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What were your best and worst consumer happenings this week?

Which consumer experience cheered you this week and which one made you want to scream or weep?

Here’s what happened to me this week:

My best consumer experience: Shopping at the Olympia Food Co-op

Blueberries IMG_1488

I’ve been vacationing in Florida, and now that I’m back, I’m enjoying shopping at the Olympia Food Co-op again.

The co-op has such great organic vegetables, and the organic nuts, which I eat a lot of, are wonderfully fresh.

I also like the co-ops large selection of organic food items – soups, crackers, and bulk cereals and grains.

Thanks for being there, Olympia Food Co-op. I appreciate you.

My worst consumer experience: Going to court for a speeding ticket

Thurston County Courthouse IMG_5114

On June 24, I was stopped on Interstate 5 near the Nisqually Delta for speeding. A policeman standing near his motorcycle pointed a radar gun at me.

Not knowing what to do exactly, I signed up for a contested hearing. I planned to research what action to take when I returned from my vacation.

When I got back, I discovered it was too late to request the officers sworn statement. You have to do it 14 days before the hearing. If I’d wanted to subpoena the officer or any witnesses, that also would have needed to be done 14 days in advance.

I did some Internet research. Then on Tuesday before my Thursday court appearance, I went to the Thurston County District Court to observe court proceedings to see what I could learn about traffic violations.

I watched many DUI, a few thefts, and a couple of traffic infractions. Judge Samuel G. Meyer, who would be hearing my case, was polite, well organized, and sped through several dozen cases.

I decided to ask for a mitigation hearing. You admit you committed the infraction, and the judge has the ability to reduce your ticket.

Judge Meyer listened to what I had to say about why I was speeding and reduced my ticket from about $150 to $75.

I could have asked for a deferral. If you don’t commit another traffic violation in one year, the court won’t report the ticket to the state Department of Licensing. You can have only one infraction in seven years deferred. The administrative cost for a deferral is $150.

I didn’t ask for a deferral. My insurance company said my driving record is excellent, and if information about my ticket is referred to them, they wouldn’t pull my file.

What’s happening in your consumer life? Please leave a comment below to let me know about your great and less than stellar consumer moments this week.

Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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I was researching pilates classes and was surprised that prices in my neighborhood varied from $17 per class up to $90 for a private session. I've decided to start an aerobics class ($10/class) and later switch to pilates.


Hi Lisa,

Good for you for doing research. It's always a good idea for consumers to compare prices.

For my blog on the Seattle Post Intelligencer Web site, I just wrote about "How to Select an Auto Body Shop." Puget Sound Checkbook magazine found a wide variety in prices. Some shops charged 50 percent more for a specific repair.

See for details.



Ok Rita, no more speeding tickets!!!!


Hi Mona,

You're right. I have new behavior now. I watch the speed signs and work at only going two to four miles above them. It's working.


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