Consumerist is going to the White House this week, and we need your help! Ben and Meg are hitting Washington to do an on-camera interview of a senior policy official in the Obama administration about the new credit card reforms and consumer protections getting pushed through Congress and what they mean for you. Besides our questions, we want to ask your questions about credit card reform, credit card companies, and present tales of credit card woe. Leave your queries in the comments, or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line “credit card reform.” If you want to submit your question by uploading a video to YouTube and sending in the link, that’d be swell because then we can splice them into our video.
The guy who made the famous Obama poster? I went to a talk tonight at the New York Public Library between him (Shepard Fairey), Lawrence Lessig, and Steven Johnson about how remixing plays into our, on the one hand, corporate and litigious, and on the other, mashing up and free-wheeling, society. Here are my favorite quotes/ideas from the night:
I went into a Denny’s Sunday and was shocked to see every single seat taken up by customers, from the booths to the counter to this annex room with tables. “Ever since they ran that free Grand Slam thing it’s been like this,” said hostess Krysal. “They’re bringing the business back.” Even after the free day was over last Tueday?
The super fantastic Super Bowl ad liveblog kicks off now! Click this post’s title to go inside…
“It’s much more interesting to find out how I can get a delicious and safe tomato for myself than how all tomatoes can be made delicious and safe.” — Good consumer journalism is dead, says Trudy Lieberman in a September/October ’08 Columbia Journalism Review article. The perp? Journalism.
Lost amid the holiday cheer last week was the third collapse of Gawker’s favorite punching bag, Radar Magazine. We have no opinion on the magazine’s failure, but one of our readers has beef with Radar‘s proposal to fill remaining subscriptions.
A Time Out New York reporter paid nearly double MSRP for a new G1 phone she bought off Times Square from Cellular Stop. After she realized she’d been had (internet access and texting were sold to her as “add-ons”), she went back to the store asking for an explanation. Instead, she says, six clerks began circling her and her friends, screaming and cursing and threatening to “break” their “fucking faces.” Her friend was tossed against a wall and another clerk tried to smash her camera.
KNBC undercover cameras caught local JiffyLubes and EZ-Lubes upselling customers to buy engine-flushing and fuel-injection cleaning services, services which have been forbidden by auto-manufacturers because they’re unnecessary and can severely damage your engine. One guy’s engine died while he was driving on the highway, and it cost him $5,000 to replace his engine.
I wanted to find out what Robert Allen’s “get-rich-quick in real estate with no money down” promise was all about, so when I saw a full page ad in the Daily Post advertising one of his free seminars recently, I went and checked it out. I’ll give you a full run-down later, but here’s the quick and dirty, and what I can tell about how the darn thing seems to function.
I went into a Brooklyn Chase today to see if, in the wake of the concerns about them going bust, Washington Mutual customers were switching over. I went up to the manager and said, “I’m a WaMu customer —” “—God bless your soul,” he interjected.
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So much for even the illusion of editorial independence in video game reviews. One of Gamespot’s editors and top reviewers was apparently fired this week after writing an unenthusiastic review for the game “Kane & Lynch,” which was being advertised heavily all over the Gamespot site, according to…
Considering the lifeblood of The Consumerist is publicizing stories of bad businesses and bad business practices—including drawing attention to personal stories on other peoples’ blogs—we were happy to read that blogger Philip Smith won the federal defamation and trademark dilution lawsuit brought against him by a company he wrote about on his personal blog. Although it doesn’t guarantee that other angry business owners or their legal teams won’t come after you for writing about your unpleasant experiences with them, it cheers us to know that, at least in this case, a federal judge felt that Smith should be protected from retaliation for telling his side of the story. “It’s not about the title, it’s about the content, said Judge Henry Hurlong, Jr.; a journalist turns out to be anyone who does journalism, and bloggers who do so have the same rights and privileges under federal law as the ‘real’ journalists.”
David Barboza, a New York Times business reporter based in China, stopped by the RC2 corporation’s factory in Dongguan, China to investigate the recent recall of 1.5 million wooden Thomas & Friends toys. He was confronted, accused of trespassing and detained for several hours. Eventually, the police recommended that he write out a confession.
We’ve got confirmation that you can call this number, say you’re a journalist, and get free Domino’s pizza.
We were yawning through Domino’s press release about its lame viral video campaign, when we nearly choked upon this gem: