The Los Angeles Times says that people tend to get weirdly fixated on pedometers when they have them, and will try harder to hit their daily activity goals. A San Diego State University professor tells the paper, “We don’t know why exactly, but keeping a number, a prompt, in our consciousness on a regular basis is important, and that’s why pedometers are superior to other methods. It’s on you all the time.” [More]
While mucking around on Home Depot‘s site, Elliott spotted this juxtaposition of smokin’/non-smokin’ deals. It seems that the prices for the 20-piece router bit set is the same as that of the 10-piecer. He states the obvious:
If you plan on going camping in the bear-infested badlands known as the Adirondacks (note: any place with a bear is infested with bears as far as I’m concerned), don’t bother packing your food in the supposedly bear-proof BearVault 500. Although it’s been rigorously tested by grizzlies at a California zoo and at Yellowstone National Park, there’s apparently an unnaturally smart—perhaps even octopus-smart—125-pound black bear in upstate New York who has figured out how to open it.
Luis dropped his busted LG EnV in the mail at the end of last year and tracked its progress as FedEx delivered the package to Verizon. Verizon, apparently unfamiliar with tracking numbers, doesn’t believe that Luis ever returned the phone, and insists that they’re owed a $320 replacement fee. Luis disputed the charge, but rather than investigate his claim, Verizon decided it would be easier to suspend his service. Now they want Luis—a customer of seven years who pays over $350 across six phone lines each month—to pay another $15 to reconnect the service they should never have disconnected in the first place. He writes:
This $10 silicone bib for babies is stain-proof and non-porous, and it forms a scoop (you might even say a trough) underneath baby’s uncooperative mouth, so that food items end up there instead of on the baby, table, floor, dog, etc. It can even be thrown in the dishwasher. [Cool Tools]
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 sounds like sports-equipment company REI actually enjoys providing good customer service—their official Return policy seems pretty lenient, and it turns out they stand by that,at least for Tom’s family:
A 44-year-old Brooklyn woman was returning from vacation in Haiti when she began to have trouble breathing. According to her cousin who was on the flight with her, she was refused help twice by the flight attendant, then she was brought two oxygen tanks with masks—but both were empty. Her cousin requested an emergency landing, but before they could touch down in Miami she was dead, so the plane continued to JFK. The airline isn’t commenting on why the emergency tanks were empty in the first place. “After the flight attendant refused to administer oxygen to Ms. Desir, she became distressed, pleading, ‘Don’t let me die,’ Mr. Oliver recalled.”
Andrew writes: “I had been a satisfied customer of Verizon for several years – I have had phone service with them since the days of Bell Atlantic and have had their fiber-optic internet service (FiOS) since March 2005. In March 2007, I decided to switch cable providers and signed up for Verizon’s FiOS TV service as it was cheaper than Comcast and supposedly provided superior picture quality. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”
Wisconsin-based hunting stand company Ardisam Inc. has agreed to pay a $420,000 civil penalty to settle a government lawsuit. In 2004, the company recalled 78,000 hunting tree stands that “unexpectedly detached from trees,” sending hunters tumbling to the ground.
A reader from Vermont writes in to let us know that he accidentally discovered Comcast has been charging him a $3/month modem rental fee for a modem he owned, because Comcast claimed that due to poor record keeping, it had no way of distinguishing between Adelphia’s modem renters and owners. This fee went on for months undetected because Comcast doesn’t itemize such fees on their online statements, only on their printed bills. (Well yeah, because including such details online would waste ink…wait, what?) When our reader called Comcast to have the fees refunded, he was told he’d have to provide proof of purchase for his modem.
Bayer is recalling certain diabetes test strips because they tend to over-report blood glucose level readings by 5 to 17 percent. Affected lots begin with WK7 and then either a D, E, F or G. All other lot numbers are fine and can be used. More information.
Charter accused Kevin of failing to pay for unreturned equipment, even though Kevin paid his final bill in full and has a receipt for a returned cable box. Charter customer service representatives were happy to play whack-a-mole whenever the bogus charges for the equipment appeared on Kevin’s bill, but Charter eventually tired of the infuriatingly unwinnable game and sent Kevin’s account to collections.
Some non-game playing exec at Namco Bandai has decided that the gun controller that ships with Time Crisis 4 for the Playstation 3 cannot and will not be sold separately, even though there’s a 2-player mode in the game. Their CSR’s helpful suggestion? “You will need another copy of Time Crisis 4.” It’s as if the game is a license to use one gun controller—if you want more gun controllers, simply buy more licenses!
Dish Network Sends Prepaid Return Boxes To Wrong Address Three Times, Bills For Unreturned Equipment
Reader Ryan called the Dish Network three weeks before moving to disconnect his service. Dish graciously offered to send prepaid return boxes for his equipment, but instead of sending them to Ryan’s new address, Dish sent them to his old address. Three times. Oddly, Dish managed to properly address a bill to Ryan’s new address. Ryan writes:
A turkey fryer has never really sounded like a safe way to cook—there’s just something inherently stupid about the act of dropping a dead bird the size of a basketball into a vat of boiling oil, no matter how tasty the outcome. According to TheStreet.com, “Turkey fryers are a known cause of many fires, so much so that the National Fire Protection Association advises against their use.” TheStreet test-drives an alternative, the $129 Char-Broil Big Easy oil-less fryer, which Char-Broil describes as “Just like a turkey fryer, minus the boiling, hot oil and visits from your local firefighters.” According to TheStreet, it doesn’t leave the skin as crispy as a real fryer would, but otherwise works great.
Mary Clingman, the director of Butterball’s help line, gave Newsday some advice on finding a good roasting pan for your Thanksgiving dinner. Her advice: get a shallow pan 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep that’s large enough to place a rack inside to sit the turkey on. You can buy a new, reusable one at a restaurant supply store or Sur La Table for between $35 and $200, but the next best thing is a cheap disposable aluminum one from the supermarket: “Place four-five whole carrots on the bottom and rest the turkey on them. Put a cookie sheet underneath the foil pan for extra support.”