Not even once. (Misfit Photographer)

How A 90-Minute Presentation Turned Into A 2-Year Timeshare Nightmare

Most Consumerist readers consider themselves savvy and resistant to marketing messages and sales pitches. Even then, be cautious when accepting free stuff or cash in exchange for sitting through a time-share presentation. One couple received such an offer while shopping in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They say that they were offered $450 to attend a 90-minute presentation, and after 8 hours of sales pitches signed up for a timeshare that they didn’t want. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Patrick)

Here are ten of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last two weeks, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

(Angie Six)

Which Beauty Subscription Boxes Are Actually Worth The Monthly Fee?

Monthly subscription boxes are currently a hot category in retail: vendors exist that can send you curated selections of everything from pet treats to razors to healthy snacks to butt wipes. One popular subcategory of these boxes are beauty sample boxes, which send you trial-size versions of beauty products to enjoy, and perhaps buy full-sized versions later on. Beauty brands and consumers both love these boxes…but which ones offer the best value for your subscription fee? [More]

(DCvision2006)

Gift Card That Isn’t A Gift Card Can Ignore Consumer Laws

There are some disadvantages to using gift cards, but there are some laws that protect consumers who buy and use them. California has the strongest laws of this type: gift card holders can ask a retailer to cash in a gift card at any time, for example. Yet what happens when something that seems like a gift card isn’t, and it isn’t regulated the way that you expect–even in California? [More]

59,203 Pounds Of Trader Joe’s And Al Fresco Chicken Sausage May Be Seasoned With Plastic Shards

59,203 Pounds Of Trader Joe’s And Al Fresco Chicken Sausage May Be Seasoned With Plastic Shards

A good chicken sausage is a nice mix of meat, seasonings, and the occasional vegetable in a casing. What is not supposed to be part of that blend of ingredients are shards of plastic, which are harmful to your teeth and don’t taste very good. Sausage sold under the Trader Joe’s house brand and the Al Fresco brand been recalled because it may have that problem. [More]

(catastrophegirl)

Why Do I Still Have To Write A Check To Pay My Rent?

Carrying around a checkbook all of the time seems outdated even by the standards of America’s grandmas. Why is it, then, that 70% of people who rent their homes write a check every month to pay the bill? That trend is changing, but very slowly. [More]

Tobacco Company Credits Falling Gas Prices With Rising Sales

Tobacco Company Credits Falling Gas Prices With Rising Sales

Gas prices have fallen signifiantly in the last year or so, which is great news for consumers, if not necessarily for gas stations. There’s another hidden winner in this situation: tobacco companies. Customers who are spending less on gas have more money to spend on cigarettes, and gas stations happen to be a convenient place to buy them. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Households Earning $75,000 Eat Out Too Much To Save Any Money

Earlier this week, the news broke that Americans are, as a whole spending more on dining out than on groceries. In a related piece of news, a study from bank SunTrust says that a surprisingly large portion of American households that earn $75,000 per year live paycheck to paycheck because they’re spending too much money on “lifestyle expenses” to put any money away. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Mike Matney)

Here are nine of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last two weeks, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Send Us Your Favorite (And Least Favorite) Punny Business Names

Send Us Your Favorite (And Least Favorite) Punny Business Names

It started with a misdial. Specifically, a car repair business misdialed and reached my house instead, hanging up immediately. Checking out the number to make sure that there was no mixup, I learned that the business that had called me was a specialist repair shop for a make of car that I don’t own. Its name: The Saab Story. [More]

70% Of Coupon Users Still Use Print Circulars For Savings

70% Of Coupon Users Still Use Print Circulars For Savings

If you use coupons, what type do you use? Some surprising information came up at this week’s Association of Coupon Professionals conference, which is an actual thing. It’s not surprising that such a conference would discuss how much consumers like coupons, but it is surprising that 71% of consumers reportedly still use paper coupons. [More]

Entrepreneur Wants To Sell Un-Frozen Artisanal Ice Cubes

Entrepreneur Wants To Sell Un-Frozen Artisanal Ice Cubes

Last fall, we learned that artisanal ice cubes were an actual thing. Bars charge $1 extra for them, and they supposedly melt more slowly, leading to a less watery beverage experience and bragging rights. They cost about $1 per giant cube, and here’s the weird part: they ship unfrozen. [More]

Carlsberg Outdoes Coca-Cola With Free Beer-Dispensing Billboard

Carlsberg Outdoes Coca-Cola With Free Beer-Dispensing Billboard

You might remember that earlier this month, Coca-Cola experimented with a billboard that dispensed free samples of Coke Zero to thirsty visitors near the site of the final games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Why can’t the same technology work for more adult beverages? [More]

Like this, but with a line in front of it. (Adam Fagen)

Free Cone Day is an annual tradition at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops for people who enjoy springtime, ice cream, and standing in lines. Check out if there’s a shop near you, and enjoy some free sweet stuff. [Ben & Jerry’s]

There Are Still Car Maintenance Tasks You Can Perform At Home

There Are Still Car Maintenance Tasks You Can Perform At Home

The best way to keep your car rolling for as long as possible is to keep it well maintained. While changes in how automobiles are made and repaired mean that it’s hard to do as much maintenance in your front yard than a few decades ago, there are some tasks that can save you money and time later on and that you can perform at home yourself without extensive auto repair training. [More]

(Blake Patterson)

Cash4iPhones Offers $75, Changes To $8 After Receiving Phone

You might remember the name Cash4iPhones: we shared one reader’s conflict with them around the time of the last iPhone release. Consumers have two main complaints about this company. They claim that it sends high initial offers that plummet once your device is in their hands, and they are impossible to reach. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Why Solar Panels Are Suddenly Sprouting On Everyone’s Roofs

Have you noticed a lot more solar panels on homes recently? While an increase in solar panel installations can partly be explained by pointing out that people are more aware of energy conservation issues and want to save money, there’s a much simpler reason why there are more panels on roofs all of a sudden: they’re now super cheap, and aspiring solar panel owners don’t have to pay for the panels or their installation up front anymore. [More]

Can Danish Butter Cookies Come From Indonesia?

Can Danish Butter Cookies Come From Indonesia?

When is a Danish butter cookie not a Danish butter cookie? When it’s made in Indonesia, as Danisa cookies are. The Campbell Soup Company, which happens to own a competing brand of “Danish” butter cookies, recently complained about Danisa’s origins to the National Advertising Division, a self-regulation board where companies sort out their ad disputes before state or federal governments get involved. [More]