Ellen Phillips (Reporter)

Phone: 423-756-6900
E-mail: consumerwatch@timesfreepress.com
Bio:
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: How to save time, work, and money on your summer vacation

Published Jun. 25 2017

Today's column is a lazy one for me. No real writing, no attempts at humor, just a plain old list...

Consumer Watch: Scrutinize your packing list when heading out on cruise

Published Jun. 18 2017

Continuing last week's tips on cruising vacations: You've done your due diligence so far as the line, the ship and...

Consumer Watch: Hints to booking and enjoying a summer cruise

Published Jun. 11 2017

For the next two weeks, I will concentrate on specifics many of us generally don't consider; some provisos appear in...

Consumer Watch: What questions you should be asking your doctor

Published Jun. 4 2017

Members of my immediate family have recently experienced some pretty serious illnesses which, of course, involved patient/family/physician communication (or, in...

Consumer Watch: Online courses offer low cost way to learn new skills, build knowledge

Published May. 28 2017

Whether retirees wish to learn new skills to return to work, current employees need recertification, or younger folks wonder how...

Consumer Watch: How to avoid getting the 2.4 billion robocalls made every month

Published May. 7 2017

Several days ago, a reader asked about a website I suggested to help eliminate robocalls to cellphones. A USA Today...

Consumer Watch: Four steps toward wiser use of money

Published Apr. 30 2017

I subscribe to a few AARP services. As a consumer advocate, I'm always searching for relevant information that may be...

Consumer Watch: Scam terms and what to guard against

Published Apr. 23 2017

Hopefully, no reader felt any unwanted twinges from last week's scamming procedures. Combine those with today's list for savvy consumerism.

Consumer Watch: Scamming terms to know and be on the watch to avoid

Published Apr. 16 2017

I'm getting ready to speak to my buddies at Scenic City Friends, and it seems like fraud is all anyone...

Consumer Watch: Keep computers, phones, household germ free — and avoid illnesses

Published Apr. 9 2017

Q: This question isn't really consumer related, but it runs right up your alley. My husband says I'm germophobic. He...

Consumer Watch: No time for tax cheaters

Published Apr. 2 2017

Uncle Sam is a knockin' so we better be ready, 2016 tax return in hand. Even though the IRS no...

Consumer Watch: Tips for saving to build your emergency fund

Published Mar. 26 2017

Q: I know families should have at least three months of emergency funds. While we do save a bit each...


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Consumer Watch: Be wary of online medical scams

Published Mar. 19 2017

It seems like all I've featured the past few weeks has been the overabundance of scammers. As stated upon multiple...

Consumer Watch: Four seasonal scams to watch out for

Published Mar. 12 2017

This time of year, fraudsters commit four particular scams that I saved for this week's discussion. I first learned of...

Consumer Watch: How to protect your credit rating and avoid scams

Published Mar. 5 2017

We recently featured the top complaints of 2016. If you've been victimized in any of those circumstances, then continue reading...

Consumer Watch: Simple methods to turn your trash into cash

Published Feb. 26 2017

Today's column features that infamous offender that haunts many of us — clutter — along with a few simple methods...

Consumer Watch: Auto issues top list of consumer complaints in 2016

Published Feb. 19 2017

Many of us gripe about issues of personal concern. When looking at the Top 10 complaints of 2016, I was...

Consumer Watch: How to get the best deal for a used car

Published Feb. 12 2017

Q: I'm in the market for a good used car. How can I get the best bang for my buck?...

Consumer Watch: When and where to get the best deals

Published Feb. 5 2017

Last week's conversation concerning money-saving resolutions brought a number of questions from interested readers. Let's discuss these and others to...

Consumer Watch: Ways to limit healthcare costs

Published Jan. 22 2017

Picking back up on the topic of health care for 2017, we continue this week with suggestions from AARP to...