Yours truly Ben Popken was featured ever so briefly in a NBC Nightly News report tonight about the Grocery Shrink Ray.
Karla writes, “I thought this fun little tournament might interest Consumerist readers, especially the possibility of a Billy Mays vs. Vince from Shamwow showdown in the Sweet 16.” The contest will determine the “greatest ‘As Seen on TV’ product,” although with entries like Video Professor and Miss Cleo on there, “greatest” seems to be loosely defined.
Here’s something you might want to get fixed. Wolf Appliance Inc., of Madison, Wis. is recalling 24,000 of their gas ranges because the 18″ oven has a tendency to shoot flames when the door is opened. This has resulted in 15 minor burns.
The CPSC has issued a consumer alert, urging you to stop using Simplicity Inc.’s “close-sleeper/bedside sleeper” bassinets after two infants died after being strangled by the product’s metal bars. The company is refusing to cooperate with the CPSC and will not recall the product.
Widge at Needcoffee.com wrote a similar post about Arm & Hammer’s new “30 day” baking soda and got a response from Arm & Hammer PR. We’re being kind when we say that reason consumers are being told to buy 3 times as much baking soda is nonsense. We’re sure there are more colorful words that would be just as accurate.
Procter & Gamble has announced that you will pay more for your Tide and Head & Shoulders and all their other consumer products. P&G is raising prices by as much as 16% on “fabric, home and hair care, bar soaps, and health and shaving products.” P&G is the manufacturer of popular brands such as Gillette and Ivory soap.
If you’ve got a baby and you’re concerned about buying unlabeled products that contain Bisphenol A or BPA—which some studies have indicated may lead to adverse health effects in humans—the website Z Recommends has just launched a free text messaging service that lets you query their database of companies while you’re standing in the store. They’ve also got a printable wallet-card you can carry with you, which serves as both a cheat-sheet for the text service and a quick reference source for major companies.
”We’re trying to reinvent Polaroid so it lives on for the next 30 to 40 years,” Tom Beaudoin, Polaroid’s president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, said in a phone interview Friday.
The Boston Globe profiles the last remaining shoe and boot maker in New England, Alden Shoes. The company’s classic footwear has been worn by the likes of John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Indiana Jones… and the Massachusetts state troopers. The shoes will set you back about $350-$500 a pair, but they seem like awfully nice people. “Our shoes don’t wear out,” says Robert Clark, Alden’s vice president. [Boston Globe]
Hey, do you know what’s in Nair, the creamy hair-removal product that smells like skunks? (Or used to—the current formulation is supposed to smell better.) Now, thanks to Wired’s “What’s Inside” article, you will! The active ingredient is potassium thioglycolate, a member of the thiol family, which not coincidentally is also responsible for the intense stink factor of skunk spray. Thiols “eat into keratin (a skin and hair protein), which is what makes actual skunk spray (and Nair) lock onto human flesh and fuzz.” Another chemical—calcium hydroxide—destroys the weakened hairs.
Good News: The New York Times recommends “rethinking” any beauty product that costs more than $30. [NYT]
2007 was an amazing year for consumer products and we covered them all! From the hype of the iPhone to death-flavored pet food, if you buy it, we’ve probably got an opinion about it.
Consumer Reports noticed, as so many of us have, that stainless steel is awesome until you have to clean it. With that in mind, they’ve tested a bunch of stainless steel cleaners and found that they all work just about the same.
British retailer John Lewis is selling the world’s most unintentionally disturbing baby bathtub ever. At least we hope it’s unintentional. [BoingBoing]
Over at Feministing, a reader noticed these panties in the “juniors” section at the Wal-Mart on Kildare Farms Road in Cary, NC.
Consumer Reports warns us that knockoffs aren’t just found on the streets of NYC, where peddlers push fake Gucci and Prada bags to giggling tourists. There are now “brake pads made of kitty litter, sawdust, and dried grass; power strips, extension cords, and smoke alarms with phony Underwriters Laboratories (UL) marks; medical test kits that give faulty readings; toothpaste made with a chemical found in antifreeze; and cell-phone batteries that could explode. Online drugstores claiming to operate from Canada but actually based in other countries have peddled “Lipitor” and “Celebrex” pills stored under uncontrolled conditions and containing the wrong active ingredients.”
Food marketing is largely made up of lies, but everyone already knows that. The CSPI, however, likes to find foods that are especially fraudulent in their marketing claims. These made us laugh for some reason, so we thought we’d share them with you.