The government needs to double down on Chinese counterfeits

Dear John: I enjoyed your reporting about Juul cigarettes being counterfeited by the Chinese. 

But never mind Juul. Check out how the Chinese are making US postage stamps worth billions. There is no bar code on them and they are sold all over the US. 

No wonder the US Postal Service is losing billions. There is no way to check if the stamps you buy are really from the post office. D.A. 

Dear D.A.: I’ve written a number of times about fake postage stamps. A source of mine even offered to show US postal inspectors where they were being made in New York City. They weren’t interested.

I hadn’t heard about the Chinese making counterfeit stamps, but that wouldn’t surprise me. If you can make fake Juul e-cigarettes and the cartridges, you can certainly print stamps.

As I said in the column you are referring to, the US government is going to have to stop the Chinese from stealing intellectual property and counterfeiting goods if it is ever going to have an effective trade deal. And it’s going to be tough for the Chinese government to stop the counterfeiters. This is big business over there.

Dear John: My problem deals with Verizon FiOS billing. 

For the first year, the promotional price for phone/internet/TV was around $93, with two movie channels. 

When the year ended last October, the price jumped to about $130. I have basic TV, no movie channels or any premiums. 

I don’t do spread sheets, tax returns or any intricate things on the internet, which is the slowest at 50/50. I was also told that I was bumped up to 100/100, but my billing still shows the 50/50. 

I have spoken to Verizon reps monthly to see if they have better deals. 

In January I spoke to a gentleman at FiOS who looked over my account and told me my bill will be $102 going forward. 

February’s bill came and it was the same $130. So I called again, and spoke to another guy, who again went through the same checking. And he said he did see my January call and that I was supposed to get the new rate. 

He also went through half an hour’s worth of checking and also told me that my billing will come to $102, including taxes, through October 2019. 

Again, the March bill came to the same $130. 

Yesterday I spoke to Vicky, who checked everything again, saw the two previous calls (they are taped) and told me that nothing was ever put through. Plus the fact that I will lose another one of their “discounts” in October. 

These are reps of Verizon — do I have any recourse? It’s time they gave us seniors a break. S.K. 

Dear S.K.: As you know, I contacted Verizon, and I think this matter has been resolved.

You are telling me that you will now pay $116 a month. That’s not as good as the $102 you were promised, but your new deal supposedly includes extended discounts.

Hey, if you’re happy, then I’m happy. But you should have quibbled the price down to $102 a month.

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