Walmart To Rate Product Sustainability

Walmart To Rate Product Sustainability

Walmart is developing a universal rating system to help consumers determine which products are truly sustainable. The rating system would scrutinize a product’s entire life-cycle by focusing on broad factors, rather than the usual marketing gibberish that extolls isolated virtues. So why is Walmart, of all companies, deciding which products are environmentally sound?

Consumers Are Scared To Lose Their Jobs, Still Saving For Their Inevitable Unemployment

Consumers Are Scared To Lose Their Jobs, Still Saving For Their Inevitable Unemployment

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.

Another Arbitration Firm Pulls Out Of Credit Card Arbitration

Another Arbitration Firm Pulls Out Of Credit Card Arbitration

Just days after the National Arbitration Forum agreed to stop arbitrating consumer credit card disputes, the American Arbitration Association has decided to do the same. This is good, but passage of the Arbitration Fairness Act is still necessary.

Enlightened Nation To Banks: Either Explain Excessive Fees Or Eliminate Them

Enlightened Nation To Banks: Either Explain Excessive Fees Or Eliminate Them

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.

G.M. Agrees To Remain Responsible For Shoddy Cars After Bankruptcy

G.M. Agrees To Remain Responsible For Shoddy Cars After Bankruptcy

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.

What Happens When Your Life Insurer Kicks The Bucket?

What Happens When Your Life Insurer Kicks The Bucket?

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…

Are Cellphone Exclusivity Deals Bad For Consumers?

Are Cellphone Exclusivity Deals Bad For Consumers?

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.

Consumer Confidence Is Up. Wait, Compared To What?

Consumer Confidence Is Up. Wait, Compared To What?

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.

Forced Arbitration: You Lose, Now Pay For Our Lunch

Forced Arbitration: You Lose, Now Pay For Our Lunch

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.

Forced Arbitration: As Fair As A Sucker Punch

Forced Arbitration: As Fair As A Sucker Punch

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's Portrait Of The American Shopper

Time's Portrait Of The American Shopper

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.

Walmart CEO Thinks Consumers Have Finally Learned That Debt Is Bad

Walmart CEO Thinks Consumers Have Finally Learned That Debt Is Bad

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.

Hooray! CPSC Agrees To Exempt Some Natural Items From Product Safety Act

Hooray! CPSC Agrees To Exempt Some Natural Items From Product Safety Act

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.

Welcome To The Island Of Misfit Luxury Imports…

Welcome To The Island Of Misfit Luxury Imports…

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 Wants You To Shop More With Their Wheeled Baskets

Shaw's Wants You To Shop More With Their Wheeled Baskets

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.

Study: Baby Boomers Are "Savvy Shoppers" Who Brand-Jump More Than Younger Generations

Study: Baby Boomers Are "Savvy Shoppers" Who Brand-Jump More Than Younger Generations

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!

Cheer Color Guard's Newer Scoop Wastes More Detergent, Money

Cheer Color Guard's Newer Scoop Wastes More Detergent, Money

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…

Energy Companies Win Permission To Steal $3 Billion From Customers

Energy Companies Win Permission To Steal $3 Billion From Customers

Westerners are stuck paying $3 billion to energy companies that colluded to gang-rape the free market. California, Washington, and Nevada were planning to return the money to customers, but the Supreme Court recently ruled that the industry manipulated the market, fair and square.