Toys R Us Free Shipping Comes With A Catch

Toys R Us Free Shipping Comes With A Catch

Dave points out online Toys R Us shoppers should check out the fine print before they complete orders expecting free shipping. The offer only applies if your order calls for less than $25 in shipping charges. [More]

HDTV Lies Exposed By Industry Expert

HDTV Lies Exposed By Industry Expert

The next time you go shopping for a new HDTV, keep in mind that the brightness and contrast settings don’t adjust brightness and contrast, and most of the fancier-sounding image quality controls don’t do anything except possibly degrade the image. Also, motion blur in live video is largely imaginary, which is good because advertised response times are highly exaggerated. And hey, that impressive “dynamic contrast ratio” the manufacturer is crowing about? Most of the extra contrasty goodness happens when there’s no image on the screen. [More]

Custom TeleConnect Charges Man $20 For 20-Second Collect Call

Custom TeleConnect Charges Man $20 For 20-Second Collect Call

Mike’s mom is one of the fifteen people in the U.S. who doesn’t have a cell phone, so she called him collect from a pay phone in California. Mike and his mom didn’t know it at the time, but they fell into the sarlacc pit that is Custom TeleConnect, a creature that hides in payphones and charges $20 fees for less than half a minute of talking. [More]

Art Institute Of Pittsburgh Decides You Need To Buy One More Class To Graduate… After Graduation

Art Institute Of Pittsburgh Decides You Need To Buy One More Class To Graduate… After Graduation

Update: The school saw our post and has been in touch with Daniel. Here’s what happened. [More]

DirecTV Says It Won't Bill Me For Free Channels, Bills Me Anyway

DirecTV Says It Won't Bill Me For Free Channels, Bills Me Anyway

Eric signed up for DirecTV and got a couple premium channels for free as a sign-up bonus. He didn’t want the channels and asked to have them removed from his account immediately because he was afraid he’d be billed ahead for them before his trial period expired. Eric says the CSR convinced him to keep the channels, saying he wouldn’t be billed. But sure enough, he was. [More]

Charter Communications Rep Says Cable Companies Taking Over
All Streaming Video On May 1st

Charter Communications Rep Says Cable Companies Taking Over All Streaming Video On May 1st

The Charter Communications CSR who spoke with Dustin has some pretty astounding news about what’s on the horizon for all of us. It looks like starting May 1st, cable companies will have total, FCC-sanctioned control over streaming video and will take down all competing services. [More]

Crazy Cruise Line Telemarketer Pulls Out Every Trick In The Book

Crazy Cruise Line Telemarketer Pulls Out Every Trick In The Book

John Tedesco of the San Antonio Express-News was badgered last week by a telemarketer who wouldn’t take no for an answer. He decided to keep her talking for a while to see how many ways she’d try to get him to hand over his credit card number for a “free” cruise. Here were all the tricks she used during her sales pitch. [More]

Andes Struggles With Apparent Mint Shortage

Andes Struggles With Apparent Mint Shortage

Roger is annoyed that the package of Andes mints he bought is much larger than it needs to be. In fact, it looks suspiciously like the company is trying to convince the casual observer that there are more mints inside than there really are. I’m not sure how making a consumer feel disappointed about a candy purchase is good for repeat business, but maybe parent company Tootsie hopes you’ll eat a mint and forget the sadness. [More]

Access America's "Comprehensive Trip Protector" Insurance Isn't Comprehensive, So Enjoy Your Overnight Layover

Access America's "Comprehensive Trip Protector" Insurance Isn't Comprehensive, So Enjoy Your Overnight Layover

Mark Smith just got suckered into buying travel insurance that turned out to be worthless to him. There was a huge hole in the middle of the coverage, which meant he and his two kids were stuck overnight in Denver on his own dime. Luckily the policy only cost $40, but that’s $40 that now belongs to Access America in exchange for providing a useless service. [More]

Light Bulb's Promises Are True Only Where Nighttime Lasts Three Hours

Light Bulb's Promises Are True Only Where Nighttime Lasts Three Hours

Rick bought a light bulb at Home Depot that turned into more of a geography test. The question it poses: is there anywhere in the world that has an average of three hours of darkness year-round? The answer: no. Which means that the claims on the front of this light bulb package contradict each other. [More]

Chicagoist Catches Walmart Astroturfing As Populist Local Group

Chicagoist Catches Walmart Astroturfing As Populist Local Group

Kevin Robinson at the blog Chicagoist was curious about a commenter who sounded suspiciously on-message on some recent Walmart posts. Walmart wants to come into Chicago, and Walmart’s opponents are fighting the retailer at the community level to prevent that. In return, a pro-Walmart community group has formed called “Our Community, Your Choice” that argues, “Everyone else but Chatham and the South Side are making the decisions – It’s OUR CHOICE, NOT THEIRS.” [More]

Another Reason To Avoid Giant Megapixel Point-And-Shoot Cameras

Another Reason To Avoid Giant Megapixel Point-And-Shoot Cameras

By now you hopefully know that more megapixels don’t necessarily make a better camera. For one thing, you can almost double the megapixels of a camera while only gaining about a 40% increase in resolution. For another thing, it takes a lot more than just sheer number of pixels to produce a decent image. Nevertheless, point-and-shoot cameras with ginormous megapixel stats (now topping 12 MP) continue to hit the market. But Ross at Petavoxel says there’s another reason to avoid huge MP point-and-shoot cameras: something called the Airy disk. [More]

Tyson Chicken Settles Class-Action Suit, Will Pay $4.4 Million To Consumers

Tyson Chicken Settles Class-Action Suit, Will Pay $4.4 Million To Consumers

If you bought Tyson chicken from 2007 to 2009, you may want to start keeping tabs on the new settlement being considered by Tyson to settle the class-action suit against it. The agreement was filed earlier this week, and a review is scheduled for tomorrow. If approved, approximately $4.4 million will supposedly be available to disburse to consumers. [More]

Apple Bans 1,000+ Apps After Developer Is Caught Faking Reviews

Apple Bans 1,000+ Apps After Developer Is Caught Faking Reviews

Apple just swung the banhammer pretty hard at Molinker, a development company, after a customer named Patrick Timney pointed out that the majority of reviews on Molinker apps were fake. Until yesterday, the company had 1,011 apps on the App Store, mostly easy-to-knock-out travel guides for 99 cents each. Now they’re all gone, and Apple’s VP Phil Schiller told iPhoneography, “Yes, this developer’s apps have been removed from the App Store and their ratings no longer appear either.” [More]

Consumer Reports And New York Times Ask Why There's So Much Air In Packages

Consumer Reports And New York Times Ask Why There's So Much Air In Packages

Padding chip bags with air is a pretty well-understood practice by now–supposedly it helps prevent the chips from being crushed. But what’s the purpose of similar packaging tricks in frozen fish, or boxes of instant rice? After a recent Consumer Reports article questioned the amount of air in packages at the grocery store, New York Times reporter Andrew Adam Newman asked two of the manufacturers for an explanation. [More]

Texas Attorney General Shuts Down Dishonest Price Comparison Sites

Texas Attorney General Shuts Down Dishonest Price Comparison Sites

ConsumerAffairs.com says that the Texas Attorney General has gone after a couple of online price comparison companies. The sites all claim to offer unbiased comparisons of retailers, but in reality the companies have been accepting payments in exchange for preferential listings. The companies, Intercept LLC and Everyprice.com Inc, both operated multiple sites with names like Flyingprices, Diduprice, and Lowpricedigital. All the sites are currently offline. [More]

Why Is Sears Being So Sneaky On This Dishwasher Rebate?

Why Is Sears Being So Sneaky On This Dishwasher Rebate?

On Black Friday, Sears offered free installation on select Kenmore dishwashers in the form of a rebate coupon. The coupon is pretty simple to understand as far as these things go–buy one of the listed models, and Sears will pay for the installation. According to William, however, the listed model that he wanted remained out of stock only for the duration of the coupon. When he asked Sears to honor it the next day, they agreed to–but then after he bought the dishwasher they told him he had broken a nonexistent rule and therefore had voided the coupon. [More]

Macy's Cheerfully Helps Customers Get Parking Tickets

Macy's Cheerfully Helps Customers Get Parking Tickets

The employees at the Macy’s in Washington, DC, sure were helpful earlier today! They showed customers where they could park for up to two hours while they shopped. Unfortunately, it turns out Macy’s employees are not well-versed on parking rules in DC, and the manager there doesn’t really think it’s Macy’s problem. [More]