Mystery Solved: Why Walmart Thinks A Bottle Of Sprite Is A ‘Meal’

(Consumerist_

On Monday, we shared a reader-submitted photo of a shelf of two-liter soda bottles with some baffling signs. Coke, Sprite, and their diet varieties were declared “Wholesome, Healthy, and Delicious” and “Easy convenient meals.” Delicious and convenient, maybe, but they certainly aren’t wholesome, healthy, or meals. But reader Mindy snapped this picture at Walmart yesterday that might explain where the “meals” shelf tag came from. [More]

OnStar Can’t Open Your Deactivated Car If You’re Locked Out

OnStar Can’t Open Your Deactivated Car If You’re Locked Out

On Tuesday, we posted about a blogger who locked her daughter and keys in her vehicle, then contacted OnStar to see whether the service could remotely open the doors for her. We spoke to an OnStar representative, who explained to us that when a car owner chooses not to join or renew OnStar, the cellular device inside the car gets deactivated. [More]

(Drriss)

Westinghouse Digital Writes To Consumerist, Replaces Reader’s TV That Broke After 3 Weeks

Remember reader Mark, whose almost brand-spanking-new Westinghouse Digital TV failed only three weeks after he bought it? After we published his story, we heard from even more owners of failed Westinghouse Digital televisions. They were all very sad and frustrated. Now, Mark is no longer sad or frustrated, because he has a new replacement TV and contact information for some people at Westinghouse Digital who will actually answer the phone. [More]

(The Joy Of The Mundane)

HP: No, Downgrading To Windows 7 Doesn’t Really Void Your Warranty

Yesterday, we shared the story of Nick, a university information technology professional who bought a computer for a new employee that already had Windows 8 on it, tried to downgrade to Windows 7, and was told that doing so would void his warranty. While the person at Enterprise support he spoke to may have said this, it is not, strictly speaking, true. That’s great to hear. The bad news, of course, is that someone told Nick this in the first place. An ordinary customer who doesn’t work in IT would be completely confused at this point. [More]

(MartinRottler)

Delta Actually Listens To Customer Complaint About Confusing Website, Clarifies Free Movie Policy

Remember Josh, whose story we posted yesterday? He got this crazy idea in his head that Delta Airlines offered free movies on demand in the Economy Plus section, just because their website happened to say so. He sent off a quick e-mail complaint asking for a refund, and Delta explained that the site totally didn’t say what he thought it did, and he would get no refund. We published his story, and all of a sudden Delta changed their minds, cut him a check, and changed their website. [More]

(epicharmus)

‘It Really Is A Business’: Why Taking Your Own Santa Visit Pictures Makes You A Cheap Jerk

Last week, we ran a post with advice for families bringing kids to visit Santa, written by a former mall Santa who got the job despite being skinny, thirtyish, and Jewish. He explained how to keep your children from melting down on Santa’s lap. One former elf, who we’ll call “Holly,” took offense at one of that particular Santa’s tips for saving money, and wrote in to explain how things worked at the mall where she served as “elf,” or manager of the Santa set. The main thing she wants our readers to know: if you don’t buy any photos and insist on only taking your own, you’re a Grinchy jerk who is figuratively yanking money out of every employee’s pockets. [More]

Room-Borrowing Landlord Is Mentally Ill, Running A Scam, Or Both

Room-Borrowing Landlord Is Mentally Ill, Running A Scam, Or Both

Yesterday, we shared with you the story of Z, the room he rented in a small city in central California, and the landlord who thought it was totally okay to stay in his bedroom while he was out of town. We didn’t expect to get an update this soon, or for the story to get even stranger. It turns out that while the owner of the house may be mentally ill, according to local police, she has definitely been running a scam for at least the last few months that consists of collecting rent and deposits, then terrorizing renters so they move out. Whether the “terrorizing” part is intentional or not isn’t clear. [More]

TSA Reportedly Firing Agent Who Wrote "Get Your Freak On" Note

TSA Reportedly Firing Agent Who Wrote "Get Your Freak On" Note

As we noted earlier this week, a Transportation Security Administration agent allegedly scrawled “Get your freak on girl” on an inspection note left with a woman’s checked bag that contained a sex toy. [More]

GameStop Offers $50 Gift Card To Make Up For Swiping Coupons
From PC Version Of 'Deus Ex'

GameStop Offers $50 Gift Card To Make Up For Swiping Coupons From PC Version Of 'Deus Ex'

Last week, GameStop admitted to telling employees to pull coupon codes out of new copies of the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, then yanked the game from shelves. To make things right with customers who bought the game and didn’t get the coupon, the company is reportedly emailing instructions for picking up a $50 gift card and an offer to buy two used games and get a third for free. [More]

Reports: GameStop Pulls PC Version Of 'Deus Ex' Off Shelves After Controversy

Reports: GameStop Pulls PC Version Of 'Deus Ex' Off Shelves After Controversy

As we reported yesterday, GameStop fessed up to ordering employees to pull coupon codes out of new copies of the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The company justified its shady directive by saying the publisher Square Enix didn’t let it know the coupon — for a free version of the game from OnLive, which competes against GameStop’s digital service — would be included. Now GameStop is reportedly yanking the game off shelves. [More]

Cathay Pacific Delays Ad Campaign Due To Photo Scandal

Cathay Pacific Delays Ad Campaign Due To Photo Scandal

There may or may not be such a thing as bad publicity, but there certainly is publicity that can add embarrassing, unintended humor to a planned ad campaign. Such is the fate that befell Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific, which we recently wrote about after photos surfaced showing a flight attendant performing oral sex on a pilot on a company plane. Now the company is grounding an international ad campaign with the slogan “meet the team who go the extra mile.” [More]

CitiFinancial Finally Lets Loan Die, Then Sues You

CitiFinancial Finally Lets Loan Die, Then Sues You

When we last heard from reader Jeff, he was doing battle with CitiFinancial over a loan that refused to die, stuck with a $1 balance that he had been told not to bother paying because the loan was paid in full. Citi then turned around and reported him to credit bureaus as delinquent for not paying the dollar that he had been instructed not to pay. He disputed the ding on his credit report, and heard back from Citi that the debt has been resolved. Then he learned that Citi has filed a judgment against him in Baltimore. For $1. [More]

Microsoft Works To Prevent Indie Game Ratings Manipulation

Microsoft Works To Prevent Indie Game Ratings Manipulation

Seeking to prevent further abuse of its indie games rating system, Microsoft announced it will restrict the ability to rate games to paying Xbox Live Gold members. Previously, anyone could sign up for a Live account and assign ratings to games on the service, and some developers accused users of making up fake accounts to falsely prop up the visibility of certain games while damaging others. [More]

Where Are They Now? The First-Time Homebuyers And The Secret Room Filled With Moldy Garbage

Where Are They Now? The First-Time Homebuyers And The Secret Room Filled With Moldy Garbage

Last June, we shared the story of Jeannine and her husband, who discovered all kinds of exciting surprises in their home after purchasing it. These included a sealed room filled with garbage coated in a fuzzy white mold and a shower literally patched up with duct tape. None of these issues were disclosed by the sellers, or noticed by the inspector that the couple hired. Consumerist readers had 266 comments’ worth of advice for Jeannine and Mr. Jeannine, but we never heard back from them. So where are they now? Things have actually gotten worse. [More]

Verizon Kept Quiet About 911 System Failing During Snowstorm

Verizon Kept Quiet About 911 System Failing During Snowstorm

After Verizon dropped an estimated 10,000 D.C.-area 911 calls during a January snowstorm, the FCC asked the company to find out what went on. The answer was that some key equipment malfunctioned, and the company mysteriously decided not to inform public officials of the issue. [More]

Mom Admits Autistic Son Cheated On Xbox Live, Meriting Label

Mom Admits Autistic Son Cheated On Xbox Live, Meriting Label

After complaining to a Seattle news station that her autistic 11-year-old son was unfairly labeled a cheater by Xbox Live, the mother has admitted that her son solicited help in racking up his copious achievements, meaning Xbox Live was right to reset his Gamerscore and affix a “cheater” label to his account. [More]

Levi's Provides Fantastic Service Once You Email Their PR Department

Levi's Provides Fantastic Service Once You Email Their PR Department

Last week, we shared Francis’s story of a package mixup at Levi’s. The company sent him the wrong box, and customer service reps seemed more worried about getting the incorrect package back than about making sure that his order was correct. Francis wrote to us, but shortly afterward he sent the same message to every Levi’s PR contact he could find–and heard back within the hour from a wonderfully helpful employee in the Corporate Affairs department. Yay! We love happy endings. [More]

Reader's New CEO Pen Pal Comes Through, Gets Him $200 Service Credit

Reader's New CEO Pen Pal Comes Through, Gets Him $200 Service Credit

DirecTV President and CEO Mike White made good on his promise to help reader Daniel. We published Daniel’s Saturday evening e-mail exchange with Mr. White yesterday, and received an update on the situation. He received a full credit for the NFL Sunday Ticket package that was renewed this season without his permission. [More]