Comcast Launches New Support Forums For Customers To Help Each Other

Comcast Launches New Support Forums For Customers To Help Each Other

Comcast is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in improving its public image (and hopefully its customer service), and part of that revamp is taking place in the newly relaunched Comcast support forums, where customers can get help from the people best poised to answer their questions: other Comcast customers. [More]

(Paxton Holley)

For Better Or Worse, Crystal Pepsi May Be Coming Back

Back in 1992-93, my senior year of high school, every supermarket and convenience store in the Orlando area seemed packed to the gills with Crystal Pepsi. But almost as quickly as the clear cola appeared on the scene, it had vanished into the ether to join other failed fizzy drinks in the soda afterlife. But some still hold fond memories of Crystal Pepsi’s brief time among mortals and it looks like the product may be due for a return from the grave. [More]

(Morton Fox)

Court Rules Parking Meter “Robin Hoods” Are Protected By First Amendment

A city in New Hampshire says that its parking enforcement officers have been harassed and kept from doing their duties by a group of “Robin Hoods” who follow the officers around, not only putting coins in expired meters before cars can be ticketed, but videotaping and speaking rudely to them. Yesterday, the state’s highest court ruled that this behavior is protected by the First Amendment, but will give the city one more chance to argue for some sort of injunction to put some distance between the Robin Hoods and the officers. [More]

Two States Probe Apple Music Over Antitrust Concerns

Two States Probe Apple Music Over Antitrust Concerns

When Apple moved into the e-book market several years ago, the company colluded with the country’s largest book publishers to fix prices and gain a foothold in the market. Now as Apple jumps into the subscription streaming music business, at least two states are asking whether the company may be repeating itself. [More]

House Passes Permanent Ban On Tax For Internet Service

House Passes Permanent Ban On Tax For Internet Service

In 1998, Congress passed a temporary moratorium on state taxes collected for Internet access (though a number of states were still allowed to collect them). The ban has been extended numerous times in the 17 years since, but is set to expire again this fall. Rather than merely kick the can down the road with another extension, the House of Representatives has voted (again) to make the moratorium permanent. [More]

(jayRaz)

Tech Industry Asks President To Please Not Weaken Encryption

While U.S. lawmakers recently passed legislation that would end certain types of invasive snooping by federal agencies, the Justice Dept. continues to push electronics manufacturers for backdoors that would allow law enforcement to access encrypted devices. A pair of trade groups representing a wide variety of electronics and online businesses have written President Obama asking him to consider the “global implications” of these efforts. [More]

Pandora CFO Not Worried By Apple Music Announcement

Pandora CFO Not Worried By Apple Music Announcement

Yesterday’s Apple Music announcement was seen as a long-overdue swipe at streaming music services like Pandora and Spotify that have dominated the market that Apple helped to create with the introduction of the iPod and iTunes, along with the iPhone and iPad mobile devices that people listen to the music on. Given Apple’s ability to instantly reach the large swath of iOS users, you wouldn’t fault these competitors from being frightened, but the Chief Financial Officer of Pandora doesn’t seem terribly worried. [More]

(Yusuf C)

No More Carry-On Bottled Beverages For Carnival Cruise Passengers

Carnival Cruise passengers traveling any time after July 8 be warned that you’ll no longer be able to sneak on a water bottle full of vodka… or gin… or water for that matter, as the cruise line will no longer allow most bottled beverages to be carried on board their ships. [More]

Is Comcast Running Manipulative “Push Poll” In Response To Philly Customer Service Study?

Is Comcast Running Manipulative “Push Poll” In Response To Philly Customer Service Study?

Earlier this spring, Philadelphia released its Needs Assessment Report regarding Comcast, the city’s primary cable/broadband provider, one of its biggest employers, and the tenant of its tallest tower. The results of the survey were not good, with 99% of the written responses unfavorable to Comcast. At the time, the company said the report was innaccurate and said it would “deliver comprehensive proof” to the city. A new telephone poll being conducted on Comcast’s behalf appears to be in response to the city’s report, but some who’ve taken the survey say the questions being asked are designed to put Comcast in the best possible light. [More]

Telecom Union Says Verizon Is Neglecting Landlines

Telecom Union Says Verizon Is Neglecting Landlines

Though more than 40% of U.S. homes are now cellphone-only, many millions of Americans still have landline service. But a union representing 35,000 Verizon employees says the company is refusing to repair broken copper-line networks. [More]

GM May Face Federal Wire Fraud Charges Over Ignition Defect

GM May Face Federal Wire Fraud Charges Over Ignition Defect

We recently told you that prosecutors were considering bringing criminal charges against General Motors over the long-delayed ignition switch recall that resulted in more than 100 deaths, and now the picture is becoming clearer as to what charges the car maker might face. [More]

Amazon Now Selling Ad Space On Shipping Boxes

Amazon Now Selling Ad Space On Shipping Boxes

Amazon has been using its boxes to advertise its own products and services for years, but now the e-commerce giant is realizing that there might be some money to be made by shipping customers’ packages in cartons branded by paying advertisers. [More]

Students At Closed Corinthian Colleges May Ask For Federal Student Loan Relief

Students At Closed Corinthian Colleges May Ask For Federal Student Loan Relief

Getting a student loan discharged is not easy. Even bankruptcy is not usually enough to shake off that debt. But recent students at schools under the Corinthian Colleges Inc. [CCI] umbrella (Everest, WyoTech, Heald) will get the chance to request that some of all their federal student loan obligation be lifted. [More]

Apple Music Combines Streaming, Radio, Social Media For $10/Month

Apple Music Combines Streaming, Radio, Social Media For $10/Month

As expected, Apple has announced a new subscription music service intended to replace the Beats service it acquired when it purchased Beats Audio in 2014. Apple Music will be a combination streaming service, online radio station and social media platform for musicians. [More]

Apple Pay To Include Store Credit, Rewards Cards

Apple Pay To Include Store Credit, Rewards Cards

Apple Pay is expanding its usability beyond just your bank-issued debit and credit cards. Today, the company announced that the payment platform will soon include the ability to pay with some store-branded credit cards and for users to access certain store rewards cards. [More]

(Alan Sheffield)

Does Booking Direct With The Airline Actually Offer You The Lowest Price?

It’s no secret that some airlines have little love for online travel-booking sites. Southwest only lets travelers book fares directly through the airline and Delta has cut ties with a number of booking/listing sites, including TripAdvisor. The airline industry claims that booking directly will get consumers the lowest prices on airfare, but is that true? [More]

(Tony Crescibene)

Net Neutrality Hasn’t Stopped Charter From Investing

In the heated lead-up to the FCC’s vote on new net neutrality rules, the cable and telecom industry repeatedly made claims that the new regulations would harm investment and curb innovation. But yet another top cable CEO is now saying that no, net neutrality isn’t having a negative effect on its network investments. [More]

This is probably the face the user made when he realized he was being asked to pay $20 for pirating a single Friends episode that's probably airing on a half-dozen stations this week.

Pirate A 20-Year-Old Friends Episode, Get Hit With A $20 Bill From Warner Bros.

A quick search on our TV menu here in the Consumerist Cave finds that there are more than 150 episodes of Friends set to air on various channels — both cable and broadcast — over the next couple of weeks. Not bad for a show that’s been off the air for over a decade and which is also streaming in its entirety on Netflix. Given this ready availability, we don’t know why one would download a pirated copy of a Friends episode, but if you do, prepare to be slapped with a bill for $20 from Warner Bros. [More]