Report: 40 Million Consumers Have At Least One Student Loan

Report: 40 Million Consumers Have At Least One Student Loan

Increases in college tuition might have made sense during the brief boom years of the real estate bubble. But when the economy tanked and Americans struggled to recover, college costs continued to soar, resulting in even more students taking on loans to pay for their education. [More]

Why Isn’t America Freaking Out About AT&T/DirecTV Merger — And Should We Be?

Why Isn’t America Freaking Out About AT&T/DirecTV Merger — And Should We Be?

While pretty much everyone is scrutinizing the pending mega-merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, not much attention is being paid to the possible marriage of the country’s second-largest wireless and pay-TV companies. And that leaves us with two big questions: What, if anything, makes these two mergers so different? And should we be more worried about a unified AT&T and DirecTV than we are? [More]

California Becomes Second State To Require “Kill Switch” On All Smartphones

California Becomes Second State To Require “Kill Switch” On All Smartphones

California officially became the second state in the U.S. to require smartphone manufacturers to include a “kill switch” function on all devices. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Monday, just two weeks after the measure passed the state senate. [More]

90,000 Pounds Of Caesar Salad Kits Sold At Sam’s Club Recalled Because Listeria Isn’t A Tasty Ingredient

90,000 Pounds Of Caesar Salad Kits Sold At Sam’s Club Recalled Because Listeria Isn’t A Tasty Ingredient

When you’re in a rush and don’t have time to gather all the ingredients to a salad, grabbing a pre-made kit might seem like a convenient and healthy idea. That is unless that salad kit comes with a little something extra – let’s say, maybe, listeria. Doesn’t sound so appetizing, now does it? [More]

Former Comcast Employee Makes Best Argument Yet For Blocking Time Warner Cable Merger

(STERLINGDAVISPHOTO)

Since Comcast announced it would be buying Time Warner Cable, we’ve brought you story after story highlighting the various reasons that the merger should be stopped. But for all the thousands of words, charts, graphs and maps we’ve used, none has summed up the reason for blocking the merger than a recent quote from a former Kabletown staffer. [More]

An Al Jazeera TV crew being tear-gassed by authorities in Ferguson (via BoingBoing)

The Police Can’t Order You To Stop Filming Them In Public, Or Force You To Delete Pics From Phone

A good deal of the footage coming out Ferguson, Missouri, this week has been provided by non-journalists, using their phones to record and photograph events. At the same time, reports claim that police are attempting to block both ordinary citizens and journalists from documenting the situation. What these officers either don’t know or aren’t saying is that you have the legal right to photograph the police, even when they tell you not to. [More]

California Passes Law Requiring All Phones Come Equipped With “Kill Switch” By 2015

California Passes Law Requiring All Phones Come Equipped With “Kill Switch” By 2015

Nearly four months after California lawmakers shot down a bill that would require smartphone manufacturers to include a “kill switch” function on all devices, a similar version of the law is headed to the governor’s desk for signing. [More]

(blurrymystr)

What Fight Did Taco Bell Workers Win To Earn The Corporate Moniker Of “Champions”?

Ground beef splattered everywhere. Hot sauce dripping thick and red across the tiled landscape. Tortillas, once filled, lay empty on the counters. There has apparently been a taco war, and Taco Bell’s food workers and cashiers must have emerged victorious over their enemies. Otherwise, what would merit the company calling its restaurant staff “champions”? [More]

Find Out If Your State Has A Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday This Month

(Don)

Earlier today, the calendar flipped from July to August, and kids everywhere groaned with the realization that they will soon have to be going back to school. But the even louder grousing you’re hearing this morning is from parents envisioning their bank accounts being drained by purchases of backpacks, clothes, pencils (do kids even use those anymore?), and those individual packs of tissues that will never be used but you buy anyway. What some of these parents don’t know is that a number of states have sales tax holidays in August — many of them starting today — to ease the burden of back-to-school spending. [More]

Ronald McDonald Won’t Sell Burgers At Your Kids’ School, But He’ll Talk About Bike Safety

(stephanie santos)

Is it possible to separate a world-famous brand mascot from the products that mascot has spent decades shilling for? Can you look at Joe Camel and not associate him with Camel cigarettes, or stare deep into the terrifying unblinking eyes of second-tier human-baseball Mr. Met and not immediately think of the NY Mets? McDonald’s apparently thinks so, telling consumer advocates that Ronald McDonald isn’t pushing Big Macs and McNuggets on kids when he visits schools to talk about bike safety and other non-greasy topics. [More]

(<a href="Kelly Sikkema">Kelly Sikkema)

Walmart Sends Me 4 Extra iPods, Doesn’t Want Them Back

There are so few honest people in the world that retailers are simply unable to deal with it. That’s the only conclusion we can reach from Jessica’s experience after she ordered one iPod Touch and Walmart sent her five. She was happy to send the extras back, but Walmart didn’t know how to deal with that transaction. [More]

Feds File 9 Lawsuits Against Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers That Took Millions From Consumers

Feds File 9 Lawsuits Against Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers That Took Millions From Consumers

If the thought of losing one’s home wasn’t bad enough, finding out that you’ve been ripped off by the companies promising to help must be even worse. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with the Federal Trade Commission and 15 states announced a string of lawsuits and other actions against such deceptive companies. [More]

Apple Downplays Reports Of Back Doors To iPhones; Security Expert Says Company Is Being Misleading

Apple Downplays Reports Of Back Doors To iPhones; Security Expert Says Company Is Being Misleading

Late last week, forensic scientist Jonathan Zdziarski announced at a conference that Apple iPhones have back doors, undocumented functions that could allow unauthorized users to wirelessly connect and swipe data from the devices. Apple has since responded with a statement intended to downplay the issue, but Zdziarski insists that the computer company is not being honest with consumers. [More]

(photographynatalia)

This Wizard Will Help You Write A Complaint Letter–No, Not That Kind Of Wizard

Do you need to write a complaint letter, but don’t know where to begin? As long as you can type a few facts in a box, you can produce a simple, classy, and easy-to-read complaint letter that should get the job done. [More]

From Bread Crumbs To Worcestershire Sauce: How Long Will All That Stuff In Your Pantry Last?

Sally Villarreal

Regular readers of Consumerist likely know there’s a big difference between the “use-by” date and the “sell-by” date on food labels. But while most people take note of this information on highly perishable items like meat, eggs, and dairy, we often ignore those dry goods stashed in our pantries. And these unrefrigerated items are often allowed to sit around until we go to use them and realize, “Oh no… that went bad back when Bush — the first one — was president.” [More]

(FDA)

July Food And Supplement Recall Roundup – More Salmonella Smoothies

In our July Recall Roundup for food, the Great Chia Seed Recall of 2014 continues, ice cream has mismatched flavor labels, and there are mysterious substances in the ham. Oh, and Foster Farms finally recalled some of the chicken blamed for a recent salmonella outbreak. [More]

(Alan Turkus)

Here Are Some E-Mails To Consumerist That We Don’t Understand

Here at Consumerist, we receive a wide variety of e-mails: reader complaints, pleas for help, links to news articles and blog posts, bafflingly irrelevant press releases, grammar corrections, insider confessions, and funny photos. We read and appreciate all of it, but sometimes we receive messages that we simply don’t understand. [More]

(Cheri Sundra)

Court Rules NY Towns Can Use Zoning Laws To Ban Fracking

The battle over the highly controversial topic of fracking — a mining technique that has gained popular use as a method of extracting natural gas from the earth — continues as New York state’s highest court has ruled that towns can use zoning laws to effectively ban the practice. [More]