Actual house and spiders not pictured. (Scott Lynch)

Family Abandons Home Due To Massive Spider Infestation

There’s a lovely home near St. Louis that was once worth around $450,000, and now sits abandoned and in foreclosure. The last owners won a lawsuit against the previous owners for failing to disclose one really, really important thing about the house: it is infested with thousands of brown recluse spiders. [More]

(Chri S)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are twelve 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]

No, Virgin Atlantic Is Not Going To Give You A Free Plane Ticket

No, Virgin Atlantic Is Not Going To Give You A Free Plane Ticket

When you’re about to follow a company on your social media site of choice or share an image or status in the hopes of receiving free stuff, stop. Apply critical thinking. Is it likely that an airline will give free flight passes to twenty thousand of its Instagram followers? Twenty, maybe, but not twenty thousand. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Rapper Late For United Flight, Throws Twitter Tantrum

When you’re flying internationally, you should be sure to leave plenty of time until your flight when you arrive at the airport, especially if you plan to check bags. Let’s say three hours if you’re flying out of a sprawling air metropolis like New York City’s JFK airport. These limits apply even if you are famous. Yes, even if you’re one of the Black Eyed Peas. [More]

Report: Amazon Will Open A Real-Life Store In Manhattan

Near here. (Joel Zimmer)

Back in the 1920s, catalog retail giant Sears opened massive spaces in major cities that served as combination retail stores and regional distribution centers for catalog goods. These centers closed in the ’80s and ’90s, but now online retail giant is following the same pattern in a tiny way, opening a combination retail store and pick-up center in New York City, across the street from the Empire State Building. [More]

Groupon Provides Refund For “Secretly Mexican” Samsung TV

Groupon Provides Refund For “Secretly Mexican” Samsung TV

You may remember reader Rob, whose story we featured here a few weeks ago. Rob bought a smart TV from Groupon Goods. and then ended up plunged in a bizarre chain of events involving an imaginary warranty, four different countries, and some very odd claims about how Samsung products have no warranty when they’re sold online. We have good news to report: He’s been issued a refund. By Groupon. [More]

Creepy Mall Billboard Watches You, Wants To Play Board Games

Creepy Mall Billboard Watches You, Wants To Play Board Games

I find life-size video screen ads with images of people really unnerving, and that was before I came to realize that they could be watching me back. Toy company Mattel, out to promote its board games before the holidays, created a cool event that brought random shoppers and an actor in a remote location together…to play board games. [More]

The Troy-Bilt FLEX Is The Cuisinart Of Lawn Care

The Troy-Bilt FLEX Is The Cuisinart Of Lawn Care

What if you could buy one piece of equipment that would take care of many of your home and lawn care needs? Kind of like a food processor with different blades, but for the outside of your house. And huge. It would be a snow blower, lawn mower, leaf blower, and pressure washer all in one. This is a real thing, but should it be? [More]


Would You Buy A Johnny Rockets CD Or Toaster?

Would you go see a drive-in movie where carhops bring you food from chain diner Johnny Rockets? That’s in the works, as the brand plans to extend itself beyond its 330 existing restaurants. How about a fast-casual “express” model serving the same food more quickly and without waiters? How about Johnny Rockets branded small appliances and frozen food? This is all coming soon, starting in 2015. [More]

(Michael Daddino)

Outlet Stores May Not Be What You Think They Are

Old-school outlet shopping involved visiting clothing factory towns and digging through bins of slightly irregular underpants in a rough store space that was sometimes just off the factory floor. Today, outlet stores are nicely designed stores in special malls and in regular malls alike, thousands of miles away from where the clothes are made. [More]

JCPenney Will Make You The Most Fashionable Family In 1986

JCPenney Will Make You The Most Fashionable Family In 1986

The winter holidays are coming up, with family gatherings and parties that you don’t want to attend, but have to look nice for anyway. That means it’s time to go shopping for red sport coats and bow-bedecked blouses, to keep your family looking sharp! Because it’s always 1986 in my imagination, let’s go to…JCPenney. [More]

(Tiffa Day)

Should Uber Be Responsible If A Driver Attacks A Passenger?

When you think about things that could go wrong while paying an amateur cabdriver to drive you around, there aren’t a lot of possibilities. Maybe there could be a car crash, you could be bitten by a spider in the car, or the driver might grope you. One problem you may not have anticipated: the driver hitting you with a hammer. [More]

(Rick Takagi)

Grocery Shoppers Ignore Stabbing Victim’s Blood, Just Want Their Milk

The grocery shoppers of Philadelphia are a determined bunch. Well, that, or they really want some cereal. Police say that after a stabbing at a Pathmark supermarket yesterday evening, customers weren’t really fazed. Mostly, they were annoyed that they couldn’t get to the dairy case. Unobservant shoppers walked and pushed their carts through the puddle of blood. [More]

The Grocery Shrink Ray: Quietly Stealing Our Food For Decades

The Grocery Shrink Ray: Quietly Stealing Our Food For Decades

The Grocery Shrink Ray is what we call it when the manufacturers of food and consumer goods make their products smaller––sometimes almost imperceptibly smaller––rather than raise prices. You know what it looks like: it’s why your toilet paper doesn’t quite fill the holder anymore, and why you don’t get as many servings of hot chocolate as you used to. We know that it’s been in action for decades, but is there proof? Yes: one need only turn to collectors of consumer ephemera like boxes and cans. [More]

Amazon Fighting FTC On In-App Purchases By Kids

Amazon Fighting FTC On In-App Purchases By Kids

While its competitors in mobile apps Apple and Google have reached settlements with the Federal Trade Commission, Amazon has decided that it will not roll over. No, the tech company is going to fight the FTC’s lawsuit against it rather than settle, and filed a brief last week making the case that this is all the darn parents’ fault. Sort of. [More]

(Oregon State Police)

Potato Truck Overturns On Oregon Highway, Creates Massive Hash Brown

The driver of the tractor-trailer that crashed this morning on a highway in Oregon says that he swerved to miss a deer. He lost control of the truck, which rolled over, spilling its cargo on the shoulder. Its cargo of delicious red potatoes. [More]

Pumpkin Spice Egg Nog Exists To Quench Public’s Infinite Pumpkin Spice Thirst

Pumpkin Spice Egg Nog Exists To Quench Public’s Infinite Pumpkin Spice Thirst

Remember when we featured the Creamsicle-flavored, Halloween-marketed, orange-colored TruMoo novelty milk and said, “At least it isn’t pumpkin spice”? Well, about that. In the novelty dairy beverage cooler at Walmart, right near the orange TruMoo, we found the newest and greatest holiday mashup: pumpkin spice egg nog. [More]


Why Paying Your College Tuition With A Credit Card Is A Bad Idea

A few weeks ago, we listed for you a wide variety of creative and mundane ways to pay for college. What we didn’t get into were ways to get money from your bank account to the school’s hands. While you might put every other expense on a credit card and pay it off every month, there are reasons why it can be a terrible idea to put your tuition on a credit card. [More]