Letters to the Editors: Food deals, sewing machines, security breach

I'm glad you posted a story on cheap food sites (Deal sites for foodies — Ed.), but most of the venues were in New York or Los Angeles. Can you post one for restaurant chains aimed at Dallas or Houston? — Chestin B.

Of the sites we listed in our feature, both 3 Buck Bites and UEatCheap.com contain a handful of restaurants that cater to Dallas and Houston. However, there are more sites that specialize in these cities. D Magazine's SideDish has a generous number of posts listing cheap eats in the Dallas area. Likewise, b4-u-eat lists daily specials for several Houston-based restaurants. The site also lists coupons, restaurant reviews, and happy hour specials. Finally, the Houston Chowhounds chapter keeps a list of popular food blogs in the Houston area, such as Food in Houston, which named the city's top 10 cheapest restaurants back in April.

I just received a letter from Batteries.com regarding a data security breach which resulted in the unauthorized exposure of names, addresses, and credit card information. The exposure commenced on February 25, 2009 and continued for several weeks when their server was hacked. The three page letter is asking everyone affected by this to protect themselves by requesting credit reports and review account statements of fraud and identity theft. They are offering a free membership to Triple Alert for two years. My recommendation is that dealnews take Batteries.com off its vendor list for two years due to their negligence. There should be zero tolerance when a vendor compromises a client's important personal data. I would like to hear dealnews policy regarding this. — James M. (Sent late May 2009)

At dealnews, we pay special attention to reader complaints, and we especially appreciate the frustration of having to deal with lost customer data. Batteries.com's security was indeed compromised. While we sympathize with our reader's wish that we ban Batteries.com, such breaches can happen despite a company's best efforts. Other than the fact that there was a breach, we know of no evidence that Batteries.com's security measures were negligent. Since Batteries.com does not have a history of poor customer service according to our records, a ban of Batteries.com is not warranted at this time.

Usually, having your credit card number stolen is more of an inconvenience (you must get a new credit card number) than a disaster (identity theft). Your liability for charges on a stolen credit card is low or zero so long as you detect it within a reasonable amount of time. Consider refraining from giving an online store your date of birth, Social Security number, bank account information, or other data that's hard to change.

My wife is looking for a good sewing machine and you guys are the best deal finders in the world. Are there any current deals on sewing machines? Much appreciated. — Anonymous

At first, we figured we don't list many sewing machine deals, but once we checked our archives, we realize we list about two per month. Today only, June 25, the Brother XL2230 31-Stitch Function Free-Arm Sewing Machine with 11 built-in stitches costs $79.99 with free shipping at Amazon. It's a $60 overnight drop. Once that deal expires, consider the Brother 25-Stitch Portable Sewing Machine, model no. LS2125I, for $70 with free Site-to-Store at Walmart. However, we saw it not that long ago at J&R for $10 less (since expired). If neither of these suit your fancy, we suggest setting up an email alert or using our RSS feed for sewing machines.

You know how Mike Rowe begs for Dirty Jobs at the end of each show? Well, we're begging for your questions and comments without even saying "forward-slash". Please send us a letter to the editors with your thoughts. We want to hear from you.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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