Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:
How about a better cancel culture?
"Do a search for the phrase 'Why is it so hard to cancel?' You'll find anguished posts involving dozens if not hundreds of companies whose cancellation policies left customers at wit's end," said David Lazarus at the Los Angeles Times. Last month, online education company Age of Learning agreed to pay $10 million to the Federal Trade Commission over illegal marketing and billing practices. Its website, ABCmouse, "lured people into paying $59.95 for a 12-month membership without adequately disclosing that the membership would automatically renew each year." According to the FTC, Age of Learning wouldn't allow customers to cancel by phone, email, or customer support, but required them to follow "a lengthy and confusing cancellation path." Unfortunately, the settlement with Age of Learning is the exception, because while there are laws against unfair business practices, there's "nothing that says it's illegal to make the cancellation process unreasonably difficult."
LinkedIn's top tricks
With traditional networking methods gone during the pandemic, "LinkedIn has been promoted from obligatory to essential," said Charlotte Cowles at The New York Times. Regular engagement with the site through liking and commenting can "get you on people's radars." The "skills" section of your LinkedIn profile is especially important, because "recruiters often hunt for candidates using skills as keywords." LinkedIn says you'll be 20 percent more likely to get hired if your skills have been verified by colleagues. Data collected in August also suggests "users are four times more likely to hear back from a job recruiter or hiring manager if they applied for a posting within 10 minutes."
No more white-collar layoff freeze
White-collar layoffs are mounting, said Matt Egan at CNN. Last week, ExxonMobil, Charles Schwab, and Raytheon "announced plans to cut thousands of white-collar jobs" on top of major layoffs already publicized by firms like Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Salesforce, and Allstate. "At the onset of the pandemic, some companies pledged not to lay off employees," and white-collar workers have generally fared better during the pandemic than their blue-collar counterparts, thanks in large part to their ability to work from home. However, it's now clear that the "moratorium is over," as corporate America tightens its belt in anticipation of a rough economic winter.
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