Watch Out For Car Rental Companies’ Convenient Service To Pay Tolls

Watch Out For Car Rental Companies’ Convenient Service To Pay Tolls

A convenience fee is just that: a fee that you pay to avoid doing something inconvenient. For the convenience of not reading every page of his rental car agreement, reader Dov had to pay an extra $24.75 on his recent car rental. How does that work? He encountered PlatePass, a program where rental car companies charge customers extra for the privilege of breezing through toll gates. [More]

Investigation Finds Kids’ Clothes With Banned Drawstrings In N.Y. Thrift Stores

Investigation Finds Kids’ Clothes With Banned Drawstrings In N.Y. Thrift Stores

For the last decade or so, children’s clothing with drawstrings have been illegal to sell in this country. Such items still often go on the market, as our monthly Recall Roundups show, and older hand-me-downs may still have the offending strings. A recent investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office found banned kids’ clothes in the majority of thrift stores that it checked in the state. [More]

Pumpkin Spice Oreos: This Could Really Be Happening

Pumpkin Spice Oreos: This Could Really Be Happening

If you’re looking for something to dip into your Pumpkin Spice latte, Nabisco might have you covered. Yes, it’s yet another novelty Oreo flavor, and yet another pumpkin spice flavored something-or-other. Of course you can have Oreos for breakfast. Stop looking at me like that. [More]

Target Will Stay Open Slightly Later To Drum Up More Business

Target Will Stay Open Slightly Later To Drum Up More Business

While big-box discount competitor Walmart is trying a bold experiment in maybe sometimes putting more cashiers out on the floor this holiday season, Target is also trying something new to make shopping more convenient for customers. Starting this month, they will be open slightly longer hours. Instead of closing at 10 Monday through Saturday and 9 on Sunday, they will extend the hours of about half their stores by an hour or two. [More]

Former Providence Mayor’s Marinara Sauce Earned Only $3 For Charity

Former Providence Mayor’s Marinara Sauce Earned Only $3 For Charity

Vincent Albert “Buddy” Cianci, Jr. has served as the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island twice, each stint in office ending in a prison term. Now he has announced plans to run again, which made reporters curious about one of his projects to do good for humanity: his “Mayor’s Own” pasta sauce, which costs about $6 per jar and brags about “Benefiting Providence School Children” on the front. Does it? Benefit school children, that is? It might if it made any money. [More]

(formatc1)

OnTrac Still Marking Packages Delivered Ahead Of Time

Amazon is in the business of selling you everything and getting it to your doorstep quickly. What stands in their way? The regional delivery services it partners with to get Prime packages to their customers in certain regions of the country. While the tracking information claimed that Diana’s package was delivered to her house in the early afternoon, it wasn’t. However, it did arrive at the same time as the replacement that Amazon sent. [More]

(damageinc86)

Diabetic Teen Kicked Out Of Drive-In Movie Due To Contraband Food

If you, a family member, or a friend has diabetes, you know that it’s a good idea to carry some quickly-absorbed sugar in case of a dangerous precipitous blood sugar drop. A teen in New Jersey claims that he was doing just that, not trying to smuggle snacks into a drive-in theater for family movie night. The theater owner happens to be a pediatrician, and he isn’t buying this excuse. [More]

TicketMaster’s CAPTCHA Has Important Message For You About Ticketmaster

TicketMaster’s CAPTCHA Has Important Message For You About Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster is a frequent contender in our Worst Company in America tournament, and one of the most-loathed monopolies in the world. The company’s monopoly on ticket sales at many venues means that consumers have no choice but to do business with them, though. Reader Justin was doing just that when the company’s own website warned him to get out of the transaction while he still could. [More]

Most U.S. $100 Bills Are Not In The United States Right Now

Most U.S. $100 Bills Are Not In The United States Right Now

$100 bills: what are they good for? Most Americans don’t use them, some stores won’t accept them, and their untraceability makes them tempting to steal. What you may not realize, though, is that two-thirds of all United States $100 bills aren’t in circulation in the United States. Instead, they’re the currency of choice in places where people have no faith in their own country’s government and the money it prints. [More]

Maker Of Nutella Buys Hazelnut Supplier To Keep The Choco-Spread Flowing

Maker Of Nutella Buys Hazelnut Supplier To Keep The Choco-Spread Flowing

What do hail storms in Turkey have to do with the supply of Nutella at your local grocery store? A lot, actually. Hazelnut prices are away up due to a worldwide shortage. Ferrero, the company that makes Nutella, uses about 25% of the hazelnuts in the world. It and simplified its supply chain this year by acquiring a major hazelnut processor, Oltan in Turkey. [More]

T-Mobile Emphasizes: They’re Probably Not Going To Throttle You

T-Mobile Emphasizes: They’re Probably Not Going To Throttle You

Imagine being part of a rarified group: your carrier’s top 20 gobblers of unlimited data. At T-Mobile, unlimited data is still a thing, and a recently leaked memo has customers panicking that using too much data will get them throttled. It won’t. [More]

Salmonella Is Not A Flavor, So McCormick Recalls Ground Oregano

Salmonella Is Not A Flavor, So McCormick Recalls Ground Oregano

Oregano is a very tasty spice, but do you know what’s not so tasty? Potentially fatal foodborne illness. Routine tests at McCormick spice company turned up salmonella contamination, which may have affected as many as 1,032 cases of the ground herb. [More]

(C x 2)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are eight 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]

Why Ship Four Hockey Sticks In One Box When You Can Use Four?

Why Ship Four Hockey Sticks In One Box When You Can Use Four?

Reader Leeny placed an order from Amazon: four hockey sticks, because Amazon really does sell everything. We have to admit that hockey sticks pose a packaging challenge, but Amazon was up to the task with tall and spacious boxes. What prompted Leeny to take some pictures and send them to Consumerist was that each of her sticks was mailed in a box that could have fit a few dozen more. [More]

(Ben Schumin)

Chain Storefronts With Slight Makeovers Continue To Not Fool Anybody

Last year, we lamented the long hiatus of one of our favorite sites, Not Fooling Anybody, which featured makeovers of former chain storefronts that were, as the name states, not fooling anybody. What we didn’t know was that the site has been revived, in the form of a community on Reddit. Let the yellow-painted Pizza Huts roll! [More]

Americans Are Gradually Eating Less Cereal For Some Reason

Americans Are Gradually Eating Less Cereal For Some Reason

It was once as American as, well, blue jeans to start your day with a bowl of cereal and milk. Breakfast grains were once major sponsors behind kid-oriented television programming, or licensed beloved fictional characters to put on cereal boxes. Now sales at major cereal companies are down, and a variety of reasons are contributing to the decline. [More]

Did Apple Store Employee Use An Anti-Gay Slur Or Just Mash Fingers On A Keyboard?

Did Apple Store Employee Use An Anti-Gay Slur Or Just Mash Fingers On A Keyboard?

A customer bought some headphones at an Apple Store in Portland. He later noticed something weird on the receipt: in the spot where a customer’s e-mail address would normally be was a fake address, “f@g.com.” Was the store employee out to insult the customer, who is a gay man, or just making up a fake e-mail address to get past a required field? [More]

(TLFagan)

Who Gives Better Retirement Advice: A Palm Reader Or An Investment Adviser?

Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip “Dilbert,” wrote a blog post earlier this month where he compared investment advisors to palm readers. If there is no real science to stock-picking, he reasons, then telling people what to invest in should be for entertainment purposes only. Like palm readers. That raises an interesting question: what kind of investment advice can you get from a palm reader? [More]