If you would like to tell Monster Cable that they’re jerks for trying to shut down the family owned and operated Monster MiniGolf…
Monster Cable has decided to sue Monster MiniGolf for trademark infringement. Monster MiniGolf is a family startup by Patrick & Christina Vitagliano glow-in-the-dark monster-themed minigolf franchise with 23 locations. Monster Cable, which has an illustrious history of suing anything and everything with Monster in its name, makes the expensive cables that Best Buy is always trying to upsell you on that are no better than coat hangers.
Here’s the clip of the To The Point radio program I was on yesterday. There was a bunch of people on, you can hear me at 23:30 talking about the Grocery Shrink Ray and 37:30 talking about the customer service hotline Sprint set up for Consumerist readers. It’s a great show and I love Warren Onley’s voice, but I have some issues with the advice some of the other guests gave on the show that I need to address. Here’s what I would have said had I been asked some of their questions…
Kieffe and Sons, a California Ford dealership, decided for some reason to launch a radio ad attacking non-Christians and people who believe that prayer shouldn’t be in public schools. Audio and transcript of the ad, inside.
If you’re a podcast sort of person, Get Rich Slowly has a list of 12 personal finance podcasts that they say are the best of the bunch—informative, entertaining, well-produced, and unique. “Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life” is their top choice:
Kapil’s brand new Blackberry arrived with a battery that won’t charge. He wants T-Mobile to exchange it, but he says T-Mobile wants to replace it with a refurbished Blackberry instead of a new model. Kapil is fighting back, but even at the executive support level all he’s found are rude, uncooperative T-Mobile employees who keep saying there’s a process, and that someone will call him back—which never happens. Kapil refused to hang up on the fourth day and demanded to know what happens next after nobody calls back, which seemed to confuse and anger the T-Mobile rep he was speaking with. And for those of you who can’t listen in, we’ve transcribed some of the juiciest parts.
DirecTV is a lying pack of liars. They told Ian that if he moved to a place where he couldn’t use his dish, then they would let him out of contract without early termination fee (ETF). Well guess what? He moved to a place without a balcony or roof access. Double guess what: Now DirecTV says he has to pay an ETF and they say there’s no record of all those reps telling him that, and that that’s not part of their policy. Triple guess what: Ian called up DirecTV sales and recorded their sales rep telling him that they DO let you out of contract if you move to a new place where you can’t use DirecTV. Are DirecTV retention reps just not versed on company policy, or are they a pack of scumbags? I dunno, but you know what they say, never trust a company run by a man in a mustache. Ian’s audio recording and letter to the CEO of DirecTV is inside…
One of our readers is an enterprising psych major and he would really like to recreate the Monster Cable vs Coat Hanger test with laboratory-grade methodology, controls, and statistical measures. However, Adam needs your help. What is the minimum equipment he should buy, both audio equipment and coat-hanger-wise?
Can you tell the difference between music that passed through a pricey Monster stereo Cable, and a coat hanger? A reader forwarded us a post from the Audioholics Home Theater Forum and its author says no. He says his brother ran an experiment on him and four other audio aficionados listening to a new CD from a new group blindfolded. Seven different songs were played, each time heard with the speaker hooked up to Monster Cables, and the other time, hooked up to coat hanger wire. Nobody could determine which was the Monster Cable and which was the coat hanger. The kicker? None of the subjects even knew that coat hangers were going to be used. This is, of course, “nothing new,” a Google of “monster cables vs coat hangers” shows that some users have been saying this for a while. Still, this is an experiment begging to be recreated under controlled conditions (say, for instance, a double-blind test). Science fair project! Read how it went down, inside…
Okay, so it’s not like there aren’t 15,000 MP3-player reviews already on the web, but SmartMoney decided to jump on the bandwagon and rate five 8-gigabyte MP3 players. Instead of hard stats and lab tests, they handed the devices to an NYU music instructor and audiophile and asked him to walk around the city playing with them. The Apple iPod Touch—at $300, the most expensive of the lot—came out on top, which probably doesn’t surprise anyone, but the SanDisk Sansa View performed well too.
The popular music site Last.fm announced today that beginning immediately, you can listen to entire music tracks and full-length albums for free. Previously, you could only hear excerpts of most tracks, which made Last.fm a great place for discovering new artists but a rotten one for actually listening to them. The site is taking a Flickr-style approach to its new service, offering a free version—you can listen to a track up to three times—and a forthcoming subscription service which will allow for unlimited streaming. This sounds good, but we’re curious about the three-listen limit, and how frequently that count is reset, if ever.
One of the producers over at the lovely This American Life radio show was overbilled by MCI (which has since merged with Verizon) for $946.36 and was sent to collections and told lie after lie that they were going to fix the problem. It’s not until host Ira Glass gets involved and starts recording the customer service calls that her issue is finally resolved. The account is credited, the company apologizes, and the Senior VP of Customer Service send her a gift basket of cheese chocolates and crackers. Aw. You can listen to the story here, it’s the second act, about 30 minutes into the show.
One important tool in dealing with companies is customer’s ability to record customer service calls, but many wonder if it’s legal or not. Well, until a company actually takes someone to court for doing it, we’ll never know for certain. However, we can look to the state by state wiretapping laws for guidance. Let’s begin.
JH: You know why? Because you’re not captive on a plane.
The obvious next evolution is that customers can opt to sit in a part of plane that doesn’t have hear the credit card offers, provided they pay a small additional fee.
1) What is the data overage rates for the basic 10MB data package for $29.99?
Enraged by Jimmy Dean reducing the size of their sausage from 16 oz to 12 oz but still charging the same price, Randy Taylor left a voicemail complaint on Jimmy Dean corporate line. Randy has a southern accent and is quite upset with the Jimmy Dean sausage company.