We Have Seen The Future, And It Serves Strawberry Dr Pepper

We Have Seen The Future, And It Serves Strawberry Dr Pepper

Last year, we brought you news that Pepsi finally had its answer to the Coke Freestyle super-fountain, and it was called the Pepsi Touch Tower. Over a year later, these machines finally made their way out into the wild, and have been renamed the Pepsi Spire. There aren’t many in operation: only 76 in the United States as of this writing. We were fortunate enough to encounter one while grabbing a slice of pizza. [More]

Here’s Hobby Lobby’s Nightmare Before Christmas

Here’s Hobby Lobby’s Nightmare Before Christmas

We complain about holiday mashups and Holiday Creep, but we secretly love “Nightmare Before Christmas” displays, where retail necessity meets art, and cool holiday mashups ensue. Hobby Lobby puts out their Christmas merchandise early, even by craft store standards, and we have gradually grown to enjoy these Halloween trees, even as it’s fundamentally wrong to celebrate the coming of autumn with evergreens. [More]

Best Policy Ever: Neither The Customer, Nor We, Are Always Right

Best Policy Ever: Neither The Customer, Nor We, Are Always Right

Of all the different takes I’ve heard on “the customer is always right,” this is the only one that gets it right. [More]

Profiles In Niche Marketing: "Short Hair Magazine"

Profiles In Niche Marketing: "Short Hair Magazine"

I spotted this in the magazine rack at Walgreens last night. There is an entire magazine devoted just to short hair. It’s called Short Hair, and it turns out it’s been around for many years. While it sounds silly, one of it’s main selling points is that if you see a cut in there you like you can buy the glossy and show it to your stylist. Still, this is the apotheosis of niche marketing. I’m thinking of picking up a subscription but with my budget tight I’ll need to either drop Mason Jar Monthly, or Babe In The Hoods, a periodical devoted to pictures of attractive people wearing hooded sweatshirts. [More]

LG Shooting New Phone Ad With Fancy Carousel

LG Shooting New Phone Ad With Fancy Carousel

I stumbled across a shoot yesterday in Brookyln for a new LG phone commercial featuring a big ol’ carousel they stuffed into a warehouse in the Gowanus Canal area. [More]

Starbucks Birthplace Coffee Tastes Just As Burnt As Everywhere Else

Starbucks Birthplace Coffee Tastes Just As Burnt As Everywhere Else

I visited the epicenter of Starbucks this weekend. It’s a nice little store that adheres to the Pike Place Market historic district guidelines. The logo on the exterior is the original brown, nippled mermaid. Inside, it’s not that large and theres a converted tackle supply shop feel to the place. The ceilings are made of painted white wood slats with lots of low white lights hanging. Otherwise, the coffee tasted exactly the same. Yes, no matter which corner in America you visit, whether the first store or the last, you can be assured of enjoying a consistent, smooth, burnt flavor.

Cancel iPhone Without Venturing Outside

Cancel iPhone Without Venturing Outside

I cancelled an iPhone within the 30 days buyer’s remorse period recently and learned something interesting. Before AT&T will let people who bought their iPhones from Apple cancel service, they want you to return the phone first. They also want proof it was returned. They also want you to print out this proof and take it physically to an AT&T store and show it to them. Returning the phone, I have no problem with. But trekking out to a store to show someone in person a printout of an email?Madness.

The Maid Is Stealing Your Checkbook

The Maid Is Stealing Your Checkbook

Identity theft is rising in the recession, according to a Brooklyn public defender I talked to at a party this weekend. Most often the crime starts with the perp stealing the victim’s checkbook, he said.

BP Points Out Their Gas Same Price Whether Cash Or Credit

BP Points Out Their Gas Same Price Whether Cash Or Credit

Spotted this sign on a Brooklyn BP gas pump last night, taking pains to point out that they are charging customers the same price whether they use cash or credit. Interesting, because last year around this time we ran a few stories about gas stations who doing the opposite. The thing is, credit card companies charge merchants various transaction fees to process the cards. If retailers can’t assess those fees to the customers who actually incur them, the business has to raise prices on everything for everyone.

Job Seekers Crowd Jamba Juice. Customers? Not So Much.

Job Seekers Crowd Jamba Juice. Customers? Not So Much.

I saw this crowd outside the Jamba Juice on 3rd Ave and 61st today. They’re hiring. The job applicants stretched around the corner and down the block. At peak lunch time, there were only three customer inside. That’s pretty much the economy in a nutshell smoothie right there.

7 Thoughts From The Weekend

7 Thoughts From The Weekend

1. No matter how much the little sign made by the owner gushes, there’s a reason why a liter of “Duggan’s Dew” blended scotch whiskey is only $15.95.

Bear Stearns Bag Found At Knickknack Shop

Bear Stearns Bag Found At Knickknack Shop

I spotted a tote bag for Bear Stearns, the investment bank that recently nearly collapsed and JP Morgan Chase purchased, on sale outside a used goods store here in Brookyln. No doubt it was pawned off by one of the many recently liquidated Bear Stearns employees in the New York area (hey, that Tivo doesn’t pay for itself). I didn’t check the price tag, but it was probably more than $10, which is more than can be said for a share of Bear Stearns stock. Note the new Chase bank sign reflected into the store window.

Consumerists Meet In Real Life

Consumerists Meet In Real Life

This weekend I was standing in line for the movies and overheard a guy in line talking about a site where there’s the 1-800 numbers and keycodes to press to get a live human when calling customer service. I knew he was talking about GetHuman.com so I introduced myself and we started rapping about how Sprint customer service sucks. As I did that, the couple in back of us leaned over and said, “You write for The Consumerist? We read it every day.” That was amazing, to meet at the same time two sets of people who were right on the same consumer action wavelength as this site. Evidently, the time for our revolution is nigh.

Verizon Parks In Front Of Fire Hydrants

Verizon Parks In Front Of Fire Hydrants

We snapped a picture of these Verizon techs parked in front of a fire hydrant while they get their grub on at a Brooklyn corner diner today. Naughty. They were probably just addled in the brain from the toxic benzene plume which is most certainly not emanating from their depot down the street. — BEN POPKEN

At IKEA, Even Jumping Your Car Is A Self-Assembly Process

At IKEA, Even Jumping Your Car Is A Self-Assembly Process

We were so excited yesterday to go to IKEA that we left the lights on and our car battery died.

Best Buy, Pineville, NC

Best Buy, Pineville, NC

PINEVILLE, NC – More than 500 shoppers lined up at the doors of Best Buy this morning for their chance at Black Friday savings. Some had been there since 8pm last night.

Does The TSA Consider Pie A Dangerous Liquid?

Does The TSA Consider Pie A Dangerous Liquid?

UPDATE: Cleavland confiscates traveler’s pies.

Debit or Credit? The Cashier Doesn’t Know Either

Debit or Credit? The Cashier Doesn’t Know Either

Don’t the guys behind the counter know anything?