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Pay Dirt
A daily look at what we buy, how we spend, and the companies that do right - and wrong - by their customers.

Welcome To Pay Dirt

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SmartMoney’s new consumer blog starts today.  As the name suggests, Pay Dirt will help readers navigate the shifting sands of consumer life, analyze trends, alert readers to cautionary tales and opportunities not to be missed.

That means everything from travel and social networking to real estate and financial services. Regular features will reflect the real-life experiences of the American shopper in Store Detective, which you may not recognize from the marketing buzz of the retail industry or the big promises made by advertising.

Another regular item, Countdown, will give readers the opportunity to tell it like it is when things go wrong and you’re hanging on the phone or standing in line for a customer service representative. This is one of the most frustrating exercises for any consumer. We want to hear from you.

Our blog will also feature an interview slot, Talking Shop, with business leaders, consumer advocates and insiders. On Tuesday, we will talk with a man who spent 20 years working in the Swedish furniture giant IKEA, much of that time at the side of the company’s founder.

Tell us your stories, share with us your gripes and, by all means, give us your feedback. Pay Dirt is here for you. It’s a forum where SmartMoney readers share their stories about sales gimmicks, scams, bad customer relations and also give credit when things go right too.

We want to offer you, the reader, something different that will compliment other reads in the blogosphere. We hope you enjoy it.


We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

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About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.