Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Still Playing Game That Shut Down In July 2014

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Still Playing Game That Shut Down In July 2014

Eventually, all things end, and that includes multiplayer online games. The game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes shut down in July of 2014, but Walmart is trying to keep its legacy alive by continuing to sell useless game discs in the discount bin for fifteen bucks. [More]

Musician Files $150M Lawsuit Against Spotify For Royalties

Musician Files $150M Lawsuit Against Spotify For Royalties

To make a song available on a streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music, the services negotiate with record labels and representatives of songwriters. David Lowery is a musician (best known for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven), a professor, and an activist for artists’ rights in the new music economy, and his latest effort is a class action lawsuit against Spotify for mechanical royalties. [More]

Fitbit Charge Users Report Worse Battery Life After Firmware Upgrade

Fitbit Charge Users Report Worse Battery Life After Firmware Upgrade

Usually, a firmware update makes a gadget better, not worse. That’s not what users of the Fitbit Charge HR are experiencing after the device’s most recent firmware update, though. They report that their devices will only stay charged for anywhere between three days and a few hours, when the battery lasted longer before the update. [More]

TigerDirect Has New Owner, Changes Return Policy On Christmas

TigerDirect Has New Owner, Changes Return Policy On Christmas

You may remember TigerDirect, a consumer electronics seller that has a website and once had stores across the country. They’re probably best known for acquiring the brands and assets of CompUSA and Circuit City when both chains filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. Now competitor PCM has purchased the TigerDirect brand, and appears to be winding down its consumer-facing business… including abruptly doing away with returns. Any returns. [More]

How Much Can You Get For A Gift Card? Depends On Which Store They’re For

How Much Can You Get For A Gift Card? Depends On Which Store They’re For

In the gift card resale market, some cards are more valuable than others. This makes sense: you can buy a wider variety of items at a big-box or grocery store than at a clothing or toy store. How much of a difference does the brand of a gift card make? To find out, our card-carrying colleagues at Consumer Reports checked multiple exchange sites to find out how much a selection of cards might be worth. [More]

9-Year-Old Opens PS4 Box On Christmas Morning, Finds Block Of Wood

9-Year-Old Opens PS4 Box On Christmas Morning, Finds Block Of Wood

Christmas morning is a time for family togetherness, enjoying the delighted faces of children, and surprising loved ones with thoughtful gifts. Unfortunately, wrapping gifts and putting them under the tree until the recipient opens the box means risking a retail hazard: boxes of expensive electronics that contain notepads, bricks, picture frames, or mirrors. This is disturbingly common, and happened to a family in Massachusetts this Christmas. [More]

(Sears Holdings)

Is The Origin Story For NORAD’s Santa Tracker A Cold War Lie?

Tomorrow, newscasters across the country will share information about the whereabouts of Santa Claus, usually based on data from NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), the military entity that monitors aerospace above the United States and Canada. This Santa-tracking effort is now celebrating its 60th anniversary, and its origin story is a feel-good Cold War fib. [More]

SeaWorld Visitors Stuck On Sky Tower Ride For Over 3 Hours

SeaWorld Visitors Stuck On Sky Tower Ride For Over 3 Hours

Some visitors to SeaWorld in Orlando experienced an amusement park nightmare yesterday as the ride they were on became stuck a few hundred feet in the air. The Sky Tower was on its way back to the ground, carrying about 50 passengers, when the emergency brake malfunctioned and the pod would no longer descend. [More]

Forget About Christmas: Let’s Move On To Valentine’s Day And Easter!

Forget About Christmas: Let’s Move On To Valentine’s Day And Easter!

Yeah, there’s a holiday later this week or something. Retail stores don’t care about that anymore: they’ve got seasonal department shelves to fill, and most people who need garlands and lights have probably already bought ’em. What’s the next holiday? Valentine’s Day? Easter? Yeah, let’s move on to that. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Debbie Mercer)

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]

Rent The Runway Creates Own Clothing Brand, Invents Imaginary Retail Prices

Rent The Runway Creates Own Clothing Brand, Invents Imaginary Retail Prices

You may have heard of Rent the Runway, a service that lets shoppers rent outfits (generally dresses and accessories) for special occasions. Instead of buying a $400 dress and wearing it once, you rent it for $65 and then send it back. Only they’ve made an interesting change recently, offering house brands alongside those runway designers, and assigning “retail” value to items that were never sold at retail. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Debbie Mercer)

Due to a combination of holidays and my being out, it’s been three weeks since our last installment of Flickr Finds. Let’s see what treasures have been submitted to the Consumerist Flickr pool in that period, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Twitter Starts Showing Ads To Non-Users Just Wandering By

Twitter Starts Showing Ads To Non-Users Just Wandering By

Twitter doesn’t use banner ads, but instead shows users sponsored tweets that are theoretically targeted to them. Yet plenty of visitors to the site aren’t registered users: they’ve followed a link despite not having an account or not being logged in yet. Twitter hadn’t tried selling these visitors’ eyeballs to advertisers until now. [More]

Be Thankful That No One At Your Thanksgiving Is Lighting A Cigarette After Every Course

Be Thankful That No One At Your Thanksgiving Is Lighting A Cigarette After Every Course

No matter where you celebrate Thanksgiving and what you’re eating, take a moment to be thankful that this suggested tradition from the mind of a marketer never caught on: lighting up a Camel cigarette after every course of your meal. No, not after dinner, after every course. [More]

What Are Your Favorite Funny Store-Brand Item Names?

What Are Your Favorite Funny Store-Brand Item Names?

Creating house-brand products for a grocery or discount store means making a choice: you can either describe exactly what it is on the box, or riff in some way on the name of the brand-name product. For example, there’s the Food Lion version of a famous margarine brand, the oddly-punctuated “Isn’t it butter.” Shouldn’t that be a question? [More]

Pack Your Car Emergency Kit For Holiday Travel

Pack Your Car Emergency Kit For Holiday Travel

I didn’t really take the idea of car emergency kits seriously until I bought a neighbor’s old car, and discovered the wealth of supplies for various emergencies that he had left in the trunk and console. Gloves for changing the tire? Check. Can of Fix-A-Flat for Urgent tire emergencies? Check. Disposable camera in case of an accident? Check. (This was before camera phones were popular.) What else should emergency kits for the discerning and slightly paranoid motorist contain? [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]

(Great Beyond)

Overstock.com Has A Bunker Full Of Gold, Silver, And Food In Case Of Financial Collapse

When the global financial system collapses, don’t fret: you’ll still be able to shop on Overstock.com. We’re not quite sure how that will happen, but the company’s early adoption of Bitcoin as a method of payment could be one clue. What you need to know, though, is that the company will keep paying its employees thanks to its bunker of silver, gold, and food. [More]