You might remember how earlier this year, a court in California ruled that Overstock.com violates California’s unfair competition and false advertising laws. Simply put: a lot of the “original” prices that they list for items they sell are lies. [More]
If you bought Skechers Shape-Ups shoes and filed with the Federal Trade Commission for a refund, get ready to go shopping for some new sneakers: your check will be in the mail soon. Skechers hasn’t admitted that they did anything wrong, but did reach a $40 million settlement with the FTC for putting out ads that claimed walking around in their shoes is a workout. [Previously]
We were shocked, simply shocked at claims made in a recent lawsuit that Budweiser and other Anheuser-Busch InBev brews are watered down and as such, not as strong as their advertised alcohol content. Those allegations are based on information the plaintiffs say they procured from AB InBev workers. But how about getting some scientists on the case, just for fun? [More]
What you see isn’t always what you get, but in advertising that’s a big no-no. After all, the point of ads is to show potential consumers what they’ll be in for if they decide to buy that product. That whole truth in advertising thing is why the British Advertising Standards Authority has put the kibosh on Christian Dior mascara ads featuring actress Natalie Portman. [More]
It’s not just that the federal government doesn’t want the marketers of dietary supplements to just make up what their products can do for consumers, according to a new study on the prevalence of weight loss and immune system supplement, the Department of Health and Human Services warns that it could actually be harmful to our health to buy in to the hype. The agency just released a new report saying that around 20% of 127 different supplements it investigated made false and illegal claims to cure or treat diseases. [More]
Jonathan has a Sony Rewards credit card with Capital One, and tried to use his accumulated points to buy an AV receiver, Sony’s “deal of the week,” from the rewards site. There’s a special price this week for members, only 24,000 points. Great! Jonathan has that many points! Only the site won’t let him (or anyone) buy the item for the advertised sale price. [More]
How’s this for a bad deal? American Express Publishing Corp. had an offer for a “free” airline ticket when you bought a companion ticket and a subscription to Skyguide magazine. But a lawsuit brought by five Californian counties says that when consumers went to the website to buy their ticket, they were often charged double what the ticket would have cost them if they bought the ticket straight from the airline. Get it? [More]
Simple Mobile, a reseller of T-Mobile cellphone service, offers a $60 “unlimited everything” plan that includes unlimited data. To no one’s surprise, there is a hard cap on the unlimited data according to Howard Forums and our tipster Eric. Naturally you can’t find that limit anywhere on their website, and if you exceed it you’re asked to pay $10 for an additional 100 MB of data. [More]
A federal judge ruled this week that Vitaminwater will not, as its labels promise, keep you “healthy as a horse.” Nor will it bring about a “healthy state of physical or mental being”. Instead, Vitaminwater is really just a sugary snack food; non-carbonated fruit coke disguised as a sports drink. Because it’s composed mostly of sugar and not vitamin-laden water, judge John Gleeson held that Vitaminwater’s absurd marketing claims were likely to mislead consumers. [More]
A Brooklyn man is suing the makers of Yoo-hoo, the weird chocolate-flavored drink that’s been around for 90 years, over their claims that the drink is as healthy as it is delicious. Although actually, if the company would change its description to “as healthy as it is delicious,” they’d probably be able to avoid all lawsuits: “Look, we told you it wasn’t healthy.” [More]
When shopping for a digital camera, it’s good to carefully weigh your photography needs, the amount you wish to spend, and the specifications of different cameras. Unfortunately, doing so requires that the advertised specifications for a camera be accurate. That’s what the UK-based site DigicamReview and several reviews on Amazon say that Vivitar sort of forgot to do with their Vivicam 8225. While the inexpensive camera advertises a 2X optical zoom, advanced users claim that there’s no optical zoom at all. [More]
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) was the group responsible for pressuring Disney into offering refunds on Baby Einstein DVDs last October. Now the CCFC says Disney threatened the mental health center where the group had offices, and consequently the center booted them out in January. [More]
Jennifer writes that she bought a new phone, a Samsung Mantra, based on the features listed for the phone on Virgin Mobile’s web site. The problem is that the phone doesn’t actually seem to have the advertised features that led her to buy the phone in the first place. [More]
Andrew sent us this perplexing banner from MLB.tv. He saw it on the Atlanta Braves’ web site. “NO BLACKOUTS!” it proclaims. Then at the bottom: “Blackout and other restrictions apply.” Well, at least the banner ad is honest. [More]
At Hilton Washington Dulles Airport hotel, everything is complimentary! That’s because to them “complimentary” actually means “for a price.” Last week, a linguistics professor tried to take advantage of their “Complimentary High-speed Internet access on the lobby level,” which is how they describe the service on their website. He quickly discovered that he’d have to agree to a $9.99 charge in order to get the free service.
Waiting for a rebate from TigerDirect? Good luck with that. In a suit filed last Friday, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is charging the company with, among other things, promising customers that rebates would arrive in about 8-10 weeks of submission, when in fact “a vast number of customers experienced delays ranging from one to more than eight months, before receiving their promised rebates, if at all.” The suit also charges TigerDirect with engaging in “deceptive and unfair trade practices.”
Remember the class-action lawsuit against the makers of cold-and-flu-preventing magic potion Airborne? Airborne claimed that it could prevent or shorten colds and flus, without any actual scientific evidence to back those claims up.
When we last spoke to Jess, the gamer with the questionable taste for dolphin pet-simulating video games, she was adrift in a sea of despair, having bought a game based on promotional copy on the game’s site and box, only to find the game she bought was different than that which was promised. Publisher 505 Games seemed to be blowing her off.