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  • iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) — The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, is responding to complaints that it will host a women-only screening of Wonder Woman next week.Some moviegoers called out the theater for separating men from women and asked if male-only screenings were in the works.In response to the backlash, Morgan Hendrix, creative manager for the theater, told ABC News, "Providing an experience where women truly reign supreme has incurred the wrath of trolls [and] only serves to deepen our belief that we're doing something right."She continued, "As a result, we will be expanding this program across the country and inviting women everywhere to join us as we celebrate this iconic superheroine in our theaters," which include cities like New York and Denver.The fuss began Wednesday, when the Alamo Drafthouse sent out a press release announcing a women-only screening of Wonder Woman, which hits theaters next Friday. The film, directed by Patty Jenkins, stars Gal Gadot as the iconic superhero."Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying 'No Guys Allowed' for one special night at the Alamo Ritz. And when we say “People Who Identify As Women Only,” we mean it. Everyone working at this screening -- venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team -- will be female," according to the release.The demand was so high that the theater added a second screening for just women. That's when the theater was bombarded with complaints on social media."I love Alamo Drafthouse and watch all my movies with y'all (and still will), but separating any group from another is very odd," one man wrote on Facebook. Other comments shared similar sentiments about separation.Alamo Drafthouse defend the decision on Facebook, writing, "Very sorry if you feel excluded. We thought it might be kinda fun -- for one screening -- to celebrate a character who's meant a great deal to women for close to eight decades. Again, truly, truly, truly, truly sorry that we've offended you. These screenings are just a way to celebrate the character and how important she's been to women over the last eight decades."But on a lighter note, the theater had fun in some of its replies.One man asked if the theater ever hosted a men-only night, to which the theater responded, "We've never done showings where you had to be a man to get in, but we *did* show the Entourage movie a few years ago."After another person suggested doing "a special screening for IT that's only for those who identify as clowns," Alamo again responded with snark, "We might actually have to steal that clown idea. Thanks."Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Don’t you hate it when you buy something and then you find out a few weeks later it’s been discounted? We all hate feeling like we overpaid.The good news is there are two apps that can help you with that: Earny and Paribus.Earny: Good for those with Chase and Citi credit cardsMany credit cards offer price protection: if the price of the item you purchased goes down within 90 days of when you bought it, the credit card company will refund you the difference. This sounds great in theory, but who has the time to crosscheck current prices against their credit card statements?That’s where Earny comes in. Once you download the app, you give it permission to access your credit card account online. It combs through all your purchases for 90 days. If it notes a discrepancy between what you paid and current pricing, Earny does the heavy lifting of submitting a request for a refund from the credit card company.ABC News tried out the app, and since installing, it has acquired $84 in refunds from a book that went down in price by $4 and a board game that has been discounted $6.17.Currently, Earny only covers Chase and Citibank credit cards and they charge a 25 percent fee for all refunds they secure.Earny’s founder Oded Vakrat says, “The average Earny user receives more than $300 back per year on their purchases ... It usually takes two to five days to start seeing refunds from the moment you register to Earny. Some users see refunds within hours, since Earny can look as far back as 90 days to find those old purchase you may have overpaid on."Paribus: Good for those that don’t have Chase or Citi cards or who pay for a lot of expedited shippingParibus accesses your purchase history through your email inbox. It looks through your messages to find purchase receipts. It also watches any price fluctuations and will submit a refund request on your behalf if it sees a drop, but it has a new feature that’s even more genius. It tracks shipping times so that if a package is delivered later than promised, Paribus submits a request for a refund. Paribus uses your inbox to access receipts so it’s not limited to any one credit card company, but they too charge a 25 percent fee on any refunds they claim for you.Both of these apps are granted access to your personal information and credit cards. So ABC News reached out to the both Paribus and Earny to ask how they use user’s data. Both companies say they do not share data with marketers."Paribus reviews the contents of email only from merchant accounts that customers choose to link to the service," Paribus said in a statement. "Paribus uses this information to identify savings opportunities for our customers only. We do not sell or use data for any other purpose."Earny CEO Oded Vakrat said, "Earny doesn't access any data from credit card transactions. Instead, we get the necessary information to protect your purchases from emailed receipts. We do not share any personal information and it is not in our interest to do so. Our mission at Earny, is to protect consumers from overpaying and to get them money back when prices drop on items they've purchased. By doing so, we give consumers the confidence to shop knowing that they will always pay the best price. Our customers' trust in Earny is key!"Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Better Business Bureau is issuing a nationwide warning to customers about Payless Car Rental, a major car rental company found at airports across the country.The BBB says it has received more than 800 complaints about Payless in the past three years and has given the company an “F” rating. Now the organization is urging attorney generals in four states -- California, Florida, Oklahoma and New Jersey -- to investigate Payless and its parent company, Avis."They have sales practice issues and contract issues and billing issues with consumers," Amie Mitchell, president of the BBB serving Eastern Oklahoma, told ABC News correspondent Gio Benitez.Questions about fees are a major part of a proposed class-action lawsuit filed against Payless after unhappy customers launched a Facebook group claiming they were charged for services they said they didn’t want.Greg Kohn, one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, told ABC News, “Payless has used deceptive business practices in order to lure customers into their shop to rent their vehicles. They use low rates online to get people to use them over other rental agencies, but when you get there they slam you with additional fees.”One of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, Richard Alexander, a police officer, says he rented a car from Payless in Las Vegas for a six-day family vacation with an online quote of $217 from a third-party website. He says he walked to the counter wearing a police officer shirt and badge. "The gentleman that waited on us thanked me for my service and offered me a free upgrade," Alexander told ABC News. “I specifically asked him, ‘It’s going to be $217, right?’ I was told yes. I told him, 'I’m covered under my own insurance.' And I believe he was told two or three times I do not need this.”Alexander says he initialed the agreement expecting to pay a total of $217. But when he returned the vehicle, the total was $528 and included, among other things, insurance and roadside service protection, charges he says he didn’t want.ABC News Producers rents 4 cars: 1 found with 'dangerous' tiresABC News producers rented four cars from Payless locations in New York and in New Jersey and had them inspected by Audra Fordin of Great Bear Auto and Body Shop in Flushing, New York. Three of the four cars passed her standard inspection. But when Fordin inspected the car rented from the Payless location at John F. Kennedy International Airport, she told ABC News that all four tires were bald and “dangerous.” She also found holes and called one tire “a blowout waiting to happen.”ABC News called Payless, which had the car towed. The manager apologized and offered a full refund.Loss damage waiver insurance included in ABC News Producers’ billBut that's not all ABC News encountered while renting from Payless. With the two cars producers rented from the LaGuardia and JFK Airport offices, we got exactly what we reserved online, economy cars with no fees for added services. But when producers went to the Newark Liberty International Airport Payless car rental location, specifically asking for a car with no extra charges, they were given a contract that included a $29 per day charge for loss damage waiver insurance. When producers asked the Payless representative about the charge, they were told, “You accepted the total. It comes with it.” But the contract producers were given states in two different places that loss damage waiver insurance is optional. Producers were also charged $5.99 per day for Roadside Service Protection. The Roadside Service Plan appears to be optional on Payless’ website.When returning the rental car to the Newark office, producers asked about the loss damage waiver insurance. They were told if the insurance was taken off, the rate would have gone up. “You take the insurance, you get a cheaper rate. If you don’t, yo
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  • Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — On May 23, a new millionaire was made when a winner came forward to claim a $24 million New York Lottery prize just two days before the ticket was set to expire, according to a news release from the organization.The lucky individual, who will be identified at a later date pending New York Lottery security's background review, said news coverage of the soon-to-expire ticket prompted them to search for the ticket in their home where it was found among other old tickets, said the news release.The individual purchased the single winning ticket on May 25, 2016 at Renu Corp Grocery & Tobacco located at 158 Church Street in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City."We are thrilled that this lucky winner was able to locate this life-changing ticket," said Gweneth Dean, Director of the Commission’s Division of the Lottery in the news release. "We look forward to introducing this multimillionaire who came forward in the nick of time."The winner came to the Lottery's Beaver Street Customer Service Center in Lower Manhattan to claim the multi-million dollar prize with just two days to spare before the deadline of May 25.Lottery prizes can be claimed up to a year after a drawing; if they are unclaimed, the winnings are returned to the prize pool for future winners.The tickets winning numbers were 05-12-13-22-25-35 Bonus #:51. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Doug Terry(WASHINGTON) — Officials from two leading auto safety organizations are calling for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency tasked with investigating potential defects, to investigate a series of fires in parked BMWs following an ABC News report last week.Meanwhile, several new consumer complaints from BMW owners reporting similar incidents have appeared in NHTSA’s database and on BMW owners’ blogs in the past several days.Calling the 43 fires uncovered by ABC News “disturbing,” Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, said NHTSA should take a serious look at the reports."They definitely should," Shahan said. “They should be investigating and getting documents from BMW and find out what's going on.”Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, also urged NHTSA to investigate."There needs to be a more aggressive approach to look at this," Gillan said.A NHTSA spokesperson said Tuesday the agency “is monitoring this issue and urges anyone with information on this issue to contact NHTSA.”The agency is directing consumers to its website, NHTSA.gov, to send a complaint and upload accompanying photos, police reports, insurance reports and other information that may be relevant.“NHTSA technical experts review each and every call, letter and online report of an alleged safety problem that is filed," a spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News.One of the new complaints submitted to NHTSA claimed that a 2015 328XI caught fire while parked in June 2016, meaning the vehicle was then just a year old.Another complaint reported a fire in a BMW that had been parked on a driveway for four days. “Awoke to a car completely engulfed in flames,” the report states.Additional consumer complaints, some of them echoing the problems outlined in the ABC News report, poured in through social media among the thousands of comments posted in reaction to the report.“There are a lot more people out there,” wrote one viewer on Facebook. “This happened to my BMW 6 months ago. I have video and photos.”Based on consumer complaints to NHTSA, fire department reports, local news reports, complaints from online blogs and interviews with BMW owners, ABC News created its own database of parked BMW vehicle fire incidents in North America over the last five years among various years and models.Each vehicle was checked through NHTSA’s database and through Carfax, a site that provides a vehicle’s history, using its vehicle identification number (VIN) or its license plate number. Any vehicle that had an open recall for a fire-related issue was eliminated from the list.ABC News also provided BMW with detailed information – including VIN, the name of the owner and the date of the incident – for the 17 cases highlighted in our investigation so the company could have the opportunity to investigate and comment on each case.BMW issued a response to ABC News’ investigation on the company’s website, saying that fires are “rare” but the company “takes every incident very seriously.”“We at BMW empathize with anyone who has experienced a vehicle fire,” the company said. “We understand it is a traumatic event and the safety of our customers is of utmost importance to us.”BMW also said the vehicle information ABC News provided showed that these vehicles “span an age range of 1-15 years, accumulated mileage of up to 232,250 miles and multiple generations and model types. In the few cases that we have inspected and are able to determine root cause, we have not seen any pattern related to quality or component failure. Vehicle fires can result from a wide variety of external reasons unrelated to product defect.”A spokesperson further suggested several other potential causes of car fires other than
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