Dish Customers Get Cartoon Network, CNN Back After Month-Long Blackout

Dish Customers Get Cartoon Network, CNN Back After Month-Long Blackout

Just hours after averting (for now) a blackout of CBS-owned stations in 14 markets, Dish Network has made nice with another of its foes in the broadcasting world, ending the month-long blackout of Turner channels like CNN, HLN, and the Cartoon Network. [More]

Why Big Companies Spend So Much Money On Washington: It Works Even Better Than You Think

Why Big Companies Spend So Much Money On Washington: It Works Even Better Than You Think

That money talks in Washington is conventional wisdom for a reason. Corporations, industries, and a handful of extraordinarily wealthy individuals spend big bucks on campaigns and on lobbying not for fun, but because they expect to get something back in return. And while adding up all those expenditures is comparatively straightforward, finding out who gets how much back has been harder… until now. A new study finds that billions of dollars might go into D.C., but trillions are coming back out. [More]

(SarahMcGowen)

You Can Now Share Tweets Using Twitter’s Direct Messages

Though it might seem like a feature that should’ve been in place already, the ability for Twitter users to share tweets of interest via the platform’s direct messages option is something the company just rolled out this week. [More]

(Natasha L.)

Amazon Reportedly Launching Hotel Booking Site In 2015

Consumers preparing to go on vacation might peruse Amazon for the necessities: sunscreen, rafts, hiking backpacks –– you name it and the online retailer probably has it. Unless, of course, you were looking to book your lodging. But that’s about to change now that the e-tailer is reportedly gearing up to launch its own hotel-booking service that would compete with the likes of TripAdvisor and Booking.com.. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Southwest Airlines Sued Over “Early Bird” Fees That Don’t Guarantee Priority Boarding

When you pay a $25 fee to board a flight — especially one without assigned seats — ahead of other passengers, you might be ticked off to arrive at the gate and find out that not only aren’t you in the highest-priority boarding group, but that some of the people in front of you didn’t pay any additional money for their place in line. This is why a pair of Southwest passengers have filed a class-action suit against the airline, claiming the airline’s Early Bird Check-In program is “deceptive, fraudulent, and misleading.” [More]

(OrderWithMe)

Zappos Is Opening An Enormous Real-Life Holiday Pop-Up Store

Zappos is famous for its attentive customer service, but how would that translate to real life? Customers will have the opportunity to find out from this weekend until December 31, as Zappos opens a 20,000 square foot holiday pop-up store in downtown Las Vegas. Since it’s Vegas, the store will be open 24/7 the whole time (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas) and offer an integrated retail and online shopping experience, especially to customers who download the app before they shop. [More]

Boston TSA Agents Find Dozens Of Credit Cards Under Different Names Stuffed Inside Teddy Bear

Boston TSA Agents Find Dozens Of Credit Cards Under Different Names Stuffed Inside Teddy Bear

Stuffed animals serve a simple purpose: To be cute and cuddly. As such, they’re imbued with a sort of innocence, so far as inanimate object can be, which is perhaps why someone thought no one would notice if a sweet little teddy bear was stuffed chock full of what could be stolen credit cards. [More]

(Eric Smith)

Lexus Recalls Nearly 423,000 Sedans Because Fuel Leaks Can Lead To Fires

The only time most consumers want to see a car catch on fire is during a high-action movie. So it’s probably for the best that Toyota issued a recall of nearly 423,000 Lexus vehicles for a fuel leak issue that increases the risk of fire. [More]

(jetsetpress)

CFPB Proposes Rules To Protect Consumers From Shoddy Foreclosure Practices

Since the recession began in the late 2000s, many homeowners have struggled to keep their homes, often fighting off aggressive and shady foreclosure attempts. Over the years, consumers groups have fought to extend protections for these consumers. On Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took steps to ensure that homeowners and struggling borrowers are treated fairly by mortgage servicers. [More]

Aereo Finally Gives Up The Ghost, Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Aereo Finally Gives Up The Ghost, Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Five months after the Supreme Court issued the fateful verdict against Aereo and a little more than a month after the company tried to convince the Federal Communications Commission that it was now just like cable companies in an attempt to save itself from the dustbin it seems the streaming broadcast TV service has thrown in the towel, filing for bankruptcy last night. [More]

(Ron Kroetz)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are ten of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Get Ready For Parents To Fight Over Pink Plastic Pregnant Puppies

Get Ready For Parents To Fight Over Pink Plastic Pregnant Puppies

Many readers will recognize the product at the top of this page: It’s Puppy Surprise, a toy originally introduced in 1991. The gimmick: inside you will find three, four, or five puppies with different markings and personalities. Puppy Surprise came back on the market this fall, and has been so popular that the company had to pull its ads off TV. [More]

This is only what giant Amazon robots look like in my imagination. (chinguri

Amazon Deploys Robot Army To Assemble Your Orders

While government regulations are keeping Amazon’s delivery drones out of American skies for now, the company is still looking for ways to remove slow, error-prone humans from the fulfillment process in order to save time and money. One cool piece of machinery that will help the company with the holiday rush are robots that don’t pick items off the shelves: they bring the shelves to the human order-pickers. [More]

Dish customers in 14 markets will only be able to see the 326 Big Bang Theory reruns that air every night in syndication if no deal is reached with CBS.

CBS Blackout Still Looms For Dish Customers

UPDATE: A blackout has been averted for the time-being, with CBS and Dish agreeing at the 11th hour to continue negotiating. So football fans with Dish will at least get through this weekend without having to worry about missing games on CBS. [More]

(Phil Jones)

Discover, Wells Fargo To Offer Private Student Loan Modifications

Consumers facing difficulty in paying back their private student loans often have a difficult time receiving any relief from lenders. While some smaller banks have relaxed their repayment terms for good borrowers in the past, two of the nation’s largest private lenders are set to make the same opportunities available to private student loan borrowers. [More]

Lewis Black Rants About The Expansion Of Black Friday

Lewis Black Rants About The Expansion Of Black Friday

Most Americans don’t go shopping on Black Friday or on Thanksgiving Day, but it remains a popular topic for us in the media to yap about. This year, the increasing number of stores opening on Thanksgiving Day and growing controversy over the practice has prompted Lewis Black, professional ranter, to weigh in. [More]

Comcast unveiled a new feature that allows customers to track their service technician.

Is Comcast’s New Appointment Tracker A Time Saver Or An Unrealistic Concept?

We all know that time is precious, and for once it seems like Comcast is agreeing with consumers on that point. The company, which has a decidedly checkered consumer relationship, unveiled a new attempt to project a more consumer-friendly appearance by beginning tests of a new app that allows people waiting on a service call to track where a technician is currently located. [More]

Users who support sites through Google Contribute will see blocked-out boxes instead of ads when they visit participating sites.

Google’s New “Contributor” Feature Lets You Pay Sites In Exchange For No Ads

Taking a cue from the world of smartphone apps, where users can either get a free version that includes ads or pay a premium to get an ad-free experience, Google has announced a new product — Google Contributions, which will allow users to pay participating sites in exchange for not being bombarded with ads. [More]