Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Many of the cable giant’s employees are reportedly evaluated based on their sales, regardless of whether they’re in a sales position.

By Stacy Johnson Aug 25, 2014 12:06PM
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyI imagine it would be incredibly frustrating to call Comcast's customer service line to cancel your service, complain about an issue with your cable or get help with a billing question, only to have the customer service representative try to sell you additional channels or faster Internet or some other Comcast upgrade.


Unfortunately, that is what's happening.


According to The Verge, the cable giant wants its employees to make sales, regardless of what position they hold within the company.


Despite the fact that Comcast has departments devoted to both inbound and outbound sales, the company encourages its employees in customer service, tech support, and other departments to make sales as well. This often puts the employee's interests at odds with the customer, who may be calling in to report a technical problem, billing issue, or to downgrade their service.


According to Ars Technica, Comcast call center employees are trained to follow a four-step call flow process.

 

If you're one of the millions of sleep-deprived Americans, here's how to find cheap sleep without pills.

By Stacy Johnson Aug 22, 2014 5:41PM
By Marilyn Lewis, Money Talks News  
Money Talks News

Are you driving sleepless? It's like driving drunk, maybe even worse. Even if you're not asleep at the wheel, you are sure to be sharing the road with sleep-deprived drivers.

 

Lack of sleep is "a national epidemic," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Almost a quarter of people the CDC surveyed confessed that sleepiness keeps them from concentrating.


What's worse, nearly 5 percent of them told CDC pollsters they'd "nodded off or fallen asleep" while driving at least once in the previous month.

 

A credit card is a good tool to establish a credit history -- if it's used wisely. Here are three cards college students should consider.

By Credit.com Aug 22, 2014 3:23PM

Credit cards © Imagemore/Getty ImagesBy Jason Steele, Credit.com


As students spend their college careers preparing to make their way in the world, it's also a critical time in their financial lives -- a time when they can establish good financial behaviors and the beginnings of a credit history. Credit.com

 

A student credit card can be a good way to do that, as long as you don't give in to all the temptations a line of credit can offer and become deeply indebted at a young age. However, a student card can also be a great opportunity to learn how to use credit responsibly, and build a good credit history that can help you qualify for car and home loans in the future, as well as help you qualify for more competitive rewards cards once you graduate.


What to look for in a student credit card

Most of the major credit card issuers offer products that are marketed directly to students. First, you should look for cards with the fewest fees. Thankfully, all of the student cards we reviewed have no annual fee, and some will even waive other fees.

 

A TripAdvisor survey found that 77 percent of Americans said they worked while on vacation in the past year.

By Stacy Johnson Aug 22, 2014 1:47PM

Man on couch with a laptop © Cavan Images/Getty ImagesBy Krystal Steinmetz, Money Talks News Money Talks News


A vacation, by its very definition, isn't supposed to involve work. But that hasn't stopped more than 3 in 4 Americans from putting in work hours while on vacation.


According to a recent TripAdvisor survey, a whopping 77 percent of Americans admitted to working during their vacation in the past year. That's nearly twice the rate of the nine other countries included in the survey.

 

Americans also receive less paid vacation time compared with their international counterparts. The U.S. worker average is 18 days. The number for the other nine countries ranged from 19 in Japan to 31 in France.

 

Managing your money properly doesn't have to be time-consuming.

By Credit.com Aug 22, 2014 1:25PM

Ever feel like you are drowning in stacks of paperwork? Have you paid bills late because you lost track of them? Or worse yet, does your credit report show late payments due to those missed payments? Maybe it's time to organize your finances.


But who has time for that?


Taylor Flanery says everyone does, and she should know. She’s a working mother with three young children who also created three websites in her "spare" time. One of them, Home Storage Solutions 101, is devoted to home organization. With no time to waste, she's developed systems for everything, including one that allows her to stay on top of her finances in as little as two minutes a day.


Here, Flanery shares the strategies she uses: 

 

If you're thinking about buying a car and the Carfax report comes back clean, you're good to go, right? Um, maybe not. Here are four other ways you can avoid buying a clunker.

By Stacy Johnson Aug 21, 2014 5:15PM

By Maryalene LaPonsie, Money Talks News Money Talks News


Show me the Carfax.


Remember when those commercials first hit the airwaves? It was only a matter of time before dealerships everywhere started touting a Carfax report with every used car.

 

The reports promised an almost crystal ball view into the history of a vehicle. Sellers could no longer hide accidents, major repairs or faulty odometers. It's all in the Carfax!

 

Or is it? 

 

The cybersecurity defenses at most colleges and universities are not up to the task, a report says.

By MSN Money producer Aug 21, 2014 3:45PM

Hacker sitting at a desk surrounded by computer monitors © Andrey Popov/Getty Images By Cadie Thompson, CNBC CNBC

 

As college students head back to school, cybercriminals are heading back to work.

 

Hackers often target universities during the school year, and campuses are not equipped to handle the cybersecurity threats, according to a new report published Thursday by the security firm BitSight Technology.

 

In fact, colleges and universities fare worse than both the retail and health-care industries, when it comes to securing their networks, according to the report.

 

BitSight tracked the security performance of all colleges in major athletic conferences (Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Pacific-12, Big 10, Big 12 and Ivy League) from July 2013 to June 2014. BitSight's research found that on average all conferences experienced a significant decline in their performance.

 

Tune in to 'The Simpsons' marathon for laughs -- and also for lessons about careers, consumerism, college majors, and what should and shouldn't be used as toilet paper.

By MSN Money producer Aug 21, 2014 2:38PM

Still from season 25 of FOX's ‘The Simpsons’ © FOX Image Collection/Getty ImagesBy Brad Tuttle, Money Magazine Money Magazine

 

Thursday marked the kickoff of an absolutely epic marathon of "The Simpsons" on the FXX channel. Starting at 10 a.m., the network will show every Simpsons episode ever (#everysimpsonsever in social media-speak) back-to-back in chronological order, with "The Simpsons Movie" thrown in as well.

 

That's a total of 552 episodes -- 25 seasons of the longest-running sitcom and longest-running animated show ever -- running 24 hours per day for 12 straight days, ending on Labor Day, Sept. 1.

 

In honor of the marathon, we thought it would be fun to reflect on what some of the most colorful and memorable characters on "The Simpsons" have taught us by their good (or, more likely, bad) examples. Here are 11 money lessons from "The Simpsons," each with a memorable quote to bring the message home.

 

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT SMART SPENDING

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More