Ellen Phillips (Reporter)

Phone: 423-756-6900
E-mail: consumerwatch@timesfreepress.com
Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears on Saturdays in the Business section of the paper. An expanded version is at www.timesfreepress.com under Local Business.

Consumer Watch: Tips for selling merchandise around your house

Published Jan. 28 2018

Many of us already are readying our tax returns and praying Uncle Sam doesn't march us to the bank to...

Consumer Watch: Tax tips for 2017 filing

Published Jan. 21 2018

Even though I don't begin my annual "Tax Tips" until March, many of you are already banging heads with Uncle...

Consumer Watch: New Year's resolutions and ways to avoid ID theft

Published Jan. 14 2018

Continuing with my (and yours, hopefully) New Year's resolution to protect our identity in 2018 and for years to come,...

Consumer Watch: Ways to protect your ID in the new year

Published Jan. 7 2018

For me to have a happy new year, it's necessary to put on my preaching cap.

Consumer Watch: Return unwanted gifts soon to meet retailer return rules

Published Dec. 31 2017

Before "Auld acquaintance be forgot," don't neglect to return unwanted gifts as quickly as possible.

Consumer Watch: Last minute gift ideas to fill your Christmas stockings

Published Dec. 24 2017

"It's Christmas Eve..."

Consumer Watch: How to avoid holiday online scammers

Published Dec. 17 2017

Last week, we mentioned online retail for gift shopping.

Holiday shopping tips: Retail store deals can match online offers

Published Dec. 10 2017

I'm not really an "online" guy and prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, especially with so much holiday shopping coming...

Consumer Watch: Healthy savings tips, more ways to cut medical costs

Published Dec. 3 2017

As continuation from last week's health practices, eyesight and smiles are no less significant than hand-washing and drinking water, among...

Consumer Watch: Ways to salute our veterans

Published Nov. 12 2017

No one admires American veterans more than I.

Consumer Watch: Debt payment tips to keep strong credit rating

Published Nov. 5 2017

Readers are probably a bit tired of hearing about credit misbehavior, but I'd rather bore you for protection rather than...

Consumer Watch: Tips for a safe and happy Halloween

Published Oct. 29 2017

The American Academy of Pediatrics offer many excellent suggestions for keeping our kiddies safe on Halloween as the little goblins,...

Consumer Watch: Should you buy a home warranty?

Published Oct. 22 2017

Q: I keep hearing friends talk about their home warranty.

Consumer Watch: Finding the right pet

Published Oct. 15 2017

We lost our dog "child" several weeks ago and are now ready to give a home to a new puppy.

Consumer Watch: How to avoid overcharges and overbilling

Published Oct. 8 2017

In checking my monthly bills, I've noticed several billing mistakes in the past few months.

Consumer Watch: Your rights and steps you should take if your credit is hacked

Published Oct. 1 2017

The exact same day my husband placed credit/security freezes on Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reporting agencies ("The Big Three"),...

How to budget for and save on weddings

Published Sep. 24 2017

My daughter and her fiancé plan to marry in December.

Consumer Watch: How to respond to Equifax hack

Published Sep. 17 2017

Yes, news of Equifax's massive identity-theft cyber break-in is everywhere, including a big article in this paper's last Sunday edition.

Consumer watch: Cost saving ideas for health insurance, medical care

Published Sep. 3 2017

With the Labor Day holiday on Monday, piggybacking on last week's column is a reminder that paying less for these...

Consumer Watch: Cost saving ideas for medical care

Published Aug. 27 2017

The biggest political hullabaloo lately has been health care and what to do about potential changes.