It’s one thing if a company earns a dominant market share in a region because consumers have voted with their wallets and decided that Company X is the best around and it’s the only one they want. It’s another when, in the case of the cable industry, that monopoly isn’t earned, but is instead the result of outdated regulations that force a certain company on consumers based on ZIP code. The introduction of higher-speed fiber-optic networks like Google Fiber and AT&T’s new experiment in Austin may shatter the concrete feet of a cable colossus like Comcast. [More]
Since the dawn of Yuppies, people have been asking for egg-white omelets and other egg-white only options for their breakfasts. It took a while, but McDonald’s is finally dipping its toes into the egg white water with tests of something called the Egg White Delight. [More]
Contrary to the opinion of Nevada Senator Harry Reid, not everyone view junk mail as an indispensable conduit between elderly Americans and the outside world. In fact, most of us would rather do without it. That’s why officials in Austin took time off from rehearsing with their ska/bluegrass fusion trios to become the latest city to give residents a way to opt out of receiving unwanted mail. [More]
While there are plenty of farmers’ markets or bulk spice shops you can go to buy fresh goods with zero packaging, some entrepreneurs in Austin, TX, are aiming to open what they say is the first 100% packaging-free grocery store in the country. [More]
While they’ve temporarily shelved metered broadband plans, Time Warner is cutting off, with no warning, the accounts of customers who they deem have used too much bandwidth. One such customer lives in Austin, TX, one of the original markets slated for metered broadband. Stop The Cap has the story, and an excerpt is inside.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car failed reader Jimmy in every possible way, which is quite the accomplishment since he only wanted a full size car to drive around his visiting friends. GEICO, Jimmy’s insurance company, set him up with Enterprise after he lost a head-on collision with a deer. Enterprise managed to muck up nearly every step of the rental process, promising to deliver cars they didn’t have, delivering the wrong class of car, and upselling unnecessary insurance that they wrongly said GEICO would cover. Jimmy’s never going to use Enterprise again, and inside, you’ll see why…
Heartland Automotive Services, Inc., which runs 31 Jiffy Lubes in the Austin area, has to pay a $300,000 fine after admitting to pumping used oil into the city’s sewer system instead of recycling it. Normally shops are paid by the gallon for used oil, but in this case a damaged wall let water seep into the oil collection area and create a toxic mess that couldn’t be sold—so instead of paying to remove it, they pumped it down the drain.
Roy and his friends in Austin, TX would like to thank Consumerist readers for helping them locate a skee-ball machine they could all chip in on and practice on for their Brewskeeball league. They ended up finding one on in College Station, TX on Craigslist for $800. Score!
Abel’s Copies is standing by their strict “No Refunds” policy even after ordering the wrong course packet for reader David. The workers at the off-campus bookstore near the University of Texas at Austin insisted there was only one instructor for David’s course and that they couldn’t order a new course packet unless David paid in advance. When David got home, he realized that Abel’s sold him the wrong packet. He called the store and learned that Abel’s had the right packet in stock for $25 less than he paid—but Abel’s refused to issue a refund…
The FDA still hasn’t tracked down all that yummy salmonella-contaminated peanut butter, and until they do, they want consumers to stop eating all “commercially-prepared or manufactured peanut butter-containing products and institutionally-served peanut butter.” No, this doesn’t mean the jar of Skippy on your shelf, but it does seem to cover cookies, cakes, and ice cream; pretty much any shrink-wrapped peanut butter snack.
Can’t make it to your local prison, hospital, or school cafeteria to get in on this year’s peanut butter salmonella craze? Kellogg may have you covered at the nearest snack vending machine. The company has announced that it doesn’t want anyone eating its Keebler and Austin brand peanut butter crackers right now while it investigates whether they’re action packed with salmonella stowaways.
If you live in or around Austin, Texas, you can save 3 cents or more per gallon by turning your driver’s license into a debit card.
Against a a backdrop of cheery balloons, and exclamatory soap opera digest headlines, the signs at this Austin supermarket checkout lines read, “All job fairs have been cancelled until further notice.” Sign of the times, perchance?
Cable companies compensate most of the channels they offer, sharing a portion of the money they get from subscribers with the individual stations– but apparently Time Warner Cable doesn’t share the wealth with broadcast networks — and Austin, TX NBC affiliate KXAN is having none of it. They want some money!
Surely there’s got to be a slightly less unfortunate name for this chat n’ chew.
A loyal Consumerist reader, Chris has developed incredible abilities. Not only can he recognize both good and bad customer service, he can reward and punish it with a powerful consumer weapon: the letter to management.