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

winter storms - All posts tagged winter storms

  • Oct 31, 2011
    12:00 PM ET

    Lost Power? Get a Refund

    Getty Images

    More than 2 million consumers in the Northeast are still without power after weekend snowstorms. But they’re far from powerless when it comes to getting cash back for the inconvenience.

    Cable, phone and Internet providers often provide credit as a goodwill gesture when customers can’t access the service due to problems with their network or a more widespread power outage, says Linda Sherry, a spokeswoman for advocacy group Consumer Action. Electric and gas companies may also be willing to refund a portion of the service part of your bill, she says. Such credits are typically prorated, based on your monthly bill and the length of time you were without access — meaning someone with say, a $120-per-month cable, phone, and Internet bundle and who was without service for 48 hours might save $8 to $10.

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  • 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 quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.