8 Things Companies Have Said That Sounded Like April Fool’s Jokes But Sadly Weren’t

8 Things Companies Have Said That Sounded Like April Fool’s Jokes But Sadly Weren’t

For the calendar-challenged, we’ll point out that today is April 1, meaning the Internet is full of phony products, fake stories, doctored photos… so, you know, it’s like most days on the Internet. Rather than serve up a “United Charges Upgrade Fee For Merely Being Jealous Of First-Class Passengers” headline, or a post about Comcast CEO Brian Roberts giving up his job to play Gretl Von Trapp in a regional theater production of The Sound of Music, we’re looking back at some stories that would have been appropriate for April Fool’s. [More]

3 Tips To Writing A Yelp Restaurant Review That Is Worth A Read

3 Tips To Writing A Yelp Restaurant Review That Is Worth A Read

As helpful as crowdsourced review sites like Yelp can be, not every write-up is of use to a consumer trying to figure out whether a restaurant is worth the trip. Sometimes it’s because the review is too vague (“The menu wasn’t amazing” is one I come across too often). Other times it’s too specific (“The napkins didn’t match the table cloths! Never going back!”). And many reviewers tend to let their emotions get the best of them, giving slightly subpar meals a single star or throwing a restaurant a 5-star rating without really thinking about what that score implies. [More]

FDA Updates Safety Requirements For Infant Formula, Because No One Like Contaminated Fake Milk

FDA Updates Safety Requirements For Infant Formula, Because No One Like Contaminated Fake Milk

The Food and Drug Administration is taking additional steps to ensure our youngest citizens are getting the nutrients they need from formula by updating quality standard requirements for manufacturers. So maybe you can rest a bit easier knowing your child’s formula probably isn’t contaminated. [More]

Amazon Patents Method For Shipping You Things Before You Order Them

Amazon Patents Method For Shipping You Things Before You Order Them

Regular Amazon shoppers are probably quite familiar with the e-tailer’s e-mail blasts that highlight things you might want based on previous purchases and the things you’ve searched for on the site. But what if Amazon went one step further and actually predicted the things you will buy and shipped them in advance? [More]

(James M. Childs)

Dealership Publicly Shamed Into Replacing $55K Camaro Wrecked By Joyriding Employee

Yesterday many of us were bummed out by hearing that it’s perfectly legal for a repair shop employee to take a customer’s car for a joyride. And if the car gets wrecked in the process, well, there’s not much police can do. Which is why it’s heartening to hear that a man whose $55,000 Camaro was wrecked during a dealership worker’s joyride is getting his car replaced… after the dealership had a good dose of public shaming.  [More]

We Don’t Want To Hear About Your Disappointing Flowers This Valentine’s Day

"Crap" was not an option.

Well, Consumerist readers, the time is near. There’s a month to go until Valentine’s Day, and we have a goal. We do not want to publish any disappointing wire service flower photos on Tuesday, February 18. None. Zero. Because everyone reading this right now who plans to order flowers will proceed to the friendliest, best-reviewed local florist they can find and order directly. [More]

FDIC & OCC Ask Banks To Please Stop Issuing Payday Loans As “Direct Deposit Advances”

FDIC & OCC Ask Banks To Please Stop Issuing Payday Loans As “Direct Deposit Advances”

While many payday lending operations are not directly tied to federally insured banks, some of the biggest names in banking — most notably Wells Fargo — offer what are effectively payday loans via “Direct Deposit Advance Loans.” But today the FDIC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have given some guidance to the banks they regulate, basically saying “That’s enough of that, don’t ya think?” [More]

A Coby tablet from back in the day.

Coby Electronics Shuts Down, Taking Customer Warranties With It

When consumer watchdog reporters across the country start doing pretty much the same story, it’s not a good sign for…well, anyone, really. The sad tale of the Coby Electronics customer is starting to repeat itself nationwide. A customer sent an item to Coby for warranty replacement, and never got anything back. Not long ago, Coby sold $400 million worth of gadgets per year. Now the company is dead. [More]

FDA Tests Confirm Presence Of Arsenic In Rice Products

FDA Tests Confirm Presence Of Arsenic In Rice Products

Almost exactly one year after our cohorts at Consumer Reports found arsenic in a wide range of rice products — from instant rice to baby food to rice milk to cereal — the Food and Drug Administration has released the results of its own research on the topic, effectively confirming CR’s findings and suggestion that consumers vary the types of grains they eat. [More]

Studies Link Plastic Food Packaging To Diabetes, Obesity Risks In Kids

Studies Link Plastic Food Packaging To Diabetes, Obesity Risks In Kids

Because there are apparently not enough studies to convince the Food and Drug Administration that controversial chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) should not be used in just about every form of food packaging, yet another study has been published linking BPA to childhood obesity. Meanwhile, a separate study released today showed a possible connection between a widely used plasticizer and diabetes. [More]

McDonald’s Customer Arrested After Calling 9-1-1 About Mixed-Up Order

McDonald’s Customer Arrested After Calling 9-1-1 About Mixed-Up Order

A man in Georgia decided to call 9-1-1 after not receiving everything he ordered during a recent trip to his local McDonald’s. His plan backfired, however, when he was the one who ended up behind bars. [More]

This price tag has both the ".97" ending and the "*" in the upper-right corner, indicating it is discounted and won't be reordered once it sells out. (HubPages.com)

Learn The Costco Price Tag Code To Save More Cash

Lots of Costco customers either assume they’re getting a good price just because of the store’s reputation or because they are overwhelmed by the vats of ketchup and the slabs of steak they can purchase. But there are ways to identify items that have been marked down even more than usual, or which might be closeout sales, if you just know where to look. [More]

(moxythecat)

FDA Bans BPA From Infant Formula Packaging (Because Manufacturers Have Already Stopped Using It)

Fresh off patting itself on the back for only approving two new cigarette products (because they’re basically the same as the cigarettes already on the market), the Food and Drug Administration is continuing to show its willingness to take a timid stance on a controversial topic, by banning the use of the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) in the packaging of infant formula… because packagers have all stopped using it anyway. [More]

If An NYC Restaurant Isn’t Showing Its Health Inspection Grade, It Probably Failed

If An NYC Restaurant Isn’t Showing Its Health Inspection Grade, It Probably Failed

Three years ago, New York City began requiring that all of its 24,000+ restaurants post huge letter grades representing their most recent health inspection results, but more than 1,000 eateries that didn’t make the desired A grade are balking at going public with their report card. [More]

(Eric Spiegel)

Study Links BPA In Food Packaging To Higher Rates Of Obesity In Girls

There are already so many things for parents to worry about when it comes to helping kids grow up healthy. And apparently, in addition to fast food and couch potato syndrome, there could be another factor contributing to the obesity epidemic in America and abroad. A new study says girls between ages 9 and 12 with high BPA (Bisphenol-A) levels had double the risk of being obese than girls with low levels of the chemical. [More]

Apply For A Quicken Loans FHA Mortgage: No FHA Products Allowed

Apply For A Quicken Loans FHA Mortgage: No FHA Products Allowed

The Federal Housing Administration insures mortgages, which makes it easier and more affordable for people to buy homes. That’s good. Quicken Loans happens to be an FHA lender, which is also good. What’s kind of confusing, though, is how the web page where you start your FHA loan application explicitly exempts FHA loans. Sort of. [More]

(Eric Spiegel)

Congress To Once Again Consider Legislation That Would Ban BPA From Food Packaging

Bisphenol-A (better known as BPA) is a chemical used in all manner of food packaging, in spite of numerous studies linking BPA to everything from increased risks of certain cancers to diabetes, reproductive abnormalities, heart disease, and maybe even childhood obesity. Since the FDA has decided there still wasn’t enough science to ban BPA from food packaging (though it later hedged on this ruling and banned BPA from baby bottles), lawmakers in Congress are having another go at a legislative effort to limit the use of BPA. [More]

Make Your Own Automatic Pet Feeder With A Litter Bucket And A Pie Tin

Make Your Own Automatic Pet Feeder With A Litter Bucket And A Pie Tin

Do you have pets who won’t eat an entire bag of kibble in one sitting? If so, your household might be a good candidate for an automatic pet feeder. What you might not realize is that you can make your own auto-feeder out of ordinary products that you probably have sitting around the house. [More]