(Your Protagonist)

Safeway’s “Gluten Free” Shelf Labels Could Use Some Work

We commend Safeway for making it easier for customers with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to find products that they can eat on the store shelves. However, it’s probably not such a good idea to just go around printing any old shelf tags on the “Gluten Free” paper once you run out of other paper. [More]

Starbucks Says ‘Dumb Starbucks’ Can Not Use Starbucks Name

Starbucks Says ‘Dumb Starbucks’ Can Not Use Starbucks Name

A quick update to the earlier story about the “Dumb Starbucks” store that opened up in L.A. over the weekend with operators claiming they don’t need permission to use the coffee chain’s name because the addition of “dumb” makes it a parody and therefore covered by the doctrine of fair use. Starbucks disagrees. [More]

Another United Glitch Leads To Super-Cheap Airfares; Tickets Will Not Be Honored

Another United Glitch Leads To Super-Cheap Airfares; Tickets Will Not Be Honored

Remember last month, when a glitch in United Airlines’ booking system allowed people to score cheap (and sometimes free) tickets? Well, it’s happened again. [More]

(frankieleon)

Everyone Honk At Guy Responsible For Slowing Down Drive-Thru Lane With His Fussy Order

“Give me a greasy wax paper packet of french fries and a beef patty slapped between two buns or give me death,” a wise consumer once said. But now that’s changed to “Give me something maybe in a wrap form, with a side salad instead of fries and a gourd-flavored spice latte.” The second order takes a lot longer to make, causing the drive-thru lanes at fast food joints to become clogged and slow. [More]

(Tom Raftery)

AT&T Customers Will Have To Wait Out Full Term Of Two-Year Contract To Upgrade Phones

AT&T, where customer loyalty means nothing, has decided that wireless subscribers no longer deserve the 20-month upgrade period they’ve been expecting, and instead will have to wait out the full two years of their contracts before they can get a newer device at a discount. [More]

(Pimento of Doom)

Legislation Would Give Consumers 120 Days To Resolve Medical Debts Before Dinging Credit Reports

Consider the following: 1-in-10 insurance claims are processed incorrectly; debt collectors are using account information that may be incomplete, inaccurate and out-of-date; once reported to a credit bureau, medical debt — whether real or erroneous — can do severe damage to your credit score. Perhaps it couldn’t hurt to give consumers a chance to challenge or resolve medical debts before collectors report them to the credit bureaus? [More]

Someone Fails Miserably At Trying To Pull The "Lottery" Scam On Me

Someone Fails Miserably At Trying To Pull The "Lottery" Scam On Me

Lest you think that the Consumerist batcave is somehow immune from cold-calling scammers, here’s a little story about the utter failure of a scammer who just attempted to defraud me out of a “processing fee,” in order to claim my Mega Millions winnings. [More]

Here Are A Few Important Things E-Book Sellers Aren't Bragging About

Here Are A Few Important Things E-Book Sellers Aren't Bragging About

Glancing at your bulging bookshelf and then over at your slim reader might make you wonder if paper books will someday go the way of the dinosaur in favor of e-books. For a few reasons at least, hang on to those paper copies, as there are still some drawbacks to reading electronic fare. [More]

Verizon Deal To Buy Spectrum From Comcast & Time Warner Cable May Not Be A Cakewalk

Verizon Deal To Buy Spectrum From Comcast & Time Warner Cable May Not Be A Cakewalk

While AT&T was failing horribly at attempting to amp up its 4G network by buying T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless was busy making deals with cable companies to snap up unused and underused spectrum. And though insiders initially believed VZW’s purchases would glide across regulators’ desks since cable companies are not competitors in the wireless world, a new report claims the spectrum sale may get a more thorough looking-into than had been expected. [More]

FCC Voices Concern Over Verizon Wireless Fee

FCC Voices Concern Over Verizon Wireless Fee

Someone at the FCC must be a Verizon Wireless customer. The agency has just announced that it will look into the nation’s largest cell phone service provider’s plan to charge a $2/month fee to customers who don’t enroll in auto-pay or pay directly from their bank accounts. [More]

New Bill Would Prevent FCC Commissioners From Jumping Ship To Companies Whose Mergers They Just Approved

New Bill Would Prevent FCC Commissioners From Jumping Ship To Companies Whose Mergers They Just Approved

Remember last May when then-FCC commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker (pictured at left) ruffled a lot of feathers by taking a job at Comcast, only a few months after approving the cable company’s controversial merger with NBC? Well, Congresswoman Maxine Waters hasn’t forgotten, and she’s introduced legislation aimed at preventing these kinds of obvious shenanigans. [More]

FCC To Add Yet Another Speed Bump To AT&T/T-Mobile Deal

FCC To Add Yet Another Speed Bump To AT&T/T-Mobile Deal

While we all wait for the legal fireworks that are sure to come from the Justice Department’s lawsuit to stop the AT&T purchase of T-Mobile, the folks at the Federal Communications Commission are reportedly looking to hold an administrative hearing on the deal, which could make things even more difficult for the merger. [More]

More Banks Going After Strategic Defaulters To Get Back Balance Of Unpaid Mortgages

More Banks Going After Strategic Defaulters To Get Back Balance Of Unpaid Mortgages

Since the housing market went smash-bang-crash into a deep ravine a few years back, we’ve written numerous stories of homeowners with mortgages they couldn’t pay — and some who could pay and chose not to — who opted to walk away and let the bank sell the house at a foreclosure auction. But if these people thought that they could abandon the home and have only a damaged credit rating to show for it, there’s a chance they could be very, very wrong. [More]

Sprint Sues To Block AT&T From Buying T-Mobile

Sprint Sues To Block AT&T From Buying T-Mobile

Less than one week after the Justice Dept. filed a lawsuit to block AT&T’s pending $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA, Sprint has filed a lawsuit of its own (but related to the DOJ suit), seeking to have the deal called off. [More]

FCC Throws Hitch Into AT&T's Plans For 4G Roll-Out

FCC Throws Hitch Into AT&T's Plans For 4G Roll-Out

Last December, AT&T spent nearly $2 billion to purchase a big chunk of wireless spectrum from Qualcomm, with the plan of using it to expand 4G access across the country. But that deal has since been stuck in regulatory review, and it looks like it’s going to be there for some time as the FCC has decided to make that decision part of its review process for the pending AT&T purchase of T-Mobile. [More]

Should Fast Food Restaurants Be Allowed To Accept Food Stamps?

Should Fast Food Restaurants Be Allowed To Accept Food Stamps?

Only three states — Arizona, Michigan, and California — currently allow fast food restaurants to take payments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (better known as “food stamps”), but Yum! Brands, parent company of KFC and Taco Bell, is currently leading a push in its home state of Kentucky to open that option up to state residents there. [More]

FTC Appeals, Still Trying To Stop Whole Foods/Wild Oats Merger

FTC Appeals, Still Trying To Stop Whole Foods/Wild Oats Merger

A judge has ruled in favor of the Whole Foods/Wild Oats merger, but the FTC has announced they will appeal the decision and are asking that the merger be blocked pending that appeal.