Sunday, May 29, 2005

Getting started

My editor says a blog should begin with introductions, so here goes.
I’m Jeff Gelles. I’ve been the consumer columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer since 2001 and a consumer writer since 1996. When somebody asks what that means, I like to say that I cover the marketplace from a consumer’s perspective.
Consumer Inq isn’t just an attempt to re-create the same sort of coverage online. My hope is to use the Internet’s advantages – especially its immediacy and interactiveness – to take the genre where it’s never been before.
For that, I’ll need your help: questions, ideas, feedback. If you disagree with something, don’t be shy. I'll freely admit that I often know less about a subject than readers with firsthand experience. I want to learn all I can. (To contact me, click here or call 215-854-4558.)
After all, we're in this together. As a consumer writer, I strive to be dispassionate, but I have an undeniable conflict of interest: I'm a consumer, too.
Just like you, I shop at stores, surf the Web for information and bargains, and argue over the occasional late fee. I buy prescription drugs, and might even ask my doctor about a new one I hear about on TV. I get lured by some ads and put off by others. (You’ll never hear me defending online pop-ups, even if they do help pay the bills on this site.)
Just like you, I worry about insurance coverage, credit scores, and my wife’s aging automobile. I get spammed and phished and bothered by telemarketers – oh, excuse me, survey-takers.
Just like you, I’ve been slammed and crammed and maybe even scammed.
As a consumer writer, I gather information on all these subjects, and many more, on a daily basis. Consumer Inq will allow me to share more of that, and more quickly, than I can in the paper.
Of course, in my role as a journalist, I have some advantages over ordinary consumers. I can usually get past the endless phone trees and voice mail at a company, and get answers if not action. I wish I could intervene on your behalf, but unless it’s a subject I’m writing about, I really can’t.
But I can make this promise: Read Consumer Inq regularly, along with my columns in The Inquirer, and you’ll become a smarter, more knowledgeable consumer. And the more you know, the better off you'll be.

2 Comments:

Blogger Daniel Rubin said...

Can you point me to a source to figure out the best credit card providers - those with the best rate and least usurious fees?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005  
Anonymous survey takers said...

I think Jeff Gelles has a great blog! I've been surfing around everywhere and just love to read all this stuff. I don't have a blog to contribute to but found a place where you can get a free target gift card. I think they are limiting it so you may wanna hurry on over. the site is Target Gift Card Keep up the great work, I love Blogger!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005  

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