US Airways volunteers refunds to passengers
01/21/09 12:08
In the news (see article), US Airlines is giving $5000 to each of the 150 passengers who were aboard Flight #1549 which had an emergency landing in New York's Hudson River January 15, for the inconvenience of not having their luggage returned. Some luggage is unrecoverable but the rest are being held indefinitely while the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) undertakes its investigation. The cost of the tickets is also being refunded. 

I applaud US Airways for being pro-active. I've been trying to get a $20 key deposit refund from my former property manager since July 2008. Pay attention to how the big guys do it, Cannon-Greco.

My phone calls are free for a year
01/17/09 20:26
Originally posted Dec. 5, 2008 in my blog, Starting Over at 59

I'm not getting paid to say this - wish I were! - but I am very happy with my
 Magicjack phone service. It's a little plug that goes into my computer's USB port and you plug an ordinary phone into the MagicJack. It cost me $40 plus tax or shipping - you can get it now for $30 - and I pay no fees for the 12 months. Next year I pay only $20 for services. I have my cordless phone attached to it so I can carry the phone through the house and not miss any interview requests or client calls. 

I can call anywhere in Canada or US; voicemail, directory assistance, 9-1-1, caller ID and call waiting are all provided for free. There is a desktop notifier on which the caller's phone number appears and when the call is over the duration of the call in minutes and seconds appears. You can even store your contacts' names and numbers on it. 

Yes, it's the same one advertised on TV. I'm telling everyone about it so they can save enough money on their phone bill so they can retain my services. (Big grin). 

They even provide a phone number. The only drawback for me is that they could only give me a number in the 412 area code (Pittsburgh) and I'm in 814. Local people - like on Freecycle - don't want to call me because it's long distance. But if you have a long distance calling plan or you use a cell phone to call me, there will likely be no charges. But I can just tell people: "Email me your number and I'll call you." If they had MagicJack they wouldn't have any charges for calls. 

Tell me if you have it. Tell me if you get it. 


29 Red Flags
01/02/09 15:54
There must be something in the Erie water. 

Harry Markopolos, who wrote a 19 page letter to the SEC about Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme back in 2005, is an Erie native. (So is first Homeland Security Secretary Tim Ridge.) Not that I'm comparing myself to the wisdom and courage of whistleblower Markopolos, but it's interesting to note that we are of the same generation from the same hometown. Speaking of the name Madoff, it seems appropriate for someone who "made-off" with other people's billions. What was he thinking? Was he so enamored with himself that he thought he could get away with it? 

And the SEC? Is there nobody in the securities commission who can read and do their job? Geez... they should hire me. 

I wish my name (Reynolds) sounded more like what I do: recover, regain, recoup, reclaim, rescue, or retrieve. Reynolds may be a derivative of renard (french for fox), as in clever as a ___ .

Case 9-01 "The Dance-Away Lover"
01/01/09 08:49
If you've ever watched court TV you will recognize this scenario. My first client of the year and of this retrieval service is a smart, successful, beautiful woman who went on a week's vacation with her boyfriend in mid-December. Then, 10 days later, he semi-disappeared during the Christmas holiday. He called daily saying he would be right over and then never showed up. The cruel thing is that his promises prevented her from making other plans for the holiday so she was alone without family or friends. Alone, waiting, and confused about what was going on. Then he had the audacity to break up with her in an email, right before New Year's! Even Sienfeld's show discussed this behavior as wrong. So I have been charged with recovering his half of the vacation cost which she put on her credit card, and which he has promised to pay (in writing), and keys to her home. 

My two biggest concerns: 1. her shock, anger and grief which she was second guessing, even though it was becoming clear to me that there was another woman in the picture; and 2. her vulnerability to harm. I'll explain. He had keys and access to her home
 and she had made him the beneficiary of her life insurance and her 401 K Plan. Are you starting to get the picture? If she suddenly met with an "accident" this cad would be the recipient of a big chunk of her money. This worried me and I broke through her numbness to drive this point home. Of course, if something were to happen to my client, we already have a paper trail of evidence leading back to him. But I was adamant about preventing an evil act from occurring. 

I advised her to immediately change the name of the beneficiary on her investments - which she did - and have all the locks changed and the code to her security system changed. Thankfully, those have been done... but
 he has not yet been advised of both of those changes. I am still concerned for her safety. I also sent her a copy of my self-help booklet, OutSmarting Sweetheart Swindlers, which she read and agreed that many of my tips described his character as a romantic con artist. I've asked her to keep herself surrounded with male friends until I've been able to notify the "Mr. DAL" (see post title) that he no longer is in line for a fortune should my client meet an untimely death. 

I'll be posting updates to this case, so stay tuned. 
Update, Jan. 6: An invoice and letter were sent by email to Mr. "DAL". 
Update, Jan. 6: My client received her house key and garage door remote. 
Update, Jan. 8: We have received a promise that a check for $2600+ will be delivered tonight. 
Update, Jan. 9: SUCCESS. The check was received last night. Now to see if it clears or bounces.