E-Trade, Borders And Frontier May Vanish This Year

E-Trade, Borders And Frontier May Vanish This Year

Get ready to say goodbye to the E-Trade baby and Frontier Airlines. According to 24/7 Wall Street, the two businesses are among their 10 picks for companies that will not survive the year. Others that may not be long for this world: Sara Lee, Gateway and Office Depot. [More]

Teva Pharmaceuticals: The Ubiquitous Company You've Never Heard Of

Teva Pharmaceuticals: The Ubiquitous Company You've Never Heard Of

Generic prescription drugs are just that: generic. Most patients don’t think much about who actually manufactures them. It’s pretty likely, however, that you have something in your medicine cabinet manufactured by Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. A profile of the company in this past weekend’s New York Times is fascinating. Most interesting of all: while the company is sensibly frugal enough to make Captain Moneycat purr, they refuse to move manufacturing to China or India, as many of their competitors have. [More]

How Epic Bureaucracy Led To GM's Doom

How Epic Bureaucracy Led To GM's Doom

Have you ever wondered how a profit-seeking entity could have possibly produced the Pontiac Aztek? The answer lies in GM’s century-old bureaucracy. Like all good bureaucracies, it helped to stifle innovation, squash dissent, and perpetuate bad ideas.

Poll: Does A Company Pulling Ads Off A Show Affect Your Opinion?

Poll: Does A Company Pulling Ads Off A Show Affect Your Opinion?

We mentioned last week that some companies have pulled their ads off Fox News host Glenn Beck‘s show in response to comments Beck made and the controversy that followed. Now there are reports that even more companies are pulling their ads from the show. We’re curious whether any of this actually affects consumer opinion of a company, so we made a poll. Take it!

Find Out What You Can Expect Before You Call Customer Service

Find Out What You Can Expect Before You Call Customer Service

The website Customer Service Scorecard ranks the CSR experience for all sorts of companies, from hotels to appliances to telecoms. They’ve rated 128 so far, and here’s their top five. Do you agree?

Mattel Profits Increase After Cost Cuts

Mattel Profits Increase After Cost Cuts

Mattel’s revenues are down by 19%. Toy sales from summer movies and flagship product Barbie and Hot Wheels are down. However, the company reported today that profits are way up. So what explains the profits? Blame a visit from Price Hike Barbie.

Ugly Shoes As Economic Indicator: Crocs In Trouble

Ugly Shoes As Economic Indicator: Crocs In Trouble

Here’s the problem with Crocs. You either love them or you can’t stand them. You make fun of them mercilessly, or you can’t imagine a more comfortable shoe. What’s problematic for the company that makes Crocs is that they don’t really wear out…and who needs multiple pair of glorified garden clogs in a recession?

Easy Weight Loss And Free Cash: A Dubious Product Online Marketing Empire Revealed

Easy Weight Loss And Free Cash: A Dubious Product Online Marketing Empire Revealed

I started out looking at the advertising and affiliate practices of one company, CreditReport America, and learned that the company that owns this site apparently produces a solid majority of the ads on the Web that annoy me.

Don't Like What Comcast Tells You? Just Call Back

Don't Like What Comcast Tells You? Just Call Back

If you’ve followed Consumerist for more than a few days you’ve probably heard that 2009 Worst Company in America quarterfinalist Comcast has been known to engage in some, ahem, sketchy customer service practices.

Corporate Lawyer To Corporations: Stop Suing Websites!

Corporate Lawyer To Corporations: Stop Suing Websites!

A well-respected lawyer has a simple message for corporations: stop suing disgruntled customers who start websites to air their grievances. Though William Pecau of Steptoe & Johnson thinks that online gripers are “self-righteous narcissists with time on their hands,” he also realizes that “shutting down a gripe site generally is not easy, often cannot be done, and often is counterproductive.” Pecau goes on to explain exactly why most online gripers are safe from over-hyped takedown notices

Corporate Infighting To Keep Americans From Paying With Their Cellphones For The Next Few Years

Corporate Infighting To Keep Americans From Paying With Their Cellphones For The Next Few Years

Don’t expect your cellphone to replace your credit card anytime soon. The New York Times reports that banks and telecoms still can’t agree on the basics needed to develop such a payment system, even though similar systems have been available in Japan for the past five years.

Wachovia Opens Bank Account Without Permission, Starts Charging Fees

Wachovia Opens Bank Account Without Permission, Starts Charging Fees

John can’t understand how Wachovia charged his startup $12 in fees for failing to maintain a minimum balance when his company never opened an account with Wachovia in the first place. Apparently, his former bank manager decamped to Wachovia and, without his permission, opened a new account “to ensure certain money rates,” whatever that means. John isn’t mad, and the bank manager agreed to close the account, but John is a little worried because a collections agency has started calling and the account now lists $24.05 in fees.

http://consumerist.com/2008/04/14/blockbuster-has-offered-to-buy/

Blockbuster has offered to buy Circuit City for a little over $1 billion, with the goal of creating “a chain that could sell portable devices and entertainment for them, much like Apple Inc.’s stores.” [Chicago Tribune] (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)

Creative Backs Down, Reinstates Spurned Developer

Creative Backs Down, Reinstates Spurned Developer

Creative Labs heard your chest-beating across the internet and decided to reinstate spurned developer Daniel_K less than a week after booting him from their forums. Unlike Creative, Daniel_K issued drivers that allowed Creative sound cards to work properly under Vista, and even enabled previously crippled features. The drivers were downloaded over 100,000 times. The company thanked the developer by accusing him of “enabling our technology and IP to run on sound cards for which it was not originally offered or intended, [in] effect, stealing our goods.” Even though he has been reinstated, Daniel_K is still pissed.

Senate Votes For Safer Products, Approves Consumer Product Safety Commission Overhaul

Senate Votes For Safer Products, Approves Consumer Product Safety Commission Overhaul

The Senate finally voted last week to send the ailing Consumer Product Safety Commission desperately needed funds, staff, and powers. The overdue reform bill passed with bipartisan support on a 79-13 vote.

Delta Starts A Blog!

Delta Starts A Blog!

Delta Airlines has started blogging! You should check it out, if only for the excellent comments from Delta’s real-life actual customers.