New security rules have proven too complex for Alaska’s post offices to bear, so they’re ending their participation in Operation Santa, the 50-year-old program where letters addressed to “Santa Claus, North Pole” are answered by volunteers. The program will continue elsewhere, reports the Associated Press, but when I called the USPS to find out where letters should be addressed I was told parents should contact their local post offices for information.
Last week, Daynah wrote about how she was forced to stop writing anything down during a recent shopping trip to the cosmetics store Ulta. At the time, Daynah grudgingly gave in because she really wanted to make a purchase (she tests products for consumers). But once she left the store, she took the fight back to Ulta.
In a world where smartphones can shoot video, snap photos, record audio, scan barcodes, and let you make price comparisons via text message, it’s almost funny to run into a paranoid manager like the one at an Ulta makeup store in Seattle. Well, funny except for that petty tyrant part where she tells you that you’ll have to take your old-school pen and papers out to the car and come back empty handed before she’ll sell you any makeup.
Earlier today, a public relations person sent in the following suggested “follow up” story about the explosion in overdraft fees. She was quite friendly and complimentary and made it clear she just wants to help educate consumers about banking fees. The only problem is, the entire story is a jumble of propaganda designed to spread FUD about any attempt to change current overdraft policies. We figured it might be fun to see how the banking industry wants you to think.
As part of a settlement with the customer who sued Amazon over the 1984 fiasco this past summer, Amazon has clarified under what circumstances it can delete your books. Notably, Amazon is not saying that it will never again delete books, which keeps the Kindle in the “do not buy” list for consumers who want unequivocal ownership of the items they purchase. In fact, despite the muted praise Amazon is receiving for doing this, the best we can say about the clarification is that it’s about time, but that it still doesn’t address the fundamental ownership issues raised by the Kindle licensing system.
I asked Apple this morning to replace my broken laptop now that they’ve reintroduced the anti-glare option on their 15″ MacBook Pros. Apple agreed, and soon a new laptop will leave China destined for my apartment. This isn’t the first laptop Apple sent me this month. It’s the second. Here’s why…
Apple censored a dictionary app, forcing the developers to remove listings to “cock,” “ass,” and other words that make fifth graders giggle, before it allowed it to go up on the App Store. Ninjawords is now available (with those entries excised) but has a 17+ rating. [Engadget]
Look, Comcast, when you take back someone’s equipment and give them a receipt confirming that their account has no balance, it’s not unreasonable for them to think that their account is canceled. Don’t keep billing them for service and equipment rentals, and don’t tell them that you “can keep [the account] active and [bill] indefinitely until [you] decide to disconnect it.” Because if you do, they’re going to call their state Attorney General’s office. At least that’s how Paul convinced Comcast to finally cancel his account.
Life insurance polices are backed by state guarantee associations, but the coverage offered varies drastically from state to state. Some products, like variable annuities, can be recovered in full because of the way they’re structured, but if you have term life insurance or a universal policy, you should know the limitations of your state’s coverage…
RyanAir this week announced that they will soon eliminate all airport check-in counters and require passengers to carry-on their luggage. Starting early next year, passengers will need to schlep their bags through airport security and drop them at the steps of the plane for checking into plane’s cargo hold. Once aboard though, there will be gambling!
U.S. Open Backtracks After Telling 42,500 People They'll Get No Refund For Spending A Day In The Rain
The U.S. Golf Association initially told 42,500 U.S. Open ticketholders who spent most of Thursday standing in the rain that they would be unable to refund or exchange their tickets. Then New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo stepped in and convinced the USGA to make the washed-out tickets valid for entry on Monday. Tomorrow’s forecast: rain.
UPS’ website promises that they will deliver Corey’s Dell Vizio 37″ LCD monitor tomorrow, which would be exciting, except the website has said the same thing every day for the past two weeks. UPS’ customer service representatives insist that the package is lost and that Dell needs to initiate a trace. Dell would be happy to accommodate—who wouldn’t want to trace a lost package?—but their customer service representative claims that it’s Dell policy not to initiate a trace until 48 hours after the scheduled delivery date, which according to UPS, is tomorrow.
Dan likes the interface and ease of texting on his Blackberry, but doesn’t need mobile Internet or e-mail. He asked his service provider, Alltel, to switch his service to a Blackberry he already owned, but without a data plan. An employee said that was possible and set it up for him, and Dan texted away happily…until he received his bill, which now contains a hefty data plan charge. Alltel now insists that Dan can’t have a Blackberry on their network without a data plan.
CircuitCity.com is back, and it looks eerily familiar. The zombie website is now controlled by Systemax, the same folks who own Tiger Direct. Though the new site may look similar to the old, no doubt part of Systemax’s goal to keep alive a “proud brand that America has grown to count on,” it isn’t nearly as consumer-friendly as we would like…
We’re all about to see more money in our paychecks thanks to lower payroll taxes, but if you want to use the savings to payoff your student loans, you better act on the one day that Citibank will take your money. At least that’s what Citibank told reader Valori, who tried sending the bank a check with instructions to apply it towards the principal on her student loans. The bank instead applied it to her usual monthly payment and told her that the only way to pay down her principal was to “setup an automatic payment on the Citibank website to debit on the same day as [the] automatic payment is direct debited.” Does that seem easy to anyone?