Let’s get straight to the bad news: although Amazon did answer my questions, their answers included “we’re working on that,” “I don’t know,” and “I don’t know (but it’s the publishers’ fault).” To be fair to the “Kindle Specialist” I spoke with this morning, he has promised to talk to the Kindle marketing department—why marketing? these are DRM issues!—and get back to me with better answers. Until then, this is what the average consumer can expect from a Kindle ebook license.
The deepest “employment slump of any recession in the last eight decades” has consumers convinced they’re about to lose their jobs — and that’s affecting consumer confidence, says Bloomberg.
Australian consumers will soon be able to challenge any bank fee that they consider “unreasonable,” thanks to a new law that could save consumers up to $1 billion. Banks that want to keep levying excessive fees for late payments and overdrafts will need to prove that the charges are reasonable by revealing the true processing costs behind the fee.
General Motors has reached an agreement with the government to let consumers file what are known as product-liability claims after the company escapes from bankruptcy protection. The big win for consumers means that if a manufacturing defect in an old G.M. causes injuries in the future, consumers will still be able to sue G.M. in state court.
Life insurance polices are backed by state guarantee associations, but the coverage offered varies drastically from state to state. Some products, like variable annuities, can be recovered in full because of the way they’re structured, but if you have term life insurance or a universal policy, you should know the limitations of your state’s coverage…
Yesterday, four U.S. Senators sent a letter to FCC acting chairman Michael Copps requesting an investigation into whether exclusivity deals between handset makers and national carriers are ultimately good for consumers, and they plan to hold a hearing on the issue on Wednesday, June 16th. They join a growing number of people and organizations, including the Rural Cellular Association (RCA), who say exclusivity deals benefit no one but the carriers and manufacturers.
Do you feel more confident? According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence is up to its highest level in eight months, and made its biggest increase in six years.
Mandatory binding arbitration, which corporations use to dodge accountability for their discrimination, negligence, or harassment, is a caricature of justice that offers no protection to consumers or employees. It’s also terrible for small business owners, as one couple found out.
We at Consumerist really hate mandatory binding arbitration, the faux-legal sucker punch that companies deliver when they screw up and you try to sue, and so should you. We’ve talked about its evils a lot, but no one can describe this legal abomination as well as the victims themselves, so this week we’ll let them speak.
Time interviewed Paco Underhill, a retail consultant and the author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, to find out how the average American consumer shops and thinks these days. Turns out, according to Underhill, there are three types of “average consumer” out there now, and—you may have noticed this already—the era of the big box retailer is in decline.
Retailers are hoping that the credit crunch ends and consumers will start spending like crazy again — but Walmart’s CEO Lee Scott doesn’t think that’s going to happen.
Step back from the ledge, makers of lovingly hand-carved wooden dolls: the Consumer Product Safety Commission has lurched into action and tentatively agreed to exempt some materials and items from the lead-testing requirements in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
If you’re looking for a photograph to illustrate how our economy has changed over the past few months, take a look at this. No, that’s not a parking lot in a town where everyone has the same taste. It’s the Port of Long Beach, where “thousands of cars worth tens of millions of dollars are being warehoused,” unwanted by the dealers who used to sell them. They’re imports — Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Nissan orphans.
Shaw’s has wised up to the trick of using a basket instead of a shopping cart to physically limit your grocery purchases, and they’ve come up with a creative workaround: convertible baskets that you can drag behind you on wheels when they become too heavy to carry.
It’s time once again to play Categorize The Shopping Public, this time using a survey commissioned by TV Land to convince advertisers that its Boomer-centric programming is relevant. If you or someone you know is between the ages of 40-59, you won’t want to miss this very important message—but to summarize it for the ADD crowd, it seems younger folks are (slightly) more likely to choose a brand based on fashion and hype, whereas Boomers are (slightly) less brand-loyal and seek greater value. This runs counter to the conventional wisdom that younger consumers are savvier shoppers, and gives Boomers something to gloat over—before they forget what it is they’re gloating about. Ha ha! Old people are so old!
Adapting to the threat of informed consumers, the insidious Grocery Shrink Ray has mutated to enlarge select items. The Grocery Shrink Ray is seen here needlessly inflating the size of the scoop bundled with Cheer Color Guard detergent. Is Cheer encouraging consumers to burn through their product faster, or is the new Cheer simply less effective? Reader Mark investigates, inside…