Amazon Takes Away All Discounts In France Under New Law, Charges A Penny For Shipping

(TravelEden)

Book lovers looking for a tidy discount in France won’t be finding anything of the sort, at least not from Amazon: In accordance with a new law in that country, the e-commerce Goliath has ditched all discounts and is charging a penny for shipping, because it’s not allowed to send books for free. [More]

(Michelle Rick)

Congratulations, Everyone: U.S. Is Now The Top Wine Market In The World

While they’ve been enjoying Pinot noir and sampling fine Champagne over in France for more years than the United States has been a country, there’s a new No. 1 wine market in the world and it rhymes with “USA, USA!” Yes, it’s our sipping habits that have made our country the top when it comes to swilling vino. [More]

Brilliant Marketing: Car Rental Company Rents Hot Wheels To Kids

Brilliant Marketing: Car Rental Company Rents Hot Wheels To Kids

When families go on vacation, parents get to drive around a shiny and different vehicle, but what do kids get to drive? Nothing! It happened that toy-maker Mattel and car-renter Europcar are clients of the same ad agency, and they formed an interesting idea: what if there were a counter where children could rent cars, too? Pocket-sized cars, that is. Hot Wheels. [More]

(Danny Ngan)

Bad Consumer Hurls Fry At McDonald’s Cashier, Lacerates Other Customer’s Cornea

Anything can be used as a weapon if deployed in just the right way. That’s what a customer at a McDonald’s in Bordeaux, France learned when she was hit in the eye with a fry while waiting in line at a restaurant. A doctor diagnosed her with a lacerated cornea and told her to take ten days off work. [More]

No One From McDonald’s France Has Apparently Ever Visited The U.S.

No One From McDonald’s France Has Apparently Ever Visited The U.S.

Why is it that McDonald’s — arguably the company whose brand is most closely identified with numerous negative stereotypes about America — simply can not get those stereotypes correct when it runs ads overseas? Earlier this year, there were the McDonald’s UK spots that reduced the U.S. to poodle-carrying socialites and no-necked weightlifters, but those are laser-point accurate compared to the “Americans” being featured in bizarre McD’s ads coming out of France. [More]

(Twitter user @tokai06)

Coffee Prices At This Cafe Vary Depending On How Rude You Are

What began as a bit of fun for the occasionally frustrated workers at a cafe in the French city of Nice is sticking around on the menu, with customers being charged more for coffee if they fail to ask nicely. [More]

Lunch Envy: McDonald’s France Offers Goat Cheese McWrap

Lunch Envy: McDonald’s France Offers Goat Cheese McWrap

Other countries continue to get all of the best fast-food products from American brands. Want more evidence? Check out the new goat cheese McWrap available from McDonald’s, only in France and for a limited time. A previous version that the chain tried had breaded and fried goat cheese. Both versions replace the more typical chicken in the wrap with cheese. [More]

(New England Oddities)

Fancy People, Revelers Everywhere Worried About This Year’s Low Champagne Harvest

That bubbly you toast with on New Year’s Eve (or any toastable occasion, like finishing a work week without crying more than four times) could be in danger: France is reporting its lowest champagne harvest in 40 years, after vineyards were severely damaged by hailstorms, wet weather and fungus. [More]

Baguette ATM Hits Paris Streets

Baguette ATM Hits Paris Streets

A new vending machine just hit the streets of Paris dispensing freshly baked baguettes. [More]

Expedia Denies Refund Even Though Hotel Was Closed

Expedia Denies Refund Even Though Hotel Was Closed

This summer, Abe went on a trip through Europe this summer with his wife and kids. One night, he made a hotel reservation using the Expedia iPhone app. But when he arrived at the place, it was already past check-in time and no one was around. When he called Expedia for a refund, they said no, because the check-in time was disclosed on their website, even though that information was not available through the iPhone app at all. [More]

Enraged Passengers Refuse To Leave Plane

Enraged Passengers Refuse To Leave Plane

A group of French tourists refused to leave the plane for four hours after it landed in protest of how they were treated. [More]

"Rogue Trader" Gets 3 Years, $6.7B Fine

"Rogue Trader" Gets 3 Years, $6.7B Fine

The “rogue trader” who cost his former employer, French bank Société Générale, $7.1 billion through a series of high-stakes bets that leveraged fictitious transactions outside his trading limit was sentenced today to 3 years in prison and a “symbolic” $6.7 billion fine. [More]

McDonald's Takes Heat For Not Airing Gay-Friendly Ad In U.S.

McDonald's Takes Heat For Not Airing Gay-Friendly Ad In U.S.

When McDonald’s recently began airing a TV spot in France that not only admitted the existence of homosexual men, but also that they eat at — and are welcome at — the fast food eateries, it received many plaudits from gay rights advocacy groups on this side of the pond. But now that bigwigs out of Oak Brook have made it clear the ad, or nothing like it, will air stateside anytime soon, the tide has turned against the golden arches. [More]

Paris Subway Platforms Transformed Into Large, Very Loud Living Rooms

Paris Subway Platforms Transformed Into Large, Very Loud Living Rooms

Have you ever secretly wished that the subway platform you were waiting on could be transformed into a comfy living room? Or at least a living room furnished by IKEA? For another week, you can experience just that in four stops on Paris’s Métro system. Instead of molded plastic seats, have a seat on an Ektorp couch! [More]

McDonald's Set To Open Branch In Louvre

McDonald's Set To Open Branch In Louvre

The French arm of McDonald’s may no longer be the target of local farmers and gastronomes who attacked it in decades past. But next month, the chain will ask the French if they’d like frites with their Mona Lisa, as it prepares to open a branch at what could be called Ground Zero of French culture: the Louvre. As one art historian said, the move represents “the pinnacle of exhausting consumerism, deficient gastronomy and very unpleasant odours in the context of a museum.”

Unlicensed Cabbie Welcomes Tourists To New York With High Speed Police Chase

Unlicensed Cabbie Welcomes Tourists To New York With High Speed Police Chase

Jean-Jacques Dulugat learned yesterday why you should never let an unlicensed cabbie give you a lift from the airport. Police tried to stop Dulugat and his family as they got into a van driven by a pair of known solicitors, but the duo took off and led cops on a high-speed chase through Brooklyn…

Counterfeit Smackdown! EBay Ordered To Pay $61 Million

Counterfeit Smackdown! EBay Ordered To Pay $61 Million

That headline is the good news. The bad news is the $61 million in damages ordered by a French court isn’t meant for regular shoppers who have been defrauded when shopping on eBay. Instead, it’s been awarded to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the French luxury goods company behind Louis Vuitton purses (among other fancy things, as you can see from their name). LVMH argued that “90 percent of the Louis Vuitton bags and Dior perfumes sold on eBay are fakes,” and that eBay profited off the sales without doing enough to stop them. EBay can appeal the decision, or simply click the “Pay It Now!” button.

Bank Says It Has Lost $7 Billion, Blames "Rogue Trader"

Bank Says It Has Lost $7 Billion, Blames "Rogue Trader"

The French bank Societe Generale has announced that a trader “concealed massive trading positions built up over 2007 and 2008 through ‘a scheme of elaborate fictitious transactions,'” which ended up losing the bank 7.1 billion dollars. That’s as much damage by a single employee as the subprime-related losses the bank reported in the past two months. Oops.