A woman caught shoplifting from a Walmart in Cinnaminson, NJ, assaulted the store’s loss-prevention officer and drove off, but accidentally left her pocketbook–which contained her driver’s license–in the parking lot. She called back later to ask whether they’d found it, and when the police got on the phone she admitted to the shoplifting and assault, but blamed it on the devil. [More]
Scott says his flight from San Antonio to Denver was delayed last night because “the weather computer was not working,” but two hours later that excuse was replaced with a “weather-related delay” in Denver. The problem is, Denver was sunny and clear at the time. [More]
Be sure to always enunciate clearly when you’re placing an order, so that you don’t accidentally rob the cashier. That piece of advice comes from a man in Massachusetts who was charged for attempted armed robbery of a Dunkin’ Donuts back in April. He now claims that the cashier misunderstood him. What he really said was that he wanted a honey bun, not “Give me the money, I have a gun.” [More]
Remember those days of getting your friend with the really good handwriting to forge a note from your mom so you could avoid getting busted for being late to school? If you’re a New Yorker and take public transportation to work, the Metropolitan Transportation Administration is on board with a similar service. No, the agency won’t lie for you. But if you can’t make it to work on time because your train was delayed, the MTA now offers a web-based service that will get you a note to prove it to your boss. [More]
Erica and her fiance are tired of waiting for a lamp to arrive from Lamps Plus, especially now that it’s been three months and the company hasn’t kept any of its promises so far. She wants to know what to do next. [More]
My advice on mail-in-rebates is to ignore them when you’re trying to decide on a purchase. They take too long to receive, during which time you’ve paid a higher amount on the product. Even worse, it’s easy for a company to deny a claim and refuse to cooperate with you, and it’s hard for consumers to get misbehaving companies to play fairly. [More]
Imagine trying to buy a book from Big Generic Bookstore and watching the cashier add $5 to the sticker price. “What are you doing?!” you cry out, waving a fist menacingly at him. “You look like you can afford it,” he says back to you with a hint of entitltement. That’s basically what a publishing industry expert said in a piece he wrote last week about ebook pricing. [More]
Todd got ripped off by a scammer on an eBay purchase. He made sure to insure the device before shipping it off via the United States Postal Service, but it turns out that an insurance claim won’t help him get PayPal to step up. [More]
Padding chip bags with air is a pretty well-understood practice by now–supposedly it helps prevent the chips from being crushed. But what’s the purpose of similar packaging tricks in frozen fish, or boxes of instant rice? After a recent Consumer Reports article questioned the amount of air in packages at the grocery store, New York Times reporter Andrew Adam Newman asked two of the manufacturers for an explanation. [More]
Yesterday, ECA President Hal Halpin emailed Consumerist and other blogs a formal statement addressing the charges that the ECA is deliberately making it hard for members to break free. I’m printing the letter below, along with a summary of the key points Halpin makes and the issues that remain unanswered. [More]
Geek Squad Agent Doesn't Have Time To Look For Multimeter, Let's Just Send Off Laptop For 3 Weeks Instead
The usefulness of Best Buy’s Geek Squad depends entirely on the competence of the employee you get when you go in for help, and unfortunately Scott landed one of the lazier ones. Here’s his sales pitch to Scott over a laptop that wouldn’t start: “It’s going to take at least 10 minutes for me to get the multimeter or another adapter. It’s going to be a problem inside the computer, let’s just send it in.”
Since the Beatles are notorious for refusing to release their music online, the mere fact that BlueBeat.com was selling them was kind of strange, which probably explains why EMI just sued them for copyright infringement. But BlueBeat has come up with a perfectly reasonable explanation. The songs aren’t really Beatles songs, you see, but “psycho-acoustic simulations” and therefore original works.
Michael emailed us, and Dell, from a loaner computer while he’s on a trip. His own laptop isn’t working, and thanks to a steady stream of broken promises and incorrect information, now he’s stuck without access to the software and development files he needs for his work.
Angela can’t get a new American Express card because Amex can’t verify her Social Security number. They have to verify it because of 9/11. Since they can’t, they’ve canceled her application. Because of 9/11.
Gateway claims that the Patriot Act is holding up delivery of the part needed to fix Redwoodflyer’s laptop, which has been broken since October. Seems believable to us!
C’mon Sears, rust isn’t a magic brown fairy powder that you can sprinkle over any warranty issue to deny coverage. Brian was told he couldn’t have his worn-out sockets replaced because they were rusty. He pointed out that he needed them replaced because they were worn out, not because of some cosmetic damage due to oxidation. Now Sears has officially told him that any rust on a Craftsman tool automatically voids the warranty—which is not what Sears told us two years ago.
Sean can’t get Dell to ship the scanner he ordered on January 20th. They keep canceling it at the last minute, then promising to ship it the next week. They really like your scanner, Sean. Can’t you just leave them alone and let them have their forbidden love?
Reader Michael wants to know why it’s taking UPS almost a month to ship his daughter’s Christmas gift from Los Angeles to Seattle. Michael thinks his package might have been eaten by the snowstorm that broke Seattle a few weeks back, but UPS swears that they have the gift and that this is all a simple matter of “the driver forgot to put it on the truck.” Worried that it that it might have been faster for a messenger to walk between Los Angeles and Seattle with his daughter’s present, Michael decided to launch an Executive Email Carpet Bomb at UPS executives.