ConAgra is apologizing after getting unexpected backlash after it invited food bloggers to what they thought was a meal prepared by celebrity chef George Duran, host of “Ultimate Cake Off” on TLC. After they had eaten, it was revealed that they’d actually been served food that came from the frozen section of the supermarket, Marie Callender’s Three Meat and Four Cheese Lasagna, and Razzleberry Pie. And hidden cameras were rolling the whole time. [More]
Marie Callender's Tricked Bloggers With Frozen Lasagna Meal They Thought Was Made By Celebrity Chef George Duran
A Minnesota jury decided a blogger must pay $60,000 in damages to a former University of Minnesota employee who was fired after the blogger’s posts exposed the former employee’s alleged involvement in a mortgage fraud. [More]
Apple has banned a blogger from buying any more iPads. Ever. Like, for the rest of his life, he is not allowed to buy a single one. He will die an old man, still clutching the same iPad, forbidden from ever upgrading. Porkay? [More]
If you’re a mommy blogger with a strong following, companies will fall all over themselves to show you a good time. The Los Angeles Times examines the culture of quid-pro-quo marketing, in which bloggers get bombarded with free samples and go on all-expenses-paid junkets with the understanding that they’ll write positively about the products.
For the first time since 1980, the FTC has updated its rules about endorsements and testimonials, and they’ve added blogging to the books. Now bloggers who don’t disclose that they’ve been somehow compensated—either with cash or with free services or products—can be fined up to $11,000.
Miami Herald personal finance blogger Natalie McNeal is going all “Highlander” with her “Frugalista” moniker. As in, there can only be one. She trademarked the term and had a lawyer send out cease and desist letters to at least one other Frugalista.
Becca Beushausen, a 26-year-old woman who went by “April’s Mom” online, scammed gullible readers out of money to help pay for a fake pregnancy. Then she accidentally screwed up her scam by posting a photo of the supposed baby last week. “‘It wasn’t a photo of a baby at all,’ said Elizabeth Russell, a mother and maker of lifelike Reborn Dolls, ‘It was a doll. I have that same doll.'”
So blogger Jason Roe finds what he thinks is an error on the RyanAir site that would let you buy airfare from the zero-frills a-la-carte Irish airline for free. An employee decided t make nasty comments in Jason’s comments section, calling him “idiot and a liar!” and saying that he probably can’t get a date. Which was not that surprising. Nor was it surprising that a RyanAir PR rep responded to the situation. What was surprising was that the PR rep sided with the commenter and heaped further abuse on the blogger!
If you’ve been following the Facebook story over the past couple of days, you know by now that Facebook has said that they are not claiming ownership of uploaded user content: “We certainly did not—and did not intend—to create any new right or interest for Facebook in users’ data by issuing the new Terms.” But blogger Amanda French decided to actually compare the fine print for several social networking sites—MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Picasa—and she concludes that “Facebook’s claims to your content are extraordinarily grabby and arrogant.” Read her side-by-side comparison here.
Academic and New York Times blogger Stanley Fish kicks off nominations for Worst Company in America 2009 with his account of frustrations—both consumer and grammatical—with AT&T.
Someone hacked into super-famous blogger Chris Pirillo’s PayPal account and bought $450 worth of iTunes cards. On his birthday, no less. After a review Paypal declared to him,”We have completed our investigation of your claim and have determined that this is not an instance of unauthorized account activity.”
Credit card companies need to penalize bad behavior with outrageous fees to keep credit affordable for the rest of us, right? Yeah, not so much. Credit Slips blogger and Georgetown Law Professor Adam Levitin argues that risk-based pricing is a myth that credit card companies exploit to escape well-deserved government regulation.
The Mission: A year-long effort to meet the laborers and craftsmen who build what I buy – and put a human face on consumption. For every transaction, there must be a personal connection with someone along the production chain.
Sounds tiring. [Gothamist]
The brass at Comcast are keeping an eye on Twitter, according to Michael Arrington of TechCrunch. He spewed some bile about Comcast via Twitter and got an immediate response from their internet damage control team.
A Target billboard depicting a woman spreadeagled over a Target logo with her vagina centered squarely on the bullseye has some parents and feminists all riled up. One of them, Amy from ShapingYouth.org, contacted Target to see if they realized, you know, that their ad had a woman’s crotch centered on a bullseye.
Yahoo Personals surprised technology guru Russell Shaw with a charge for $74.95 when he signed up for Yahoo Voice. Russell had let his subscription to Yahoo Personals lapse last February and ignored Yahoo’s repeated entreaties to renew his membership. He assumed his account was cancelled, told his credit card company not to authorize any new charges, and did not inform Yahoo when he lost his credit card last May.
Considering the lifeblood of The Consumerist is publicizing stories of bad businesses and bad business practices—including drawing attention to personal stories on other peoples’ blogs—we were happy to read that blogger Philip Smith won the federal defamation and trademark dilution lawsuit brought against him by a company he wrote about on his personal blog. Although it doesn’t guarantee that other angry business owners or their legal teams won’t come after you for writing about your unpleasant experiences with them, it cheers us to know that, at least in this case, a federal judge felt that Smith should be protected from retaliation for telling his side of the story. “It’s not about the title, it’s about the content, said Judge Henry Hurlong, Jr.; a journalist turns out to be anyone who does journalism, and bloggers who do so have the same rights and privileges under federal law as the ‘real’ journalists.”
The best way to escape from our mindless purchase economy is to ignore your credit cards in favor of pure, reliable cash. Credit cards undoubtedly have value – purchase protection, rewards, convenience – but only for consumers who use credit responsibly. No Credit Needed wrote a useful guide for anyone willing to live the credit-free life.