If you bring a friend with you to Denny’s April 8 between 6am and 2pm and order a Grand Slam, your friend will get a free Grand Slamwich. Not quite the same as their totally free breakfast promo after the Superbowl, but there’s still free food involved. Besides, going to Denny’s by yourself is a little depressing.
Walgreen has announced that if you’re willing to provide proof of unemployment and sign a form that says you lost your health benefits along with your job, you and your uninsured family members can receive free treatment at any of their 300+ in-store health clinics. What’s covered: “respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions, among other ailments.” What’s not: checkups, vaccinations or other injections, and prescriptions.
Readers who had problems with the Quiznos million free sub campaign and wrote in to the email address the sandwichery supplied to Consumerist report they’re receiving $5 gift card in the mail along with a letter of apology from the marketing director. One reader reports that on the back of the card it says that a $1 service charge gets applied to it each month you don’t use it. To see what some franchisees are saying are the *real* reasons for the problems, check out the comments section on this post at UnhappyFranchisee. Quiznos’ letter is posted inside.
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.
Stephanie writes, “I’m guessing I’m not the only Consumerist reader to ever get a sewing machine hand-me-down or buy one from a garage sale sans operating manual.” In fact, there are all sorts of devices that require some level of instruction before you can get the maximal use out of them. The problem is, people lose manuals, and companies don’t always make them available for download once they’ve been pulled off the market. Stephanie almost paid $35 for a digital copy when she decided she’d try asking the company directly.
Sometimes”‘free” means “wow what a great bargain,” and sometimes it just mean worthless. CareerBuilder offers a free resume review on their site—enter your email address, upload your resume, and “we’ll email you the results of your free evaluation, including tips on writing a resume that will help you land the interview.” All it really does is collect your address so it can send you unsolicited email (we got spammed 30 minutes later), and your “review” is just a boilerplate page of generic advice.
Mike used an Office Depot Visa card issued through Chase to take advantage of a pay-no-interest deal through 2008. He paid off the remaining balance a couple of days before the offer period ended, but Chase still slapped him with a nearly $40 interest charge. Why? Because they’ve been “having problems like that” with Office Depot cards.
I posted recently about how I like HypeMachine, a reader/player/finder of free mp3s on music blogs and some readers chimed in with their favorite ways to find free mp3s on blogs:
According to tipster Rich Piotrowski, a former Quiznos franchise owner who won a counter-suit against the company, the big reason why some Quiznos were being jerks about taking the free sandwich coupon is that at first corporate was making the franchises pay for all the sandwiches. (Quiznos mandates franchises buy all their ingredients from HQ, often at above-market rates…). Then it looks like they decided to reimburse up to 400 coupons, then bumped that up to 700 to meet the demand, and now they’re going to reimburse all coupons. Don’t give away free stuff in these times unless you’re ready for an onslaught of interest, at the outset. Corporate seems to have realized this and contacted us to say that if you have any problems redeeming coupons you can email email@example.com. Tipster’s comment, and an internal Quiznos memo, inside…
Quiznos is giving out free sub coupons. All you have to do is give your first name, last name, zip, birthday, and email address for their marketing database and tell them what your favorite sub is. Once the email arrives in your box, it will be equipped with some kind of send-to-a-friend function so they can also exchange their personal information for sandwiches. Order up one for JackB Nimble at firstname.lastname@example.org please.
Hypemachine, an aggregator of the latest free songs posted on music blogs, has been around for years but I started using it with gusto this week and it’s tight. It scans all those blogs and then streams them for you in a popup radio player, which you can narrow by popular, new, or from the top 25 music blogs. If you like a track you can click through to the source blog and download the mp3. (Most of the time the mp3s have been released onto the internet by the artists themselves. If there’s ever a question, most have an option to buy the song on Amazon or iTunes). A great way to freshen up your music mix without having to think too hard or shell out. [Hypemachine]
It looks like Ikea is stepping up where Denny’s failed; breakfast will be served for free in many Ikea locations starting today, before 10:30. It expires on the 16th, so grab as much of the free Swedish grub as you can! [MainStreet]
Christine is looking for a new job, and she found this neat little credit report scam. The scam is pretty transparent in this case, but we thought we’d put it out there as a reminder anyway. Remember, if you want a truly free credit report, only use annualcreditreport.com. Everything else comes with a hidden cost or enrollment in a billed membership—and if a potential employer inists on a specific “free” service that isn’t free when you read the fine print, you can be pretty sure it’s a scam.
Google has assembled a suite of free tools (developed by researchers, not by Google itself) that let you measure things like BitTorrent throttling, upload/download speeds, and last mile snafus. In exchange for “free,” the test data is being made public to enable further study of broadband connections. You might want to bookmark the site for future reference when you’re trying to figure out what’s going on with your ISP.
Fun weekend project: make your own homemade font for free. [CoolTools]
Seriously? It’s stay-indoors weather, we keep seeing that our food safety system is fundamentally broken, and people still lined up outside Denny’s today like soup kitchen hoboes for the chance to nosh on some flour+
watermilk discs, HFCS syrup, and a little pig meat? (And also eggs, a reader points out.) We hope you left a tip, at least. As Naomi, who took photos of her local Denny’s, reminds us, “If ever there were a day where Denny’s employees have to work hard, this is it.”