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Consumer Watch: American, GM, and Wal-Mart
American Airlines has acknowledged that their passengers have had a rough few weeks, but says they are working to fix issues. The airline saw its on-time performance plunge to 59 percent in September, while during the same month Delta, Southwest and US Airways were all well above 85 percent. The drop has been attributed to pilots writing up extra maintenance requests as part of an unsanctioned job action. The airline has cut flights, added reserve crews and extra planes to cover last minute delays.
General Motors will hire up to 1,500 workers for a new computer technology center near Detroit. This is in addition to the 500 people the carmaker plans to hire for a tech center in Austin, Texas. The move is an effort to bring 90 percent of information technology in-house. GM plans to hire 10,000 people for four new technology centers over the next several years, in an effort to get breakthrough ideas into the company's cars and trucks. The other two sites have yet to be announced.
Walmart and American Express are joining forces on a prepaid card that will offer unique services designed to help shoppers manage their finances. The program, called Bluebird, acts like a checking account, but without fees. There will be no minimum balance, annual fees, or overdraft charges. Bluebird will also allow customers to deposit a check by taking a picture of it with a smartphone and will offer the same fraud protections as other credit and debit cards.