We Can Blame Ron Johnson For The Wave Of ‘Perpetual Sale’ Lawsuits, Maybe

We Can Blame Ron Johnson For The Wave Of ‘Perpetual Sale’ Lawsuits, Maybe

In the last few years, consumers, usually based in California, have been filing lawsuits against retailers and their outlet stores alleging that “suggested” and “original” prices on items are pretty much just pulled out of the air. Seeing the amount or percentage that we saved is thrilling for some shoppers, but those “original” prices were never official prices. Whose fault is this? Former JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson, maybe. [More]

A deli with no meats. (Nicholas Eckhart)

Here’s A Look Inside The Last Days Of Some Closing Walmarts

We expect that Walmart stores are crammed full of merchandise and people, and they look wrong when they no longer have either. Walmart recently completed a round of store closings, including the entire Walmart Express chain. Naturally, some of our readers were there, and brought their cameras. [More]

Consumer Reports Shares Mosquito Repellent Ratings For Zika Virus Prevention

Consumer Reports Shares Mosquito Repellent Ratings For Zika Virus Prevention

Even if you’ve only been half paying attention to the news, you’ve heard something about the Zika virus, even if it’s only that a bunch of people have changed their travel plans, governments are advising couples to delay trying to conceive children, and someone had to rename a car. It’s spread mainly by mosquitoes, , and that’s something that our product-testing cousins down the hall at Consumer Reports can help with. They test mosquito repellents, and have released their ratings to non-subscribers. [More]

Woman Who Stuffed Electronics Inside Her Skirt Returns To Same RadioShack Store, Does It Again

Woman Who Stuffed Electronics Inside Her Skirt Returns To Same RadioShack Store, Does It Again

Last spring, a woman wearing a full-skirted dress walked into a RadioShack store in Florida and used the garment to conceal electronics with a retail value of more than $1,100. That was no one-time crime of opportunity, it turns out: people who appear to be the same woman and her male companion were spotted on camera again at the same store, though the items this time were lower value. [More]

Fabletics Seeks New Subscribers By Opening Stores In Malls

Fabletics Seeks New Subscribers By Opening Stores In Malls

Fabletics is an athleticwear company for women that sells nice workout wear outfits for about $50. They operate on a subscription model: every month, you’ll get billed for a subscription unless you log in and decide not to buy anything that month. It’s like Columbia House for yoga pants. Yet the company is doing something sort of unexpected for a retailer that uses this business model: they’re opening a seventh real-life store, with the new one at the Mall of America in Minnesota. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Nicholas Eckhart)

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]

(John Hanley)

Live The Dream: Buy Your Own Doomsday Bunker In Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, northeast of Belfast, the country built a massive underground bunker big enough to hold 235 people. It was meant for the country’s elite to shelter themselves in the event of nuclear war. Its existence was only made public in 2007, and the government has decided to get rid of it. There’s a problem, though: it’s easy enough to sell government surplus filing cabinets or tanks, but what’s the market for 46,363 square feet of blastproof and windowless real estate? [More]

Why Does Everyone’s Phone-Tracking Program Lead To This Couple’s House?

Why Does Everyone’s Phone-Tracking Program Lead To This Couple’s House?

Either a couple who live outside of Atlanta have a mobile phone theft ring running in their basement that they know nothing about, or there’s a technological problem that’s sending everyone in the area looking for a lost mobile phone to their doorstep. Phones from every carrier and major manufacturer have told “find my phone” app users that the devices are in their house. Some very angry phoneless people have showed up, and they have a reasonable fear that one of these conversations could turn violent. [More]

(Matthew Hunt)

Bankrupt Former RadioShack To Pay Its Property Taxes

As the company we once knew as RadioShack winds down its affairs, it’s taking care of some important pieces of business. Like paying its taxes. This week, the company negotiated to pay its property tax balances on its former properties in Texas. [More]

Why Are So Many People Reporting Kenmore Oven Door Explosions?

Why Are So Many People Reporting Kenmore Oven Door Explosions?

Let’s start by pointing out the obvious: oven doors are not supposed to explode. They’re supposed to keep hot air in while letting us view the food cooking inside. Yet hundreds of customers with Kenmore ovens have reported shattered doors to retailer Sears, and Sears and the Consumer Products Safety Commission have reacted with a collective shrug. Past one year, issues like this are officially the customer’s problem. [More]

Readers Share Secrets Of The Starbucks ‘Undertow,’ Or Whatever They Call It

Readers Share Secrets Of The Starbucks ‘Undertow,’ Or Whatever They Call It

Earlier this week, we sent one of our editors on a mission: to find out whether something billed as a Starbucks secret menu item exists at all the chain’s stores. The short answer: no, but if you describe the drink, any store will make you one, even though they’re kind of a pain and usually reserved for special occasions. [More]

Mall CEO’s Comment About Amazon Stores Not Meant To Represent Amazon’s Actual Plans

Mall CEO’s Comment About Amazon Stores Not Meant To Represent Amazon’s Actual Plans

Yesterday, everyone from book lovers to Barnes & Noble shareholders reacted to a tiny piece of news about Amazon during another company’s routine earnings call. The CEO of mall operator General Growth Properties told listeners that one factor affecting the future of mall traffic would be the 300 to 400 stores that Amazon plans to open in malls nationwide. “The what now?” everyone else on the call said. Now the company has walked back that comment. Sort of. [More]

2011 Hot Lotto Winner Sues Over Jackpot That Could Have Been Bigger

2011 Hot Lotto Winner Sues Over Jackpot That Could Have Been Bigger

A lottery winner from five years ago is suing the very entity that runs the games, claiming that he should have won a bigger prize. You may remember the reason why that’s a valid argument: a former security official with the Multi-State Lottery Association has been convicted of rigging the random-number-generating computer that picks the winning numbers for Hot Lotto. Now a 2011 winner is suing, arguing that his own jackpot should have been larger. [More]

What Does A Grocery Store PIN Pad Skimmer Look Like?

What Does A Grocery Store PIN Pad Skimmer Look Like?

Have you ever wondered how customers could slide their cards through and enter their PINs on a compromised payment terminal without even noticing? While some skimming schemes involve Bluetooth transmitters and require disassembling the device, installing a skimmer can be as simple as snapping an identical part over an existing card reader. [More]

Ben & Jerry’s Produces Vegan Frozen Non-Dairy Dessert With Almond Milk

Ben & Jerry’s Produces Vegan Frozen Non-Dairy Dessert With Almond Milk

Great news for people who no longer eat dairy, but who periodically crave a pint of Chunky Monkey! Ben & Jerry’s has introduced a line of dairy-free frozen desserts based on almond milk. Having a full vegan line from a popular brand owned by consumer-goods conglomerate Unilever might put dairy-free ice cream in more stores and accessible to more people. [More]

(Tata Motors)

Tata Motors In India Decides To Rename New Hatchback Called Zica

“Zica” seemed like such a nice name for a new zippy hatchback from India’s Tata Motors. It’s a cute name that isn’t (as far as we know) secretly a swear word in any of the countries where it would be marketed, and is an abbreviation for “zippy car.” Then the World Health Organization declared the mosquito-borne virus to be a global health emergency, and it may have been then that the company realized that this problem would not be going away. [More]

Report: Amazon Is Planning Hundreds Of Physical Bookstores Nationwide

Report: Amazon Is Planning Hundreds Of Physical Bookstores Nationwide

If you thought Amazon was determined to eventually put all bookstores out of business, that isn’t quite true. Today, a mall CEO let slip that the Everything Store, which began by selling just books, wants to duplicate its real-life bookstore in Seattle across the country. Update: The company has clarified that this was not meant to be a statement about Amazon’s actual plans, but neither company denies the story, either. [More]

Federal Government Rolls Up Another Subpoena, Serves It To Chipotle

Federal Government Rolls Up Another Subpoena, Serves It To Chipotle

While the good news for Chipotle is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have closed their investigation into the burrito eatery’s multi-state E. coli oubreak, late last week the company was served with a federal subpoena demanding more information about an earlier outbreak of norovirus in California that sickened 200 people. [More]