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Better Business Bureau: Holiday Jobs

By By Alan Bligh
Oct. 13, 2012 at 5:13 a.m.


I cannot believe that the holidays are almost upon us. If you are thinking of making some extra cash by seeking a temporary job, now is the time to act. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday spending is expected to increase 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion, and retailers are expected to hire between 585,000 and 625,000 seasonal workers this holiday season.

BBB recommends applying early and taking a few simple steps to increase your chance of landing a seasonal job.

Do research ahead of time. Figure out what job suits you best and then identify companies you would like to work for. Check with bbb.org to find trustworthy companies that might be hiring seasonal staff.

Be suspicious of "too good to be true" job offers. Many consumers use online classifieds to search for local job openings. Unfortunately, scammers flock to these sites, posting job scams aimed at stealing money or the identities of job seekers. Never pay for a background check, a job application or anything else before you are hired.

Work where you shop. Employers want applicants who know their products well. So, if you shop at certain stores frequently, chances are you know a lot about the company and the merchandise they sell.

Be available and flexible. Holiday hiring managers are drawn to candidates who will be available and have a flexible schedule.

Put your best foot forward. Job hunters need to dress their best and be prepared for the interview. Retail job hunters in particular need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skill set - which is a must when dealing with stressed-out shoppers, long checkout lines and day-after-Christmas returns.



Beware of debt collectors

Debt collectors are driving us crazy. Threats of arrest, lawsuits and unending harassment seem to fill the playbooks of Central Asset Bureau, a debt collection agency in San Antonio. Better Business Bureau issued a warning to consumers after receiving numerous complaints from across the country about the company's debt collection tactics. Most of the consumers allege the debt Central Asset Bureau is attempting to collect is not even valid. In addition, the debt collection agency has provided fake addresses and, consumers allege, has refused to provide documentation on the debts it is trying to collect. BBB attempted to contact Central Asset Bureau about the disputes, but phone calls were not answered and mail was returned.



Cost of damaged cellphones

We all love our cellphones, right? Consumers have spent $5.9 billion to repair, replace or pay insurance deductibles on damaged iPhones since the devices went on sale in 2007, according to SquareTrade, a leading provider of consumer electronics protection plans. The San Francisco-based company surveyed more than 2,000 iPhone users and found that 30 percent of users have damaged their device in the past year. Of all the people surveyed, 9 percent damaged their phone by dropping it in the toilet and 5 percent of users have accidentally put their phone in the washing machine. People often resign themselves to keep a damaged device due to the cost of replacing them. Have I damaged my iPhone? Yep, dropped it on the floor in the bathroom.

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by e-mail at abligh@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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