Would you buy a car valued at $12,000 for ... $14? Han Bin did. Or, rather, will if a court in Shanghai, China, rules in his favor. Han, an office worker, found a preowned Volkswagen Passat on the nation's No. 1 auction website and decided to act. Imagine his delight when the bidding deadline arrived and no one else had made an offer. But the seller, Yongda Automobile Co., wasn't delighted; it tried to renege. So Han sued. Said a Yongda representative, "We tried to talk to him, but he's very stubborn." Then he conceded, "Most people in his situation would be."
Pro basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal, according to a business partner, "is now the biggest landlord in the country." That may be true in the figurative sense. The 7-1, 335-pound Los Angeles Lakers center has agreed to pay $100 million for 21 affordable-housing complexes he'll resell to low-income people. O'Neal could have chosen to develop luxury housing, but he said, "that's not how I want to go."
If you haven't canceled your local telephone service in favor of using a cellphone exclusively, are you happy with your provider? If it's Cincinnati Bell, you probably are, judging from the results of a new nationwide survey of 11,500 residential users by marketing research specialist J.D. Power & Associates. For the second straight year, Cincinnati Bell rated No. 1 among local phone companies in customer satisfaction, based on cost, billing, reliability, customer service, promotions, and image. The survey's top 10 finishers and their scores (with 100 as the industry average):
Cincinnati Bell 125
Bell South 110
MCI WorldCom 107
AT&T Broadband 97