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Xfinity Extreme Premier Triple Play
Consumer says he was charged for installation despite a mailing that promised it would be free of charge
 
This offer from Comcast to upgrade to Xfinity’s Extreme Premier Triple Play — a bundle for TV, Internet and phone — recently materialized in a TINA.org reader’s mailbox. The reader, enticed in part by the promise of “free installation,” signed up for the bundle and within a few weeks had everything installed.
 
Then he got an email with a breakdown of all the new charges. Slipped under “Other Charges & Credits,” he said: A one-time installation charge of $50. The reader vented his frustration in an email to TINA.org (emphasis added):
 
I called Xfinity and told them that the promotion stated FREE installation. I was told, almost like I should have known it, that the FREE installation was for the Internet and TV part of the promotion … that the $50 installation charge was for the phone.
 
The reader said he assumed that installation on the whole package would be free of charge — a reasonable deduction with the words “free installation” under the monthly cost of the entire bundle and not just the cost for TV and Internet. He ended his email to TINA.org with a nod to consumers, albeit on a somber note:
 
I think that this is a common mistake. Sometimes we read something that says “free,” and we think that they mean “free.”
 
How foolish of us. But it’s true that free doesn’t usually mean free — especially when it comes to cable companies whose customers have long complained about hidden fees. Consumers need to question this four-letter word.
 
Find more of our coverage on Comcast here
 

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Killing the Colorado: Picturing the Drought
Documenting the water crisis in the West, a photographer confronts distress, beauty and man’s complicity
 
“Killing the Colorado,” a joint reporting project by ProPublica and Matter, set out to tell the truth about the American West’s water crisis. As serious as the drought is, the investigation found that mismanagement of that region’s surprisingly ample supply has led to today’s emergency. Among the causes are the planting of the thirstiest crops; arcane and outdated water rights laws; the unchecked urban development in unsustainable desert environments; and the misplaced confidence in human ingenuity to engineer our way out of a crisis — with dams and canals, tunnels and pipelines.
 
Four photographers — Christaan Felber, Bryan Schutmaat, Jake Stangel and Michael Friberg — were enlisted by photo editors Luise Stauss and Ayanna Quint to document man’s mistakes and their consequences. Friberg, who has lived in the West for the last decade, thought he knew the issues facing the Colorado River. He soon discovered he was wrong. 
 
 
Courtesy: ProPublica
 

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Indian American gets six years jail for ponzi scheme
A US court has sentenced the former Indian American head of a Chicago investment firm to six years in prison for stealing more than $9 million in a ponzi scheme, a media report said Tuesday.
 
"I'm a rotten individual for what I did to (investors). I'm a rotten individual for what I did to my family," Neal Goyal told the US district court in Chicago last week, asking the judge to have mercy on his family.
 
But Judge Matthew Kennelly first scolded Goyal, 34, for trying to use his family as a shield for his own misdeeds at sentencing, Chicago Tribune reported.
 
"If you had given one thought - one thought - to your family during those eight years you would not be standing here now," Kennelly was quoted as saying.
 
"It's a little disingenuous to come up here and tell me not to hurt them. You're the person who put the hurt on them, not me."
 
Goyal's Goyal Caldera Investment Group was a ponzi scheme so brazen that for several years he did not even bother to place any trades, according to prosecutors.
 
Most of the money was stolen from family and friends in the tight-knit Hindu community where his parents, both physicians, had long been leaders, even founding a River North community centre, the Tribune said citing prosecutors.
 
During the eight-year scheme, prosecutors said Goyal spent more than $2 million on luxury car leases, fancy dinners and travel to Hawaii and Tahiti.
 
He, his wife and three children lived in a $1.5-million, five-bedroom Lakeview house overlooking a park.
 
Every morning, he drove a top-of-the-line black Mercedes-Benz to offices on Michigan Avenue with floor-to-ceiling views of the Chicago River and pretended to be a hedge fund manager, according to prosecutors and former employees.
 
Goyal spent $600,000 on his wife's two upscale baby goods boutiques, as well as a large cash infusion for Tommy Knuckles, his father-in-law's failed Lincoln Park tavern, the charges alleged.
 
He even gave employees a gold bar as a reward and rented out a bank vault for an employee Christmas party, prosecutors said.

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