Food Lion can’t decide how much this boneless New York strip steak costs or weighs. It could weigh .47 pounds at $9.49 per pound, or it could be 1.06 pounds of value priced meat at $6.64 per pound. Reader Mike isn’t sure what’s really going on here, but he’s hungry and confused and wants his steak to come with answers.
Joe works at a Radio Shack store on Long Island. Lately, the combination of the digital TV transition and some recent lineup changes at local cable TV provider Cablevision has Joe concerned, since he has both a conscience and a brain, and is an avid Consumerist reader.
Please don’t pull the cord on Howard’s laptop or it will die. Best Buy‘s Geek Squad has failed five times to coax his laptop’s ailing battery into holding a charge, replacing both the battery and the hard drive, and shipping Howard the same incorrect replacement battery three times. Howard now wants Best Buy to honor their lemon policy by giving him a new laptop, but it seems like every Geek Squad agent has a different copy of the replacement policy, and none of them apply to Howard. It’s almost like he’s asking for a price match! Let’s read his story, inside…
When we broke off from our Sears Craftsman warranty saga last Friday, Brian had been told there were no replacements on tools that have rust on them, which wasn’t what Sears told us the last time we had warranty questions. Over the weekend, Brian found more evidence that Sears can’t get its warranty language straight. But there’s some good news, too: he dressed up a little, cleaned off the sockets, and went back to Sears. This time he got a different associate who seemed to have no problem swapping out the tools, and who never mentioned the supposed “three per day” rule.
Turbo Tax told reader I’m A Super that he needed to fill out an extra form to complete his state tax return, but wouldn’t tell him which form. Just to be safe, I’m A Super re-downloaded Turbo Tax only to get the same error message. When he called Intuit to ask about the mysterious form, he was that it was solely his responsibility to call the State Tax commission and to review his tax forms to make sure nothing was missing.
Reader Jeff is confused. He wants to purchase a laptop from Walmart. Upon Perusing his website from home, he saw a nice Acer Netbook for under $300. Of course, upon walking into the store, he was confronted with a slightly higher price. Luckily, he talked to the nice customer service representative and quickly price matched the in store item to the online price and Jeff walked out a happy customer.
Hawaii last week became the first state to transition to digital television, leading hundreds of confused locals to call into the FCC’s help center. Though the transition appears to have been a technical success, the new digital signals mays never reach some of the 20,000 Hawaiians who rely on analog service.
Reselling your kid’s used clothing could soon violate federal law. Come February 10, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will prevent retailers from selling children’s products that haven’t been certified as lead free. Old hand-me-downs, of course, haven’t been certified for anything more than running around the yard. Parents are worried, petitions are being drawn up, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission isn’t doing much to clarify the law.
California dentist Yvonne Wong has sued two parents who complained in a review on Yelp that their child received mercury fillings and left Wong’s office feeling light-headed from laughing gas. Wong claims “it never occurred to her to contact the boy’s parents” before filing her libel suit, although the dentist clearly doesn’t have the best counsel. Her lawyer also tried to sue Yelp, apparently unaware that web sites publishing third-party content are protected under federal law.
Here’s an odd situation: Reader Stephen says that Comcast (his old cable company) disconnected his new Verizon cable. He’s not sure what exactly he should do about it and would like your advice.
A reader writes in to tell us about “the world of suck I encountered at WaMu” over some wrong personal data. A year and a half ago, she started receiving Washington Mutual account mail—including overdraft and collection notices—for someone named Ly Ly V____ at her address. “I’ve lived at my home for 11 years, and have no neighbors with that name.”
Consumer Reports tells us that according to a survey they commissioned, consumers have absolutely no f@#$@%$ clue what the heck is going on with the digital TV conversion.
Products don’t advertise their drawbacks leaving shoppers to rely on online reviews as one of the only ways to determine a product’s true worth. Salon argues in an article heavy on fluff and light on content that reviews are just a meaningless muddle of questionable opinions. We disagree, but the article does raise one good question: how do you judge the value online reviews?
An article due out in the October issue of the Journal of Consumer Research studies a sales technique called “disrupt-then-reframe,” in which the sales person initially tries to confuse the potential customer, then restates the sales pitch in a more familiar way. By reframing the sales pitch in a more familiar way the consumers natural defenses are weakened and the consumer becomes more susceptible to the sales pitch. So, can you be confused into buying something? Yes. And it’s not even very difficult to do.
If you buy a Toyota Prius, your wife’s name and phone number will instantly find itself on many online escort websites. This we know. But it sucks for money in ways your wife doesn’t. In fact, the car’s so confusing that Consumer Affairs couldn’t even figure out how to turn one on: