Will thought he was buying the newest MacBook Pro model—that’s what it said on the box and on the receipt. After he’d set it up, he discovered it was a previous model, so he took it back to the glass box Apple Store on Fifth Ave in NYC to get the version he paid for. Now Apple wants him to pay $100 to transfer his data over to the new laptop. But hey, he shouldn’t complain, because they’re “waiving” the restocking fee!
Last Friday, we posted about how a Dodge dealership in New York spent nearly a week working on a truck, and charged over $700 for the labor, only to say they couldn’t fix it in the end. It looks like the story has a happy ending: after the truck’s owner sent in a formal complaint and pointed the dealership to our post, the dealership’s owner refunded both the repair fees and the towing fees.
A Dodge dealership in Alexandria Bay, NY, wasted over $700 of Joe’s dad’s money and a week of their time not repairing a 20-year-old truck. Joe says he heard that the dealership recently replaced all of its mechanics—maybe they took a page from Circuit City’s playbook?
If you’re thinking of buying a Select Comfort mattress, you might want to budget in an extra $200+ every couple of years to replace the controllers that let you adjust the bed. That’s the commitment Henry seems to be stuck with. Although Select Mattress keeps telling him it’s a rare occurrence, it’s happened twice now with him with both controllers, and he’s not the only one.
The new “premium” (their word) iPhone app from Sirius XM will cost $2.99 a month for customers who aren’t already subscribers. It also doesn’t include Howard Stern, MLB Play-by-Play, NFL Play-by-Play and Sirius Nascar Radio. Sirius blames licensing issues for most of the missing content, but not for the absence of Howard Stern, about which it won’t comment.
We asked John, who wrote to us earlier this week about replacing the motherboard in his HP laptop, to send us a link to the listing he found for $150. Below is his response.
John’s wife’s laptop died, and his local Geek Squad wants $800 total to replace the motherboard. John says he found the motherboard for $150, and he wants to know why Geek Squad thinks it will require $650 in labor. So all you IT and geek readers out there, we ask you: is this a fair price?
Two different readers recently received an application for the Visa Black Card from Barclays. With its “patent pending carbon” material and “exclusive rewards program,” it’s not for everyone. With its $495 annual fee (plus another $195 per each authorized user), it’s not for anyone, not even the supposed 1% of the population Barclays says they’re marketing it to. We take that back—if Gob Bluth could get his own credit card, this would be the one he’d sign up for. C’mon!
Tom just received a great offer from his bank. He can receive a free credit report just by peeling off this sticker and affixing it to another part of the same page. That’s right, a free motherloving credit report! Who doesn’t want one of those? Free, you say? Sign me up!
Geoffrey Miller, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of New Mexico, says marketers are trying too hard to find a working model of why people spend money the way they do. It really comes down to the human equivalent of “cost signaling” in the animal world—a sort of “peacock feather” display that’s supposed to tell peers and prospective mates how smart or sophisticated we are. The only problem is, other people never fall for it.
Why does HSBC charge $15 to make a payment over the phone? Other, often smaller, companies charge $3 or less, as MG notes in his email below. In this case, since the alternative is so unwelcome—a possible late payment, and a corresponding hit on MG’s credit score—it seems pretty outrageous to hold him hostage to a $15 fee.
Most travelers make do with 2 normal-sized pieces of luggage or less, but if you think you might have to travel with more bags, or unusually large or heavy ones, be prepared to shell out a lot of cash for what’s called an “excess baggage fee.”
Seriously, Jiffy Lube? You haven’t received enough bad coverage about ripping off your customers? Fine, here’s another one: Daniel says they tried to add about $170 in extra “needed” repairs and replacements recently when his girlfriend dropped off her car to get the oil changed. Even after she turned them down, they still slapped an extra $6 “Peak Global Life Time 100%” charge on the bill. We don’t know what that means, but those are all good words, and anything that’s 100 percent has got to be quality. Apparently Jiffy Lube doesn’t know what it means either.
If you’re going out of the country for more than 15 seconds, don’t forget to turn off, remove, leave at home, freeze in a block of ice, disable, or otherwise render unusable your wireless card. Above all, do not download Wall-E for your nephew to watch on your computer. Unfortunately, we do not have any more details about what was going on here, because Clark Howard apparently has to get back to his NASCAR pit.
There were lots of problems on the recent Costa Cruise vacation that Krista and her friends took, including lukewarm hot tubs, closed buffets, and missing towels. But the biggest surprise was when their waiter was replaced on the second day with a newly promoted, untrained busboy who abandoned them nightly. Well, when he wasn’t taking their sugar or stealing their basket of bread.
Walgreens charges a hefty $7.99 for passport photos. Is it because they’re super fancy, or technically challenging to create, or the paper is strawberry scented? The answer to all of these questions is no. It’s because it’s an easy way to make a quick buck. That’s why they hate it when you find a cheaper online solution and try to print out your own 4×6 layout of passport photos via their stores.
Update: It turns out the special chips used in the headphone controls of the third generation Shuffle don’t contain any DRM after all, so any attempts at reverse-engineering won’t bring on the wrath of the DMCA.