Clarkhoward.com, entitled Team Clark Howard’s Consumer Action Center, is one of the country's best consumer resources. This extensive website is maintained by Clark Howard, a nationally-syndicated talk show host, author, and consumer affairs expert and his staff and volunteers.
The website includes links to more than 100 consumer related web sites, some which are not the traditional manner in which “consumer issues” are defined, providing possibilities few would likely generate on their own, all of which are organized by topic. There is information on autos, banking, employment, insurance, home repair, medical treatment and a plethora of other useful topics from “accounting” to “unclaimed money”.
The website has special sections dealing with 529 plans to save for college, frequently updated travel tips, telephone rates and internet deals. There are investing guides and calculators, sample letters dealing with hassles with companies, collection agencies, mailing lists, and landlord repair requests.
The Library section contains advice on a variety of consumer issues for visitors to read about. A search engine and the opportunity to submit questions by email or telephone offer other ways to obtain consumer information. From the website, one can listen to the popular Clark Howard radio show in streaming format. Regardless of an incredibly busy schedule, he speaks personally with many callers and answers most emails himself, (email link and phone number listed on site), in addition to addressing issues, questions and consumer problems posed by callers in real time on his radio program (Atlanta and outside Atlanta toll free phone numbers listed on the site).
One can also order Clark's popular and practical books (No ghost writers need apply. These books are all Clark!) which provide useful advice on topics such as personal investing, locating bargains, and teaching children financial skills (his newest is entitled Clark Smart Parents, Clark Smart Children). He provides a link for those who are interested, that includes descriptions of each book, the most likely places to find them, and at what price, even including ways in which individuals can potentially qualify for discounts when purchasing them. Finally, there are forums in which consumers and staff members discuss topics of interest, as well as personal appearances (booking information is also available on the site).
This is an extremely professional, easy to navigate site, which includes a wide variety of types of information, media presentation styles, and resources for visitors to access.
When using the site it becomes quickly evident this was no over night endeavor, but a web site which could only have been created with a great deal of time, effort, money, and a contingency of consultants, as well as the same resources available in order to maintain it and frequently update each aspect included. After all that, most would likely be satisfied with keeping the site format while updating different parts of it just frequently enough to keep it fresh and the number of visitors constant. Not Clark Howard. Dubbed “One of the hardest working yet most well balanced individuals in the industry today,” he’s dissatisfied unless he’s providing not only the most up to date resources but in the most up to date format as well. Accordingly, he will be launching a new website on July 14th with all the benefits found on his current site along with a host of new features such as an advanced search function, presented in a new, even easier to use format.
Clark Howard is one of the few individuals on the radio or television today that provides advice and feedback which is not only extensively researched, but also focused on the needs of his audience as opposed to merely pushing his own personal agenda. His various endeavors include something for just about everyone, something that most could identify with, find worthwhile or useful in some manner, even if just providing access to onef the alternative web sites he supplies the links to. This is a site definitely worth spending time exploring, and regardless of one’s initial opinion, merits at least a cursory investigation of the new web site version which promises to surpass any similar site by a mile.
When it comes to practical consumer information, the Clarkhoward.com website is one of the internet's biggest bargains.