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.

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.

Consumer Watch: Back-to-schoolers buying tips that save you money

Published Aug. 13 2017

Today's column features stores (online and bricks-and-mortar) that have the best sales on special items for most back-to-schoolers.

Consumer Watch: What are the best web sites and apps to sell your goods online?

Published Aug. 6 2017

People move during summer and throw things away, others weed out belongings for garage sales, while many donate to charity....

Consumer Watch: What travel devices you should consider for overseas trips

Published Jul. 30 2017

Last week's column featured useful gadgets to pack to safeguard your health when traveling. The devices suggested today help make...

Consumer Watch: Healthy items to pack when traveling abroad

Published Jul. 23 2017

Q: I'm going on an extended vacation next month and am purchasing items to make my travels safer. Any suggestions?...

Consumer Watch: Where to report fraudsters

Published Jul. 9 2017

Q: It seems like your columns concentrate on fraud issues and how they affect consumers in such negative ways. Once...

Consumer Watch: Dog-loving locals can help pet sit

Published Jul. 2 2017

"Rover." What a perfect name for a dog-sitting company. I first heard about this national franchise from one of my...

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...