(J Phang - Yes, this is an A5, but it looks cool.)

How Leasing A Car Became A $4,779.37 Mistake

Generally, any story that contains the phrase, “the salesperson talked me into…” is not going to end well. That was the case for personal finance blogger Michael Timmermann, who started out ready to buy a car in cash, ended up with a lease on a beautiful Audi A4. This wasn’t so bad until he moved to Washington, D.C., where he didn’t really need a car, but had to pay $300 per month to park his Audi. [More]

They are not baby-sitters. (Kevin A. Hinkle)

Attention Parents: The LEGO Store Is Not A Day Care Center

LEGO stores are fun and amazing places for children, collectors, and for human beings in general. However, there is one thing they are not: a child care service where parents can ditch their kids while they shop. A mother from Long Island learned this earlier this week after she was arrested when she returned to the store to pick up her 7-year-old son. [More]

Woman Notices Security Camera Pointed At Thrift Store Dressing Room, Freaks Out

Woman Notices Security Camera Pointed At Thrift Store Dressing Room, Freaks Out

Imagine that you were trying on clothes in the dressing room of a store, and you happened to glimpse a security camera pointed right at you. What would you do? When this happened to one shopper at a thrift store in Missouri, she whipped out her own camera and captured its image to show to a local TV station. [More]

Canada Discovers Christmas Creep At Costco, Blames America

Canada Discovers Christmas Creep At Costco, Blames America

The United States isn’t responsible for everything that’s wrong with the world, but we certainly can accept the blame for one global menace: Holiday Creep. Specifically, Christmas Creep. Now the CBC is using the emergence of Christmas décor in July as evidence that Americans are nothing but soulless mall-romping monsters. [More]

TiVo E-Mails Me Coupon Code, Reserves Right To Remove Discounts After Order

TiVo E-Mails Me Coupon Code, Reserves Right To Remove Discounts After Order

When TiVo was offering a great price on their Roamio DVRs, reader Victor thought that his mother-in-law could use one. He thought about it, put one in his virtual cart, and then took some time to decide. Like many retailers will do, TiVo sent him an e-mail with a $50 off coupon to entice him back. How could he resist? He placed the order, and that’s where things started to go wrong. [More]

(Great Beyond)

How One Appliance Store Unleashed The Streisand Effect On Itself

The New York Times’ “Haggler” column is a standard consumer problem-solving column like many newspapers have, but backed with the brand recognition and vast readership of the NYT. A recent column about a financing dispute between a Texas woman and an appliance store could have just been a mundane account of a dispute over interest payments on a refrigerator, but the company refused to talk to the Times. At all. [More]

Halloween Creep Strikes Costco With July Costume Displays

Halloween Creep Strikes Costco With July Costume Displays

If you already finished all of your back-to-school shopping back in June when Staples started up its sale campaigns, maybe it’s time to get started on other ridiculously early holiday tasks. For example, it’s almost August: do you have your kids’ Halloween costumes ready? [More]

IKEA Workers Tried To Get Birds Drunk So They’d Stop Flying Around Store

(Gregory Brown)

Calling all avians with a thirst for the hard stuff — workers at an IKEA store in Florida are handing out rum to birds for free. Not because IKEA decided to open a bar for our feathered friends, but to try and get a couple bothersome birds drunk enough on rum that they’d slow down and be easier to catch. [More]

CPSC: Best Buy And Its Closeout Stores Sold Electronics And Furniture After Recall

CPSC: Best Buy And Its Closeout Stores Sold Electronics And Furniture After Recall

Once an item has been formally recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it becomes illegal to sell that item. Yet the CPSC reports that Best Buy, Magnolia, Best Buy Private Auction, CowBoom, and TechLiquidators continued to sell products that had already been recalled in 2012 and 2013. [More]

Amazon Still Not Interested In Reuniting Lost Kindles With Owners

Amazon Still Not Interested In Reuniting Lost Kindles With Owners

Two years ago, we tried to reunite a Kindle left behind on a plane with its owner, and we didn’t succeed. The reader who found it didn’t trust the airport lost and found, and Amazon wasn’t any help. Even though Amazon knows full well who each Kindle belongs to, with their e-mail address and even their credit cards and billing addresses. That doesn’t matter, though. When Steve called about a Kindle that he found, Amazon told him to throw it away. [More]

Credit Card Breach May Have Hit Goodwill Thrift Stores, Could Go Back To 2013

Credit Card Breach May Have Hit Goodwill Thrift Stores, Could Go Back To 2013

Banks can figure out the source of a major credit card breach long before the targeted company announces that something went wrong, and that site shares the scary news with the rest of the world. Have you used your credit card at a Goodwill Industries store lately? Bad news from that not-for-profit thrift store chain. [More]

(Ben Schumin)

Abandon Your Online Shopping Cart, Get Coaxed Back With Coupon Codes

When you’re shopping in a real-life store, fill up a cart, and then abandon it, that makes you kind of a terrible consumer. Store employees will secretly hate you. More importantly, no one will chase after you and hand over a coupon in order to encourage you to come back and finish your transaction. That’s where online shopping is very different. [More]

Amazon Opens New Massive Warehouses Just For Sorting Packages

Amazon Opens New Massive Warehouses Just For Sorting Packages

Amazon has almost 100 warehouses all over the world for storing and packing their merchandise that hasn’t been sold yet, but in recent months, the company has opened some new facilities. They’re a different kind of warehouse, called sortation centers. Yes, “sortation” is a word. Truckloads of packages that are boxed up and ready to ship come in, and pallets full of packages already sorted by zip code come out. [More]

Apple Not So Clear On Where Washington, D.C. Is, Either

Apple Not So Clear On Where Washington, D.C. Is, Either

A Transportation Security Administration agent and some overly literal liquor stores in New Hampshire made headlines this week when they denied existence of the District of Columbia. Now, the iOS app store is also confused, thinking that Washington, D.C. is somewhere near Seattle. [More]

12 Things You Might Not Know About Costco

12 Things You Might Not Know About Costco

Consumerist readers seem to love Costco, but how much do you know about the warehouse retail chain? Here are twelve interesting facts that you may or may not know about Costco. If you did know them, you can feel smug about it; if you didn’t, then you’ll learn something new. Everyone wins! [More]

Here’s How Fulfillment Centers Make Shipping Stupid By Making It Smart

Here’s How Fulfillment Centers Make Shipping Stupid By Making It Smart

We received a letter from J., who designs order fulfillment systems for a living. We would call him a “Stupid Shipping Gang Kingpin,” but that’s not really fair: he says that he does his best to make the system less stupid. The problem, J. explains, is that “sometimes the smart way to do things and the common sense way to do things seem at odds with each other.” [More]

Mattress Store Tries Novel Approach: Leaving Customers Alone

Mattress Store Tries Novel Approach: Leaving Customers Alone

Mattress shopping can be a stressful, high-pressure experience, with difficulty in comparing different models. One store in the Midwest wants to solve that problem by eliminating sales staff from the process. Entirely. No, they aren’t going to sell mattresses online: they plan an unattended store where shoppers can browse in complete peace. [More]

Best Buy Doesn’t Want You To Know They Take Returns Without A Receipt

Best Buy Doesn’t Want You To Know They Take Returns Without A Receipt

Every store has two sets of policies: the official ones distributed to customers, and the policies from the other end that employees learn in training. A source inside Best Buy contacted us recently to explain how it’s possible to return items to Best Buy without a receipt. Yes, it is possible. No, customers aren’t supposed to know that. [More]