Skechers Shape-Ups Magic Workout Shoes Refund Checks In The Mail

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]

At Procter & Gamble, 100 Is Pretty Much The Same Thing As 40

At Procter & Gamble, 100 Is Pretty Much The Same Thing As 40

Sure, all sensible Consumerists know that bottled water is a terrible idea for the planet and for your wallet, and all of the cool kids filter their own tap water at home. Reader Bob is wise enough to know this, and he recently purchased a Pur filtration pitcher that came with an extra filter that can filter 100 additional gallons of water. Or maybe 40. See, unlike the people in charge of writing the copy on boxes of Pur pitchers, Bob knows that 40 is much less than 100. [More]

Allstate Salesman Tells You One Thing, Sells You Another

Allstate Salesman Tells You One Thing, Sells You Another

Noah decided that it’s time to be all grown up and insure his possessions, and so he called up Allstate to take out a pretty basic renter’s insurance policy. He conferred with the salesman first in order to make sure that his valuable watches would be covered under the policy, and not require an extra rider. Yes, Noah was assured, those watches would be covered. Then his policy showed up in the mail. Guess what it doesn’t cover? [More]

GameStop Incorectly Tells Me They'll Accept My Accessories

GameStop Incorectly Tells Me They'll Accept My Accessories

Before Jim made a long walk through the snow to trade in his original Xbox accessories at GameStop, he made sure to place a phone call to make sure the store would accept his items. After getting the green light, then double-checking to make sure the woman at GameStop understood what he was asking about, he was turned down once he got to the store. [More]

Suss Out Fakers At Farmers Markets

Suss Out Fakers At Farmers Markets

As an undercover hidden camera investigation recently revealed, not every bearded and overall-wearing guy behind the stand at farmers markets is selling food he grew himself. Some of them just load up a local produce warehouses and sell it to you at a feel-good-about-saving-the-earth premium. So how do you tell who’s real and who’s shoveling you fertilizer? [More]

Los Angeles Farmers Markets Full Of Lies, Warehouse Produce

Los Angeles Farmers Markets Full Of Lies, Warehouse Produce

If you’re in California and need to make a little extra cash, why not buy a bag of baby carrots from the supermarket, throw some potting soil on them, and sell them at your local farmers market as fresh-from-your-farm organic treats? Okay, maybe technically that’s not permitted, but who’s going to stop you? An NBCLA investigation found vendors at several farmers markets were lying to customers about their produce, and sourcing it from local warehouses instead of their own farms. [More]

Kroger: Where "Gluten-Free" Means "May Contain Wheat"

Kroger: Where "Gluten-Free" Means "May Contain Wheat"

People with food allergies or sensitivities know that no matter what the colorful claims on the front of a food’s package might be, you still need to chEck the ingredients. Briana writes that her recent experience at Kroger brought this point home. The front of a chicken broth carton declared the product to be “gluten-free,” but the side of the package said “may contain wheat.” Which is it? While food packaging might brag that its contents are gluten-free, such labels aren’t yet regulated by the FDA. In the case of Briana and Kroger, this led to some confusion. [More]

Hobby Lobby's Return Policy: We Don't Have To Take Back Anything

Hobby Lobby's Return Policy: We Don't Have To Take Back Anything

Michael says the first bullet point on the Return Policy plaque at his local Hobby Lobby (and also online) reads, “If for any reason you need to return merchandise purchased at Hobby Lobby, please return the product with the original sales receipt within 60 days of purchase.” That sounds great–you can shop with confidence that they’ll handle returns without too much trouble–but the reality is that the store can and will refuse any return, with or without a receipt, if someone there thinks it might lose them money in the short term. [More]

AT&T Customer Service Rep Says Store Employees Are Commission-Chasing Liars

AT&T Customer Service Rep Says Store Employees Are Commission-Chasing Liars

One of our readers just switched over from T-Mobile to AT&T, but he discovered that pretty much everything the salesperson promised him at the retail store turned out to be a lie. At least, that’s what the angry AT&T customer service rep told his wife when she called in to dispute her first bill. [More]

Don't Confuse Medical Discount Plans With Health Insurance

Don't Confuse Medical Discount Plans With Health Insurance

If you don’t have health insurance, you might hear about a medical discount plan and think that it’s an affordable alternative, but be careful. Some of the plans being sold don’t lower your health care costs at all, and in some cases can even increase them. That’s why the the FTC and 24 states have recently filed a total of 54 lawsuits against companies selling medical discount plans to people who don’t have health insurance. [More]

Acai Berry Company Temporarily Shut Down By FTC Over Billing Practices

Acai Berry Company Temporarily Shut Down By FTC Over Billing Practices

Last summer, Central Coast Nutraceuticals settled a deceptive practices charge from Arizona’s Attorney General by promising to pay $1.4 million in fines. Now the company, which peddles acai berry and colon cleansing products, has been forced to temporarily stop selling or marketing its wonder products completely under an injunction obtained yesterday by the FTC. [More]

MTV News Becomes Paid Shill For FreeCreditScore.com

MTV News Becomes Paid Shill For FreeCreditScore.com

Maybe you didn’t take MTV News too seriously to begin with, but if you did you might want to reconsider. BrandChannel started noticing that MTV News was posting articles about FreeCreditScore.com’s contest for a new sellout band for its TV spots. (This is the same company as FreeCreditReport.com; both charge for their services and generally suck.) The problem with the paid MTV sponsorship is that it’s not disclosing that the “news stories” are just advertorials. [More]

Mr. Rooter Plumbing Job Quoted At $300 But Ends Up Costing $25,000

Mr. Rooter Plumbing Job Quoted At $300 But Ends Up Costing $25,000

Dave and his wife came into some money and decided it was time to get a professional out to solve their slow draining toilet problems once and for all. Mr. Rooter showed up, and in less than a week the company managed to also solve Dave’s “I just came into some money” problem, by taking all of it. The problem is, Dave isn’t sure that any of the expensive extra work was necessary now that he can see the pipes. [More]

Whole Grain Wheat Thins Are No Healthier Than Regular Ones

Whole Grain Wheat Thins Are No Healthier Than Regular Ones

Here’s a perfect example of why you should ignore what’s on the front of a product package and go straight to the nutritional info instead. Kraft’s Wheat Thins now come in a “100% Whole Grain” variety, which you might think translates into more fiber for your digestive tract. It even says on the front that one serving packs 22g of whole grain versus 11g for regular Wheat Thins. It turns out, however, that both crackers provide the same amount of dietary fiber and fat–and the whole grain version also has more sodium and is made with high fructose corn syrup. [More]

Simple Mobile Unlimited Data Plan Is Of Course Secretly Limited

Simple Mobile Unlimited Data Plan Is Of Course Secretly Limited

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]

Macy's Caught Selling Leaded Glass Rubies As Real Rubies

Macy's Caught Selling Leaded Glass Rubies As Real Rubies

In 2004, a “ruby-glass composite”–basically a mixture of ruby and leaded glass–hit the jewelry market. At the time, a jewelry industry watchdog group “concluded that the stones could not be sold as rubies or precious gems under Federal Trade Commission guidelines, since they lacked the durability and value of bona fide rubies.” But Macy’s has been selling them as good old-fashioned rubies, and its salespeople have been neglecting to tell shoppers the truth at the moment they purchase the pieces, writes David V. Johnson of the SF Public Press. [More]

Fisher Price Includes Batteries, But Not Ones That Work

Fisher Price Includes Batteries, But Not Ones That Work

Dana is annoyed that the Fisher Price toy she bought for her baby promised her that batteries were included. They were in the box all right, but they were dead. In fact the manual Fisher Price enclosed with the toy suggests you immediately replace the included batteries with new ones. [More]

Texas Sues Bally Total Fitness Over Fake Past Due Billing

Texas Sues Bally Total Fitness Over Fake Past Due Billing

Texas’ Attorney General Greg Abbott is going after Bally Total Fitness for the fraudulent “past due” scheme it was using to trick former customers into re-upping with the gym. The AG office says that the gym mailed more than 11,000 fake notices to former customers between last summer and March 2010, and at least 1,000 Texans fell for it and paid the fees. [More]