Here are this week’s 5 things you should know.
01. Check your Ticketmaster account now
You may have free tickets or discount codes in your Ticketmaster account as a result of a recent class action lawsuit. They just went out yesterday. If you bought tickets between 1999 and 2013 you should have some. I ended up getting 20 discount codes and 30 vouchers for 2 free tickets. They are apparently only good for a limited number of events though, and they haven’t said which ones yet.
Log in to your account, go to my account, then click on “Active Vouchers”. (Or just click here) Note, this only works on the full site, doesn’t seem to work on the app or mobile site.
More info here.
02. You can opt-out of arbitration provisions in contracts which waive many of your legal rights
Arbitration provisions in contracts are becoming ubiquitous in most contracts including everything from credit cards to rental cars. If you sign a contract agreeing to arbitration you agree to use a third party arbitrator chosen by the business instead of the court system. Arbitrators tend to heavily bias the business and in many cases are more expensive than using the courts. Such provisions usually also waive your right to group together with other plaintiffs to participate in a class action. They are seen as a way to limit possible liability to a business.
The decision of the arbitrator is usually binding with no avenue of appeal or oversight by the courts. Often times there is a non-disclosure agreement also in place to prevent you from being able to even talk about the results of your action. Unlike Judges you are not required to be a lawyer or have a degree related to law to become an arbitrator.
Due to recent pushback about automatic mandatory arbitration from the courts it is becoming increasingly common to have clauses allowing you to opt-out of arbitration and get all of your rights back. Usually there is a time limit on doing this within a certain number of days of opening an account or otherwise signing a contract. Opting out usually involves either sending an email or physical letter with your name, account number, address, and a signed statement saying you don’t agree to the terms of arbitration within a time frame of around 30-45 days.
If you can it is almost always in your best interest to opt-out of arbitration. You can always decide to agree to arbitration at a later date if you think that’s a better option for you. It should be illegal, but it unfortunately isn’t. It’s basically a loophole to make it effectively illegal to sue somebody and gives a business complete control over a dispute.
03. Your doctor does not always know what is not covered
Do not rely on them for billing questions. The physician will say one thing and then the patient finds out that it isn’t covered and health insurance nightmares quickly ensue.
Your physician will most certainly not be familiar with all types of insurance plans and what they may or may not cover. They have a pretty good idea but when it comes down to healthcare and non-price transparent services PLEASE always use caution. You will be the one paying not them. There are several ways to go about this.
- What your physicians office sometimes will do, is get a pre-certification or a pre-authorization. This is basically them calling your insurance company and saying we’re going to do X procedure and we want to know it’s covered. Insurance will give them some sort of documentation and then you can generally expect that service to be covered.
- You can call your insurance company and inquire. Please be advised this is not fool proof and they will not hold their people responsible for telling you the wrong thing. Default to #1 above if in doubt.
For Medicare patients, if you ever get an ABN or advanced beneficiary notice, they are telling you that whatever you are doing or having done is NOT covered. Please be aware of this.
04. How to sync your data on cloud to an alternative service
You should know how to easily sync your essential data in the cloud to an alternative service in case your primary cloud account gets inadvertently terminated.
If you use cloud storage to store essential data it is imperative that you back it up in case your cloud storage account gets terminated due to staff error, technical issues or unintentional breach of terms of service. I would be devastated if I lost that my data on Google Drive. Yet, it seems that a social media campaign is required to get Google to allow you to recover your files from a terminated account.
How do you back it up? You can manually download your data and store it offline. This might be the best solution if you’re privacy conscious (but if you are what are you doing using cloud storage services anyway?). You can download your data and re-upload it to another cloud storage service; a valid option if you’re not concerned with your data being with multiple companies.
My favourite solution is cloud sync services. This allows the data to be migrated directly between two services without you having to download and reupload what are, potentially, gigabytes of data. There are couple options such as Cloudsfer, MultCloud or CloudHQ. I am personally partial to Mover.io mainly because it allows me to setup a daily recurring sync from Google Drive to OneDrive, and yet it’s completely free.
05. About an App named Overdrive
There is an app called “Overdrive” that allows you to check out e-books and audio books for free from certain local libraries. Library card is required, of course. If your library isn’t listed, ask! Librarians are often super interested in staying technologically up-to-date. Link for iOS users.