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: 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...

Consumer Watch: Tips for the best-priced health care

Published Jan. 12 2017

The swearing in of our new president means many things to many people. However, one issue is common to all...

Consumer Watch: How to save more in the new year

Published Jan. 8 2017

Now that some of us have already broken our New Year's resolutions and enjoyed the forbidden cigarette, chocolate cake or...

Consumer Watch: How to 'negotiate' best deals

Published Jan. 1 2017

Q: I've read that shoppers who ask for a discount usually get one. While I don't know if I have...

Consumer Watch: A consumer poem for Christmas

Published Dec. 25 2016

I hope you all (re)enjoy my revised poem from a December 2010 column. And regardless of your faith, culture, or...

Consumer Watch: Charitable ideas for Christmas

Published Dec. 18 2016

In a panic because your gift list has yet to be checked off? Rather than gifting loved ones with more...

Consumer Watch: Common sense protections you should use at the holidays

Published Dec. 4 2016

If you're like me, you're somewhat paranoid this time of year — with good reason. Holiday disappointments can mean scams...

Consumer Watch: Holiday shopping tips in order to avoid online, charitable scams

Published Nov. 27 2016

Now that Thanksgiving is over and Christmas shopping has begun, it is time to think about consumer savviness. Starting today...

Consumer Watch: Utilizing everyday items for other purposes

Published Nov. 20 2016

So many readers responded to last summer's ideas to utilize everyday items for other purposes, I decided to run another...

Consumer Watch: How and when to book the best flight to save you money

Published Nov. 13 2016

Q: I know I've waited too long to book airfare for Christmas with far-away family. Can I still save money...

Consumer Watch: Marital advice for handling finances

Published Nov. 8 2016

My husband and I are newlyweds and already argue about handling money. I write the checks for bills, etc., but...

Consumer Watch: Tips for healthy marriage and finances

Published Nov. 6 2016

My husband and I are newly-weds and already argue about handling money. I write the checks for bills, etc., but...

Phillips: How to keep your children safe on Halloween

Published Oct. 30 2016

My original 2008 Halloween safety column was compliments of Cathy Lewandowski, AT&T's marketing director. This year's additions come from other...

Consumer Watch: Credit freeze creates barrier for scammers

Published Oct. 23 2016

Q: I recently received notice that someone opened a charge account using my personal information. Other than cancelling this account...

Consumer Watch: How to avoid ID theft, scams and burglaries

Published Oct. 16 2016

Personal finance site TheBalance.com offers ways to help protect our identity, property and person.

Consumer Watch: How to check and appeal claims on your health insurance coverage

Published Oct. 9 2016

I had surgery about six months ago, but my insurance company didn't pay what I thought they should. I'm out...

Consumer Watch: Where to find financial help for seniors

Published Oct. 2 2016

Loyal readers know my own allegiance lies, in large part, to advocacy for seniors and our elderly.