Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

On today’s menu of consumer news you can use …

KING 5 has an infuriating story titled “How secure is your storage insurance?”

A couple whose storage unit was emptied say their insurance company denied their claim for the stolen property. The reason? The burglar replaced the lock! A similar scenario happened with man whose lock was simply removed by the thief. The insurer in both thefts, New Hampshire Insurance Company, required signs of forced entry.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said policies should place the burden of proof on the insurance companies – not the policy holders.

Clicking over to Seattle's channel 4, KOMO has a useful tip to help protect military families from identity theft. Placing an “active duty alert” on a credit file requires creditors to verify that the person applying for new credit is you. The alert also stops pre-approved credit card offers for a year.

If you aren’t on active duty, you can get the same protection by requesting a fraud alert. And you can nix the credit offers by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (567-8688) or make the request online at www.optoutprescreen.com.

And the Oregonian recently exposed that some iTunes ringtones are useless on iPhones. iPhones see particular compilations including “200 Awesome Ringtones!” as collections of 30-second songs -- not sounds that will play when you receive a call.

As the reporter notes: “Now some of you are probably rolling your eyes and lumping this into the 'Who cares?' category. But as is often the case with consumer issues, it's one of those get-what-you-pay for problems. This isn't much different from a shopper buying a ham at the grocery store only to go home and discover it's really a bag of hot dogs.”

Hope you enjoyed those newsy nibbles. Please pass the mustard.

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