get an invoice to pick up the package, but the link is spoofed and goes to a website set up to steal the user’s information, according to FBI officials. >> Read more trending news  According to the FedEx Customer Protection Center, customers who get fraudulent emails or who come across suspicious websites should forward them to abuse@fedex.com. It also recommends immediately contacting your bank if interaction with fraudulent sites or emails have led of financial loss. More information on how to report fraud to the company can be found on the FedEx website. USPS customers can report a phishing attempt by not clicking on any links and forwarding the message to the CyberSecurity Operations Center at CyberSafe@usps.gov. The suspicious message should be deleted right after. Suspicious emails purporting to be from UPS should be deleted, according to the UPS website. Customers should not follow any links or click any attachments. “If you’ve accidentally selected a link, you should run a virus scan immediately,” the site said. Examples of suspicious UPS emails are available on the UPS website.
  • A few keystrokes online could match you up with a life insurance payout you did not even know you were due. Georgia leads the nation when it comes to matching people with misplaced life insurance. This is thanks in part to a service launched a year ago by the State Insurance Commissioner and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The ‘Life Insurance Policy Locator’ is a free service that “streamlines and simplifies the process for consumers,” State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said in a statement.  The Commissioner’s office said that with the new service, Georgian’s requests are encrypted and secured to maintain confidentiality. “Participating insurers will compare submitted requests with available policyholder information and report all matches to state insurance departments through the locator,” the statement read, “Companies will then contact beneficiaries or their authorized representatives.” State Deputy Insurance Commissioner Jay Florence tells WSB the service is invaluable. “People thought that it was worthwhile during their life to spend this money to give you a benefit upon their death,” Florence says, adding, “Whether it’s large or small, obviously they had something in mind – a need that they wanted to fill.  “If you’re talking about a widowed spouse, a life insurance benefit can mean all the difference in the world.” In the year since it has launched, one out of every six Georgians using it found something a loved one left for them. According to Consumer Reports, an estimated $1 billion in benefits from life insurance policies are unclaimed.  “The largest life insurance policy that we’ve seen come back has been over $640,000,” says Florence. Since the service went live last December, 589 Georgians have received more than $6.6 million in policy payouts. For a link to the Locator, located on the front page of the state insurance commissioner’s website, click here. 
  • For the first time since 1942, the Georgia Bulldogs are headed to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. No. 3 Georgia will face off against No. 2 Oklahoma on Jan. 1, 2018. It will be the first time the two powerhouses have faced each other at the Rose Bowl in college football history. If you want to reserve a flight in time to catch the game, you will want to act quickly. Ticket prices are already skyrocketing. “People are stunned that you can practically fly to the moon for what airlines are charging right now for tickets around the Rose Bowl dates,” WSB Consumer Expert Clark Howard says.  Clark suggests you look at flights into nearby airports to find the cheapest flights. The Bob Hope Airport (BUR) is about 23 minutes from Pasadena, California. Only United Airlines flies from ATL to BUR. Flights are in the $1000 range. LAX, which has several more flight options, is about 50 minutes away. Spirit, American/Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines all fly from ATL to LAX. If you do not mind driving a bit, Clark recommends looking at flights out of cities near Atlanta. “Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina, the further afield are the cheapest,” Clark said. “If you are willing to drive up 85 to Charlotte, the fares are a third what the fares are out of Atlanta.” Clark recommends you use Google to search for the cheapest flights out of Atlanta and surrounding cities.