The Watchdog: In computer security, you’re as good as your weakest link

The last person in the world a spammer should send a brazenly criminal email to is me. My email address alone — watchdog at — has a ring of authority to it. Sure, I’m not the FBI, but my coverage beat includes idiots who do things like that. But every day I get them. Just like […]

Nationstar Mortgage loan company admits it failed customer

Crazy. Absolutely crazy. Robin Reid can’t believe it. She signed up to refinance her home and here it is, six months later, and she’s still waiting. Excuse after excuse. This isn’t some fly-by-night operator she’s dealing with, either. Nationstar Mortgage LLC in Lewisville, Texas is one of the biggest loan companies in America. “Not pretty,” […]

The Watchdog: Don’t be fooled by Acxiom’s data release

An Arkansas company that collects information about us and then resells it to banks, retailers, insurance companies and others for a billion dollars a year in sales almost pulled a fast one on The Watchdog. I was excited about the release of personal data by Acxiom on its free new website. I couldn’t wait to […]

Watchdog Video Tip of the Day: What to do if the boss won’t pay you

Watchdog Video Tip of the Day: What to do if your boss won’t pay you.  You work hard on a job but then you don’t get your paycheck. What are your rights? Learn from Marina Trahan Martinez, The Dallas Morning News Watchdog Desk Administrator, how to be smart. The Watchdog Video Tip of the Day, produced by, […]

The Watchdog: 5 tips to gain consumer power with insurance

Frustrated that Texas insurance companies always seem to have the upper hand? Me, too. In recent months, I switched insurance companies for coverage of my car, my house, my health and my life. My insurance shopping experience can be summed up by a famous line from Socrates, one of the original watchdogs: “I know nothing […]

Texas merchants can’t add surcharges for credit, debit cards

 The Lone Star State is one of only 10 in the nation that prohibit merchants from charging swipe fees for credit card sales. For the 40 other states, merchants can charge up to 4 percent in extra “convenience fees.” The Legislature passed a law in 2013 giving real enforcement power to state regulators to go […]

The Watchdog: AT&T retiree asks if she’s victim of a bait-and-switch

Virginia Bowers was once in love, but not anymore. Her paramour was her company, Southwestern Bell, where she worked as a manager for almost three decades. The company helped her raise three children as a single mom. “I was enamored with the security,” she says. No more. Dealing with her old Southwestern Bell, now flying […]

Watchdog Video Tip of the Day: How to pick a cruise company

Check out that cruise company before you pony up the big bucks.  The Dallas Morning News Watchdog Desk administrator Marina Trahan Martinez shows you how. The Watchdog Video Tip of the Day, produced by, is designed to solve a problem in less than a minute. Read more Watchdog reports here. – – – – – […]

Enterprise Rent-A-Car repair bills shock customers

Christina Morales got sideswiped in a small-time fender-bender with another car. What came next was typical: Getting the insurance company’s approval to pay for a rental car and then driving the rental car while the old car was in a body shop for repairs. For Morales, a 29-year-old nurse, this little chore ended badly. She […]

Watchdog Video Tip of the day: A school mistreats your child

A school is mistreating your child, and you want to learn more so you can fight the system. The Dallas Morning News The Watchdog columnist  Dave Lieber shows you how to file an open records request. The Watchdog Video Tip of the Day, produced by, is designed to solve a problem in less than a […]