Scoop: 20/20 on ABC - Today, September 5, 2014
Auto Mechanic: "Joe the Mechanic," a 40-year veteran, shares some of the secrets about auto-repair… everything from secret billing codes like "gravy work"; to the "water flush"; to the so-called "idiot light." Joe exposes the ways some unscrupulous shop owners try to hose customers with unnecessary repairs and, in some cases, charge for work they did not even perform. "20/20" then tests some of Joe's assertions with a hidden camera investigation. Gio Benitez reports.
Cosmetic Saleswomen: Shaina Azad is a former cosmetic saleswoman who says she has exaggerated the benefits of products to get customers to purchase what she is pushing. "20/20" sets up its own shopping mall kiosk and hidden cameras - while Azad shows off the tried and true sales tactics that make anyone believe beauty can begin with a bottle. Will customers take the bait? Rebecca Jarvis reports.
Shoplifters: If shoplifting is an art form, Michael Pollara is its Michelangelo. He is the master of moving unpaid merchandise from the shelves to the open market - where he has sold enough hot property to afford him first class travel around the world. Pollara walks Matt Gutman through his tawdry tales of ripping off toy stores. Plus, "20/20" has surveillance footage captured on store security cameras exposing just how Pollara stole his way into shoplifting infamy.
Debt Collectors: Some debt collectors are leaving threatening messages that are sometimes so outrageous, they sound like pranks. But they are very real. And with 30 million people in collection or about to be, there is enormous pressure on the 150,000 collectors - working hard to get back America's unpaid debt. One woman was so terrorized by the tactics employed by the collector, she sued him. In an ironic twist, a judge awarded her more than $30,000. Now, if she can only collect on the collector. "20/20" pays a visit to the man behind the tormenting messages. Rebecca Jarvis reports.
Baristas: Coffee - the most valuable traded commodity on earth after oil. The average American worker spends $1,000 on it every year. Have you ever wondered what that beleaguered barista preparing your morning brew is thinking? Nick Watt talks to a bona fide Starbucks barista who spills the beans on what happens when a customer comes to the counter with an attitude.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir. David Sloan is senior executive producer.